Wednesday, 30 November 2005

modern liberalism

It seems like its been a while since I blogged about politics. It remains of interest to me, and I still don't quite know where I fit in the Australian political spectrum. I would like to think of myself as a liberal, but not a libertarian, and certainly not a Liberal.

Anyway, so an article about the new terror laws passing the House and about their prospects of being amended in the senate made me think about small 'l' vs big 'L' liberals. So I wandered across to Wikipedia and read about small 'l' liberalism. That lead me to 'classical liberalism' - not really me, I decided. Thus onto 'social liberalism', or 'modern liberalism'. There, I said, that sounds a little like me. So I googled for 'australian modern liberal', and came across the maiden speech of The Hon Joe Hockey MP, Member for North Sydney (NSW). Earlier today, Mr Hockey voted in favour of the terror legislation, including the changes to the sedition laws. I wonder how that decision, along with the general culture of fear, as I see it, that has begun to effect Australian politics. In particular, how do these things relate to his quote of George Reid:

"There is no country in the world where the people are less paralysed by reverence to the past. There are no people in the world who have fewer fears for the future."

And how do they relate to his four tenets of modern liberalism: the rights of the individual, representative parliamentary democracy, reform and equality of opportunity? I'd say that the first has been diminished by a process showing, to date (we can hope that the senate can restore our faith), very little respect for the second.

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