I tried to post this on one of the libertarian Australian sites on facebook, but hit the 450 character limit.
Australian politicians just got a pay rise. There will be much made of it in the media.
To my mind, pay rises and the like for politicians is not the problem. The media likes to focus on politician pay rises because they can then ignore massive spending on mostly worthless government programs, and the resulting oppressive taxation and inflation. Politician pay rises are a mere drop in the ocean. Unfortunately here in Australia, there are very few people that are libertarian in political orientation.
Most Australians are statists, and the first thing most Australians ask is, “what is the government going to do about it?”. We have laws for just about everything, including about what you are allowed to say. Most Australians are fine with this. They are only bothered by such things when it directly and negatively affects them. Australians are blase when it happens to other Australians. We have very little libertarian impulse in this country.
Not only are libertarian issues not dealt with by the ruling duopoly parties, there is no grass roots effort to introduce these issues into political discourse. As an Australian, I can say that the vast majority of Australians are closed minded narrow thinkers. Not only will libertarian issues not be introduced into Australian law and society, but Australians will not even discuss such issues. Ironically, libertarians get labeled as fascist or even racist, even though libertarianism is the exact opposite of that.
What chance do Australian libertarians have of educating the extremely ignorant, prejudiced, and statist Australian electorate? I would argue that except for a few converts (usually people that were open minded and intelligent enough to understand anyway), libertarianism has no chance in Australia as long as nominal “democracy” is the form of government. Democracy in Australia is merely a race in which the people vote away the rights of others, then insist they had the right to do it based on an illusory “will of the people”. Australian democracy is the system of the looters, takers, rights deniers, and second handers (the last one is an Ayn Rand reference – read The Fountainhead). Whoever participates in the so-called democratic system implicitly accepts by their vote that they will accept the result of the vote, even if they do not like the result.
The only option for a libertarian is to drop out of the democratic system. A libertarian is against the system, so no libertarian should implicitly support it by participating in it. When someone says that you don’t have a right to complain because you didn’t vote, you reply it is that kind of thinking that creates the need to dismantle the system. To those that say that such thinking lowers the libertarian vote, I would point out that everyone in this country is required to vote, and there is not even one remotely libertarian politician in the federal government (there may be a case for local government voting as smaller groups of people can effect outcomes, and local governments are fairly responsive to local communities. Even so, it shouldn’t be required). A libertarian in Australia loses nothing by not voting, and gains moral and ideological standing to oppose the system.
A libertarian cannot accept democracy, at least in it’s Australian incarnation, because Australian democracy allows the removal of rights, excessive taxation, violation of civil liberties, regulation of speech and publishing, and so on. Perhaps a libertarian could support a form of democracy in which such things were completely and irreversibly forbidden, no matter what the “will of the people” decides. As long as someone can vote away the rights and plunder other Australians in Australian democracy, then democracy is unacceptable to libertarians.
Libertarians only accept liberty (and liberty is freedom). Democracy is not a proxy for freedom, it is a Trojan horse than has been depriving Australians of liberty for years on end.