Resignation from the Liberal Party

No, not mine…

I received the following email from Jake Zanoni earlier tonight. If anyone can find a reason for me to advise him to do a, it would be most appreciated;

Hey boofhead,

You can do one of two things:
a, Convince me not to send this
b, Edit it to make it better

Or you could do both really.

To whom it may concern,

Today I have discovered that after months of opposing the Rudd Government’s Alcopops tax increase, the Federal Coalition will be backflipping and supporting it. Phone calls to the office of Senator Gary Humphries have confirmed this as well as confirming that Senator Humphries will be voting along party lines to bring this tax hike into permanent existence.

As a member of a major Party I accept that the Parliamentary Party will take certain stances that do not accord with ones personal views. However, there are only so many times I can turn my head and look the other way before it becomes too much. I can no longer lend my tacit support to a Party that calls for tax increases and more Government spending. I can no longer remain publicly silent while the Liberal Party turns against the very tenets that I hold dear and that supposedly defined its existence.

I will continue to support the Liberal Party when it adopts a position in accord with small government principles, but I can not and will not support the Liberal Party when it actively works against those principles. For this reason I tender my resignation as a member of the ACT Division of the Liberal Party of Australia, effective immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Jacob Zanoni

Hmm. Got any ideas anyone?


19 Responses to “Resignation from the Liberal Party”

  1. Bee Says:

    If people like him leave, then the fascists win? I’ve been struggling as well with the fact we’ve abandoned all principles for the sake of populism, but loyalty is what’s keeping me going.

  2. Elias Says:

    …because he is over-reacting.

    This isn’t a war against human ideals. It’s a silly tax, done due to economic circumstances, voted on for practical reasons to ensure our government works smoothly. If he resigns, it’s just an attention seeking stunt. I’m sorry to label him as such as I don’t know him, but that’s what it comes across as.

    Sometimes decisions are made with a bigger picture in mind, which is why this backflip is regrettable but acceptable. With regards to his resignation, ultimately (and harshly) – who cares.

  3. david Says:

    Libs will hold meetings in phone boxes soon. Oops, there isnt any since the sale of Telstra.

  4. sonieee Says:

    I don’t blame him for wanting to quit.

    It’s usually the straw that breaks the camel’s back. And this is certainly a straw, if you want to look at the “big picture”.

  5. Tim Humphries Says:

    The key here is we are supposed to stand for lower taxes.

    No matter how much we may respect those that we oppose/support inside the party, we need to recognize the core ideals that brought us into existence and be willing to stand up for those core ideals and reinvigorate them where nessesary.

    1. The Individual
    2. Low Tax – Small Government
    3. By extension from above – freedom

    It’s this same Big Govt paternalist approach that permeates Qld politics most particularly in recent times.

    It’s the sort of approach that says, we can’t do anything if we aren’t in Govt. So sometimes our view of principle and ideological purity has to be rent asunder in order to manage the overall state of affairs to the advancement of all the people.

    Which means essentially jettisoning what made us great in order to achieve political advantage.

    It’s not a popular thing for me to say, especially if I have ambitions for the future, but I view such pragmatism regarding aforesaid ideals to be distateful, no matter how unpopular it may make me.

  6. Tim Humphries Says:

    What I meant to say was come back Jake! There are still freedom oriented kindred spirits out there. Even if we seem to be a minority heh.

  7. Jake the Muss Says:

    An avalanche of convincing arguments guys…

  8. Bee Says:

    I agree with Tim Humphries, I find this populism really, really distasteful. I think half the reason we’re not doing as well as we ought is due to the fact we’ve thrown our values out the window.

    If I wanted to vote for a republican, big government environmentalist, I would have voted for Rudd.

  9. Catriona Rafael Says:

    Well, Bee, there’s a point where one has to accept certain things (like environmentalism) are a fundamental point of dissent that MUST change if we are to stay relevant and, well, sane.

  10. ralph Buttigieg Says:


    The alcopops tax has nothing to do with populism. Its the opposite- elitism. The populist thing to do would be to oppose it, but for our own supposed good the political elites have decided we should be discouraged from the evil drink.

    Bunch of wowsers- I’m going to pour myself another port to help me get over it.



  11. Cathy Says:

    Quit and re-create the Australian Democrats. You wouldn’t move much in Parliament, but you can oppose the HELL out of new taxes.

    You could also fall in love with a cabinet minister and defect to her/his party, bringing you back into the major party fold.

  12. An Unfortunate Vindication… « Catholicism and Liberty Says:

    […] scandal might, but fighting for our values and principles will earn long-term respect and stop the falling away of people who can no longer relate to what the Liberals stand for. In the end, the process of rebuilding will be far more fruitful than the destructive path the […]

  13. Nick Says:

    I agree 100% with Elias. It’s always easy to stand on the sidelines and pretend we know everything that’s moving through the halls of APH, but the reality is that most of us don’t, and I for one will maintain my membership of the Liberal Party, because it’s bigger than an (un)popular decision or two, and bigger than the parliamentary leader of the day.

    I’d be interested to hear if any of today’s dissenters espoused similar “low tax/small government” rants as Howard was increasing Commonwealth expenditure per person to higher levels than under Whitlam and Keating.

    Now, I’m a fan of Howard, and as a business-owner and locked-on-Liberal I don’t in any way support the alcopops tax (both because it is an additional tax burden, and because it essentially taxes choice), but Turnbull and the Party Room taking the decision not to block the new tax would be no-where near enough to cause me to resign my membership.

    If Jacob is serious about outcomes (and by outcomes I mean the regulatory regime under which he and his family will live for years to come) the best place for him to be is inside the party, making his perspective known and maximising the opportunities available to him as a member of our democratic Party.

    I’m not suggesting that supporting the alcopops tax goes against the fundamental value our Party preaches, ie. lower taxes, but political parties do go through periods of upheaval and reinvention in opposition. Often a greater political force emerges (think Reagan), the likes of which we can’t imagine today. I’m not saying Turnbull’s our Reagan, but I’d rather be a part of shaping the Liberal Party for the next decade or two than call it quits because our MP’s reluctantly fell into line on a small issue.


  14. John Humphreys Says:

    When has the Liberal party ever stood for small government?

    The Howard government was the highest taxing government in Australia’s history, and they increased the number of regulations.

    The argument being put by some here is that if you just support a few more taxes and a bit more regulation, then perhaps you can get the Liberals in power so that they can… wait for it… increase tax some more and add a few more regulations! And maybe crack down on drugs and ban a few more guns if you’re lucky.

    It wouldn’t be a problem if the classical liberals were simply impotent inside the Liberal party. But it’s worse than that. By being inside the Liberal party you are:

    1) telling the Liberals they can increase tax all they like and you’ll never object; and

    2) silencing the classical liberal movement because your voice is silenced behind a wall of conservative populist “party unity” crap.

    The major parties (and I can’t see much of a difference) will only respond to electoral pressure. That comes from (1) changing ideas; and (2) creating a viable threat that the Liberals may lose votes/support if they continue to abandon free-market principles.

    This would change if we had less party unity and people could more vocally promote their principles. If there was a loud liberal Liberal faction, then perhaps staying involved would be better justified. Towards that end, if you’re in the ACT, you should find Duncan Spender.

    But either way — good luck.

  15. John Humphreys Says:

    Having said all of that — I would support Turnbull over Rudd. 🙂

  16. John Humphreys Says:

    For the sake of balance, here’s the argument for staying with the Liberals.

    First, party loyalty is not a good reason. It makes no sense to support to a person or institution if they are doing the exact wrong thing. If your friend rapes somebody, you should not lie for them out of loyalty. If your party became fascist, you should not become fascist too out of loyalty. What matters is the ideas, not the vehicle. Not enough politically active people understand this… and politics is the poorer because of it.

    HOWEVER… politics always involves compromises. Even in the LDP. The issue is whether the compromises are effective in achieving any change. I’m not sure if they were under Howard. I think Hawke was better. And I still have a soft spot for Latham.

    But between Turnbull and Rudd I think there is an important difference which makes Turnbull worthy of active supporty from liberal-minded people. Here are some reasons:

    * fiscal policy — Rudd is 100% Keynesian while the Liberals are only 80% Keynesian. Both wrong, but the Liberals are less wrong.

    * internet censorship — thank allah the Liberals are opposing this, and it is an eternal disgrace on the ALP that they want to control the net.

    * Rudd-bank — another piece of economic stupidity, which thankfully was stopped in the Senate.

    And even on the sell-out issues like alcopops and CPRS, the Liberals deserve credit for having people who were willing to speak and vote against these ideas. I wish that more did (what happened to Alex Hawke?) but at least some did. Those people are making it possible to see a place for liberals inside the Liberals, and their willingness to stand against party discipline should be applauded and rewarded.

    Whether you continue within the Liberals or outside the Liberals, the most important thing is to remember that it is ideas that matter, not the party… and you need to keep pushing good ideas and not allow pragmatism to silence you. Because if we run from debate, we will ultimately lose.

  17. Bee Says:

    Nick, yeah, I was loudly opposing the Howard government’s expansion of government. It took a fair amount of convincing for me to get involved because I figured libertarians like me didn’t have a place in the party.

    John – I think you’re right to an extent. There’s a massive disconnect between the parliamentary wing and a lot of the supporters of the Liberal Party. I 100% agree with you on your #2 point in the initial post though.

  18. John Humphreys Says:

    Bee… I think you’ll find the parliamentary Liberals are a closer match to the average Liberal voter, while the Liberal party member is kept safely silent and irrelevant.

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