Room for a Liberal Movement

Politics — By on April 28, 2013 7:59 PM



A new political party in South Australia is turning heads with its bold and controversial policies.

Founded by former Liberal Democratic member, Christopher Steele, the Liberal Movement party aligns itself with Libertarian philosophies and teachings.

“Libertarian’s essence is freedom in every regard – economic and social – and so we stand for a variety of freedoms no other political party does,” Mr Steele said.

“Essentially, we want a less intrusive government,” he said.

The party has a strong economic agenda, with plans to significantly reduce government spending and to abolish a raft of taxes including payroll, stamp duty, and the infamous carbon tax.

“We are vigorous about less taxation and government spending… in fact, we would be happiest if government tax levels were about one-fiftieth of their current size, which is quite substantial,” Mr Steele said.

Its social policies are equally bold, supporting the legalisation of cannabis, same-sex marriage and adoption, voluntary euthanasia, and the abolishment of speed cameras.

But it is its mission statement – “Say goodbye to government interference!” – which has stirred some debate among sceptics.

“In theory, the Liberal Movement may sound like a blessing for citizens who want to take control of their lives, but in reality, this is not the case,” says an Adelaide University politics student who wishes to remain anonymous.

“A culture of over-regulation and high government involvement in the economy… means that Australians are quite accustomed to, and may even be comforted by, the current political system, which means change and even successful change would be difficult to implement and probably open to considerable public backlash,” she said.

Co-founder and financial member of the Liberal Movement party, Jacob Kinsman, disagrees.

“It’s fine to assert that more individual freedom is not a blessing, but generally you’d have a logical reason why this is the case – this is a predictable, reactionary assertion,” Mr Kinsman said.

“Lack of popularity does not determine whether more individual freedom is a blessing, nor does the depth to which nanny-statism has been ingrained in the populace.

“If you want over-regulation and high government involvement in the economy, move to North Korea – this is Australia,” he said.

Mayor of Port Adelaide Enfield and Independent, Gary Johanson, said parties of this nature can expect to encounter a number of challenges.

“There is a long history of parties that spring up – some more successful than others – that tend to follow certain popular agendas to garner votes,” said Mr Johanson.

“The difficulty is that these parties… cannot always say how they intend to cut the things they promise to cut and what they would possibly introduce to take the place of said redundant legislation.”

While Mr Steele is adamant the party knows what needs to be done, and knows how to do it, he concedes they face some marketing challenges.

“The great difficulty in Libertarianism is that people have been brainwashed over the past 40 years into thinking there are only certain forms of government that are real or acceptable,” he said.

“Libertarianism is a bit complicated to explain to people – we are so many things to so many special interest groups – and so that presents a marketing quandary.”

Mr Kinsman believes this is a minor hurdle.

“I think we can overcome it through persuasion and with the strength of our arguments,” he said.

“We’ll be in a far better position to explain to the public what we’re about if we achieve electoral success.”

As the movement continues to gain momentum, electoral success seems feasible.

Fuelled by social media, the party has received over 10,000 likes on its Facebook page since October last year.

To date, membership numbers stand at 495 and the party is only a handful away from being registered federally.

“Our immediate aim is to contest the Federal election, then the South Australian State election,” said Mr Steele.

“We will be running two candidates, one of whom will be myself, and I feel fairly confident we will achieve electoral success.”

“Obviously the goal is to get into parliament, but I’m not doing it for individual gain – we’re there to get in, slash government spending and wages and achieve electoral reforms that match our philosophy,” said Mr Kinsman.

“I haven’t personally encountered many people who take issue with our policies, but there’ll always be critics who, without any logical reasoning, are happy to brand you a bunch of radicals or something.

“If peace amongst human beings is a radical notion… then sure, I’m a radical.”


For more information on the Liberal Movement party, visit or their Facebook page.

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