Gippsland by-election

Today we saw the first test of the Rudd government with the by-election in the rural Melbournian seat of Gippsland. It has traditionally been a safe National seat, but the Liberals and Labor live in hope of an upset.

After one hour of counting (and 43% of votes recorded) it looks like the Nationals will retain the seat with an increased majority. Antony Green has called it for the Nationals. Not sure what this means, except that Brendan Nelson (leader of the Liberal-National opposition) will keep his job for a bit longer.

But the more interesting information for libertarians is the performance of the LDP candidate Ben Buckley. At the moment he has 4.8% of the vote. This is above the magical 4% barrier which determines which political parties receive public funding.

(Note: While the LDP is opposed to the idea of public funding for political parties, it is not viable for us to be the only political party rejecting the money.)

7:30pm UPDATE: 55% counted; 6.3% swing to Nationals; LDP on 4.8%
8:20pm UPDATE: 65% counted; 7.3% swing to Nationals; LDP on 4.6%
03 July UPDATE:  87% counted; 6.2% swing to Nationals; LDP on 4.2%

65 thoughts on “Gippsland by-election

  1. 4.6% is pretty good — if you could do that Australia wide you would really put yourself on the map so to speak.

  2. 4.6% is a brilliant result. The much higher profile Australian Greens only managed 7.4%. And the LDP appears to have run merely as an acronym. I presume that the success relates in no small part to the strength of the candidates profile in the area. Well done to all involved.

  3. Clinton, it was determined at the National Convention that the LDP would be appealing the decision made by the AEC re: our name. We’re in the process of attempting to have our name changed to “Liberal Democratic Party” the same name we currently have in the ACT.

    We’re yet to find out if the appeal process will be successful or not. I’m sure being more than an acronym will help in the future. Even if the appeal is not successful we’ll still be the “Liberty and Democracy Party” from now on.

  4. Congratulations, 3098 votes, 4.35% a really great job well done. We now need some sort of report on the way you did it so we can repeat it elsewhere.

  5. There is no secret to it Jim.

    A good, energetic local candidate, local media that gave us a fair go, plus a bit of promotion. Our TV ad might have helped too.

    It’s not what most of us want to hear – that the public is sick of being treated like children and longing for an alternative. We still have a lot to do.

  6. So what if Ben is a celebrity candidate? We shouldn’t discriminate against anyone! If even celebrities can publicly endorse libertarian ideas and parties, they must be perculating to all voters!
    Now if we could just recruit, say, Russell Crowe, and Our Nic to our Cause, we’d replace the Democrats!

  7. Speaking of which, are there any actual famous aussies, particularly actors/musos, etc that are known libertarians?

  8. Lachlan Murdoch is famous, because of his father, but I don’t think he’s a celebrity. He’s not an actor/model/muso, or have I missed something?

  9. nicholas — yobbo wasn’t saying it’s bad to be a celebrity. He was just saying that Ben’s high profile may have contributed to our relatively high vote.

    The other point to bear in mind is that the Gippsland by-election didn’t have various other minor parties. If Family First, Democrats & DLP had run candidates we would have got less.

    However, on a positive note, the LDP got more of the vote that Family First or Ben Buckley did in 2007… and only a few percent less than the Greens. We are on our way up. 🙂

  10. Temujin, I know that! I wouldn’t mind being a celebrity myself, though I’d rather be rich. (You’d all still love me if I was rich and/or famous, wouldn’t you?)
    On a slightly negative note, this seems more like a protest vote against Rudd, than a positive endorsement of other parties (Though a good win for the Nationals, of course.)
    On a really positive note, just get Clint Eastwood to endorse your candidate (Clint claims he’s a libertarian), and your candidate has a massive head start!

  11. A well known local candidate like Ben can with a strong campaign influence the seats around the one he is standing in as well, especially if he is widely respected.

    In a state election where the seats are smaller this result could possibly translate to 10 – 15% in his seat with a flow over effect to the seats around.

  12. I am very disappointed in the decision to take the money.
    If the Libertarians can’t stick to their beliefs, I give up.

  13. Ken, I am as opposed to public funding as anyone else, having been a vehement opponent of it from when it was mooted.

    We should endeavor to rid the nation of it. If however we do not take it we only advantage other parties at our expense.

  14. Ken – there is no libertarian belief that you should refuse government money. Only one that says the government shouldn’t be in the business of handing it out.

  15. Don’t be a bloody idiot David. Ken has expressed a completely legitimate libertarian perspective. To go ‘derrrr troll’ only highlights your own shortcomings.

    I said above that the LDP should take the money (and I am vehemently against public funding), but to go ‘troll’ to somebody who expresses the contrary view is just sheer intellectual vacuity.

  16. Completely legitimate? Really?

    Are you going to refuse protection from the armed forces because some libertarians oppose the Iraq War? Are you going to refuse to use public roads?

    We oppose a lot of things but live within the system. There is nothing wrong for example with public servants screaming out “privatise me!”.

    it might be a concern but it is unfounded and there is no need to worry. Sadly such concerns are used as a cheap shot by hard leftists. Similarly, they don’t refuse to use computers which have been fueled by decades of free market entrepreneurialism. Nor do they refuse to live anywhere but public housing. A few do, but they are fringe dwellers even on the loony left.

  17. Hey, guys, this is supposed to be a place where we can express our beliefs, so let’s extend that right to everyone else. There’s no need to call each other names that we were not called by our parents.
    Libertarians have a wide variety of beliefs, so some might think it legitimate to accept public money. I think we should eventually move to a tax-free society, but this might take a while, and it is a legitimate tactic to fight fire with fire- fight taxfunded parties with funds from taxes. Not all Libertarians believe in abolishing governments, so there is no hypocracy involved. Ken should have checked how many people, if any, felt as he does, before thinking we’ve abandoned principles (especially as these seem to be principles I’ve NEVER held!)

  18. Ben Buckley the former One Nation candidate probably scooped up a bunch of One Nation and gun hugger votes.

    Hardly reason for LDP to get to excited.

    In fact looking at it another way – someone had to grab the nutter votes and what with no CEC, no League of Rights, no Greens, no Family First, no Shooters Party – I’d say around 3,000 hillbilly votes is pretty poor for a 7 time candidate.

  19. Sorry – there was Greens – but he hardly got more than the informals.

    The comment at 29 came out snarkier than I had intended.

    With Ben’s local profile over the years I would have expected him to be a natural conduit for CEC, LoR, FF, Shooters and other disaffected groups in the abscence of them running.

  20. If you want to respect divergent opinions then snorting ‘troll’ is not the way to do it.

    If you think that the suggestion that it would be immoral to accept the public funds, is not libertarian then you are crazy.

    As I said I think you should, but to suggest that the contrary isn’t a legitimate position, and isn’t reasonably common, is absurd.

    As for public roads, yes something that is essential to getting around in your life is exactly the same thing as a libertarian party taking public funds….christ.

  21. Do you think the LDP will be able to sustain the long term campaigning effort required to continue to propel your vote? Will the LDP also provide more detail to their policies? I have to say I was a little disappointed by the lack of detail.

  22. Alex can’t join the party; he’s a cheer leader for the Greens.

    Detail is not essential to understand LDP policies. Start from a presumption in favour of liberty – economic or social – and stick with it.

    The Greens are authoritarian; the LDP is libertarian. We occasionally reach the same policy destination, but the starting point and the journey are quite different.

    As for Samuel Adams, if you don’t want to be called a troll then stop acting like one. Making provocative unsupported statements for the purpose of provoking conflict means you qualify.

    By the way, so far you have called me a bloody idiot, intellectually vacuous, crazy and absurd. That makes you a nasty troll, with an IQ to match.

  23. I’m not a libertarian, however I would like to see a powerful libertarian party in this country as I believe it could only make a positive impact.

  24. I think it is better to deal dispassionately and diplomatically with the criticism of Samuel Adams. It is a fair question.

    We are taking money because that is the current rule of the game. Other current rules include compulsory voting, non-fixed terms, single-member electorates etc. But just because we are following the rules of the game, that doesn’t mean we agree with the rules of the game. For example, we oppose public funds for political parties, we oppose compulsory voting and I personally support fixed terms.

    The moto could be roughly explained as “live by the rules, but work to change them”.

    Mark — I don’t think it progresses the libertarian movement if we tell libertarians to “give up” as soon as they question our approach. I certainly hope he doesn’t give up. I hope he joins, gets active and helps to push the LDP forward. I can certainly promise any libertarians who agree with Ken that I am happy to hear their views and have their involvement.

    And nicholas — it’s not always bad to be called something other than what your parents called you. 😉

  25. If I were called Temujin, I’d want to change it! Perhaps you could choose something easy to say, like ‘John’, or ‘Humphrey’?

  26. John (Temujin), you are much too young and new to the world to be lecturing me or Mark.

    You respond to trolls as you see fit. I will do the same and I hope Mark does too.

  27. Ken is a libertarian? Fantastic!

    If that is so, he doesn’t need to “give up”. Like Temu, David L and I have pointed out – we have not deviated from our beliefs. His logical predication was false.

    Such thinking is a logical trap some libertarians blind themselves with and non libertarians win cheap shots with. The fact of the matter is it is bunkum. Nor is anyone else is demanding the subsidies go away.

  28. DavidL — I hope that you will try to engage with people positively to show them (and others watching) that libertarians are a patient, tolerant and friendly bunch of people.

    Mark — you are younger than me therefore clearly “too young” to know better 🙂 But seriously, lots of people make mistakes in the world. You don’t change their minds (or encourage people to consider our views) by abusing them.

    If you want to advance libertarian views then you need to listen to and positively respond to non-libertarian arguments. If you effectively tell all non-libertarians to go away, then how are you going to convince them? Is your strategy to only promote libertarian ideas to libertarians?

  29. John,

    Your “smile on your brother” approach is generally better. Sometimes it doesn’t work and a protruding nail begs to get hammered down.

    Your argument is odd. I thought you assumed Ken was a libertarian? He did make a libertarian complaint. A flawed one that I myself used to worry about. It isn’t a problem and not worth giving thought to.

  30. For christs sake, I wasn’t even the bloody troll. I think you guys SHOULD take the money.

    Are you a Canberran David? If so I’ll see you at the ALS dinner after the next.

    Oh, not so much of a troll.

  31. And I hate trolls.

    It is probably due to your nordic heritage. A troll probably nicked something from one of your viking ancestors and your genes still carry the memory. I’m guessing that you get along heaps better with garden gnomes? 😉

  32. We shut down the PP over public funding and the insistence on registration of parties, ( it is immoral to have to register ideas with the government). At the time those of us who were doing the bulk of the work were pretty exhausted and were probably a bit sick of it, I felt a great sense of relief when I didn’t have to research and write as often.

    We may have been a bit too intellectually pure for our own good and I often rue what might have been.

    Take the money and use it to reach a position where we can abolish the act.

  33. Oh, not so much of a troll.

    OK Samuel, I accept you were not intentionally being a troll.

    I suspect you are a similar age to Humphreys and thus yet to discover wisdom is not something that suddenly arrives at the age of 20 and declines as you get older. Therefore I have copied for your reference below a definition of ‘concern troll’ from Wikipedia. If you wish to avoid accusations of trolling in future, I recommend you support your assertions with a little reasoning and justification.

    A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose point of view is opposed to the one that the user’s sockpuppet claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.

  34. I’m guessing that you get along heaps better with garden gnomes?

    I once had a romantic interlude with a mermaid. It was on a beach in Copenhagen and she didn’t say much, but I’m pretty sure she returned my affection. I’d probably remember her name if I hadn’t just been to the Carlsberg brewery.

  35. DavidL — I get a bit sick of you trying to pretend you have some wonderful fount of knowledge that can’t be accessed by us “young” 30 year olds (and especially me for some reason). You don’t. Being old isn’t a specific virtue… there are plenty of dumb old bigoted fools in the world.

    As it happens Samuel probably wasn’t a troll. So your “wisdom” seems to have failed you.

    I don’t mind when people make mistakes (as you do). I don’t mind it when people are arrogant and condecending (as you are). But I don’t like it when somebody combines the two… and then thinks that it is a virtue. It is not.

  36. That’s all well and good David, except for the fact THAT I THINK YOU SHOULD TAKE THE MONEY! It was another person that thought you shouldn’t.

    As for concern, well I think your pathetic dismissal of a contrary view with not so much as a speck of logical rebuttal, is something that one should be validly concerned about. Particularly when (according to the website), you are on the national executive.

  37. I still don’t get why you boys are so agitated – you admit you agree – but carry on.

    Sam – if you agree then I don’t know why you are still calling it a “logical rebuttal”.

    Then again I disagree with John at 41 and complement his persuasive style.

    The real benefit of this is not the money, but recognition.

  38. Samuel, you are partially right. Ken is the troll. When I said so, you came to his defence. In my response (at #34) I mistakenly substituted you for Ken. Sorry.

    However, you are also wrong. I have nowhere dismissed any view regarding electoral funding. I know you said we should take the money; as it happens I hold the same opinion, although I would prefer there was no public funding of political parties.

    I’d also point out that you have now added pathetic to bloody idiot, intellectually vacuous, crazy and absurd in referring to me. I assume that’s because you have not much that’s constructive to say.

  39. Wisdom is like a mountain. There is a very specific age at which wisdom peaks. Many years ago I thought I had climbed to the pinnacle (like John is still trying to do) and was headed into decline (like old people such as DavidL). However what I know now is that the mountain is slowly rising so that we are all getting wiser. Also the specific age at which wisdom peaks has actually moved upward very gradually over the years. So in fact whilst I am wiser than I used to be, I am also still the wisest.

    Oh lord it is hard to be humble.
    And perfect in every way.
    But each morning I look in the mirror.
    And I just get better looking each day.


  40. DavidL — if you didn’t care about me so much, you wouldn’t spend so much of your time trying to pretend you’re “wiser” than me. In reality, you’re simply older. And there’s nothing particularly special or skillful about being old.

  41. TerjeP- I’m glad you’ve got a day job! And when addressing hymns to the Lord, they’re supposed to be about Hym, not you!

  42. TerjeP: old Indian saying “Old age and cunning will triumph over youth and enthusiasm very time.”

    John: This is not about me and I don’t pretend any such thing. It’s about you. I am simply saying you are not qualified to preach or lecture (as in comment #41).

  43. did the Indians triumph in the end?

    The saying originates from Indians in India, not those fighting cowboys.

    But I’d say it is true. What achievements can the youthful and enthusiastic claim? In politics they are impressed with their own ideas but have little time or money. Results require money, time and ideas in descending order on a log scale.

  44. And there’s nothing particularly special or skillful about being old.

    What basis of experience do you have to make this claim? Can you guarantee you can avoid all the pitfalls, on the way to getting old?

  45. Jim — I can guarantee I’ll make mistakes all through my life, including in my later years. I will also guarantee that there are plenty of old people who aren’t wise. Many great achievements were done by people under 40 and many stupid actions were done by people over 40.

    The only thing that old age necessarily indicates is that a person has successfully not died. 🙂

  46. Comment no 29: “F.X. Holden”. Some background for you…I arranged for Ben Buckley to be the LDP Candidate for Gippsland by-election. Yes, he has stood (once) as a One Nation, but many more times he has stood as an Independent. He actually abhores some of the One Nation policies of the past. I have known Ben since the early 1970s from my farming and flying. In explaining the LDP’s policies to him I highlighted our “low tax, less government interference” points, covering firearms, traffic laws, victimless crimes, gays,etc. He was immediately enthused and claimed he wished he had heard about LDP earlier. I never once mentioned “libertarianism” as a concept! Gippsland has a large number of shooters, being one of the regions for Sambar and Hog Deer hunting, foxes,as well as duck shooting, also lots of farmers. It was where J.W.Howard had his infamous “flack jacket” appearance at Sale. We even discussed having a rally at Sale, for all the shooters in the region, on the theme of “we got rid of Howard; now let’s get rid of his gun laws.” We didn’t have time to do it.
    BTW, with a limited budget, the (almost) 4,000 votes was, I think, a fantastic achievement. The AEC funding will only just pay back the money spent. Many thanks to all those who sent money and helped.

  47. I know you are only kidding Terje, but remember the story of the two bulls.

    The young one says to the older one, “look at that herd of cows, lets gallop down and …. one.”

    The older one says, ” Lets walk down and …. the lot.”

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