Liberal Democrats

Well, it’s official. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is back.

The AEC have just announced that the LDP (Australia’s only registered libertarian party) has won its case to return to our original name. Before the 2007 election, the party was forced to change its name to “Liberty & Democracy Party” in the face of Liberal Party legislation. But thankfully sanity has returned… and the original name has been approved.

This is also a good time to mention that I will be heading down to Sydney in January 2008 to do some work for the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS). As the CIS likes to keep at arms-length from political parties, that means I’ll have to step away from the LDP.

It also means I’m looking for a place to stay in Sydney for a few months… so if you know of anywhere, please contact me.

22 thoughts on “Liberal Democrats

  1. But where will you be, John, in 2009?
    And I still think that ‘Liberal Democrat’ has connotations of a breakaway Democrat faction.

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  3. TerjeP- I would prefer libertarians to stand out, without connotations getting in the way! For instance, when people hear the term ‘Liberal Catholic’, they think it’s a right-wing papist term, but the Liberal Catholics are more like gnostic Christians!

  4. is this a bad thing? I assume you are answering the second part of Nicholas’s question.

    I’m inclined to go one further as I wouldn’t want to be thought of as associated with the Liberals either. The Democrats were essentially a statist personality cult formed when Don Chip took the ‘don’t knows’ out of the opinion polls and welded them into a solid political force. The Liberals currently seem to stand for letting Rudd do whatever he likes in the hope he will stuff up bigtime.

    I actually preferred the liberty and Democracy name but I guess I’ll just have to get used to this one.

  5. Irrespective of what sounded nice, “liberty & democracy” was a vote loser. We believe in liberal democracy, so the name makes sense. And if it also happens to make us look like sensible moderates who are neither right-wing nor left-wing, then that’s something we’ll have to learn to live with. 🙂

  6. This is an old debate. Whenever it has been had in depth, by cool heads that need to decide on strategic terms, the argument for the name “Liberal Democracts” has always carried the day. Not everybody is happy with it, but then not everybody understands the most probably path to actual political success (as opposed to the fantasy of political success). The decision was made some time ago and I doubt it is going to be unmade. Were I still on the LDP executive I would have supported this name change decision. I hope the Liberal Democrats can build on their base to become a signficant player in Australian politics.

    Now to more important stuff. Who is going to stand for the LDP executive at the conference in January? Anybody that has time, energy and commitment should consider seeking party approval. And if John is taking leave from the executive then there is space for one more able bodied libertarian to have a go. What about it guys? Jim perhaps? Jarrah?

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  8. My LDP membership has expired, and I’d like to rejoin. Membership forms and financial info to me, Brasenose College Oxford OX1 4AJ. Sorry to do this in the comments but everyone seems to have dropped off the world just lately.

  9. I initially disliked “liberty and democracy” as a party name, but it grew on me to the point where I now prefer it. Calling it a vote-loser is a bit presumptuous isn’t it? We ran on federal ballot as “LDP” – that was never going to do well.

    Whenever it has been had in depth, by cool heads that need to decide on strategic terms, the argument for the name “Liberal Democracts” has always carried the day.

    Really? The only real argument I remember hearing in favour of it was that it might trick both Liberals and Democrats into voting for it.

    It’s not that big a deal though… I’m sure I’ll get used to Liberal Democratic Party again.

  10. This may be a stupid question but why not just ‘The Libertarian Party’? If people don’t know what that word means we could use youTube animations or something to explain where it fits into the political spectrum. Or perhaps we could capitalise on the ACT party’s recent success and pilfer their name!

  11. “The only real argument I remember hearing in favour of it was that it might trick both Liberals and Democrats into voting for it.”

    It’s better because it’s more ‘normal’, less fruitloopy. And because by rights we should be the Liberals, but that’s taken, so Liberal Democrats is the next best thing.

    And Greego, to be accurate it would have to be The Moderate Libertarian Party. But whatever, it’s done now. It’s a turning point, in fact – our identity secure, the real work can begin.

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  13. Jarrah – the US Libertarian Party are a big-tent moderate libertarian party. Look at their most recent presidential and vice-presidential candidates. “Libertarian” is a brand that can be shaped in a strategically positive way for Australia. “Liberal Democrat” is too vague IMO.

  14. Greego – hopefully you will get a chance to make this point when you stand for a position on the LDP federal executive in January.

  15. I’ll have to make my points on these blogs Terje, I’m living in London at the moment. When the pound is no longer worth earning (which is going to be sooner rather than later I think) I’ll return to Oz and get more involved with the LDP.

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