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People should always vote their values

01/09/2012

I’m convinced that people should vote their values, which might mean voting for an “unelectable” candidate, or perhaps not voting at all. If people don’t know the issues, they are better off not voting than risking a vote for a wrong candidate. If the best the major parties have to offer fall short of the principles you believe in, then it is your duty to not vote for either.

But more to the point are the ideological issues involved. If we care about these ideological issues, if we have beliefs about what’s best for Australia and how best to achieve it, then we must ask ourselves if a particular stance supports and furthers our cause—whatever that cause maybe? How far will it take us toward the goals of that cause. However, except in times of crisis, like the Vietnam  war, when it turned badly, most people are only interested in domestic policy matters, and that is what is dished out to them during an election campaign.

The idea of what Australia can and should be is informed by the Galbally Report of 1978. The report gives substance to the reality of multiculturalism. The report and the actions taken as a result of that report fulfil the idea of respect for all people, no matter whence they came. This value is fundamental to a good Australia and requires upholding the conventions and protocols to which Australia is a signatory. We argue strongly for the universality of human rights in overcoming our  deficiencies. Australia has gained great strength by our tolerance, by our diversity and by our respect for the history and culture of people whose pasts are different. An understanding by Australians of the strengths and weaknesses of its democracy would strengthen our diplomacy throughout East and South-East Asia and make us a more effective partner.

Australia’s major interests are in the East and South-East Asia. Our future is bound with that of the Western Pacific, East and South-East Asia. That geographic difference defines in significant ways our national interest. We live in the Western Pacific, our secure and peaceful future depends upon our relationships with countries of the region.

We believe it matters who owns the print and electronic media as these technologies are significant instruments for propaganda and information. Similarly, we would deny those with financial resources to have a disproportionate influence on public affairs, an influence magnified by the activities of lobbyists whose impact on public affairs is not benign. Today money has too great an influence on the policies of political parties. If Australia wants to maintain the effectiveness of its democracy, we need to look much more closely at the power of money and how to limit the political influence of those with great financial resources. This policy recognises and accepts the common heritage of natural materials which rightfully belong to us all.

Australia continues to support ANZUS and the US alliance, and accepts that ANZUS is a treaty limited geographically and substantively. It involves a commitment to consult. However, the US may or may not provide military support. Rather, our own skill, our own strength, our own diplomacy, wisdom, our contribution to our region, our contribution to the overall security of that region—are what will secure Australia’s future. We need to be a nation acting independently with a mind and direction of our own and needs to be recognised as such. We would withdraw our troops from countries that don’t want them there, at the first opportunity. 

When Australia’s military goes to war it should only be for purposes and objectives clearly in its interests.  Australia should not do anything, for example, that suggests that we could be part of a policy of military containment of China, but marines in Darwin, spy planes in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands make us part of that policy of containment. Further, Australia should be out of ANZUS altogether rather than have any nuclear weapons on its soil.

In short the main objective of Australian policy, which should be publicly stated, would be to contribute to and to help achieve a resolution of any disputes in the Western Pacific through diplomacy or through the application of international law. It should be to deny the use of force except in protection against blatant aggression. It should be to establish a concert of nations with both the United States and China having equal seats at the table and other nations being appropriately involved. We should make it clear that we are opposed to the policy of containment. We should not take any actions that can be construed as supporting that objective and we should not support actions which suggests that military solutions offer an appropriate path to a peaceful Western Pacific, East and South-East Asia. That would be an assertion of Australian policy, principled and practical. It would gain support from many countries throughout the region. ~Malcolm Fraser: 2012 Gough Whitlam Oration

We must have courageous leaders who believe in change, leaders governed by ideological principles in sync with our personal values, whatever they may be. For this reason, I cannot, and will not, in good conscience vote for either major party as things stand.

It is necessary to recognize that the ultimate power of every government … rests solely on opinion and not on physical force. The agents of government are never more than a small proportion of the total population under their control. This implies that no government can possibly enforce its will upon the entire population unless it finds widespread support and voluntary cooperation within the nongovernmental public. It implies likewise that every government can be brought down by a mere change in public opinion, i.e., by the withdrawal of the public’s consent and cooperation. ~Hans-Hermann Hoppe

So you see, voting is an act of support. It is how we consent to and cooperate with our government. When we vote for someone, we are agreeing to give him or her certain powers over our lives. If that politician does not share our values, then we become complicit in our own undoing. We become agents of the very state whose policies are antithetical to the cause of liberty. In other words, when we vote for someone who is not an ideological peer, we are supporting and furthering the cause of our own enslavement.

Don’t vote for the lesser of two evils. Don’t fall for partisan rhetoric claiming that the major parties have different ideals because, where it really counts, they do not. Instead, vote for a candidate who stands for what you believe in. Or express your dissent by not voting at all. Anything is better than voting for the current major party crop.

Don’t worry about “throwing away” your vote. Contrary to popular belief, voting is not a pragmatic activity. Rather, it is a supremely ideological one. It is the best opportunity most of us ever get to voice our beliefs, our values, and our life philosophy. Following your conscience is never wrong, ever. If enough people understand this, real change can and will happen eventually. But it has to start with you and me, and it has to start now.

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