Saturday, July 26, 2014

A look at Australia's two new libertarian senators

Meet Bob and David, our new libertarian senators - Joanna Mather, Financial Review:

July 12, 2014 - "Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm are a rookie crossbench duo with ideas so radical right they make some members of the Liberal Party blush.

"Like allowing young people with few prospects and 'from the wrong side of the tracks' to forego the protections afforded by industrial relations legislation to offer themselves up for cheaper rates than their university-educated peers.

"Or getting rid of bicycle helmet laws. 'Bicycle helmets are an absolute classic,' Leyonhjelm tells AFR Weekend. 'Because it’s your own head. If you want to fall off your bike and smash your own head, why should that be the government’s business? It’s your affair.'

"Anther topic close to the libertarian heart of Leyonhjelm, who won a NSW Senate spot for the Liberal Democrats, is road speed limits. Rather than being arbitrarily set by ­government they should be temporarily lifted, he says, and drivers free to determine, through trial and crashing error, the sweet spot between safety and pace.

"Day, the Family First senator for South Australia, doesn’t describe himself as a libertarian. But many of his views align strongly with Leyonhjelm’s. The pair hadn’t met before their surprise election last September. But they are fellow travellers: successful businessmen in their early 60s who are in furious agreement about the need for smaller government and lower taxes.

"They also worship personal freedom. 'It has been proven throughout history where freedom reigns there is prosperity, there is peace,' says Day, a millionaire builder from South Australia who fell out with the Liberal Party before joining Family First."

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