David Leyonhjelm. A manifesto for a crossbencher

Based on the count so far, it is evident I have been elected to the NSW Legislative Council, the upper house of the NSW parliament. This is the state equivalent of the federal Senate from which I resigned at the beginning of March.

Final numbers will not be known until April 12, but it is already clear that the Berejiklian government will require the support of most of the crossbench in order to pass contested legislation in the NSW Legislative Council. This will make it similar to the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government which, since 2014, has required the support of most of the crossbench to pass legislation in the Senate.

I spent almost five years on the Senate crossbench, where my vote was regularly crucial in determining what passed. With my election to the NSW parliament, I will be in a similar position for eight years. This is a responsibility I do not take lightly.

Unlike most other parties, the policies of the Liberal Democrats are based on principles rather than feelings. We believe the government should be our servant, not our master, and should largely keep its hand out of our pockets and off our backs.

In terms of regulation we subscribe to JS Mill’s famous harm principle: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

When I was first elected to the Senate in 2013 I declared that I would never vote for an increase in taxes or a reduction in liberty. I expect to maintain that promise in the NSW Legislative Council. I will always vote for lower taxes, liberty over safety, the individual over the collective, and personal responsibility over victimhood.

However, having the occasional power of veto in the upper house is not a formula for unrestrained power. Governments are formed on the basis of a majority in the lower house, in the expectation that they will implement their election promises. A crossbench member in the upper house can introduce a bill, but it is largely an exercise in futility unless it has government support.

It is also not appropriate for a crossbencher to seek to highjack a government’s agenda. While I don’t subscribe to the mandate argument, which is about an unelected House of Lords obstructing an elected House of Commons, my inclination is to allow the government’s bills to pass so long as they do not involve increasing taxes or reducing liberty.

In the Senate this regularly meant I voted in favour of a bill provided it was amended to remove or correct such things as retrospective liability, removal of the right to silence, or reversal of the onus of proof.

But inevitably there will be situations where the government lacks the numbers to win a vote.

With some crossbenchers basing their position on feelings and others inherently opposed to voting with the government, there will regularly be an opportunity to negotiate.

I have a long list of things I would like to see changed, not least the nanny state and red tape issues identified in the two Senate inquiries that I chaired. For example, NSW continues to prosecute bicycle riders who do not wear a helmet, when the rest of the world leaves it to adults to decide. Cannabis remains illegal despite the rest of the world waking up to the fact that prohibition is a failed policy. Sydney’s lockouts destroy the late night culture and live music sector, while Melbourne laughs at our immaturity. Our highly restrictive approach to e-cigarettes costs the lives of tobacco smokers who would otherwise switch.

I am also frustrated that NSW rural communities suffer because water is sent to South Australia to keep a lake artificially fresh, that our speed limits remain stuck in the sixties despite vast advances in car and road safety, that we cannot seek help to end our own lives, and that we consign women and vulnerable people to victimhood by denying them the legal right to carry anything that might protect them from thugs.

So when the government comes seeking my vote, I will bring out my list. And if there is agreement to make progress on something, there is a good chance it will get my vote.

David Leyonhjelm is a former senator and will soon be a member of the NSW Legislative Council for the Liberal Democrats.

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38 Responses to David Leyonhjelm. A manifesto for a crossbencher

  1. Old School Conservative

    I may have missed it – has DL produced a rationale for leaving the Senate and entering the NSW LC?

  2. A Lurker

    Read this paragraph:

    “Unlike most other parties, the policies of the Liberal Democrats are based on principles rather than feelings. We believe the government should be our servant, not our master, and should largely keep its hand out of our pockets and off our backs. “

    Then read this paragraph:

    “In terms of regulation we subscribe to JS Mill’s famous harm principle: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

    And finally this sentence:

    “that we cannot seek help to end our own lives”

    Then consider this:

    “Which brings me to a recent example from Holland that should ring so many alarm bells.

    An un-named woman – an octogenarian living in a nursing home and experiencing dementia – was euthanised against her will. According to reports, she had made a comment in her advanced directive that she would like euthanasia “when I myself find it the right time”.

    The woman had been a resident in the nursing home for only seven weeks. During that time she was noted as being ‘frightened and angry’ wandering the halls of the facility at night and missing her family. This, the nursing home doctor concluded, meant that she was suffering unbearably. She assessed that the woman was no longer mentally competent and accepted that the written declaration she had made earlier in her advanced directive was an acceptable request for euthanasia.

    The Dutch Law allows for a request for euthanasia in an advanced directive to be acted upon after the satisfaction of all the other qualifying criteria. The law considers such a written statement as a ‘well-considered request for euthanasia’. How it can be known for certain that, at the time the request was written down, that the person understood fully the nature of their request is never explained.

    Compounding the problem, the woman’s expression of intent in her directive was not clear and should not have been accepted as an advance request according to the Dutch Euthanasia Commission. She had written, concerning euthanasia, that she wanted it, “when I myself find it the right time”. At the very least, this expression suggests that the woman wanted to approach the matter when she thought it was appropriate; implying that her own capacity to make a contemporary decision was important to her. Paradoxically, the doctor’s determination that capacity had been lost should have rendered her statement null.

    Various media reports point out that the woman was provided with a sedative in her coffee ‘to calm the woman down’. She was unaware that the sedative had been provided. The Trouw newspaper’s editorial discussed the issue of the provision of a pre-euthanasia sedative without the person’s knowledge, pointing to a recent case where a similar sedative was provided without consent in a bowl of apple sauce. They note that the Dutch Euthanasia Review Commission rightly considers such behaviour as ‘deceptive’.

    The Trouw editor concluded that the problem was real that the coffee-carried dose was too low. Why? Because the woman resisted when later the doctor moved to apply the lethal dose via syringe. The NLTimes described it this way:

    But when the infusion was inserted she “pulled back”, and while the doctor injected the euthanasia agent, she moved as if to get up. The doctor decided to continue while family members held the patient down. The woman died shortly afterwards.

    According to the UK Mirror, this story came to light via a report prepared by a Dutch Coroner for review by the Dutch Euthanasia Regional Review Committee. The Mirror says that the woman had said clearly several times “I don’t want to die” in the days before her death.”

    Makes Leyonhjelm’s statement about “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others” ring especially hollow.

  3. .

    Old School Conservative
    #2974420, posted on March 30, 2019 at 11:20 am

    I may have missed it – has DL produced a rationale for leaving the Senate and entering the NSW LC?

    Um, he’s lived in NSW for most of his adult life and the morally corrupt “conservative” government has shut down the inner city of the metropolis he lives in and turned it into a ghost town/retirement village.

    Plus they’re up to their eyeballs in debt and crush businesses with STUPID regulations the EPA enforces, terrible court rulings (the Gloucester case judgment was a travesty of jurisprudence) and awful, inefficient taxes like stamp duty and payroll tax that need to be savagely cut or abolished…

    Also like the totalitarian moralistic ALP busybodies before them, they have continued to deprive us of our god given, won-in-blood legal rights like the right to silence of an accused.

    That’s just a start.

  4. John Constantine

    I reckon this is an outstanding victory for Good Senator Dave and the free living folk of this once great country.

  5. flyingduk

    David…I think I love you.

  6. .

    Old School Conservative
    #2974420, posted on March 30, 2019 at 11:20 am

    I may have missed it – has DL produced a rationale for leaving the Senate and entering the NSW LC?

    Um, he’s lived in NSW for most of his adult life and the morally corrupt “conservative” government has shut down the inner city of the metropolis he lives in and turned it into a ghost town/retirement village.

    Plus they’re up to their eyeballs in debt and crush businesses with STUPID regulations the EPA enforces, terrible court rulings (the Gloucester case judgment was a travesty of jurisprudence) and awful, inefficient taxes like stamp duty and payroll tax that need to be savagely cut or abolished…

    Also like the totalitarian moralistic ALP busybodies before them, they have continued to deprive us of our god given, won-in-revolution legal rights like the right to silence of an accused.

    That’s just a start.

  7. .

    Sorry about the double post, but the moderation of Ice Lamb now triggers moderation elsewhere…I think.

  8. Tim Neilson

    water is sent to South Australia to keep a lake artificially fresh

    In fact to keep an artificial lake artificially fresh.

  9. .

    In fact to keep an artificial lake artificially fresh.

    Utter madness. Why is SA so soy endowed (handicapped)?

  10. stackja

    Legislative Council Results ABC
    8.2% counted. Updated Yesterday .
    1 of 21 seats in doubt.
    Party Vote Seats won
    Labor 31.1% 7
    Liberal/National 30.3% 7
    Greens 10.4% 2
    One Nation 6.4% 1
    Shooters F & F 4.3% 1
    Keep Sydney Open 3.0% 1
    Liberal Dems 3.0% 1

  11. Arky

    Oh God.
    Years more of this wizened old bugger trying to finangle strangle your granny, and party hearty druggy legislation.
    Hopefully he at least keeps on telling all the right people to go fuck themselves on a regular basis.
    If he does, this may be a good result.

  12. MPH

    I will always vote for lower taxes, liberty over safety, the individual over the collective, and personal responsibility over victimhood.

    Just don’t vote for every individual on the bloody planet, have some thought to who your constituents truly are. Taking the stick to the Federal government on immigration would be another valuable contribution for a state senator.

  13. Adelagado

    “I am also frustrated that NSW rural communities suffer because water is sent to South Australia to keep a lake artificially fresh.”

    Such a stupid comment. The lake has to be kept artificially fresh because 7 locks have been installed to hold back the water to keep the river artificially full, mainly for the benefit of Vic and NSW.

    Also, 98% of all water removed from the river is by upstream irrigators and townships. Just 2% of the water removed from the Murray goes to Adelaide. Yet the idiots interstate want us to desalinate sea water so that even this piddling amount can be left in the river – for the benefit of the eastern states of course.

  14. Oh come on

    I like DL. Best of luck to him.

  15. Mark M

    Congrats to DL.

    Perhaps these links might help …

    Fish kills in Australian waters from 1970 and the reasons; a paper from NSW DPI.
    The Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) (DPI) maintains a statewide database of reported fish kills in NSW.
    It contains almost 1400 records dating back to the early 1970s.
    https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/634570/Fish-Kills-FAQ-August-2011.pdf

    So it wasn’t the carbon (sic), it wasn’t the heatwave … it was the cold … ?
    “A third fish kill has occurred near Menindee on the Darling River overnight after temperatures plummeted following days of hot weather.
    “I was advised the sudden drop in temperature makes it conducive, unfortunately, for the fish to be deprived of oxygen.”
    Berejiklian suggested the mass kill could not have been avoided, saying “we cannot control the weather”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/28/menindee-fish-kill-another-mass-death-on-darling-river-worse-than-last-time

    ‘This happened after a very hot period, then a sharp cool change hit the Menindee region over the weekend, with large temperature drops experienced.
     ‘This sudden drop in temperature may have disrupted an existing algal bloom at Menindee, killing the algae and resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen.’

    https://www.echo.net.au/2019/01/menindee-fish-kill-continuing-horror-story/

  16. Dr Fred Lenin

    The shift from the senate to the NSW parliament was a career movement ,he knew he was going to lose in the federal election so this move kept his snout in the public trough ?
    Am I being cynical ? I have no trust in political careerists ,absolutely none not one of them has done anything to earn trust . Just look at what the bastards have done to Brexit and the crazy criminal decromats in the USA ,and our uniparty is no better .

  17. Petros

    Lots of noble ideals there, David. Pity you couldn’t respect the institution of marriage. You should have abstained. You never married your long term partner which shows you don’t care about marriage. Very disrespectful to those who do.

  18. HGS

    David Leyonhjelm taught me something. Never vote for a libertarian.

  19. .

    Fred. Do you trust Hanson then? Cory?

    I like the idea of turfing the entire political class every 20 years and having term limits on top of that, but you can only plot for utopia in the real world.

  20. Tel

    I like the idea of turfing the entire political class every 20 years and having term limits on top of that, but you can only plot for utopia in the real world.

    I think there should be a certain maximum number of total years that you can draw a salary from government work in your entire life (and penalties for attempting to bypass this using intermediate contracting companies, like the way the ATO peeks into IT contracting companies). Gets tricky with quasi government business but you could calculate a pro-rata based on what proportion of the institutional money comes from government (e.g. universities do get some private money coming in).

    Start it off at 20 years, and see how that goes. Maybe shorten it if there’s still problems.

    For their own good … of course.

  21. .

    HGS
    #2974826, posted on March 30, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    David Leyonhjelm taught me something. Never vote for a libertarian.

    Hard for me to believe your not concern trolling if you don’t state your case.

  22. John Constantine

    Number of Australian politicians to actually tell godless commo Sarah Hanson Young to go fuck herself.

    Good Senator Dave.

    Note the turnbullites were all to busy abusing right wing dissenters.

    Comrades.

  23. .

    He also called Turnbull a pussy. How dare he!? etc., hard for some of you to keep dying your hair blue if you are clutching your pearls.

  24. John Constantine

    What I find good in life is living free and punching left.

    Once shorten gets dissenter identification software packages from the chicom secret police and introduces retrospective antidissident laws like jacindamania did and vikpol come for you with paramilitary Death squads armed with 800 assault rifles:

    You will regret punching right all this time because you couldn’t get a hundred percent compliance with your personal manifestos.

    Comrades.

  25. Dr Fred Lenin

    Dot ,20 years is far too long ,they will pick up the delusion they are indispensible and corruption will follow. A couple of terms with no pensions or perks and self funded super while in offic will suffice tp bring them back to earth . In the vomine election put e ery sitting member last on the ballot ,wake the bastards up to the real world .

  26. Adelagado

    #2974453, posted on March 30, 2019 at 11:36 am

    In fact to keep an artificial lake artificially fresh.

    Utter madness. Why is SA so soy endowed (handicapped)?

    The lake is ‘artificial’ because the river has been dammed by locks in at least 7 places. (Hence, the river itself is also artificial). Its wrong to think the lake was once salt water. It was continually cycling from fresh to slightly salty depending on the river flow. If you want the lake returned to its natural state you would also need to remove all the locks.

  27. .

    Fred:

    I want term limits but I also want a 20 year maximum for all of those positions – say if you were a councillor for 8 years and then a NSW MLC for 8 years. You then get made a District Court judge or Senator. You can only then hold that position for 4 years, even if the term limit on a judgeship was say 10 years and a Senator was 12.

    You can never hold any judicial, executive, legislative, senior civil service or senior commissioned service position ever again.

  28. >Unlike most other parties, the policies of the Liberal Democrats are based on principles rather than feelings. We believe the government should be our servant, not our master, and should largely keep its hand out of our pockets and off our backs.

    This principled stance is undoubtedly why *time after time* Leyonhjelm keeps getting elected, both Federally and at a State level.

  29. DtjW

    Dr Fred & .

    I’m not so sure about term limits. What if a really great representative was ousted due to expiry only?

    The main problem is – people need to wake up and become more engaged with politics, for their, and their family’s future. Perhaps the unbelievable destruction of our economy and way of life under a Shitten’ government will hone their focus a bit more. “Bread and Circus’s (see MAFS for the current circus)” aren’t so distracting when you experience your way of life dissolving.

    We have the voting mechanism to make elections a joke in this country and change the completely undemocratic compulsory preferential voting system in federal elections. All people need to do is ‘Vote below the line’ in the Senate Ballot paper.

    Case in point, the recent NSW State election. I’m following the AEC election result page and note that my tiny booth for the legislative council is still “count continuing” as of this morning. Only 846 people voted there and I think (?) my below the line vote (of 40 candidates) is disrupting a completed count for that booth. Imagine the total uproar, and disarray, if more people voted below the line and protracted the vote tally time to maybe months. I believe it would make a joke of our election procedure and force a change.
    Maybe another strategy?

  30. None

    Well said Lurker.
    In my opinion David L is a fuk witted hypocrite, nothing more than a hollow man in a suit, another fascist antfucker who sucks off the public teat. I remember well when he wrote that he was happy to blackmail the government to get what he wanted. And judging by his wishlist he is still an antf****** reprobate teenager with the morality of a sewer rat.

  31. None

    Oh please spare us your delusions if you think that leyonjhelm got voted in because of idiotic ldp policies. He got voted in because he was part of a vote rigging Cabal and he’s leaving now because since the senate reforms he will find it very difficult to get re-elected next federal election but given that a lot of upper house members were up for reelection in New South Wales this time it was a very low bar to get elected in New South Wales. There is nothing principled about leyonjhelm – he’s a fuckwit opportunist, a tax Hoovering antfucker.

  32. Hmm no, I never said that, but a vote rigging cabal of minor right wing parties is better than what Turnbull did with the Greens to collude and change the Senate voting system to stop parties like the ACP, LDP, ALA etc getting traction in 2016.

    There is simply a very valid list of reasons to go into NSW politics, we’re ruled by careerists and wastrels that have chipped away at our common law rights for years on end.

    David L is a fuk witted hypocrite, nothing more than a hollow man in a suit, another fascist antfucker who sucks off the public teat

    This is insane. You need some help.

    I remember well when he wrote that he was happy to blackmail the government to get what he wanted.

    Considering he was blackmailing socialists pretending to be conservatives who failed to live up to their promises and betrayed their base, your problem with this is?

  33. What if a really great representative was ousted due to expiry only?

    It would be rare, wouldn’t it?

    We have the voting mechanism to make elections a joke in this country and change the completely undemocratic compulsory preferential voting system in federal elections. All people need to do is ‘Vote below the line’ in the Senate Ballot paper.

    Civil disobedience and malicious compliance could also probably go along way to get rid of a lot of petty laws and petty enforcement of law generally.

    I quite like this:

    https://www.ldp.org.au/democracy

    Policy

    voluntary voting

    voluntary enrolment

    citizens initiated referendums

    fixed parliamentary terms

    the option of recall elections

    one vote one value

    parliamentary approval of treaties

  34. This auto moderation is off its chops and needs to go.

  35. This principled stance is undoubtedly why *time after time* Leyonhjelm keeps getting elected, both Federally and at a State level.

    Being elected three times in a row and actually being household name reinforces this point.

    Does anyone know who the ACP lead LC candidates were? Or who their Senate candidates will be?

    I genuinely hope they have more luck than the ALA did; DL does the right thing to trolls, you repost their silly articles. I remember the hit peices on the ALA, they should have milked them for all they were worth.

    It doesn’t matter if 80%, even 90% of the population hate you. You might only need 2-6% support to get elected.

    If no one knows who you are but no one hates you, you still won’t get elected.

  36. Well said Lurker.
    In my opinion David L is a fuk witted hypocrite, nothing more than a hollow man in a suit, another fascist antfucker who sucks off the public teat. I remember well when he wrote that he was happy to blackmail the government to get what he wanted. And judging by his wishlist he is still an antf****** reprobate teenager with the morality of a sewer rat.

    Jeez None, what a grumpy old cnut you are. We’ve never met and I’ve got no fcking idea what you are saying, but I can tell you don’t like me already.

    If I don’t blackmail the government, how will I make a difference? Should I just agree to whatever the government wants? Would you give the same answer if it was either a Labor/Greens government or a Liberal/National government? Somehow I doubt it.

    Anyway, you’re wrong about me and ants. I’ve never met one I like, let alone one I’d want to fck.

  37. DtjW

    Hmmm. On reflection – yes indeed Dot, it would unfortunately be very rare in today’s times.

    We were told “we needed to pay our pollies more to attract a better class of politician”. Boy – didn’t they hoodwink us on that. All we got was factional ‘yes’ men and women, lawyers and unionists, mostly all it seems, with no concept of what Joe Average struggles with daily, plus they have the same agenda of keeping their well paid snouts in the trough. They’re a different class of person (beast) now and definitely not for us and our future prosperity. Who would feed them?

    Hmmm again. Malicious compliance. I believe that is akin to ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’. Having had the opportunity of this type of compliance with lower bad management in the past, (only to pull the pin at the last moment, due to the ramifications for those I work with and the company) although it left said lower management as the ‘same old, same old’, I would not choose this course of action. It is malicious in name and deed.

    Perhaps flood the courts with stupidity? But unfortunately no one will – due to the cost, both personal and financial.

    Imagine:

    Sorry your honour – I realise that although we need a fishing licence to cast a line out on our completely surrounded by water island nation, and that I must not be less than 4 metres within my children’s fishing gear, without my own personal permit (unless I am a social welfare recipient or Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander), but… I left my tape measure at home and didn’t realise I was standing only 3.5 metres away from my kids, who are fishing on one of our vast beaches!

    Sorry your honour – I’m only a humble receptionist and forgot to put my plastic coated foam helmet on when going for an enjoyable, open air bike ride, like I did when I was a kid.

    Sorry your honour – I didn’t realise I was smoking within 4 metres of an open air, government deemed, dinery access point. But in my defence, I would happily vape with nicotine (being that it is 95% safer than ciggies) but Greg Hunt said “not under his watch”! Yet again, I bloody well forgot my tape measure!

    I could go on but we all know what is happening. This is why I voted for and agree with (most) of Mr Leyonhjelm’s policies.

    Sorry – having a bit of a rant here, but I’m heartily sick of all this! Unfortunately, they will continue to go on and the bureaucracy will continue to make more rules that kill us a little more, bit-by-bit. Sliver of an onion and death by a thousand cuts. Dot, your points regarding LDP’s policy on democracy are to be championed, but until they come in, we should also have a little fun with ‘below the line’ disarray.

  38. DtjW

    By the way – keep going David! More strength to your arm.

    I admire your guts and determination and you can never be accused of being a key-board warrior.
    You stand by your convictions.

    Never stop agreeing to purely what the government wants. Please keep standing up for us.

    Your tax proposal of a couple of years ago was sensible for all of us and I still note it was voted down by the collective ‘uni-party’. I tell everyone that both Liberal and Labor joined together and collectively voted to not give any of us tax relief. They are a true Uni-Party.

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