ALA: Not a Single Issue Party


imageThis is my first really close look at the ALA. Three things really stand out.

1. Not a single-issue party

The criticism of the ALA as only having one policy – “anti-islam” – is completely false. They outline 20 key policy areas which cover a wide range of topics. Opposition to the Islamisation of Australia is front and centre, and features in key policies 2 and 3.  Given that I consider the Islamisation of the world to be the key issue of our time, I am impressed that they have the intelligence and moral clarity to make opposition to the ideology of islam their most important policy.

The ALA proposes: a moratorium on immigration from countries which are members of the OIC, except for minorities fleeing persecution in OIC countries; banning of all religious face coverings in public; mandatory displaying of halal certification, and a user pays principle, so that muslims who want their food certified halal pay for it themselves, rather than the current arrangement which amounts to a halal tax; and opposition to the impositon of any aspects of Sharia Law in Australia.

2. Not racist

The ALA stresses its multi-ethnic make-up, and although it calls for an end to divisive multiculturalism, it maintains this multi-ethnic outlook for Australia. They oppose affirmative action, ie, the existence of different laws for different people based on the colour of their skin.

3. Small government in principle, but in practice?

Although the ALA stresses the need for smaller government, a return to budget surplus and the reduction of regulations, I am not convinced they would be as effective at this as the LDP. For a party which believes in small government, they still want government to do an awful lot of things. For example, their desire to promote electric vehicles and liquid thorium reactors is impressive – but if the party wants to keep its practical policies consistent with its small government principles, it should focus on reducing regulations, subsidies and taxes, and let the people of Australia develop these technologies effectively and profitably, independent of government.  The word “market” is not prominent in their policy plaatform, and they seem to want to focus on “fair” trade as much as “free” trade.

In conclusion, what the ALA aspires to, Liberty, is excellent. At first glance, it appears to be similar to the LDP, but with a the vital focus on opposing the ideology of islam. But I believe the ALA needs to continue to refine its libertarian principles, and continue to work to bring its policies in line with these principles. Combined, the ALA and the LDP would consist of my own dream ticket, and at the moment I would put them 1 & 2, although I do not know in which order.

(I would also add that in no way do I want to see Labor or the Greens form government – this would be a disaster for Australia.)

Below is a cut and paste from the ALA website.  For a more detailed, unfiltered perspective on their policies and the ALA Party, please visit the ALA homepage.

Part 1 – Our Name: Australian Liberty Alliance

On Australia

Australia is not just the place we call home. Australia is our commonwealth, our nation and the sum of our communities. Whether old or new Australians, this is the continent we want our children and grandchildren to own as free citizens, to be safe, prosperous and advance confidently with a happy heart.

Our Australia stands for individual liberty, small government, Western values built on Judaeo-Christian and Humanistic foundations, social fairness and an integrated multi-ethnic society with one set of laws for all, regardless of colour, gender or creed. There is no place for big government, racism, political correctness, moral relativism, divisive multiculturalism or tolerance for the intolerant.

Migrants do not dream of a new life in Australia because we are a Socialist, Islamic or tribal society. Migrants come for the freedom, justice and prosperity only Western civilisation creates.

On Liberty

We choose Liberty over Freedom because Freedom has a different meaning to different people. Liberty is defined as absence of coercion and as such is an absolute, whereas democratically established laws can limit Freedom. Liberty is civilised Freedom.

On Alliances

Australian Liberty Alliance is inclusive and seeks to unite individuals and groups for a common cause. Australians fought in alliance with like-minded people against the foes of Liberty and Western civilisation.

Today, we stand on the shoulders of those who sacrificed everything and overcame great odds to build and preserve Australia. Compared with our forefathers, our sacrifices are small and the odds are better.

With dedication, courage and perseverance we join together to advance policies for the benefit of our families, communities and the nation.

Let’s Rebuild the Lucky Country!

Part 2- Key Policy Areas

1. Smarter Smaller Government

In the past decade, government spending has increased beyond the limit of sustainability. We have been inundated with more laws, regulations and intrusive bureaucracy.

We stand for small and delegated government to serve the people of Australia. When elected we will reduce the number of federal ministers to the essential core portfolios, rigorously reduce unproductive overheads and stop wasteful government programs.

Australian Liberty Alliance seeks to create the opportunities for Australians to be proudly self-reliant. We believe that a healthy society creates both the economic environment whereby individuals can pass from cradle to grave without government help and equally helps those in need. We must reduce federal public expenses to the lower 20% bracket of GDP. In 2014 the figure stands at 26%.

We propose the introduction of a secure electronic voting system, fixed four-year terms for federal MPs and fixed eight-year terms for Senators. Arbitrary resignations by an MP or Senator forcing a by-election must have financial consequences for the resigning member or his party.

2. Integration over Separation

We will work towards an integrated multi-ethnic society based on core Western values and individual Liberty. We will stop the Islamisation of Australia and end divisive multiculturalism. Central to all our policies will be integration over separation and equal rights and obligations for all Australians.

3. Stop the Islamisation of Australia

Islam is not merely a religion, it is a totalitarian ideology with global aspirations. Islam uses the religious element as a means to project itself onto non-Islamic societies, which is manifest in the historical and ongoing expansion of Islam.

A multitude of groups, movements and multi-national organisations are actively pursuing this agenda globally, including in Australia. These organisations differ in their strategies, tactical approach and their message, but the common denominator is the desire to promote Islam and project Islam’s societal model of a divinely ordained theocracy across the world.

Islam does not accept the separation of religion from state, but seeks dominance over all aspects of human life and society. Whereas we see religion as part of life, Islam sees life as part of the religion. This is not ‘Islamism’ or a minority view by extremists, this is basic Islamic doctrine. While only a small number of Muslims actively pursue this agenda, Islam’s divine law makes it the duty of all Muslims to contribute to this effort according to their abilities. No other religious ideology in our time has both the doctrinal aspiration as well as the economic and demographic muscle to impose itself globally.

It is our core policy that all attempts to impose Islam’s theocracy and Sharia law on our liberal society must be stopped by democratic means, before the demographic, economic and sociopolitical realities make a peaceful solution impossible.

Australian Liberty Alliance will seek to enact the policy proposals outlined in the paper “Practical Steps to Stop Islamisation”, first published by Q Society of Australia Inc in February 2014.

These proposals include a 10-year moratorium on all resident visa categories for applicants from member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Exceptions shall apply to the humanitarian intake of persecuted non-Islamic minorities from OIC countries.

Further, we will require for accredited Islamic organisations in Australia to accept formally the supremacy of Australian law and universal human rights over Islamic doctrine and Sharia law. For example full face coverings in public spaces shall be prohibited.

We will seek to prevent the implementation of any aspect of Sharia finance, Sharia courts and the influence of local or foreign Sharia councils over Australian institutions, our economic system and our supply chain. Among the proposed measures is the mandatory labelling of products and services from companies that have taken out halal certification, the implementation of the ‘user pays’ principle for halal certification schemes and an end to religious discrimination in Australia’s secular organisations.

4. Real Reconciliation: No place for Apartheid in Australia.

If you are born here to Australian parents, then you are a native Australian. If you take out Australian citizenship, swear your oath of allegiance to Australia and do not owe allegiance to another country, then you are an Australian by choice. Whether native or by choice, all Australians deserve to have the same rights and obligations. Nobody in Australia should consider himself deserving of more rights or fewer obligations, merely because of skin colour or ancestry.

We believe the only way to overcome disadvantages and racism in our society is to eliminate what divides us. True equality and genuine respect cannot come from different laws for different classes of people. Apartheid South Africa had different laws for different races. We do not want this in Australia.

For us, ‘affirmative action’ is another word for institutionalised racism and apartheid. Dividing people according to race or ethnic self-identification creates division, jealousy and hatred. However, Australian Liberty Alliance recognises that certain individuals or groups have circumstances that require specific interventions appropriate to their needs.

Australian Liberty Alliance will work towards an Australia where people are special because of what they know, what they achieve and what they do for each other, not because of the colour of their skin. We stand against apartheid and racism. We stand for an integrated multi-ethnic Australia that everyone can be proud to call home.

5. For a Liveable Australia

We propose a more sustainable approach to immigration which, supported by fair social and taxation policies, aims for a more liveable Australia for this and future generations.

Better conditions for Australian businesses and more opportunities for working Australians are the keys to a prosperous future, a sustainable economy and a strong social security system.

Population growth will be directed toward regional areas and the Northern and Western parts of Australia.

6. Affordable Energy for a Cleaner Australia

Life as we know it ends without reliable access to affordable, clean, safe energy and a healthy environment. Australia has enormous reserves of Thorium and Australian Liberty Alliance will investigate the use of efficient and safe options to replace our ageing coal-fired power stations.

We will phase out unsustainable subsidies for uneconomical and unreliable energy sources connected to our power grid. However, we will continue to assist Australians in remote and rural off-grid locations with sensible wind and solar technology. We will reduce our dependency on oil-based fuels through the promotion of abundantly available natural gas for CNG-powered vehicles and foster research, production and export of non-combustive engines for cars and other applications.

7. Focus on Citizenship and Community Spirit

Australian Liberty Alliance believes Australian citizenship is a privilege and not a right. We will reform the access to and benefits of Australian citizenship.

New applicants for Australian citizenship shall be required to revoke any other citizenship and Australian citizens applying for another country’s citizenship shall have their Australian passport revoked. With us, there will be no dual citizenship in the future. We aim to make Australian citizenship the relevant criteria for our social and welfare system. We will revoke Australian passports from habitual criminals who still hold dual citizenship.

Taxpayers shall not subsidise associations formed around foreign nationalities. Savings will be directed towards community groups and service clubs who serve the whole community, without discrimination.

8. Improving Health Care and Ageing in Dignity

We recognise the cost of our healthcare system increases by an average 8% per year. Taxes and levies cannot grow indefinitely at the same rate. Therefore we have to differentiate between needy Australian citizens and deserving senior residents on one hand, and those who can afford to contribute more and foreign nationals on the other. Australian Liberty Alliance believes the latter must provide more towards their medical needs.

We see an urgent need to remove administrative overburdening from our health system. GPs are the essential gateway to our health system and doctors must be able to spend their time with patients, instead of being tied up by more and more red tape.

Australian Liberty Alliance shall foster the widespread use of co-located facilities in the public and private health systems to save money and encourage efficiency. In addition, strengthening of private health fund membership, including more effective disincentives for those who can afford to, but do not have private insurance. This will allow pensioners and low-income patients more timely treatment in the public system.

We propose to further remove pressure from the public hospital system by setting up publicly funded day surgery clinics with 23 hour licences, which concentrate on efficient standard procedures.

This will allow the majority of patients in the public hospital system to be operated on in a day-hospital setting to maximise quick patient turn around. In turn, major public hospitals can be freed up for emergencies and major surgeries.

Australian Liberty Alliance sees a particular need to strengthen health services for Australians in remote and Aboriginal communities. This is necessary to effectively combat mental health issues and substance abuse among young Australians, and improve mental health services for prisoners. We further see an urgent need for more effective intervention to prevent road trauma among young Australians, caused by substance abuse and inadequate driving skills.

While we consider the NDIS as necessary for our caring society, we believe the scheme requires a sound financial basis and a gradual introduction, focusing first on those with the highest needs.

Australian Liberty Alliance will respond to the challenges of more Australians living longer by fostering private-public partnerships to operate more efficient, integrated aged-care centres and state-of-the art palliative care units. As we live longer, we must contribute more to our retirement nest egg. To this end, we propose a stepped increase of mandatory superannuation contribution to, ultimately, 15%, including a mandatory 3% co-contribution by the employee.

9. Smarter Learning: Brighter Future

We shall return public schools and universities to their core function, reintroduce a firm focus on general knowledge into our education system and refocus on more traditional methods of education and appreciation of Western civilisation.

Children must be prepared for the realities of life. Advancing to the next class level in primary schools shall be based on objective learning outcomes.

We favour a needs-based national school voucher system, empowering parents to choose the school they prefer for their children.

We will seek to base the funding of Australia’s universities on a more targeted, performance-based HECS/HELP scheme that will benefit engaged students and hard-working academic staff, as well as our national economy. Many university departments will need to allow a broader range of opinions and freedom of speech.

Our universities should reflect the broader sociopolitical spectrum of Australian society. Retired Australians shall be given the opportunity to attend lectures in publicly funded Australian universities.

10. Freedom of Information

The world is moving swiftly towards the digital age. However, the benefits will only materialise for Australia when everybody can access and submit information online. We propose to provide Australian citizens with a limited, but free, Internet service to access essential services, public administration and critical information in a way that is cost-neutral to the government.

This is the 21st century equivalent to public broadcasting, libraries and community centres. Additional bandwidth at higher speed and unrestricted access will remain available through optional plans at commercial rates.

Government must not engage in filtering information available via commercial or academic Internet services, except on explicit request by the end user, such as families wanting to protect their children or employers controlling access for employees via the company network.

11. A Free Press and ‘Back to Basics’ for Public Broadcasting

We reject any form of censorship or political oversight over the work of journalists.

We aim to privatise SBS, together with non-core sections of the ABC. The core of the ABC shall provide one national free-to-air TV channel for news and current affairs, one free quality channel for children as well as essential radio, satellite and online services for rural and remote areas. The ABC should retain the brief to connect Australian expatriates and overseas friends with Australia.

Our publicly owned broadcaster needs to reflect the broader sociopolitical spectrum of Australian society.

12. Fairer Trade and Securing Australian Jobs

This is a complex issue. In general, we accept the theory that free trade between nations will increase the standard of living for all. We also understand that securing Australian jobs and manufacturing diversity is of the utmost importance to Australia. We cannot allow unfair trade to destroy Australian jobs.

If elected, we will review all international trade agreements and renegotiate agreements which are disadvantageous to Australia’s interests.

Australian Liberty Alliance understands that only successful and healthy businesses can employ Australians and pay them good wages. We will work towards more balance between workers and employers so that well paid, long term employment can be possible. We need to make it easier for businesses to employ more Australians. We will examine the rules and regulations that have Australian businesses tied up in red tape. Excessive union behaviour that leads to increased labour cost and sends jobs overseas must be banned.

Redundancy outcomes need to be more equitable, so that staff of large corporations and employees of smaller businesses are not treated differently.

We believe all recipients of unemployment benefits should either be undergoing training or should be participating in some form of ‘work for the dole’. ‘Work for the dole’ would be age-related so that younger people work more days per week than older people, thereby establishing the habit of work.

Australia must have access to healthy and affordable local seafood. We are committed to a sensible re-opening of our fishery grounds and effective protection from illegal foreign fishing.

13. Restoring Civil Society

It is vital that all members of society respect the law. With this in mind, ALA believes that teaching the concept of respect for others and the law should begin from an early age. Supporting the work of our Police Force with appropriate enforcement and sentencing by the courts is the first essential step. We must restore and protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and victims of crime and tackle domestic violence.

14. Advancing the Natural Family.

We consider the natural family to be the primary building block of humanity and the foundation of civil society. The viability and well-being of families, together with tackling domestic violence, are therefore of primary concern for us.

We understand and respect that some Australians prefer to live in same-sex partnerships. We will combat negative stereotyping and mitigate financial disadvantages where they may still exist for homosexual couples.

However, we reject the notion that homosexual partnerships are the same as marriage and natural families. The right of children to grow up in a natural family must remain protected and ‘alternative sexual orientations’ shall not be actively promoted in schools and public institutions.

Giving birth should not be considered a substitute for income. To this end, we shall lower child benefit payments from the third child on, while providing a considerable income tax credit for one parent to ensure a young family on a single wage can cope with the cost of living.

Mandatory health checks and immunisation for children will be a condition for receiving full child benefits. We consider both mother and father to be paramount for a child’s positive development. We will rigorously hold to account parents who neglect their children. Adoption for natural families should be made more accessible.

15. Protecting More Than Our Environment

It is critical that we protect our pristine environment for our children, but also to uphold our standing as a producer of high quality food, attract more international tourism and promote Australia as the preferred location for clean industries of the future.

Extreme natural events were described in Australian poetry a century before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change created hysteria about rising sea levels. In fact the earth has been both warmer and cooler than it is today. When the first coal-fired engine was shipped to Australia, our continent was already infamous for its droughts and floods.

Australian Liberty Alliance acknowledges the climate is changing and that human activity impacts on the environment. Climatology, geology, oceanography and astronomy are disciplines of science and, as such, based on verifiable evidence. We are neither ‘believers’ nor ‘deniers’ when it comes to climate change. A number of recent claims made about potential future variations of our planet’s climate are not based on scientific fact, but on computerised speculations and consent amongst special interest groups.

A rational approach to demographics, combined with economic realism, will change the driving force behind the debate about climate change. Australian Liberty Alliance recognises the importance of addressing concerns about toxic waste in industry and tackling the accumulation of rubbish in ocean and landfill sites. A national deposit scheme for drink containers, and fostering the use of biodegradable packaging material for take-away food outlets, shall be among our key policies for practical environmental protection.

16. Foreign Affairs

We see the need for a better balance between the benefits of targeted foreign investment, the wishes of local communities and the need to protect our national interest. We propose that the right of foreigners to purchase real estate and other property must be fully reciprocal. Only nationals of a country, which allows Australians free access to its own property market, shall be permitted to own property in Australia. Everyone else can lease Australian real estate.

As a responsible and caring member of the world community, foreign aid is an important part of our national identity. However, we believe that aid should be directed only to governments subscribed to the UN Charter on Human Rights and who guarantee gender equality and protection of religious minorities.

Australian Liberty Alliance believes the current UN Charter on Refugees is outdated and compromised. We would remove Australia from this charter and take sovereign control of our borders. We shall further review other multinational agreements under consideration of Australia’s national interests.

Resettling refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Asia is counter-productive and drains these nations of their most valuable assets. If resettlement is the only option, then this must be close to the homeland and in a culture similar to the refugees’ own cultural, religious and social framework.

Australian Liberty Alliance considers Israel to be the only liberal democracy in the Middle East today. We find Israel is not deserving of the criticism from those with limited understanding of historical and sociopolitical developments in the Levant.

We acknowledge Israel’s right to exist in peace and within secure borders, including the traditional homelands of the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria, with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.

17. Defending Australia

The dismantling of Australia’s defence capabilities must be stopped. If elected, we will return the defence budget to at least 2.0% of GDP. We need short-term booster programs to maintain our sea and air defence capabilities.

Our greater region is facing uncertain times and strengthening ties with our traditional allies is a key objective. However, we reject the deployment of the ADF in combat roles for reasons other than the defence of Australia’s sovereignty, or the defence of our allies from attack.

If we order our soldiers to risk their all, we must give them rules of engagement they can live with. Political, religious or gender sensitivities must never imperil Australia’s soldiers. Or fighting men and women perform a job like no other and we support the preservation of military traditions.

18. No Need for Constitutional Change

The current Constitution of Australia may have some shortcomings, but has served us well for over a century. Any new constitution will not be free of imperfections, and it will have the distinct disadvantage of not being tested through times of peace, war and turmoil. In the recent referendum, the Australian people rejected Republicanism. We have no intention of repeating this in the foreseeable future.

We also see no need to change our National Anthem or Flag.

19. Broader and Fairer Taxation Means Less Taxes for All

Australia’s tax base is shrinking, while our demand for public services, health care and a myriad of worthy causes grows exponentially. This imbalance has led us into a debt spiral we struggle to contain with the current tax system.

Australian governments were unable to set us on an even keel during the longest economic boom in our history. So what hope is there when the economy goes into recession, public expenditure increases and the tax base shrinks? Public assets that were sold to plug holes in previous budget years cannot be sold again.

Australian Liberty Alliance sees an urgent need to rethink how the Commonwealth and States collect, manage and distribute our taxes. As a short-term measure we are committed to reducing the size of government and cutting down non-essential projects. In the long term we will adhere to three principles when working towards a restructure of the Australian tax system:

i. The tax base must be as broad as possible while tax rates should be kept as low as possible. We prefer lower tax rates on income and profit in return for an increased tax rate on all goods and services.

ii. Foreign companies selling products and services in Australia must pay their fair share where their revenue is generated. The ‘off-shoring’ of profits to reduce tax liabilities in Australia must be stopped.

iii. Taxation compliance costs must come down for businesses and for individuals. Furthermore, tax laws should be simplified. As a result individual Australians will be able to complete their own personal tax returns without professional help.

To stem the wave of small and medium Australian retailers closing down, the GST-free threshold on overseas purchases must urgently be lowered from currently $1,000 to $100.

20. The Controversial Debates

Right to Life: We believe elected representatives of our party should decide these questions based on their own conscience. However, if called upon to take an in-principle position we find an abortion should not be performed after the first trimester unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Euthanasia: While we find an adult has every right to terminate his own life, we hold that another person’s immediate involvement in the act of ending a human life is legally not justifiable. To be asked to intentionally end a loved one’s life is for most an unbearable thought. Likewise, in some cases the motivation to end a life may not always be that of selflessness and compassion.

Therefore, we think it is best that active participation in ending a human life shall remain punishable as a crime of murder to ensure fundamental values and legal boundaries remain intact.

This final phase of our life is best left in the hands of well-trained palliative care workers and compassionate doctors, not those of politicians and judges.