Last week, it was announced that the Institute of Public Affairs was in the running to win the prestigious international Templeton Freedom Award in Washington for its role in repealing the carbon tax.
The IPA is one of six finallists for the $US100,000 prize, granted by the American non-profit organisation the Atlas Network. The Guardian reported:
A glowing description of the IPA’s campaign strategy against the carbon tax – which was passed under the Gillard government in 2011 and repealed by the Abbott government in 2014 – is detailed on the Atlas Network website.
The report lauded the IPA’s influence in the Australian media landscape. “Starting from the day the tax was announced, the IPA took an active role in the mainstream media to counter the misinformation that advocates of the carbon tax were peddling,” the report reads.
“The IPA’s research and analysis of the economics underpinning the case for the carbon tax appeared in print media outlets 209 times between Jan 1, 2010, and July 31, 2014.
“IPA research scholars also featured on radio and television stations around Australia, with 363 radio appearances between 2008 and 2013 and 261 television appearances in the same time frame.”
But not everyone is happy. As reported in The Australian last Friday, Greenpeace Australia has called on the IPA to donate any prize money to – wait for it – a climate change charity:
“We are calling on them to donate the prize money in full, should they be successful, to a charity that is helping poorer nations to deal with the impact of climate change.”
IPA deputy executive director James Paterson said that wouldn’t be happening.
“Environmental organisations like Greenpeace campaign for higher taxes, more regulation and bigger government and that goes against the philosophy of the foundation that’s handing out this award,” he said.
Mr Paterson didn’t want to assume his organisation would win the prize.
“It’s a pretty impressive field. The Venezuelan entrants are literally putting their lives on the line with the things they do,” he said.
Senate Inquiry submission continues the IPA’s fight against the Nanny State
On Monday, the IPA lodged a submission with the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into personal choice and community impacts.
The submission includes a collection of excerpts from published IPA works on the economics, philosophy, and practicalities of paternalism generally, and as applied to a wide range of particular policy areas.
There are a number of reasons to reject Nanny State policies, and our submission highlights the key arguments against paternalism. One of the most powerful is the anti-democratic argument:
Paternalism violates one of the core ethical constructs at the heart of our liberal democracy: the claim that we are each capable of exercising rational and self-regarding decision making, and have the right to make such decisions at the ballot box. If we believe that claim holds true for voting, why do we not believe it holds true for market choice? It is important that policymakers understand the full significance of their assertion that individuals are unable to make decisions on their own behalf, and that they require the assistance of higher authorities. This is in fact a radical anti-democratic argument which elevates policy-makers above the station of those from whom they derive their political legitimacy.
Click here to download and read the IPA’s submission.
The not-so-secular origin of the Australian common law
It is frequently said that the Australian legal and political system is – and must be – free from any hint of religiosity. As an illustration of this, the Victorian state government recently confirmed that it would be dropping religious education from schools, with the AEU saying such a programme “was at odds with Victoria’s secular education system.”
Extraordinarily, state schools are to make space for ‘world histories, cultures, faiths and ethics’, as well as the ‘inclusion of respectful relationships education’ that will ‘help address gender stereotypes and discrimination’.
Behind the shallow calls of a separation of church and state (a deeply misused phrase) rests an undeniable truth that religion, and in particular Christianity, was a fundamental building block of Australian society.
For more, read Dr Augusto Zimmermann’s article on FreedomWatch last week ‘The not-so-secular foundations of Australia’s legal-political institutions‘.
3 articles from this week you must read
- A rare victory for common sense! Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian on the rejection of confected outrage in favour of old-fashioned law and reason ($).
- Don’t like Trump? You can blame his popularity on political correctness, as SE Cupp does in Townhall this week.
- And in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, IPA Executive Director John Roskam revealed which important group of Australians was left out of the National Reform Summit.
Some other recent highlights from FreedomWatch
- Sinclair Davidson, Department of Health telling porkies on Plain Packaging – 20 August 2015
- Mikayla Novak, Australia ranked 7th in human freedom rankings – 21 August 2015
- Morgan Begg, Changes to federal laws bad news for activist environmental litigation – 22 August 2015
- Mikayla Novak, Door to GST on health should be kept shut – 25 August 2015
- Brett Hogan, Summits, divestment motions and the republic – the worrying rise of gesture politics – 28 August 2015
- Brett Hogan, What Australian unions could learn from Nine Inch Nails – 1 September 2015
Editor of FreedomWatch – Institute of Public Affairs