PM must live up to his promise of a government “committed to freedom”

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Malcolm Turnbull’s promise to lead a “thoroughly Liberal government committed to freedom, the individual and the market” must be backed up with policies. This is an argument put forward by the IPA’s James Paterson, in an article for The Australian, which is well worth a read.

In particular, Paterson had this to say on freedom of speech, and section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975:

A core issue for the free-market Right is freedom of speech… Turnbull is on the record as supporting a compromise measure proposed by Family First senator Bob Day, and co-sponsored by Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm and Liberals Dean Smith and Cory Bernardi. Day’s bill would remove the words “offend” and “insult” from 18C, meaning it would still be an offence to “humiliate” or “intimidate” someone on the basis of their race. It’s a proposal so reasonable many on the Left support it. An announcement that it will vote for Day’s private member’s bill would be a powerful demonstration of the values of the Turnbull government.

Regarding constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, he says:

Many Australians hold the view there is no place for race in the Constitution. They may be willing to support the removal of outdated provisions that refer to race, but they will not accept any new references to race being inserted because they believe all Australians are equal and should be treated as such in the Constitution. The Constitution should be changed – to remove all refer­ences to race and the power for federal government to enact laws based on people’s race.

Check out the whole article here.

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