Transcript of document printed on the letterhead of Dr Peter Richardson, Federal Member for Tangney, dated October 14, 1977.
The Electorate of Tangney
In December, 1975 I was elected the M.H.R. for Tangney as a Liberal M.P. I fully understand that your vote through me was a demand for free enterprise and less Government interference, waste and privilege.
It was on a platform of private incentive, enterprise and reward for success that I campaigned and received your vote in 1975. At that time I most sincerely believed, as I am sure you did, that the Liberal Party stood for the individual and free enterprise. I now know that it does not and I fully share your disenchantment with the present Government.
My personal integrity does not permit me to follow blindly the Liberal Party’s only remaining philosophy of staying in power at any cost. Neither can I remain silent while the members of my electorate, whom I have done my utmost to represent, become simply “pawns” in the game of power politics being played by the Liberal-National Party and the A.L.P.
Politics in Australia has degenerated to an all-time low. Both the major parties are committed to central Government control of the individual. The Labor Party and the Liberal Party are both centralist parties.
It is not the function of the Government to dispense privileges. The only disagreement between the Labor Party and the Liberals is who should cop the privilege. The businessman? The farmer? The process line worker? The artist? The bludger?
Under the welfare state, everyone competes at the public trough for benefits. People do not begrudge others rewards that they have earned but we all begrudge people “their” privileges which we all have to pay for whether we like it or not.
Because of all these many factors, on 19th September I said I would not be standing for the Liberal Party in the next election. On 14th October I formally resigned from the Liberal Party.
I wish to advise you that I have joined the Progress Party. My declaration to join the Progress Party was made for the simple reason that it is the only political party in Australia which represents the individual – all individuals – limited Government and free enterprise. The Individualist Platform of the Party is the only positive alternative to the centralism of both the Labor and Liberal Parties.
What we need to introduce into our daily lives is more variety, more richness, more purpose, more opportunity, more diversity, more challenge, more point. We need less regimentation, less bureaucracy, less standardisation, less domination, less alienation, less control, less exploitation. In two words, what we need is free enterprise.
I sincerely believe that by joining the Progress Party and representing the positive platform of free enterprise and limited government I am in fact doing exactly what I was elected to do. It is my intention in the forthcoming election to stand as a candidate for the Progress Party.
If it is your wish, I shall willingly continue to represent you as the M.H.R. for Tangney (Progress Party) until the forthcoming Federal election.
I am very conscious of my responsibility to you and would appreciate your indication below of your approval or disapproval of my decision and whether you wish me to resign my seat immediately or not. I shall be guided by your decision.
I remain yours sincerely,
DOCTOR PETER RICHARDSON
… (Please complete and return) …
Dr. Peter Richardson, M.H.R.
P.O. Box 90
APPLECROSS, WA 6153
I DO/DO NOT approve of your decision to resign from the Liberal Party and join the Progress Party.
I DO/DO NOT wish you to resign immediately as the M.H.R. for Tangney.