The below verse is addressed to the Liberal Party and is written by John Hyde OAM, the former member for the Division of Moore in Western Australia for the Liberal Party, and former director of the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation. For more contributions by Mr Hyde, visit the our John Hyde archives.
The Liberal Party mourns the swathe who lost their seats
But must admit, for governing they were unprepared.
Devoid of vision, they offered fears, some old conceits,
And bribes. Was it for office only that they cared?
As they assuage their grief, they might consider Pericles,
Who catalogued Athenian freedoms and repute.
The Party must pronounce the cause for which it strives,
Sage democrats soon tire of us-and-them dispute.
A party aiming higher than dysfunctional majority
Might choose command or choose a freer line;
But, either way, must honour tenets of morality,
Not buy its votes with favours for the loudest whine.
What future has a liberal party, if it cannot frame
The principles sustaining liberal-democratic states?
It can, and does not need a Pericles by any name.
I recommend a dozen themes for use in its debates.
These won’t say much of policy and even less of feud.
And yet, they will give essence to a Liberal attitude.
Democracy avoids or sacks elected tyranny.
But only if its rules command due deference:
The vote, the parliament and access to veracity.
Opacity allows far worse than impudence.
The citizens of better liberal states enjoy equality.
They suffer not nobility nor favoured class or race.
With opportunity for all, preferment needs ability
But gets no benefit from fangs or carapace.
How could one know a truth without free speech?
Despite their murder, socialism and fascism taught
Some public ways that democrats can not impeach.
They also show how careless democrats get caught.
Cold fact and reason now will guide your wobbly state
Replace confected crises and honour budgetary rule.
And yet we’ll test all cries of ‘wolf’ without your gate.
Cold reason isn’t treason. Duty must bear ridicule.
The liberal code demands its own humility
Its policies may change if faced with argument.
It doubts pipe-dreams; reforms but carefully
With piecemeal social engineering by consent.
Most liberals still respect an old and tried Morality.
They sometimes trespass on new ways to give offence.
They are judgemental, with both state and personality
But private judgement claims no public precedence.
The love of liberty for one and all defines a liberal.
He hates those petty rules restricting what we do.
He guards the mutual rights to climb and sometimes fall,
Be free to master fate, to captain soul, do things to rue.
He doubts that fairies offer effortless prosperity,
He knows authority can’t regulate economy,
He’s learned taxed wealth is spent a trifle carelessly,
And he associates free markets with efficiency.
Security, the reason that we arm the sovereign state,
Is owed to all; does not prefer the capital’s effete.
The child in Alice needs police to guard her fate;
The army needs half-decent arms to void defeat.
All hope for Peace. We do ‘as-can’ in face of tranny.
A sound economy affords defensive where-with-all.
Free trade aids peaceful understanding and fraternity.
Group strength dissuades the states who’d brawl.
We come, as must, to sharing gains of economic sanity.
The courts’ essential justice does not make life fair
When luck has scant respect for citizens’ equality.
Think of a tax as justice, compensating luck’s poor care.
Where followers have choice, then leadership must lead.
It too has choice: to tell unwelcome truths or promise ease.
Our history recounts some tales of struggles ‘till folk bleed.
They must have felt responsible when hearing leader’s pleas.
Liberal Party, lift your sights to focus liberality;
You may win office buying votes and followings
But you will never lead this nation to felicity
By wooing it with like of children’s candied things.
We need to hear a catalogue of tested liberal creeds.
To guard our safeties, opportunities, and liberties.
We need to also hear a catalogue of public needs;
The duties that don’t have acceptable apologies.
Don’t underrate our worth. We care just like yourself.
Seek citizens who have distaste for public subsidy,
A soul may crave economy and be not slave to wealth.
Expect morality and cater to our possible nobility.