Ron’s latest Mid-Month Mannerism has him defending our property rights, WA’s upcoming state election and governments forgetting their main function. And who better to consult with these quandaries than the man with all the economic answers, FA Hayek.
Before I answer ‘Why I can’t vote Liberal’, I must admit to having just re-read one of my favourite writings by Nobel Laureate FA Hayek: Why I am not a Conservative.
In this piece, Hayek explains why unlimited government power becomes intolerable. A brief excerpt from Hayek:
“Closely connected with this is the usual attitude of the conservative to democracy. I have made it clear earlier that I do not regard majority rule as an end but merely as a means, or perhaps even as the least evil of those forms of government from which we have to choose. But I believe that the conservatives deceive themselves when they blame the evils of our time on democracy. The chief evil is unlimited government, and nobody is qualified to wield unlimited power. The powers which modern democracy possesses would be even more intolerable in the hands of some small elite.
“Admittedly, it was only when power came into the hands of the majority that further limitations of the power of government was thought unnecessary. In this sense democracy and unlimited government are connected. But it is not democracy but unlimited government that is objectionable, and I do not see why the people should not learn to limit the scope of majority rule as well as that of any other form of government. At any rate, the advantages of democracy as a method of peaceful change and of political education seem to be so great compared with those of any other system that I can have no sympathy with the antidemocratic strain of conservatism. It is not who governs but what government is entitled to do that seems to me the essential problem.”
The relevance of Hayek’s comments to the Barnett state government explains the fragility of property rights here in Western Australia. My own experience with property rights’ fragility is amply described in these two articles: To the Premier, regarding property rights and Property rights in WA: an endangered species.
When I write with questions, the Premier’s ‘minders’ reply, referring to someone else’s land where different conditions apply…then silence when I inform them of this error. Please excuse my frustration. At what stage does one become angry?
At the November 2016 Property Rights Conference, held at Murdoch University, there were many examples of property rights being similarly trashed. This is a serious matter as one of the few legitimate roles of government is to protect our property rights.
So when voting for the next state government, having reviewed the above material, I am sure that I would feel little joy in suffering a further term of fragile property rights.
That is why I can’t vote Liberal!