The Higgins Liberals work to promote Liberal values of small government and economic freedom laid down by the Party’s founder and Australia’s most successful Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, in 1944. The debate about these values is dynamic and ongoing within the Liberal Party since its formation. The Higgins Liberals aims to provide forums to facilitate robust debate of these values so that we can continue to evolve as a Party.
Some of these core values include:
- People should be free to pursue their values and control their own lives, so long as they do not harm others. Everyone is different. Policy must recognize the importance of variety among people, and not assume that everyone is the same.
- Governments should help those whose opportunities have been damaged by life’s chances and who need assistance. Government assistance should aim to help people back to control over their own lives, and not create dependence.
- People are the best judges of their own interests. Government can never really know what people value for themselves. Policy should find the best ways in which people can peacefully pursue what is important to them. The most peaceful and fulfilling society is the one that best achieves this.
- Communities are created by people who respect each other and work together to achieve common interests. Governments should empower communities, not try to substitute for them.
- A person charged with an offence is innocent until proven guilty. The law must protect people against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment and guarantee speedy justice through an independent judiciary.
- The main source of progress is individual ability and creativity. People should be encouraged to do their best, to realise their potential, and be rewarded for their achievements.
- Free markets regulated by fair and equal laws generally provide the best economic framework to encourage individual enterprise and the opportunities and choices that will enable people to achieve what they want in life, including economic progress, wealth creation and rising standards of living.
- Private property rights defined by fair and equal laws provide the certainty and security required to best encourage enterprise and rising standards of living.
- Private enterprise operating in competitive markets is the most innovative and efficient form of economic organisation. The law should guarantee equal rights to participate in markets for goods and services.
- Freedom of association and freedom of religion are essential elements of a civil society in which people are best able to realize their values.
- Freedom of speech and respect for others provides the best guarantee that false ideas will be replaced by true ideas, that harmful policies will be replaced by beneficial ones, and that ineffective policies will be improved.
- Democratic political institutions provide the best form of government, enabling people to peacefully debate and compromise their differences. The spread of democracy is the best long-term guarantee of a peaceful world.
- The security of Australia is fundamental to protecting the liberties of Australians and democratic government. Our security is best protected by alliances and co-operative arrangements with friends internationally.
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