Flat White

One Nation should place principle over populism

10 May 2018

12:34 PM

10 May 2018

12:34 PM

One Nation’s decision to side with Labor and populist Senate cross-benchers to block the Government’s plan to reward effort through the tax system is disappointing for conservative voters.

Pauline Hanson’s move brings into sharp focus the choice conservative minor party voters have at the next federal election.

Voters are right to retain their scepticism of the major parties, but in choosing third party insurance in the Senate they should consider the principles their minor party of choice stands for.

Australian Conservatives exists to make conservative politics better after years of failure. We do this by taking a principled stand and rewarding conservative policy when it is offered.

One Nation has been effective in articulating the legitimate grievances many people have with the major parties.

But it has been less effective in providing principled policy solutions.

One Nation’s position on tax has flipped and flopped all year. First it opposed the company tax cuts and now it supports them.

Today it is working with Labor and the Greens to block reform to flatten the tax system in a way that would reward aspiration.

What will its policy be tomorrow?

The advent of Australian Conservatives last year provides a coherent policy framework based on conservative principles.

We have consistently supported both the corporate tax cuts and now the plan to create a flatter tax system.

Why? Because genuine conservatives believe that money in the pockets of business and individuals is better for the nation than having our money in the pockets of government.

We believe that creating incentive for people to work harder and get ahead is what the tax system should do.

It is not conservative to work with Labor and the Greens to block a measure which would punish people for this.

A conservative cross-bench party should always reward the Liberals and Nationals when they act like conservatives. They need the encouragement.

For Australian Conservatives, achieving conservative policy outcomes matters, not populism or seeking to leverage deals.

Disillusionment with the LNP is entrenched and the minor party vote is not going to go away.

The difference at the next federal election is that disillusioned voters will have, for the first time, the opportunity to vote for a genuine conservative minor party.

The choice is principle over populism.

Now that’s a better way.

Lyle Shelton is federal communications director of the Australian Conservatives

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