I firmly support the need to emphasize common ground, rather than differences when collaborating with individuals of differing ideologies.
So whilst constructive dialogue is important, and I consider parts of conservatism and libertarianism essential to my own ideology, I am first and foremost a conservative person.
This is not to state that I am incapable of changing my positions on issues over time, but for now I have a firmly rooted, mostly conservative set of beliefs.
But why is that?
Upon reflection, the primary reason I was drawn to conservatism, was my belief in being part of a broader collective. Yes, I favour lower taxes, private property rights, some libertarian principles, and am wary of the dangers governmental overreach can pose.
But from a young age, it wasn’t economic growth, or individualism that really grasped my fascination.
Instead, my passion for preserving our great country emerged, as well as for promoting the traditional order which developed modern Australia.
In all my travels around Australia, or when meeting Australians abroad, I sense the presence of a nationwide solidarity and patriotism. And it is this shared unity among our people which should remain key.
As an Australian, I see it as important to protect our unique culture, and my evolved views on trade and immigration reflect that. While not necessarily popular among some, it is my support for Australian values, which trumps my interest in economic matters.
For if national wealth was the ultimate means of assessing the greatness of a country, then we must consider the Middle East.
According to World Bank data, Australia’s GDP per capita is $56 000 US, while Qatar’s is $73 000.
So while we all desire strong economies, could anyone really argue that Qatar is a better country than Australia?
Open spaces, beaches, democracy, equality and basic civil freedoms are in Australia whereas Qatar has Islamic law, theocracy, beheadings and torture.
Clearly, no sane individual could argue that Qatar is a better place to live than Australia.
Because of this, I find it important to think of ourselves as being more than individuals, and more than mere citizens living in a wealthy country.
Rather, our culture, and our Australian way of life, is equally if not more important, than the economic success our nation enjoys.
I also disagree with purist notions of individualism, which is what libertarianism largely is. I object to the idea that we should have a laissez- faire approach to cultural issues, and that if groups are acting within the realms of law, that this is an acceptable scenario.
Alternatively, we should seek to uphold and actively promote certain values central to our societal framework.
For me, the mass Islamisation of Europe is evidence of the faults in accepting different behaviours, no matter how diametrically opposing to Western culture they may be.
Now to be fair, not all libertarians have excused for Radical Islam and allowed this cancer to fester.
Nevertheless, the idea of accepting mass immigration into the West and not demanding that these people quickly assimilate to certain principles, can be viewed as a libertarian idea.
This is critical as new Muslim migrants to Europe didn’t always have to directly break laws, to further their own norms, ghettos, and negative attitudes towards Western civilization.
Although we shouldn’t advocate for the state to reign down on new migrants with an iron fist, it is more reasonable to encourage assimilation into Western society, than the alternative. Which appears to be a more conservative approach to take, as opposed to a libertarian one.
While I will continue to strive for common ground with different groups, given these varying factors, I will generally move to promote conservative causes over libertarian causes for the foreseeable future.