More on Political Setbacks

After this week I shall need to take some of my own advice from a previous comment about political setbacks.

My demotion from the Shadow frontbench is personally disappointing but my concern is more for the health of the Liberal Party. Any public display of division doesn’t help in our quest to remove the Rudd Government.

I accept that my previous comment didn’t provide much support to this goal in what was a very, very difficult week for the Coalition.

However, I don’t intend to stop sharing my perspectives and values with readers through these missives. I know that every candid comment contains an element of political and personal risk but frankly, I like writing about the personal and professional aspects of being an elected representative.

I know that many of you enjoy reading them too. In fact, I receive so many emails in response to my comments (both favourable and otherwise) that I believe they must be of some interest in fuelling the battle of ideas.

As Liberals we should remember that the battle of ideas is actually about converting others to our cause. Many young people start with left-leaning political views and move to the political right over the course of their lives as reality bites. We should welcome these recruits as testimony to the wisdom of our beliefs.

Personally I was never one to be won over. I always had a belief in free markets, smaller government, personal responsibility and what many refer to as ‘traditional values’. This was unfashionable as a uni student but eventually these principles prevailed and provided Australia with unprecedented prosperity.

Yet in 2009 the political climate has changed and I suspect that us small government free marketeers will be unfashionable again for a few years yet.

Does that mean we should stop advocating for what we believe is right for families, for communities and for our nation?
I say no. If you believe in what you are doing, if you have the courage of your convictions then you can withstand almost any storm.

Over the course of my political involvement I have been on the receiving end of many pointed and public attacks by others. Few of them have bothered me because the attacks have been driven by personal malice rather than directed around the battle of ideas.

Whilst many may not accept that my anecdote from an earlier comment was intended to be about my commitment to the political issues, it has allowed me to demonstrate that I am prepared to put my personal conviction above political convenience.

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