Australia

Australians May Elect a Second Libertarian Senator

Meet Gabriel Buckley, free market anarchist and rock guitarist.

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Gabriel Buckley
Patrick Earl

Australians are in the midst of a national election of their own, a complicated affair that involves dissolving and electing its whole bicameral Parliament, something that hasn't happened since the 1980s. Australia's rule by party and complex voting system based partly on preferences and slates means that even though the election was held on July 2, the actual shape of the new Parliament is still being hammered out.

This means David Leyonhjelm, a senator from the Liberal Democratic Party (Australia's libertarian party) is fighting to keep his seat representing New South Wales. But to the north, representing Queensland, a second libertarian may end up joining Leyonhjelm, if Leyonhjelm himself makes the cut. Gabriel Buckley, the LDP's national president, may land the final Senate slot for Queensland.

Buckley is both an IT consultant and the frontman of a rock band, The Whiskey Protocol. He calls himself a free market anarchist and has been vocal in opposing the nannyist nature of Australia's governance. Australia has a tendency to try to fight criminal mischief by attempting to ban behavior that it thinks may lead to such mischief. Areas have implemented "lock out" laws that require bars to close at a certain time, which has apparently devastated Sydney's night life and resulted in businesses closing (and in typical big-government nannying, the most powerful players—a casino in this case—manage to hammer out exemptions). Concerns about drug dealing from biker gangs have resulted in laws essentially regulating freedom of association among motorcyclists (similar to laws we see in America that attempt to keep suspected gang members from hanging around each other). Buckley and the LDP have been opposing such nanny laws, and also calling for marijuana legalization, same-sex marriage recognition, free trade, assisted suicide, gun rights, and the familiar libertarian platform of individual freedom.

Having only two libertarian senators in Australia's 76-seat Senate doesn't seem much, but as Leyonhjelm has previously explained, Australia having more than two parties active in the Senate's make-up creates for a different dynamic. The party with the most senators under its banner will appear to continue to be the Liberal-National Coalition, which is a political alliance of moderates and conservatives. But current numbers will have them controlling less than half the Senate. Senators outside the majority and primary opposition (Labor and Greens) make up what they call the "crossbench," given that "third party" isn't quite an accurate term here. Those "crossbenchers" from the LDP and other smaller parties can make or break legislation when the majority and opposition groups do not agree. The Coalition will not be in a situation where it can simply ram through legislation.

We will likely know by early August whether Leyonhjelm will return to the Senate and if Buckley will join him. Read more about Buckley and the election here. Below, listen to a radio interview with Buckley about libertarian issues back in 2013, and then both listen and watch The Whiskey Protocol perform "Sweet Home Alabama":

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  1. What exactly does libertarian mean in Aussie land?

    1. Libertarian is the term Reason uses to describe the LDP. None of the linked articles use the term libertarian. They simply refer to the party by its name.

      As near as I can tell, internationally, if the world is used at all it is used in the same sense that the American left use the term, namely: right wing extremists who are part of of an international conspiracy to impose chaotic, exploitative, unregulated, free market capitalism on the entire world.

      At least, that’s the meaning I infer when any announcer on the BBC uses it.

      1. “world” should be “word”

        Also, I should have shoveled on more Koch. 🙂

    2. Well the party is called the Liberal Democratic Party, and liberal still usually means what it used to outside of the US and UK.

      More importantly, in this case, the guy says he’s a free market anarchist, so he sounds pretty damn libertarian.

      1. That is my preferred nomenclature.

        1. That is my preferred nomenclature.

          “Pretty damn libertarian?” Awright!

  2. a complicated affair that involves dissolving and electing its whole bicameral Parliament

    Now you have my attention. I’m starting to warm to the idea of this parliament thing.

    1. Mmm… tastes like chicken stock.

    2. It sounds good. But I don’t think it ever stays dissolved.

  3. If he’s calling himself a free market anarchist, why are you calling him a libertarian?

    1. Because he’s taken libertarianism to its logical end point? Because, dammit, there’s gotta be a libertarian moment happening SOMEWHERE in the world?

      1. Because he has facial hair and a cool hat?

        1. But probably, mostly, because the Liberal Democratic Party is Australia’s version of the Libertarian Party.

          I know, i know. No one reads the articles.

          1. No one reads the articles.

            REEDING IZ 4 FAGZ.

        2. a cool hat

          [citation needed]

          1. I was echoing Hyperion below. I personally don’t know from hats, on account of my head is too big to wear one.

            1. There is a very simple algorithm:

              1.) Do you currently reside in the American Southwest, Mexico, or Patagonia?
              a.) Yes – Go to 2.
              b.) No – You look stupid wearing it

              2.) Is your primary vocation being an animal herder on a working ranch?
              a.) Yes – You don’t look stupid wearing it.
              b.) No – You look stupid wearing it.

                1. 1.) Have you traveled back in time to star in the leading role in a film noir produced during the 1940s or 50s?
                  a.) Yes – You don’t look stupid wearing it.
                  b.) No. – You look stupid wearing it.

                  1. What if you wear a trenchcoat, smoke Lucky Strikes, and talk with a hardbitten New York accent like you’re constantly trying to pinch one off?

                    1. It’s the time travel that’s the variable here.

              1. …and fezes.

                1. fezes

                  1.) Are you an elderly Turkish man smoking a hookah under the awning of a coffeeshop in a busy souk?
                  a.) Yes – You don’t look stupid wearing it.
                  b.) No – Go to 2.

                  2.) Are you a Shriner driving a tiny car at a fundraiser for sick children?
                  a.) Yes – You look stupid wearing it, but it’s for a good cause.
                  b.) No – You look stupid wearing it.

                2. 1.) Are you currently sipping mint tea in a cafe located somewhere in North Africa?
                  a.) Yes – You don’t look stupid wearing it.
                  b.) No – Go to 2.

                  2.) Are you a monkey?
                  a.) Yes – You look like a monkey wearing a fez.
                  b.) No – You look stupid wearing it.

                  1. I like to grind my organ. Can I wear one?

                    1. Do Viking helmets.

                    2. 1) Are you actually viking?
                      (a) Yes: you look stupid wearing it, and will probably be killed soon.
                      (b) No: go to 2.

                      2) Are you a blind poet, Wagnerian opera player, or cheer leader?
                      (a) Yes: you don’t look stupid wearing it in character.
                      (b) No: you look stupid wearing it.

                    3. One day shortly after I developed enough of a bald spot to get sunburns there, I wore a yahmuka for a sunny day of paid signature gathering for LP candidates in Conn. Interesting rxns, positive & negative, from Jews, who in some cases liked the Orthodox & in others disliked them. No particular rxn from Gentiles, other than to the petition I was carrying.

            2. *hides his beloved Scottish tweed cap*

        3. Yahoo! Or is it yippie? How’d you spell it in Strine?

    2. Murray Rothbard considered himself a free market anarchist.

      1. Rothbard’s followers considered themselves the only “true libertarians”.

    3. Is this more, “anarchists aren’t real libertarians!”?

      1. I don’t think so. I’m just curious why libertarians are trying to take credit for everything.

      2. I’m still trying to figure out that “You’re a libertarian if you’re inside the libertarian sector of the Nolan Chart, unless you are so far inside that sector that you’re at or very close to the 100/100 point.”

  4. Buckley is both an IT consultant and the frontman of a rock band, The Whiskey Protocol.

    And he has facial hair. And a cool hat. Fuck Australia, I say we replace Matt and Nick with this guy.

    1. I’m guessing the Whiskey Protocol is a Hank Williams Jr cover band.

  5. Having only two libertarian senators in Australia’s 76-seat Senate doesn’t seem much

    That’s a better ratio than the US Senate has.

    1. Yeah, but only by, like, infinity percent.

  6. Having only two libertarian senators in Australia’s 76-seat Senate doesn’t seem much

    Compared to our 1 libertarian in a 100 seat senate, it sounds pretty good. Plus Rand doesn’t have facial hair and is not a member of a band named Whiskey Protocol. Advantage here, clearly Australia.

    1. Rand Paul isn’t a libertarian. He self-describes — and acts like — a conservative with some libertarian ideas.

      1. He’s a libertarian by my lights. More libertarian than “conservative”.

        Unless it’s like with atheism, where you have to not only not believe in God, but also be an asshole, as exemplified by Richard Dawkins, according to South Park.

  7. Whiskey Protocol looks likes it’s on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

    1. I think there were more people in the audience on MST3K.

      1. G’daaaaaaaaay.

  8. His party’s platform actually sounds pretty good.

    Aus Liberal Democrats

    Funny, when you think of self proclaimed ‘liberal democrats’ here, you think commies and authoritarians.

    1. Definitely sounds better than the band’s platform. (Sorry, but it just wasn’t good, Dawg)

      “Cease all Commonwealth involvement in health and education”.

      That one alone would solve a whole host of problems.

    2. Perhaps we should push for the Libertarian Party to rename itself the Liberal Democratic Party since, you know, it’s actually both unlike American liberals and Democrats.

      1. That would be good for the lulz, would definitely propel the left into a pants shitting rage on the intertoobz.

      2. I am a fan. Let’s reclaim the word “liberal.” I am tired of explaining to girls the morning after that I meant classical liberal, not classy liberal.

  9. But, they have Peter Garrett! What else do they need?

  10. Is “rock guitarist” a polite way of embiggening someone who never really made it out of the garage?

  11. I’m sort of confused by the seemingly approbative comments regarding this guy’s beard, especially in light of the common knowledge that the development of sharp tools and indeed civilization itself is driven by the desire to remove excess body hair.

    1. Perhaps Mohammedans are the most civilized peoples of the world.

      1. Muslim women are required to remove all hair except their head hair and eyebrows?

    2. A beard ain’t excess, homes. A beard is exactly sufficient.

    3. Only for women, Hugh.

  12. No, Earth will never look like Venus, no matter how much CO2 we pump into the atmosphere.

    ?Venus is closer to the Sun. Venus is aprox. 0.72 AU distant from the sun (72% of Earth’s), with a total solar irradiance (TSI) almost 2x that of Earth.

    ?Venus has a denser atmosphere. The pressure on Venus is 93x that of Earth, the equivalent of almost 1 kilometer under the ocean. This is probably the largest factor causing its high temperature.

    ?The clouds of Venus are mostly sulphuric acid (not water vapor) ? a powerful greenhouse agent.

    ?The atmosphere of Venus has nearly 3000x more CO2 than Earth’s atmosphere. Venus is 96.5% CO2 by volume vs. 380 per million for Earth (0.038%). Goldblatt el al say that with CO2 at 30,000 ppm Earth would have “no stable temperate climate.” That would require burning 10x more than Earth’s estimated fossil fuel resources.

    And yet, according to a certain well-known Nobel laureate,

    “The more immediate danger is runaway climate change. A rise in ocean temperatures will melt the ice caps and cause the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide from the ocean floor. Both effects could make our climate like that of Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees.”

    Thanks, Steve.

    1. Growing a beard and wearing a cowboy hat reverses global warming.

      1. Only if the hat is white, which increases the Earth’s albedo.

    2. Venus is closer to the Sun

      I always thought there was some correlation with the sun about how the 4 inner rocky worlds turned out. The factors you mentioned above are exactly how astronomers predict the possibility of earth like exoplanets.

      But when it comes to our own earth, all of this gets thrown out the window because DENIERS!

    3. And yet the people who buy that shit (that Earth’s climate could become like that of Venus) are the same twits who claim on Derpbook to “fucking love science.”

  13. Sweet Home Alabama sung by Murrrricans.

    1. LMAO!

      She needs to form a coalition with Triggly Puff to fight global warming. Just the two of them standing together to block the sun would result in an immediate cooling.

  14. OT: what’s up with all the abortion ads on reason this week? It’s not targeted specifically to me, I don’t think.

    1. Try Ghostery or Adblock or Adblock Plus.

      1. Ghostery works for me. No ads. Except this one:

        Controversial “Genius Drug” Used by Rich People in MD

        Umm, either it doesn’t work, or very few people here know about it.

    2. Has your daughter or wife/ gf (assuming you have one) recently used your computer? If so, you might to want to have a talk with them.

    3. It is correlating your girlfriend’s searches for pregnancy tests with your searches for new golf clubs.

  15. Australia’s rule by party and complex voting system based partly on preferences and slates means that even though the election was held on July 2, the actual shape of the new Parliament is still being hammered out.

    Is it just me, or does this sound like it would an excellent way for elites to basically ignore the voters and put whoever they want into the parliament? Although I guess if that was what was happening “down under” they wouldn’t have allowed even 1, much less 2, libertarian senators in.

  16. Some libertarian he is. In my cover band, Lynyrd Peikoff, we change the lyrics to “Sweet Home, Somalia”.

  17. We can even create playlists of them so it will be very easy to find our videos which we like. We can also download those videos and can watch them offline. Showbox for pc

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