Below are the values as enunciated by Sir Robert Menzies in 1954 on the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Liberal Party.
Many of these values are timeless and remain relevant today. Indeed some long thought settled, such as great human freedoms to worship, to think and to speak have come into sharper focus again in the face of the rise of an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian left. As is articulated below, today’s dogma may turn out to be tomorrow’s error.
At the core of the values of the Canberra Liberals is a belief in liberty but not anarchy, racial and religious tolerance and the individual, their initiative, individuality and acceptance of responsibility and the rule of law.
- WE BELIEVE IN THE CROWN as the enduring embodiment of our national unity and as the symbol of that other unity which exists between all the nations of the Commonwealth.
- WE BELIEVE IN AUSTRALIA, her courage, her capacity, her future and her national sovereignty, exercised through Parliaments deriving their authority from the people by free and open elections.
- WE BELIEVE IN THE INDIVIDUAL. We stand positively for the free man, his initiative, his individuality and acceptance of responsibility.
- WE BELIEVE IN THE RULE OF LAW Under it, there is freedom for the nation and for all men and women, Democracy depends upon self-discipline, obedience to the law, the honest administration of the law.
- WE BELIEVE IN THE SPIRIT OF THE VOLUNTEER, This does not mean that we reject compulsion in matters in which a uniform obedience is needed by the community. But it does mean that the greatest community efforts can be made only when voluntary co-operation and self-sacrifice come in aid of, and lend character to the performance of legal duties.
- WE BELIEVE THAT RIGHTS CONNOTE DUTIES and that sectional and selfish policies are destructive of good citizenship.
- WE BELIEVE THAT IT IS THE SUPREME FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY, that today’s dogma may turn out to be tomorrow’s error and that, in consequence, the interests of all legitimate minorities much be protected.
- WE BELIEVE IN LIBERTY, not anarchy, but an individual and social liberty based upon, and limited by a civilised conception of social justice.
- WE BELIEVE THE REAL CONFLICT OF OUR TIME IS BETWEEN THE IRON DISCIPLINE OF AUTOCRACY – WHETHER COMMUNIST OR FASCIST – AND THE SELF IMPOSED DISCIPLINE OF THE FREE MAN. The spirit of man must prevail.
- WE BELIEVE THAT LIBERALISM MEANS FLEXIBILITY AND PROGRESS. Its principles and its spiritual and intellectual approach enable it to meet and deal with new and changing social and economic circumstances. By elevating the individual, it meets and defeats the terrible doctrine of the all-powerful State: a doctrine at once destructive, reactionary and negative.
- WE BELIEVE THAT IMPROVED LIVING STANDARDS DEPEND UPON HIGH PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENT SERVICE and that these vital elements can be achieved only by free and competitive enterprise.
- WE BELIEVE THAT NATIONAL FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC POWER AND POLICY ARE TO BE DESIGNED TO CREATE A CLIMATE IN WHICH PEOPLE MAY BE ENABLED TO WORK OUT THEIR OWN SOLUTION in their own way and not to control other people’s lives.
- WE BELIEVE IN THE GREAT HUMAN FREEDOMS: to worship, to think, to speak, to choose, to be ambitious, to be independent, to be industrious, to acquire skill, to seek and earn reward.
- WE BELIEVE IN SOCIAL JUSTICE in encouraging the strong and protecting the weak, in widening opportunities for education, in the preservation of family life, in good homes owned by those who live in them.
- WE BELIEVE IN RELIGIOUS AND RACIAL TOLERANCE AMONG OUR CITIZENS.
- WE BELIEVE THAT ALL FORMS OF INDUSTRY, PRIMARY OR SECONDARY OF OTHERWISE, DEPEND ONE UPON THE OTHER and that their community of interest will be the guarantee of the nation’s growth.
- WE BELIEVE THAT UNDER THE BLESSING OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, and given the good-will, mutual tolerance and understanding, energy and an individual sense of purpose, there is no task which Australia cannot perform and no difficulty which she cannot overcome.
If you share these beliefs, this is the Party for you.
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