Few senators can stand up and say they have voted in accordance with their conscious throughout their tenure. In his consistent fight against big government and the nanny state, Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm certainly counts among that exclusive group.
But he’s had a gutful — and is now moving away from federal politics, believing he’ll have better luck pushing forward his goal of ‘beating back the nanny state’ from a state level.
Leyonhjelm to run for seat at NSW election
In his final address to the upper house, Senator Leyonhjelm took the time to point out the numerous holes existing in parliament — including the revolving doors of parliament, and the toxic culture that exists there.
‘When I was elected, Tony Abbott was prime minister. Then came Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison,’ he said.
‘I kept hoping there might be changes in approach. It’s true the rhetoric changed a bit and there was a bit of a difference in emphasis, but in reality, there’s been no deviation from the big spending, big taxing approach to government.’
He also said he initially believed the men in these positions were principled, but he learned he had been naïve to do so.
The Australian Associated Press reports that Mr Leyonhjelm said he was proud of himself for sticking to his guns, by never voting for something that would purely result in personal benefit — like raising taxes.
‘It saddens me that people regularly tell me privately how much they agree with me, but then vote for something completely contradictory,’ he said.
‘I am so glad I haven’t had to abandon my beliefs in order to retain my seat and salary.’
But he’s not coming out of parliament clean. Despite calling her his ‘new best friend’, Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young is suing Mr Leyonhjelm for defamation.
Mr Leyonhjelm has big plans for his seat, should he win the spot. The renegotiations he has planned of the ‘nanny state’ laws will include liquor licensing, smoking allocations, vaping, gambling, voluntary suicide and lock-out laws.
The NSW election will result on the 23 March.
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