In 1944 when Robert Menzies assembled a loose coalition of anti-Labour forces to form the Liberal Party, many wondered how so many diverse groups of people could form a common Philosophy. The resulting Liberal Party a unified group replacing the former United Australia Party was swept to Government within 5 years.
In the first 22 years, Menzies own visions were obviously stamped all over Liberal Party Philosophy.
By the early 1980s friction in the Party existed between "drys" and "wets" within the Liberal Party. The Party itself, had been squeezed off a lot of its traditional territory by the ALP which had shifted to the right.
One major piece of Liberal policy and philosophy in the 1980s was John Howard's Future Directions. This promoted a return to the safe and secure 1950s Australia, with an image on its promotional material of a married couple with two kids and white picket fence. Critics of this image, claimed it did not represent the many dysfunctional families of the day, and their were attacks claiming Howard and the Liberals were racists, and slammed it for being too simplistic.
In 1993, John Hewson went to the Federal Election with the "Fightback" manifesto. This was the most significant academic and financial blue print ever produced by an opposition, but was overwhelmingly rejected by the Electorate.
Today, John Howard's Mentor, Sir Robert Menzies would be proud of his brand of Liberalism.
We have provided a link to an excellent site, by Victor Perton, MP for the seat of Doncaster in the Victorian State Parliament has compiled a fantastic collection of Policy and Philosophy statements from prominent Liberals about what Liberalism means in Australia.
Australian Liberalism - The Continuing Vision details many contributions from: Robert Menzies, William McMahon, Garfield Barwick, John Carrick, John Gorton, Percy Spender, Malcolm Fraser, Harold Holt, Robert Southey, David Kemp, Billy Snedden, Robert Ellicott, John Howard, Steele Hall, Andrew Peacock, Alan Missen, Nick Greiner, Fred Cheney, Ian McPhee, Peter Baume, Robert Hill, Christopher Puplick and more.
Liberal section of VCE Politics - a nice collection of Policy Documents from the Liberal Party.
Responsibility for Election Commentary taken by A.Molloy, PO Box 669, Double Bay, 2028.