The newly AEC-registered Liberty and Democracy Party (LDP) has called for an end to the constant demonisation of poker machines. This announcement comes at the same time as high profile anti-pokies campaigner Nick Xenophon has announced he will run for the Australian Senate.
“Pokies are one of the new easy targets for politicians to attack, but what they are really attacking is the idea of free choice” said LDP Qld Senate candidate John Humphreys.
“All other political parties approve of the idea that the government should tell you how to live your lives. Only the LDP supports the simple idea that each person should be free to make their own decisions, even if politicians and paternalistic do-gooders disapprove of those decisions.
“Personally, I don’t really like poker machines. I prefer real poker. But it is not necessary for all Australians to have the same tastes, preferences and hobbies. The LDP celebrates diversity, shuns paternalism and calls for greater tolerance for those who make different choices. We are the only political party that does not want to impose our morals on other people.
“While it is true that a small percentage of gamblers have a problem with self-control, it is not appropriate to punish the vast majority of people for the actions of a few.
“The LDP would move to decrease regulations on poker machines. Some organisations may follow the lead of South Sydney Leagues Club and not offer poker machines. Other venues will offer poker machines. People can then vote with their feet and make their own choices without the government looking over their shoulders and judging them.”
The Productivity Commissions reports that 82% of Australians gamble and a quarter of those use poker machines. In addition to the entertainment value, gambling provides over 150,000 jobs in Australia.
The Liberty and Democracy Party will be running candidates throughout Australia on a platform of lower taxes and individual freedom.