The ACT Liberal Democratic Party:
The ACT Liberal Democratic Party believes adults have a right to end their own lives, with or without assistance, and to have access to information to help them do it.
The ACT Liberal Democrats believe in the inalienable right of individuals to end their lives painlessly, at a time of their choosing, and to be legally able to obtain information and assistance to do so with dignity.
The ACT Liberal Democrats are committed to enacting legislation to allow adults the right to assisted suicide provided there are appropriate safety mechanisms to ensure consent is given freely and confirmed.
We are not ignorant of the practical difficulties in developing this legislation or the risks associated with poor or ineffective safeguards. However, there are many international models that can be considered and upon which legislation could be modelled.
The ACT Liberal Democrats believe that the principle of control over one’s body is the most fundamental expression of individual freedom. If the law prevents rational adults from making free choices about what we can do with our own bodies then we are not really free at all.
When cancer, degenerative disease or some other ailment renders a person’s life no longer worth living, that person should be free to choose to end their lives. The person should be able to escape pain and the tragic indignities of a failing body and die painlessly and peacefully, as medical technology currently permits.
In 1997, with the tacit support of both the Liberal and Labor parties, Kevin Andrews MP succeeded in pushing a private members Bill through Federal Parliament that overturned the first law to legalise assisted suicide in Australia, enacted in the Northern Territory. This is despite opinion polls showing that around 70% of Australians are in favour of some form of voluntary euthanasia.
While most fair-minded people accept that painlessly terminating the suffering of animals is a humane act of compassion (a fact recognised by the law), the law prohibits the application of the same principle to ourselves.
The Liberal Democratic Party, as a party that supports individual rights and freedom of choice, rejects this cruel approach. While we are cognisant that there are federal limitations on the power of the ACT Government, we would be passionate advocates for the rights of ACT citizens on this issue.
The ACT Liberal Democratic Party believes adults should be free from government interference when making choices where they do not inflict harm on other, non-consenting individuals.
The ACT Liberal Democrats neither support nor oppose drug use. It considers it to be a matter of choice for responsible adults.
The ACT Liberal Democrats also recognise the right of individuals to choose to not engage with drugs or their users. Restaurants, clubs, hotels and other private establishments where people gather should be free to impose conditions of entry including prohibitions on the use, or being under the influence, of drugs. Similarly, employers should be free to require their employees to refrain from drug use and to implement testing policies as required.
The ACT Liberal Democrats do not believe that personal drug use is a law enforcement issue, nor can it be resolved by “arresting your way out of the problem”. Drug use is a social issue, a health issue and an education issue.
While there are health costs involved in any recreational drug taking activity, marijuana use is already widespread in the ACT and Australia and death, disorders and impairment directly attributable to its use occur at significantly lower rates than for legally available alcohol and tobacco. The ACT Liberal Democrats acknowledge that some in the community may struggle with addiction. Our proposal to legalise marijuana includes provision to redirect funding from savings arising from reducing law enforcement costs towards the provision of treatment of the addiction within the health system.
The ACT Liberal Democrats support:
The ACT Liberal Democratic Party neither supports nor opposes gambling. It considers it to be like any other form of entertainment - a matter of choice for responsible adults.
Just as we may turn off the television or decide not to go to a cinema or go bushwalking, we may also leave a casino or not bet on Melbourne Cup Day.
The ACT Liberal Democrat therefore reject the view that the potential hazards of excessive gambling justify the current level of government control of the gaming industry. The rise of mobile technology that allows people to gamble from a hand held device at any time demonstrates just how disproportionate government regulation of the gaming industry really is.
We also believe that government’s current approach to gambling control is inefficient and delivers sub-optimal outcomes to gamblers, non-gamblers and the broader economy. We acknowledge that some members of the community will struggle with gambling addiction, and support the funding of treatment programs that help those affected overcome their problem gambling.
The ACT Liberal Democrats:
The ACT Liberal Democratic Party believes that adults should be able to own firearms. Thousands of Canberrans have been appropriately trained in the safe handling and storage of firearms and hold appropriate licences for doing so. The ACT Liberal Democrats believe that illegal gun ownership is a serious issue, and notes that the overwhelming preponderance of firearm crime relates to illegally-owned weapons.
We appreciate that some sections of the community have concerns about firearms and their regulation. The ACT Liberal Democrats propose reforms that improve the safety of the public and licensed firearms users. The ACT Liberal Democrats will advocate for the rights of licensed firearms holders in the same manner we will advocate for those who undertake responsible and safe activities that do not harm others.
The ACT Liberal Democratic Party: