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Last week Senator David Leyonhjelm, in true Liberal Democratic style, gave the thumbs up to smokers’ rights… oh and he’s happy to take donations from tobacco companies…cough cough…
In an address to the Senate last week that surely not even Australia’s best TV satirists could replicate, Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm took the stand for smokers and their rights.
And, of course, on a purely political level, one might expect this of a Liberal Democrat.
As a refresher, one of the tenets of the LD philosophy:
…all of these positions share the common principle of decreasing the role of government. They differ from “left-wing” people who often want the government to control the economy but not our social lives, and from “right-wing” people who want the government to control our social lives but not the economy.
So in effect, Leyonhjelm was merely standing up for what he believed in…letting smokers be the masters and mistresses of their own destiny… even if their destiny might be cut short by years as they potentially smoke themselves to the grave.
Leyonhjelm was taking a stand against the nanny state. He was taking a stand for the rights of the individual in terms of smoking… even though by doing so, he is forgetting the rights of those who don’t smoke and thus suffer as a consequence (let’s have a talk, shall we David, about passive smoking and the health complications of such; the litter and pollution that smoking causes; and the arable land and resources taken up with the production of growing tobacco that could be used for food to feed a hungry world… amongst other “issues”).
Senator Leyonhjelm was even taking the stand for smokers getting hard done by in terms of how much they filled the public purse via smoking excises and taxes, which are incredibly unfair and disproportionate, apparently, for what they ultimately cost the government in healthcare due to the unintended physical consequences of their “past-time” (read: addiction).
And, to top it all off, Leyonhjelm had no qualms admitting that he was opposed to plain packaging for cigarettes, happily admitting that donations from tobacco companies had influenced his decision when interviewed by Fairfax about the matter.
Yes, you read right TBSers…Leyonhjelm admitted his opinion on the subject was effectively purchased by a private corporation.
One might assume Senator Leyonhjelm believes that by being honest and open that the air is clear (apart from the smoke from the nearby smoker lighting up in post-speech-coital bliss at the Senator’s huffing and puffing).
No, actually, no – this admission stinks worse than, well, a smoker’s breath, Senator.
This admission by the Liberal Democrat was a sad little kick to the guts of democracy.
Leyonhjelm has sold out his constituents, the majority of whom are non-smokers if current stats are to be believed and allowed minority rights over majority welfare.
What do you think?