|The New Party Policies|
Philosophy and Core Values
We stand for a politics that is rational, liberal and progressive: rational because we base our politics on the principles of reason and free inquiry; liberal because we stand for the market-based economy and liberal democratic society on which Western success has been built; progressive because we understand our principles and values to be forward-looking and universal in scope.
Our core values are Freedom, Ownership, Rationalism, Community and Internationalism.
Freedom: Human creativity is most powerful when expressed in freedom. We hold that the role of the state is to enable people to act in pursuit of their needs, not to replace personal effort and initiative. We contend that democracy cannot survive where the rule of law, freedom of expression and belief are denied. We uphold individual freedom, recognising that individual rights must be bounded by social responsibilities.
Ownership: Capitalism, while not perfect, has been shown historically to deliver opportunity and prosperity to the greatest number of people. We maintain that individuals and families should be enabled to build up their own assets and take control of their lives. We consider the extension of individual choice and ownership in the public services to be an essential next step to transform the traditional welfare state and end the dependency culture. We aspire to a society in which laws, regulations and taxes are minimal, simple and fair.
Rationalism: We respect the pursuit of knowledge, regarding education as a lifelong process fundamental to personal development, just as the progress of civilisation depends on scientific and technological advancement. We uphold academic freedom and deplore the manipulation of science for ideological or commercial ends.
Community: We support local initiative and autonomy, recognising that answers to many everyday problems can be found by harnessing the commitment and enthusiasm of people in serving their communities. We assert that the stability and cohesion of free societies depends on the maintenance of a common civic culture built around commonly accepted core values and traditions. We reject the segregation of communities by race, religion and culture.
Internationalism: We look forward to a world of open, flexible and free societies working together to address common problems and achieve common goals. We promote free trade and recognise the need for international social and economic development. We emphatically reject protectionism, isolationism and xenophobia. We support the establishment and maintenance of democratic forms of government appropriate to the history and culture of each society and nation, and oppose the imposition of undemocratic supranational bureaucracies on democratic states. We seek to strengthen our relations with our democratic allies in order to challenge regimes that abuse human rights and confront threats to international security. We must be prepared to use any appropriate means - diplomatic, economic or military – in pursuing progressive goals in the international arena.