The New Liberals

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The New Liberals (TNL) is an Australian political party founded by Sydney barrister Victor Kline in 2019. The party's registration with the Australian Electoral Commission was completed in June 2021, over the objections of the Liberal Party of Australia.[1] Prior to this, the party's first electoral participation consisted of an independent candidate who ran under the TNL banner in a 2020 by-election.[2]

Unlike the Liberal Party of Australia (which Kline regards as being a misnomer),[3] TNL has progressive-liberal policies and is seemingly attempting to reclaim the word "liberal" to be more in keeping with the way it is understood in the United States. TNL's policies include a climate policy of net zero by 2035, the development of a federal anti-corruption commission, a full employment and job guarantee program, increased investment in social housing, and an economic policy based on Modern Monetary Theory.[4]

TNL declares the donations it receives in real time.[5]

Kline has announced that TNL will only be running candidates in seats currently held by the Liberal Party of Australia (as well as fielding Senate candidates) in the next Federal election,[6] and will be encouraging voters to give last preference to the "old" Liberals (and their coalition partner, the Nationals) under Australia's preferential voting system.[4][7]

In August 2021, the "old" Liberals in Federal Government introduced a bill to Parliament to raise the minimum number of members for registered political parties from 500 to 1500, a move that seemed at least partly motivated by a desire to kneecap TNL, among other smaller parties and community groups.[8][9][10] In a glorious example of the Streisand effect, this indirectly resulted in the party gaining coverage in The Guardian[8][11] and Crikey,Wikipedia[12] getting exposure by becoming a trending topic on Twitter, and most importantly, receiving nearly a thousand new financial membership applications in little over a day,[13] which more than doubled the party's membership and easily overcame the new threshold. Among the new members was Alex Turnbull,Wikipedia the son of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.[14]

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