Liberal Party of Australia
|Liberal Party of Australia|
|Party Chairman||Alan Stockdale|
|Senate Leader||N/A Leader = Tony Abbott|
|House Leader||N/A Deputy Leader = Julie Bishop|
|Headquarters|| Cnr Blackall & Macquarie St, Barton|
|Political ideology|| Centrism|
|Political position|| Fiscal: Free Market|
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union|
The Liberal Party of Australia is the main conservative political party based in the Commonwealth of Australia. The Liberal Party was founded in 1944 by Sir Robert Menzies. Robert Menzies kept the Liberal Party in power during much of the post-war boom. As with many other Western democracies the winds of change swept through Australia and the Liberal Party was ousted from power by Gough Whitlam and the Australian Labor Party in 1972.
The Liberals in general believe in low levels of government interference in the economy and are understood to be more socially conservative than their more left wing political opposition, the Australian Labor Party. Thus in this sense, the term "liberal" refers to neo-liberalism rather than the social liberalism that is implied in the American context.
Until the 1970s the Liberal Party occupied the centre of Australian politics. However, the breakway of left-wing groups meant that the Liberals have moved to the right of politics with the Labor Party occupying the centre-left.
The Liberal Party is divided into state-based divisions. The Liberals contest both state and federal elections, but do not officially contest local government elections. However many party members stand for local council elections in their own right.
The Liberal Party is one of the two main parties of government at both state and federal level. Although it was the principal government party at federal level from 1996 to 2007, by the end of that period it had lost power to the Labor Party in every state and territory. Its low point arrived in November 2007 when it lost the federal election, leaving itself out of power nationwide. However since Labor took office federally, the Liberals have returned to power in the state of Western Australia.