David Leyonhjelm is a federal Senator for New South Wales, representing the Liberal Democratic Party. Having been elected at the 2013 federal election, he first took office on 1 July 2014 and was re-elected in the 2016 full Senate election.
Senator Leyonhjelm has been described as a “libertarian purist” who wants government “wound back to a minimal role in society”. In interviews, he has stated that he was initially drawn towards socialism but turned away from it after travelling to socialist countries in Africa and Eastern Europe and was later influenced by the writings of economist Milton Friedman. The Senator has been compared to Ron Paul, a former U.S. Representative and noted libertarian. Their election has been associated with a rise in the popularity of libertarian and classical liberal ideas in Australia, with one commentator suggesting his election might “spark a libertarian renaissance [in Australia]”.