What a REAL democracy in Australia would look like

WThe Real Democracy: People Powerhen a democracy can’t be called a democracy, or its definition must be changed to fit current circumstances, then its probably time to rethink our approach!

Democracy comes from an old Greek word that literally translates as “People Power” (they were the brains behind the basis of the whole Democratic system).  Athens had about 250,000 residents at the time and all citizens had an open invitation to a regular forum which allowed them to have direct input on all issues relating to their society, that is: they did not go via representatives like we do today.  Our current system is more like an oligarchy than a democracy.

Not everything was perfect about their system (women and children were not considered citizens and you needed to have TIME to go to these meetings which often meant those more well off were more likely to be involved), but it was the truest form of democracy humans have had in all recorded history.

James Madison

James Madison (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now such a system was just not possible when the constitutions of countries like America and Australia were set up.  The land masses in which citizen lived were enormous, populations vastly larger, there were no means of communication like telephones, televisions, radios and there was certainly no internet!  So there were lots of very sound reasons why James Madison and other US political thinkers of the time came up with the fair system of representation that Australia drew inspiration from and that we still have in place today.

But guess what people…times have changed!
We now have instantaneous communication with mobile phones and SMS, we have web infrastructure that allows for the calculation of information in mere nanoseconds and can be supported to withstand millions of visitors performing activities at the exact same time.  In fact, 88% of Australians have access to the Internet and use it regularly.  Back during the Howard Government days, this still wouldn’t have been possible, but it is all technically possible today.

compsSo here we are with all this new fandangle technology, but we’re still plodding off to the polls.  In the intervening 100+ years, no one’s thought to re-evaluate the system based on new capabilities.

Is there a fair and economical way that each Australian could get an actual say in the policies and workings of government?  Is there a way that we could bring back power to the people and end political apathy in this country?

I believe the answer is YES, and there has never been a better time to make these changes because we have the technological capability to do it.  Of course, our representatives won’t give up their power so easily so I believe a new political party would need to be formed to push for governance with the knowledge that the first thing they would change is the constitution and ultimately dismantle their own representative rule over time.

Below are a list of concepts that would underpin the proposed new democratic framework in Australia (and these same concepts could work for any society where democracy already exists and internet penetration is higher than 80%).

GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE & OPERATIONS


The new framework would keep the government split into two “houses”, but the basis of the houses would be different:

  • The Upper House (the Senate), would become the Peoples Representative House – which has representatives from each electorate.
  • The Lower House, would become known as the Knowledge & Wisdom house – in which each representative Minister is an expert in administration, policy and the area of their portfolio (e.g the Minster of Health must have prior direct administrative experience in the health industry).
Parliament House Canberra, Australia

Parliament House Canberra, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psychologically it makes more sense that the UPPER house, who are generally the reviewers, are representatives of the people, while it is the Australian people themselves (through voluntary policy voting) and portfolio experts who define the policies themselves. The Upper and Lower house most speak and interact much more regularly and freely than they currently do.

Checks and balances on the government in power
An overarching third body would be created that can hold the government accountable for its actions.  This would replace the role of the Governor General and Queen who have only ever intervened once), it is important that the role is more than symbolic.

In matters where the will of the people will impinge on the human rights of those locally or in another country, this overarching third body has the right to intervene.

Checks and balances on the people
An independent body called the Council for Science, Well-Being, Economics, Psychology (COSWEP) provides support services to the government in power and the Opposition. If the Opposition strongly oppose a bill through The Peoples Representative House or the Knowledge & Wisdom House, they can request review from the council.  If the council deems their point of view valid, their concerns must be addressed by a new joint policy, which both parties work jointly on and then it goes back for final vote to the people.

The new role of the Prime Minster
The role of the Prime Minister will be split into two.  The Prime Speaker will be the leader of the House of Peoples Representatives, and they will be the prime speaker for and on behalf of the people of Australia, including being Australia’s delegate internationally.  The Prime Minister will be the leader of the House of Knowledge and Wisdom and will be responsible for organizing all Ministers in the creation of sound policies and pulling together information to inform policy based on the will of the Australian people through policy votes.  They will also be responsible for ensuring there is cohesiveness in parliament between the two houses.

The role of the Opposition
There are no PHYSICAL sides in parliament. A mix of ministers (those in power and those in opposition) will sit together.

For freedom of information, all incumbent government data and pricing or economics models driving policy must be made freely available to the Opposition and to the public.

The Opposition is not necessarily a party, but a group of minster by minster opposition, there to provide alternative policies to the incumbent government, and to question existing policies: not to be roadblocks but to play devils advocate to the government and the Australian people.

Map of the Australian states / Mapa dels estat...

Map of the Australian states / Mapa dels estats australians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE RE-IMAGINING OF STATE AND FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Councils and senate electorates are aligned, so instead of 150 electorates and 564 councils, there are simply 250 Councils.  The responsibilities of councils remain the same, but they work directly with ministerial electorates and because of this new alignment, enjoy much better communication and speed of necessary change.  This will also increase the size of the House of Peoples Representatives.

2. State government in its current (constitutionally separate form) is dissolved because we assume that people’s new power to vote on individual policies will ensure that the states are properly represented without the need for a separate government.  This will also ensure much better alignment and billions is administrative savings.

3.  Instead, there will be a state based minister for every portfolio.  The federal government is then responsible for the creation of policies that were formerly state based activities (e.g. health and education), but the state based representatives are responsible for state level input into the plans and for the implementation of those plans.

4. Voting for Council, State, House of Knowledge & Wisdom and House of Peoples Representatives all happen at the same time (or at least within the same month), to ensure best alignment of the values of the people.

aupeepsVOTING: EMPOWERING THE PEOPLE
Voting in the House of Knowledge and Wisdom is for a MINISTER, not for a political party.  This means we no longer have situations where people without knowledge of the area are chosen simply because they have been working in party politics for a long time.  Political parties may present a list of all ministers, but they must go through a process to verify those chosen ministers have the required experience in order to run for that house.

However, there are no special skill requirements to run for election into the House of Peoples Representatives.

1. Online voting is made available for all citizens.  Citizenship kiosks are also set up in places where few people have the internet.

2.  Votes can be cast online over the period of 1 week, however home based voting lasts for 6 days which ensures that if the internet is not working on the final day (where there would be a rush), those people have the opportunity to attend a kiosk based voting booth.  Voting online will provide 500k vision impaired Australians the right to a private vote, something they have not enjoyed to date.

3. Before voting, every Australian must spend 30-40 minutes reading about the ministerial candidates (this is the time it takes for most Australians to go to the voting both today any way so this time is simply being re-appropriated to their education instead).  They can also complete a survey based on personal values and wants – system will suggest candidates and political parties based on these.
Parties may not provide “how to vote” cards.

4. In online voting, candidates will be randomly presented in each different voting session to prevent effects of donkey voting and rogue “how to vote” cards.

5. Federal government voting occurs in two stages, the first of which is mandatory:


STAGE ONE
(Mandatory)
– Voting individuals in to the House of Knowledge and Wisdom.  People can choose OPTIONAL PREFERENCING both “above” (to parties) or “below” the line.

– Voting individuals in to the House of Peoples Representatives.  People must vote for a local candidate who may or may not be a part of a political party

– Voting for a Prime Minster and Prime Speaker candidates.  People can nominate any number of minsters (in preference) for those roles.  The top 5 candidates are presented to the representatives who ultimately win the HoR and Senate seats and those people then vote on the nominated candidates in their own preference.  This is how the Prime Minister and Prime Speaker are chosen.

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

STAGE TWO – ONGOING POLICY PARTICIPATION & VOTING (Voluntary)
I would propose that all ISPs and email providers, provide the current email address for their Australian customers – the Australian government obtains an exemption from the SPAM act allowing them to email all citizens and provide them with an opportunity to register for Policy Voting.  Here’s how it would work:

1. All Australians are provided with and opportunity to take part in parliament policy.  The government subsidizes up to $35 per hour up to 2 days per year (16 hours) for any registered voter who engages in the voluntary system.  This would cost approximately $3billion dollars per annum; a small price to pay for true democracy (in comparison, our welfare system alone costs $316 billion).

2. Once the registered voter confirms they would like to be involved, they must fill out at online profile that:
a) goes through their personal details, if they change jobs, family situation, income…etc

b) confirms their personality type

c) confirms their politics type (eg authoritarian, libertarian, center…etc)

d) confirms their education and fields of expertise

3. Citizens may input their recommendations for community and national priorities into their profile (although certain priorities are guarded where small portions of community have big impact e.g. agriculture)

4. Portfolio ministers must request policy submissions from citizens once a year – all citizens can be notified when these are being asked for, orthey can switch all off except those that are related to their field of expertise.  This ensures citizen input into a yearly planning process.

5. Yearly policies are then pulled together by: Knowledge & Wisdom Ministers, groups of experts, citizen panels and citizen reps (each citizen can apply to be selected for types of panels and will be selected representatively and randomly by geography but no person can be selected more than once in 5 years). Separately opposition ministers come up with other alternative policies, they become the “red team”, who don’t see policies until they’re done and can help point out any holes or provide alternatives to fill gaps.

6. For major policies, all citizens may be provided the voluntary opportunity to vote. A completely independent body will prepare:

–       An overview of suggested policy

–       A comparison to opposition policy

–       A standard template that shows financial AND social or environmental impacts

–       A full version of the policy which die-hard participators can suggest amendments to on the fly.

–       An easy to understand video will be created for each policy so anyone can understand proposed changes in 5 mins.  ($10m allocated for 200 a year to these type of communication materials).

7. Each voluntary policy voter must read the material and prove understanding by answering quiz questions on the policy before voting on the proposed policy. They are also able to input amendments.
8. At the time they vote they can also see what others are saying on social media and traditional media in a real time feed if they choose. (more research would need to be done on this in terms of whether this may create “group think” problems.)
9. Votes are auto-recorded and amendments are mass-analysed by computer to find common themes for further investigation.  Once the policy has been reviewed and updated based on amendments from all parties, it goes to all party Minsters and People Reps to take the final vote.

10. Votes by Senators in the House of Peoples Representatives are also recorded

11.  If a House of Peoples Representatives Senator vote does not match the people they represent, a mandatory vote will may be asked for from people of that area whom the senate leader represents. If the senate rep fails to match the people in their area 3-5 times, the people can request a re-election for the minister in that area.  If the Senator defaults 10 times, an automatic re-election for that Senator is called.

12. For smaller, minor legislation changes – only those affected (based on their demographic info) will be automatically invited for input or vote. Others can always provide amendments but not votes.  If they contest this and wish to vote and there is more than 0.5% of the population (or 100-200k requests), the vote is opened up to those requestors.

13.  For policies where people whose lives may be affected can not be properly represented, their carers may vote on their behalf and/or Not for Profit organizations may be able to provide some voting power as true representatives of that sub community.

14.  A separate committee is required to assess and report back on the outcomes of each legislation every year. In addition to this, an Annual Happiness Survey is also conducted for all voluntary policy voters. This report is then provided by email to each and every citizen.

15. Ministers positions can be reviewed officially on a yearly basis (post release of the above report).  The people can request an inquiry into any minister at that yearly review. Enough votes will get the minister reviewed and then a new candidate must be chosen in a by-election. i.e individual ministers can be voted OUT of office by the people if the Australian people deem them to be failing in their role.

16. People can also request direct challenges, audits or inquiries into any capitalist institution, which, if there is significant interest (e.g. 5% or more of voluntary voters), the government must carry out.

This participatory form of government will, for the most part, be an automated system, which sends out invitations when a Minister uploads and publishes a policy document and then automatically aggregates results for review.  There would need to be rules around the release (e.g. it may need to be released on a Tuesday afternoon (which is the most likely time Australians will open emails).

OTHER FRAMEWORK CONSIDERATIONS

  • Mandatory citizenship education must be provided for all Australians between years 3 to 12.  This must have practical elements that empower them to begin their involvement as early as practicable.
  • Young children from 10 and older get a say: particularly in decisions that will affect their future (like protection of the environment…etc). Their vote does not count toward wins, but it is recorded, reported on and it allows young people to appreciate and participate in the system from an early age if the choose.  It also provides government ministers with a strong sense of the thoughts of young people and how to cater for them as they enter into official voting age.

 

EDUCATION OF POLITICIANS
There is a big gap in Australian politics at the moment: education.  Society accepts that to get a job you must finish school or university or an apprenticeship.  To get finance for a new business idea you must show a lengthy business plan, yet there are no specific requirements when it comes to people choosing to represent the views of their people and communicate on a national scale and have responsibility for decisions on multi-billion dollar portfolios and millions of lives.  This is simply not good enough.   In the new democratic system I would propose:

All politicians elected are required to complete a mandatory 3 month intensive course prior to a parliament role: history, citizenship, law, leadership, media training and parliament etiquette and day to day operations.

FAIR AND REASONABLE STRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW POLITICAL PARTIES & ELECTIONS

Political Parties

1. Before registering as a new party, the party must have a website and a clearly defined policy on every portfolio area available for view for all members. Only after that, will 500 members be counted and then party can apply to be accepted as a registered party.

2. Once the party is accepted, to run in an election, they must complete mandatory political skills training.  This training must be completed 1 month prior to the election date or they will be disqualified from running in the election.

3.  All party policies must be in place and online (same for all minister plans) 4 weeks before the 5-year election date.  Each policy must be LOCKED IN during the election period.  Which means, once the election campaign begins, the party may not change their stance unless it is to match what another political party is already providing.  They may not remove an item already on their priority list.

Elections
1. Elections move from 3 years to 5 years (as individual ministers can be voted out on a yearly basis after a review).

2. Elections are called at exact same time every five years: Feb – 2 month campaigning (Feb and mar) last week of March is election. Then April, May and June, all new politicians are getting up to speed. Incumbents work with any new ministers to hand over and provide insight so there is a much smoother handover of work and responsibility. The last month is to provide intensive training for any new politicians.

Obviously this is all blue sky stuff…but its also all possible right now.  What do YOU think?  Which bits do you agree or disagree with?  And which bits are most important?

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19 thoughts on “What a REAL democracy in Australia would look like

  1. I’m gobsmacked at the amount of time you’ve found to research and report on your deliberations re these important issues! When do you sleep? So many thought-provoking and original ideas Michelle. LOVE you and all of your work. xxx

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    • haha well actually I was up til 2:30am jotting down my ideas on my iPhone before bed last night. Was hoping to wake up early today and start a new health/exercise regime but that didn’t happen! Glad people read, I just think there’s too much complaining that goes on across the internet on issues and not a lot of deep thought. I mean think this is FAR from anything final – it really was just 2 hours worth of thinking. But imagine where it could get to with some wider discussion and debate! 😀

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    • Thanks! Glad you thought so 😀 Sadly Clive Palmer just dodged it and I’m not sure the question was really driven home as much as it could have been. I actually thought Nick Xenophon was the stand out of the night in terms of intelligent, thoughtful responses that didn’t give soapbox about his party…I guess because he doesn’t have one!!

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  2. I agree with so much, I have questions about so much……………..we need to discuss (ie talk F2F) as I type too slowly and am impatient with disjointed conversations!

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    • Yeah I agree. Actually I’m catching up with Glynn next week which I’m really excited about – haven’t seen both he and Dom for so long! Very much loking forward to our next catch up too. Politics is a very new interest for me. I’ve really only been thinking/learning about it for the last month so perhaps my ideas are still raw and need work and discussion…but maybe its helpful that I don’t have any preconceptions either… 😀

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  3. You’re dreaming. I can suggest some improvements to our “Democracy” and that is limit the power of big business and trade unions. Limit the power and role of local councils, which are just turning into petty little fiefdoms constantly engaged in empire building. Then again you could say that about a lot of government bureaucracy. It would be very interesting to see what would happen in this country if we had a Swiss style system of referenda. Now wouldn’t the major parties turn their noses away from that !

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    • Haha, well from great dreams comes great change. 200-500 years ago, women dreamed one day they might vote, 100 years ago Aboriginals dreamed the same, 50 years ago they dreamed someone might apologise, 20 years ago people dreamed up the internet and the mobile phones. Here’s some examples of people on the wrong side of history:
      – “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
      – “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876.

      So yes, I may be dreaming, but that doesn’t change the worth, or the power of ideas that might inspire change in the future. I also hold a healthy amount of skepticism these changes would occur in my life time (even though they are technically possible to achieve), because its not about technical change – but psychological change also. On the other hand, if we were all held bath by apathy and do-ability of an idea as it exists in the present moment, then the future would look very bleak 😀

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  4. This article pretty much sums up an entire conversation I and a few friends have been having recently, about the implementation of a Political Technocracy within this country as the best means of actually running it.
    (Unfortunately, they vetoed my idea of a bloody coup in Melbourne.)

    I think there are too many people who’s pre-conceptions get in the way, especially with politics. Remember, from the mouth of babes.

    One of the key issues that would have to be addressed with respect to e-mocracy would be the problems with identify theft. Especially for the big contentious issues. It is not a stretch to foresee a right wing church organisation stealing identities i order to create votes against an abortion bill, or a gay marriage bill, for example.
    And that doesn’t even begin to consider ‘cyber-warfare’.

    I see no actual reason why this could not be achieved. It would be a long and difficult battle, but it would create a much more effective means of democracy, and would actually make our country a better place.

    I think you forgot one key point. Remove the tax-exemption of the churches.

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    • Hey Travis 🙂

      lol glad to hear I’m saying what’s already on people’s minds – suggests I’m thinking up some stuff that’s not actually so ridiculous. As you mention I think its preconceptions that tend to blind people to potential solutions.

      On the issue of identity theft – that’s something I have thought a lot about mainly due to other projects as I am in the process of building an online dating site and fraud/ID theft…etc are all key issues which we are trying to tackle as a point of difference. We found a new company (http://www.jumio.com/) provides the technology needed for automated online ID checking. Mix this with auto browser.fraud checks with Iovation (www.iovation.com) which does over 140 checks on the browser and device that is accessing the site, and I think you’d have a very strong system for combating those issues. Password hashing would need to use the latest in security and could be a double login that included a mobile pin also. Obviously combating cyber warfare would require a dedicated security team, that expanded around the time of any elections or voting periods.

      Ah yes the tax-exemption of churches…I did actually think about that and then decided not to put it in and there were a few reasons for that:
      1. It would be highly controversial and could alienate a huge portion of the Australian public. 65% of whom still consider themselves religious in some way. I don’t think it would be wise.

      2. I tried to get a sense of the true cost benefits. It may make more sense to leave it as is (of course I’d probably need to do more research on this but its a start). Churches get about $500m (half a billion) worth of tax exemptions (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/churches-reap-the-benefits-of-belief-500-million-in-taxexemptions/2006/04/28/1146198351877.html). The media is notorious for having a go at charities for having high overheads (e.g. this article http://www.news.com.au/business/millions-in-donations-blown-on-admin-costs/story-e6frfm1i-1226174616983) but it totally misses the point about good business and charity which is: if you spent more on better infrastructure, you’ll often make more. So for instance even though the surf life saving club is at the top of the list as have 60% admin costs, it also raises the most money! So its kind of a flawed argument. One of my favourite TED talks is actually about this and I definitely recommend watching it because its really inspiring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfAzi6D5FpM

      Anyway, back to the topic – churches in Australia make about $30billion per annum: (http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Catholics-lead-rise-in-charity-revenue/2005/03/22/1111254030602.html)

      Now what I COULDN’T find was any data on the % of church income spent on the provision of charitable services but given its a not for profit we know that it doesn’t have investors and it cannot pay dividends. Let’s say the percentage is a super conservative 10%, that’s still $3 billion in charity spend, more than every other Australian charity combined and 6 times the potential tax savings. Its close to the entire AU govt spend in overseas aid now.

      Now if 61% of people in this country are religious, and they choose to pay money to a not for profit entity that cannot pay dividends and must given back to that same community (the same community that would get the taxes in return anyway through some other service that they may or may not want if the church were to pay taxes), then I wonder if perhaps that’s their choice.

      I’m a total athiest…or at the very least agnostic – but I can’t deny science, democratic fairness and economics. I have tried to find a study that shows psychologically negative effects of religion, but…they’re mostly positive. Time and time again people who are religious tend to self report as being happier than those who are not, and there is a definite difference in levels of suicide.

      Anyway regardless of all the info above, I definitely think there there is a need for perhaps a separate reporting stream to the government on this, so that it can be confirmed that the money is being spent effectively. Just because you’re a religious organisation should not mean that you escape tax scrutiny – ESPECIALLY when you have billions in assets and revenue.

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  5. Michelle,

    It’s not ridiculous. Democracy IS the least worst system of government we have going for us at the present. But as you mentioned in your article, the fact that the system hasn’t changed noticeably in over a hundred years is ridiculous. If the rest of society was that backwards, you wouldn’t be sharing your ‘ridiculous’ views with us, you’d be having tea parties and raising children!

    I also read your article re the lack of qualifications of ministers, which has ALWAYS been a particular bug bear of mine. It’s sheer lunacy to put people in positions of such responsibility without having understanding of the ministries under them.

    Another Dating site? Excellent. The more nets I cast, the more likely I am to find the right fish! Haha

    Identify theft and cyber-security is difficult, because it has always historically been a reactive field, and it always will be. No matter how much effort is put into security online, there will always be someone who manages to find a way around it. But it is heartening to know there are such systems in place.

    One of the problems with e-security is that we have been educated to choose passwords that are easy to break, as demonstrated by XKCD.
    http://xkcd.com/936/
    (The maths went above my head, but I have friends who assure me it works)
    That is a worrying concern

    I had to throw churches in there, because it affects all religions, catholic, Jew and Islam.
    I am a atheist who believes the church (usually the catholic church, but any church will do) Is never a force for good, irrespective of the good it does within a society.

    I would have to seriously question both the lack of studies that prove ‘psychologically negative effects of religion’ And the statement that ‘Time and time again people who are religious tend to self report as being happier than those who are not’

    A) Who has conducted and paid for the studies. Bias exists within science whether we like it or not.
    B) Who can say the people who are religious would be less or more ‘happy’ if they where brought up in an irreligious society? There is no actual way to determine this, because there is no way to remove the influences of religion from our society. i.e A muslim girl married at 12, and having suffered ritual genital mutilation may very well be happy. She knows no other way, and there would be no way to conduct a relevant psychological study to determine the truth..
    (I’m about to start rambling about perceptions of reality but that’s enough off topic conversation!)
    C) The sexual repression taught by churches is not healthy and I’m sure there must exist many sex health studies denoting the negative influences of religion. As a sort of linked example, the insistence of the catholic church that condoms must not be used has been directly responsible for the spread of AIDs throughout the African sub-continent.

    I would also have to question whether or not the church is a ‘not-for profit’ organisation. Whilst it may not have shareholders, and may not pay dividends, I can not in good conscience see it in the same light as a legitimate charity, like telethon for example.

    I can’t think of any one thing in my local community the church assists with(precluding the Salvos, but they’re a special case). I’d like to know where some of this 30 billion dollars is going But I can guarantee you will never get a straight answer out of any of the churches.

    Well, that was a long and lengthy response. I need to start putting links in my writing, the same as you do!

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    • Haha nicely said. Yeah look I don’t disagree with what you’re saying…its just whether the community is ready for it.

      It’s the whole…which fights to pick problem…if a leader picks it and they lose because the community is not ready for the change, they go down and can’t enact the other important changes as well.

      grrrr, its a hard one!

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  6. The worst thing is, your basic ideas make sense. Oh so much sense. The battle would be in educating the people. Probably every other political party would fight tooth and nail.
    The general disillusionment with the 2 party preferred system in Australian politics at the moment seems to indicate a desire for and an opportunity for, change.

    I wonder about the legalities of making the changes you talk about. Would it require a referendum, or could it be done by a current party?

    Either way, the first step is to create and get elected a party that uses political modernisation as its key platform.
    You’ve got 3 years, better get started! Haha!

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    • I think it would take LONG time – particularly to make any of those constitutional changes. It would be almost easier to create the policy voting on top of the current system first and then slowly make changes one at a time to the constitution as the system of voluntary mid-term voting became more powerful.

      Alternatively I guess if there was one party that had enough support, it could be done…but that would need A LOT of support – like maybe 50% of the primary vote and a wipe out of conservative parties in HoR and the Senate.

      haha…will you join me? I actually spent the night before the election doing a website for my ideal party and I brainstormed lots of names and came up with Australian Choice which I thought was catchy and not too offsensive in any way! http://www.australiachoice.org.au

      If anyone wants to run with it (since I don’t have time at the moment), let me know and I can give them access LOL

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  7. Hahaha You must have a terribly exciting social life, to dedicate your Friday night to creating an ideal political party.

    Australia choice would probably offend the pro-lifers though.
    Bring back the democrats!

    I once had a deep and abiding passion for politics, and even a desire to run for office one day, but Australia is not where I want to live anymore. There’s many more places I want to go once I have finished my studies. 🙂

    But I’ll support you in spirit, and kind words! (Except for when your policies disagree with mine!) Hahah

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    • Whoops that should have been http://www.australianchoice.org.au. Well I guess it has the “choice” of “pro-choice” in it. Would be interesting to know how many confused the two. People can be pretty idiotic when it comes to the names of parties. Will need to do some more market research before officially starting anything!

      I’ve never had a love of politics, I only became interested in it a couple months ago – before that I didn’t even know how preference votes worked or that the state and federal govt were separate. The more I find out, the more I realise we could do a much better job but people are too busy complaining and not doing anything or coming up with real options, hence why I thought I’d start a blog of my thoughts, and trying to look at things logically, or to investigate things people say but don’t really know for sure.

      Yeah I hear what you’re saying…there’s potentially more rewarding things to do with your life than politics, particularly given the ridiculously slow rate of change and progress (at least in terms of human years).

      I think I’d like to get involved at some stage later in life once I’ve finished being an entrepreneur, but likely playing behind the scenes.

      hehe oh that’s lovely of you – I’ll hold you to that! 😉

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  8. I wondered why the original link didn’t work!

    Pro-lifers aren’t the most intelligent bunch, sooooo…

    The beauty of the information age. Everyone can complain, and despite access to information being freer and easier than ever, no-one ever bothers to look for it (and I am guilty of that myself on occasion). Politics is led by ‘moral stances’ applied as an answer to everything, and rarely by actual facts.

    I honestly wonder how much of that is a result of the development of our knowledge.
    I.e we used to believe everything the man in the robe with the funny hat told us, and now we believe what the media/government tells us because we are conditioned, as a race, to believe authority figures. Mob psychology is interesting stuff.

    It’s clearly easier to be apathetic than make a difference.

    Oh, and what can I say, I’m just a lovely sort of guy… Just ask me! 😉

    Like

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