Lincoln democracy

Tired of politics? You aren’t the only one. We put a cross in a box every few years, and sit back and watch, hoping that this government will do things better than the last lot. And if they don’t, if they ignore the promises they made before the election, then what?  Then we wait till the next box ticking exercise, sit back and watch again.  And that is our involvement in democracy. Sure, we read the newspapers and watch the television, but apart from reacting to opinion polls, our politicians largely just ignore what we want.  You sign up for a job lot, and that is what you get.

Like it or not, the decisions made by our political classes can have a significant impact. If you are concerned about climate change, the cost of university education, or the price of housing, perhaps you are worried about immigration, or multiculturalism, or that Australia isn’t what it used to be.  Politics dictates that.  The cost of housing, food, medicines. How you will survive when you’ve retired.

But given the often significant impact that politics has on our lives, and those of our families and friends, shouldn’t we get the chance to make a bit more of an input?  Are you happy to let someone who has perhaps never had a job in their lives outside politics, tell you how you need to be living yours?  That a lawyer is qualified to run the economy?   Or are you happy to accept that the democracy in which we live is no longer government of the people, by the people, for the people?

Make Our Voice Heard is a site recommending ways that our democratic processes can be evolved so that we, the people, have more opportunity to take a greater control of our world, our society, particularly in the new global economy where faceless corporations are becoming increasingly powerful, making decisions based predominantly about profit rather than about people and the planet we live on. To be able to elect representatives who we feel are more representative of our needs and wishes, rather than that of influences that aren’t always obvious. Indeed, to be able to be directly responsible for some of the decisions critical to the country, to be actively involved in those discussions, and perhaps even the endorsement, or otherwise, of specific pieces of legislation.

Democracy literally means power belongs to the people.  And with the advent of new technology and mass communication via the internet, there is absolutely no reason why the people can’t reclaim more of that power, to evolve to a new level.  The absolute key to this requires a move away from political parties.  These bodies have a debilitating effect on policy and debate, promote vested interests (usually of party donors), and spend more time and energy on trying to outdo each other, than on helping solve the nations problems.  If you can bear to listen to a session of Question Time, in either the lower or upper house, you will see exactly what I mean.  And it is getting worse.  Governments increasingly seem to govern for themselves, and less for the people, taking us for granted except when it gets near to election time, when they pull out all stops to ingratiate themselves, and denigrate their opponents.

However with taking that power back requires responsibility.  So we also need  to ensure that mechanisms exist so this power is used appropriately. With wisdom, intelligence, foresight and appropriate consideration. These concepts must be fundamental – they are not impossible to implement, and it certainly has to be better than the mess we have now.

Too much of modern government is not about policy, but about “politics”, and the overall process suffers significantly because of it.  Great ideas are discounted and stupid ones are legislated.  The processes of government have never been so abused and gamed as they are at present.  And whilst some people are angry and concerned, a significant number are increasingly apathetic.  This needs to change.

Where a citizenry is engaged in the processes of government it is not only enthused and energised, it is capable of changing the world. The time to start to take back our rights is now.  But it needs your help.


 

This site contains posts divided into categories.  The first category is intended to become a freely available ebook.  It will explore why change is required, some adaptations to the current model which should make significant difference, and finally how that change can begin to be implemented.  Of course, once the process begins, who knows where eventually might lead.  But it has to start somewhere, and I’m suggesting small steps, not revolution!  Chapter 0 is the table of contents with links to every chapter/post that has been published so far, and an idea of those currently in planning.  Now don’t expect that the quality of these posts is going to be polished, because at this point it won’t be!  My first priority is simply to get the ideas down first, so there may be some juggling thereafter!

A second category is entitled News which will highlight articles or events which reinforce points made in the book chapters.  Some of these will be about articles or events in the media, others may be about other sites or reference materials.

And a third category will be Campaign.  My intention is not just to talk the talk, but to walk the walk.  I am putting it out there that I will stand, in some capacity (to be determined) at the next WA election.  Once I’ve worked out how it all works (and I’ll share what I learn here), I’ll be pushing to do what all the pollies suggest – step up to the plate. Will it be easy?  I doubt it.  If this starts to take off and gain some momentum, I’m expecting significant push back – the vested interests won’t like it one bit.  In the meantime, I’ve decided to stand as a councillor in our local elections, as much to learn about the processes, and how much influence one might be able to exert without the usual Party back-up.

 

One thing that is critical to change is involvement.  It doesn’t have to be much, but there has to be some.  Contributing to discussions, sharing posts, encouraging people to check the site out. Sing up to our Facebook page, or Twitter feeds (both called “anewdemocracy” so search, or sign up to follow on one of the icons in the header).   For people power to work, you have to do.  Fortunately the internet makes some of that doing an awful lot easier, but it still needs to happen.  One idea that will be coming out will be an easy mechanism to build some community spirit and engagement.  Plus if you’ve got ideas, suggest edits, or have a reference/article/citation that is worth sharing, please do so, either here, or on Facebook or Twitter.  I fully expect that the posts will adapt and hopefully improve from your involvement!

Finally, I have to work out whether I’m going to require some funding to convert this from essentially a blog site, to an ebook.  And I’m already thinking that the services of a good editor won’t go amiss! So, at some point, I will be crowdfunding for some financial assistance – you have been warned in advance!