Q&A on the Magna Carta


On Monday 15th June 2015, ABCs Q&A celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, a document mythically believed to have been forced on King John of England at Runnymede, to protect the personal liberties of the individual against those in authority, particularly the monarch.  It remains an important symbol of liberty, such that even discussions on the matter were often suppressed by monarchs such as James the Sixth (and First) and Charles the First, who claimed the divine right of kings.

Hopefully Monday’s discussion whose panel includes Bronwyn Bishop (Speaker of the House of Reps), Luca Belgiorno-Nettis (founder of The newDemocracy Foundation), Noel Pearson (Chairman of the Cape York Partnership), Gillian Triggs (Australian Human Rights Commissioner) and Bret Walker (Magna Carta committee), will be able to shine a light on where our democracy has gone off the rails, and how we might recover it.  Given that long-standing parliamentary traditions, such as honouring the confidentiality of cabinet meetings, and the impartiality of the Speaker (traditionally not attending party room meetings), it will be interesting to see how much those in power will be willing to allow a greater involvement from the wider community other than the three yearly box ticking exercise which is the electorates almost sole involvement with the democratic process.

I’m not holding my breath.

The work being carried out by The newDemocracy Foundation is very interesting, although currently long on theory and short on delivery.   Any improvements to the current system will only be possible if an appropriate transition plan can be determined, hence our approach is based on a gradual change based on addressing those same key issues highlighted in this excellent article – it is well worth a read.


About Steve Laing

Political observer, free thinker and problem solver, Steve contends that the current democratic processes have neither kept up to date with globalisation nor modern business practices, resulting in increasing dissatisfaction with modern politics. However, new technology could be used to not only reconfigure our system, but give the electorate even greater representation than was previously the case. For more background information on Steve, please check his LinkedIn profile.

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