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The Forum > Article Comments > Public governance, parliament and politics the last frontier for innovation and reform? > Comments

Public governance, parliament and politics the last frontier for innovation and reform? : Comments

By Vern Hughes, published 9/4/2013

For more than a century, Australian political parties of both Right and Left have presided over a steady shift in power from individual citizens towards large corporate and state institutions.

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One finds the article and the argument both compelling and illuminating!
While all that's wrong with today's politics and parliaments, was largely identified, few solutions were tendered.
One such solution could be, as simple as always placing the incumbent last on the ballot paper; and instead, give first spot to an independent, without any political affiliation or control.
This simple device would clean the current crop of "corporate servants" out of parliament!
Pre-selection, ought to be handed back to the people!
We the people ought to decide, which party candidates actually stand, regardless of their current or previous affiliation.
If we just keep putting the incumbent last on the ballot paper, we would eventually force the power brokers to concede this right.
Moreover, we would loosen the grip of corporate moguls on political parties, or individuals within said organisations!
We do need a funding mechanism to allow independent thinkers to nominate, given the cost impositions being applied by the major parties, with arguably, the express purpose of keeping the private individual from challenging, the current political status quo.
Fortunately, Labour is looking at political annihilation, and may be far more amenable to reform and internal democratisation; and returning power to the people, as their only remaining basic survival mechanism!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 10:35:06 AM
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Footnote: Reganism, Thatcherism has created most of what is wrong with the world today. Greed is good individualism, extreme capitalism. The GFC, Ponzi schemes, corporate cowboys, Enron etc, trillions in worthless derivatives fouling or swamping many formerly robust economies!
We humans recorded our finest moments, our finest hours, when we looked out or cared for one another.
We function at our very best, as tribes or caring cooperatives.
We need to finally see through all the smoke and mirrors and reject the extreme capitalist model, or the individualism, that is both foreign to our basic nature and has placed us where we are today.
We need to march to the beat of a different drum, one like the cooperative model that rescued a war-torn and basically bankrupt Japan, and turned it into the second most powerful economy, with unparalleled common wealth and unprecedented standards of living.
Then all but destroyed it, by adopting the alien and already thoroughly disgraced Reganism-Thatcherism individualism, [the Emperor's new clothes,]and the corporate greed that so marks it?
We need to finally reject this extremely destructive economic model, with its downward spiral towards the lowest common denominator; and instead, opt for a far more cooperative model or cooperative capitalism!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 11:31:48 AM
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Some interesting and useful ideas, together with some totally unnecessary stuff about jury systems.

However, practically every proposal - especially the ones that relate to the massive financial featherbedding presently enjoyed by our elected representatives - would never reach a vote, because... well, it's obvious, really. Why would any sane person vote to divest themselves of the obscene perks of office they presently enjoy, and be forced to live like the rest of us?

We need to reach point where those who vote on such matters have been elected to do precisely that.

How can this be achieved?

It's not rocket science, and can be done very quickly. It needs to be a single, simple concept that is so blatantly the right thing to do, that cannot logically be set aside. One that forces the parliamentarians to focus closely upon those issues for which we, the citizenry, have provided a mandate.

We should simply turn each candidate's election manifesto into a legal document.

A contract that is required to be personally signed by the candidate, and published an appropriate number of days - say, thirty - before the election date.

This binding agreement would give the candidate permission to vote in parliament only on those issues he/she has declared on the contract, strictly in line with the commitment made. If they state that they will vote against gay marriage, this is the only vote that will be valid at division time. If they say that they will vote against an increase in GST, or for a reduction in concessionary tax rates for superannuation, they will be required to honour those commitments, or be relieved of their parliamentary duties and privileges.

After a reasonable time - say, two terms - as the government gets used to being bound by their election promises, we would see candidates across the country putting themselves forward, who actively promote the key changes advocated by Mr Hughes.

They would win by a landslide, everywhere they stood.

Fait accompli.
Posted by Pericles, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 1:05:40 PM
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Could that personally signed election manifesto be something like a contract detailing Failure Standards? As in:

"Hacker: I'm going to get a grip on them. I have a plan.

Humphrey: You have a plan?

Hacker: Yes. I'm going to insist that any local official who puts up a plan costing more than... ...say... 10,000 must accompany it with failure standards.

Humphrey: With what?!

Hacker: With a statement saying he will have failed if his project does not achieve certain... pre-set results... or exceeds... fixed time or staff or budget limits.

Humphrey: Where did you get the idea for this dangerous nonsense?

{later}

Hacker: What's the fuss about? I'm only proposing failure standards for local government, not Whitehall. Though come to think of it...

Humphrey: If you insist on interfering in local government, may I make a suggestion that could prove a vote winner?

Hacker: Humphrey, I want to hear no more about... Vote winner?"

This will work provided no-one causes a distraction and mentions fallout shelters...
Posted by WmTrevor, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 4:48:31 PM
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Pericles; perhaps if all parliamentary terms were limited to two terms, we the people could eventually clean out the dross?
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 5:53:56 PM
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Your idea of putting incumbents last is the only thing that might work, Rhrosty. It is hard to see what else could do it, other than violent revolution.

Our real problem is that our political and economic systems are very good at bringing sociopaths to the top. The politicians are also dependent on "donations" for re-election. Globalist ideology is particularly toxic in this context, because it encourages the folk at the top to see themselves as citizens of the world and above patriotism, so that it is OK to loot Australia rather than govern it wisely for the future. That is why they are letting the mining industry threaten good agricultural land, why we rank at the bottom of the developed world for environmental management, and why billions of dollars are splashed in electoral bribes to the well-off, while mentally ill people are living on the streets and poor people are suffering agonies from rotting teeth.

Unlike the Swiss, we are not allowed to rein them in with citizen initiated referenda, and they are exempt from the Trade Practices Act, so cannot be called to account if they lie to us or break promises that they never intended to keep. When election time comes, the major parties rely on our willingness to vote for the lesser evil or for whoever will put a few more dollars in our pockets. Their friends control most of the media after all.
Posted by Divergence, Wednesday, 10 April 2013 9:25:39 PM
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