Leading up to the Federal Election
The Senate 'Reforms' are an attack on our democracy.
It's amazing how the word 'reform' can be just another weasel-word which ends up meaning anything but... For example- 'Sweeping Reform Knocks on Public Housing Door.' ? The destruction of public housing as we know it, is more like it ...
One of the frustrating difficulties we face, campaigning to 'Save Public Housing', is that if Liberal, Labor and the Greens all agree on a course of action - whether overtly or covertly - then something as outrageous as giving away public housing via massive stock transfers - can be secretly decided on, initiated and executed without any public knowledge or debate.
It takes patience and persistence to find out exactly what is going on - as real intentions and plans are often tucked away and buried in documents or written in deliberately ambiguous language...
Politicians will very rarely go against the party line regardless of their personal beliefs about an issue- so we end up with far too many YES men and women - or else they refuse to be publicly drawn on the matter. Subsequently there are hardly any independent voices to challenge the status quo.
If that isn't a flaw in the system I don't know what is...
A very nice politician - and Friends of Public Housing is not party political - confided in us, that although he understands our position and is sympathetic to our cause, if he were to openly say so - he would be 'crucified by his party'. So much for Freedom of Speech and democratic debate..
The privatisation of public housing is a class issue - and many politicians, coming from the middle and upper classes, simply do not understand the importance of hanging onto public housing. They just don't get it.
But back to the Senate 'Reforms'..
We need politicians like John Madigan, Jacquie Lambie and Ricky Muir to bring a fresh and different perspective to parliament, politicians who won't just rubber-stamp stuff, and who will speak out when necessary.
Voters need a lot more choice when we go to vote... A duopoly- with the Greens holding the balance of power? No thanks. It is an unhealthy state of affairs - far removed from true democracy.
THE SENATE REFORMS ARE A 'STITCH-UP'
Sometime in the future I predict there will also be an attempt to abolish compulsory voting - which I very much believe in- because it suits their interests to do so - playing on the apathy - or disenfranchisement - of too many people, and thereby shoring up more power and control for themselves.
Democracy requires all of us to get involved - we can't really complain later if we don't participate where and when we can.
Finally I really like the refreshing way the following arguments are presented in plain English - I'm sick of how some politicians try to make out that the average person could not possibly understand the complexities of their arguments - nonsense - good old common sense takes you a very long way- and issues should be explained simply and clearly so that they are understood.
The following links strongly make the case against the senate 'reforms'.
In response to the argument that these changes do increase democratic choice, well it might seem that way on the surface. The changes mean we have at least 6 choices above the line when voting for the Senate.
But the real-world outcome is that the micro-parties and independents will find it even harder now to be elected, than under the old system whereby they harvested preferences just like the major parties do all the time... Stephen Maine says it's 'well nigh impossible'
So how can these changes be seen as democratic? They will lead to a closed shop.
Previous voting patterns show that the public is becoming very disillusioned with the main parties and want independent voices in the Senate to ' keep them honest'.
Glenn Druery - the media calls him 'the preference whisperer'
I've included this clip which tries to reassure us that 'there's nothing to worry about- no cause for alarm'
Followed by this informative clip which says 'Yes there is !! "
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/15/everything-you-dont-understand-about-senate-voting-reform-and-are-afraid-to-admit - Van Badham
http://www.crikey.com.au/2016/02/25/mayne-senate-voting-reform-will-further-shaft-independent-candidates/ - Stephen Maine - how the system is stacked against independents