There's never been a more important time for a political force committed to finding common ground; a party that is willing to engage all sides of the political spectrum, to evaluate all ideas against the evidence, and to concepts of collaboration and cooperation so that this country can move forward - together.
NOT MIDDLE GROUND.
If we can agree on the destination - an Australia that is economically responsible, environmentally sustainable and compassionate and community-focused - then let's talk to one another, and plot the course together.
Everyone who has knowledge to share is invited to contribute. Our leadership team also wants to hear from those who are not members, but who have important information to share - community groups, individuals and even other political parties. Each and every member is actively invited to have a say in shaping policies.
We actively look for evidence to guide decision-making, whether that be expert research or first hand lived experience. But most importantly, policies should always be guided by the people for whom the policy is going to affect the most.
A good idea is a good idea, regardless of which ‘party colours’ it is wearing (or not wearing). The Australian Democrats are committed to supporting good ideas, no matter where they come from.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLESThe world is complex. Decision-making is complicated and multilayered.
No one party has a complete policy on every element of life; much of decision-making is reactive to challenges that emerge as the world changes, and some of these cannot be predicted.
The Australian Democrats are guided by principles that can be applied to any situation or draft legislation.
These guide our decision-making and encapsulate who we are, our goals and values, and the type of community
we strive to be, and build.
These principles are:
1. To act honestly and ethically, being genuinely accountable and acting in the best interests of the public
2. To determine positions and act according to evidence, merit and best practice, not partisan ideology nor vested interest
3. To uphold principles of freedom, self-determination, personal responsibility, democracy, fairness and human rights
4. To uphold principles of equal opportunity, equal access to work, education, health, housing and other services
5. To foster a culture of stewardship, acting proactively for future generations, and leaving our country better than we found it
6. To accept the scientific method as the best tool to understand the world around us, particularly in the preservation of our climate and environment
7. To preserve Australia’s natural resources and agricultural capacity
8. To recognise and support the contribution that rural and regional communities make to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the nation
9. To recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures and support their spiritual and physical connection to country
10. To be inclusive and respect diversity of opinion, religion, culture, ethnicity, race, ability, age, sexuality and gender without discrimination or prejudice
11. To expect and pursue excellence and efficiency in the delivery of government services at all levels
12. To foster a sustainable economy, and to be open to the need for Government intervention where markets fail
13. To observe the separation of powers, the independence of the parliament, the executive of government and the judiciary and to maintain clear separation of church and state
14. To value the insights and experience of members, and engage with them democratically in Party decision-making
15. To adhere to honest, just, respectful and collaborative behaviour both within, and when representing, the Party