IT’S TIME PEOPLE CAME FIRST.
What a wonderful opportunity we have in this country – to be able to elect our leaders and decision-makers, and have our voices represented in Parliament.
So why is there such a disconnect between the public and the Parliament? Why do so many Australians feel disillusioned with politics, and feel like their vote doesn’t matter as ‘nothing changes anyway’?
We believe this is because there is more at play than just ‘one person, one vote’.
Vested interests buy political processes. Elections cost money and those with the most money, have greatest chance of winning the seats. Here are the questions we all need to be asking:
- How much money do corporations, lobby groups and wealthy individuals donate to parties? How does this affect policy-making?
- Why are there such big cash-splashes before elections? Are these well-thought out and well-planned, or are they intended to buy votes?
- Why are ‘safe seat’ communities neglected while electorates made up of swinging voters, get lots of attention and action from the big parties?
- Why do so many former MPs end up with cushy jobs or highly paid positions in diplomacy, corporations and lobby groups?
- Why do we have parties (and indeed a Parliament) that seems overly made up of one very narrow demographic, when in reality Australia is hugely diverse?
- Why is there such a distance between party stances and the recommendations made by respected organisations in the Science community, the Human Rights community, and other experts in their field? Who is really shaping the policies?
We would love to see widespread electoral reform to even the playing field, and stop the trend of big bucks buying elections and legislation. We’ve all seen Parliamentarians hobbled because they seem like they need to please the people who put them there. This is hobbling our Parliament and is one of the main reasons the Australian public feel so disillusioned.
Ironically, the only way laws get through is when there is majority approval in Parliament – and as the majority in Parliament have benefited from big bucks, electoral reform is a while away yet! But we are committed to showing, and demanding, another way.
So what does transparent politics look like in practice?
Our policy formation process is guided by:
- Maximum member input through online policy forums, polls and surveys
- Active seeking of the best evidence available, looking at best-practice that has worked elsewhere
- Acting on recommendations made by community groups and other respected bodies and organisations
- Being open to continuously learning, and being upfront when new evidence means we must change our mind.
Our leaders are voted in by our members. We actively encourage and support anyone and everyone who wants to get active, and instead of being an impediment, we know it is a strength for our team to be made up of diverse skills/job background, life experience, age, gender, faith/culture and ability – because this is the reality of Australia, and this is the inclusive community we want!
Our entire leadership team is made up of volunteers – no-one is financially profiting from their work with the party (though of course the work is rewarding, when it means we can make a difference!)
We do not have anywhere near the amount of money that the Majors and even some minor parties have. We primarily rely on Membership Fees and small donations. Should benefactors and big donors come our way, we commit to being open and honest about this, and not compromising on our principles of evidence-based policy that is in the best interests of our nation, now and in the future. Policy cannot and will not be bought in our Party.
We stand against ego, grand-standing and the bullying that has tragically become the earmark of Australian politics. A party may have charismatic personalities and leaders but ultimately, the party can only be sustained in the long term, by a strong team culture.
We promote communication, clear processes, collaboration and an approach to disagreement that is focused on finding a solution together.
We will not tear down each other, even when there is disagreement; neither will we tear down other political parties or personalities, or make misleading statements about them as a campaign tactic. Parliament can only work if we work together.
This is what Transparent Politics means to us. We would love to have you as part of the movement.