The politics of Australia takes place within the framework of a federal constitutional parliamentary democracy.Moreover, since federation, we, as everyday Australians, have been fortunate to have inhaled, lived, a democratic political system, which, generally, has not only tolerated political disagreement, debate and difference of opinion, but which, culturally, has allowed for the applause and validation of dissent. To a politically significant extent, we have savored the fruits of freedom and absence of censure.
However, increasingly over recent years, many ordinary Australians have felt disappointed with, and alienated from, our political system. Many have felt unease with our political framework, for its failure to provide Australians with a voice, to guarantee that Australians are heard and listened to, to ensure that the views of Australians are respected, responded to and acted on.
In recent times, there has been widespread public disengagement from our political system.
Many Australians have demonstrated or voiced unhappy resignation in relation to our system, or directed vitriol towards our political representatives and parliamentarians because of the apparent cracks in it.
We, the Australian Independents, seek to reverse the above-mentioned trend.
We believe that by actively encouraging community involvement and participation in policy decision making, ensuring elected political representatives and politicians consistently and unapologetically represent their divisions/wards/electorates and eradicating politically driven personal attacks and hate speech from public life, Australians will ultimately acknowledge, and be drawn to, the benefits of reengaging with our Australian political system.
We believe that:1. All political representatives and parliamentarians should at all times attempt to represent their electorates.*
2. All political representatives and parliamentarians should at all times demonstrate the capacity to shelve their own beliefs, views and policy priorities in order to accurately represent the wishes of their divisions/wards/electorates.
3. Any political representative or parliamentarian who cannot for any reason shelve their own beliefs, views or policy priorities in order to accurately represent the wishes, desires and policy directives of their division/ward/electorate, should resign or at least offer their resignation to their division/ward/electorate, where feasible.
4. Political representatives and parliamentarians are not primarily voted in to do what they perceive as being ‘right’ for their division/ward/electorate or the nation; they are primarily voted in by their constituents to do what their constituents perceive as being ‘right’.
5. All political representatives and parliamentarians should actively communicate with and seek feed-back from their divisions/wards/electorates in order to stay ‘in touch’ with community needs, wants and expectations.
6. All political representatives and parliamentarians should hold regular community policy meetings and forums and actively seek feed-back from their constituents in order to stay up to date with the policy priorities of their divisions/wards/electorates.
7. It is better to accept that the ‘majority’ will sometimes get it ‘wrong’ than it is to eat away at or allow for the abolition of democracy.
8. Democracy and guaranteeing a genuinely democratic political system is more important than always getting it ‘right’.
9. The ‘majority’ has more chance of developing successful policies and getting it ‘right’ than any individual political representative or parliamentarian who seeks to represent their own interests or the interests of a specific political ‘party’.
10. The Australian electorate has a democratic right to shape public policies, the aims of which are to enhance the economic, social, cultural and environmental welfare of Australia.
11. There are no ethically acceptable defenses for politically driven public personal attacks, assaults on character, slanderous comments or bullying from any political representative, parliamentarian or member of any political party towards another.
12. The Australian electorate expects political representatives and parliamentarians to refrain from engaging in personal attacks and ‘put downs’ and demands renewed focus on policy issues and priorities.
*All political representatives and parliamentarians are expected to uphold international human rights and humanitarian law.