Allan Takes Aim Blog

Politics in two parts

Posted on: 27 July 2010

First published The Chronicle, Canberra, Tuesday July 27 

This is the first of four, two-part columns in which each candidate will get approximately the same space to air their views as to why we should elect them. Part two will be an opinion piece.

Part 1. Darren Churchill – Senate Candidate for the Australian Democrats

As a Democrat Senator and voice for the ACT and Australia I will negotiate on the cross benches to ensure fair legislation The Democrats are not the “Party of No”. Put simply, I will work to get better policy outcomes for all. Take immigration. Neither Abbott nor Gillard are improving policy in terms of fairness, number of migrants, nor cost efficiency. Instead, to satisfy a narrow interest group they are spending time and dollars showing their toughness on a small number of boat people in expensive offshore prison facilities.

I will to try and continue the thirty years of success the Australian Democrats have had in improving policy. For example: our amendments to the Reith Industrial Relations legislation, Howard’s GST legislation and environmental legislation ranging from the Franklin River to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage forests in North Queensland, show why we are needed.

For example, in policies that specifically benefit Canberra: I will support construction of a Very Fast Train system linking Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne; support low carbon energy sources for a clean reliable sustainable energy future; support initiatives that give Australia alternative exports to agriculture and mining; and support increased investment in high tech export products from the ANU, the CSIRO and local manufacturers.

Visit Darren’s website for further details:

Part 2. Opinion piece. Not only does Churchill’s name invoke the image of a fighting politician it also brings to mind what the famous Canadian Presbyterian Minister Walter Bryden, father of the famous and later Canadian Social Democrat of the same name, said of his Church: it may be dead but it won’t lie down.

However, it must be said that, as a party, the Australian Democrats faces an uphill battle to regain the political presence it once had among voters. It commanded this presence because in a sense it represented what many Australians like to think about themselves, that they are a people not afraid to speak up against the parties that dominate Australian politics and ambitious to impose a democracy fashioned by ideas created by party leadership groups.                

However, as the Democrats found, trying to give everybody in the party the same opportunity to say their piece proved to be an administrative mountain even more difficult to climb than Everest. Theoretically, the tools existed to conquer the mountain and as technology improved, so too did the range of tools. Unfortunately, and sadly for the Democrats, unlike the major parties, they were short of people capable of using the tools to the greatest advantage.

Increasingly in today’s world, to be able to compete effectively it is becoming essential to make decisions quickly. Indeed the adage “He who hesitates is lost” has become the mantra to be observed, particularly in politics, because competitors will leave you behind if you take too long to get to the policy starting line.

Effectively this is what happened to the Democrats. And it happened because some members of the Democrats wanted a party without flaws, its decision making process became a marathon. Importantly however, people the Democrats hoped would join them who also expected decisions to be made quickly saw the marathon process as a lack of political skills.

At the same time the forces of reason within the Democrats who saw the process as a danger and battled to change it, lost the battle. As a result the Democrats lost their place in the political spectrum. Fortunately the forces of reason within the Democrats decided to fight on,

While my personal preference is that all parliaments need more Independent voices to counter the power driven agendas of the big parties, the fact that the Democrats seem determined to carry on gives me hope that in time other Independents will also be encouraged to carry on and in doing so will help Australia develop a democratic system that better represents “The People.”  On August 21, use your vote wisely.

The Chronicle for Canberra’s best community news. Published every Tuesday


1 Response to "Politics in two parts"

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Australian Democrats, Snez Kosanovic. Snez Kosanovic said: RT @AusDemocrats: Politics In Two Parts – […]

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