To OVERTHROW THE STATUS QUO, there must be enough folk standing for and elected to Parliament as Independents, but once elected, you say, what then?
If there is no clear majority and Independents hold the cross benches your power is almost unlimited. While our out-of-touch present leaders cling to the past, you can demolish the Party system. It has passed its use-by date. In Britain and the United States minority governments cannot rule because of obstructionism by other parties and Independents who oppose good policy for the sake of opposition. Canada and France are heading the same way. In Australia, by some miracle, we have a Party which won with such a huge majority that its leader rules his Party and the country as though by the divine right of kings. Of such leaders are Caesars made. When events are turbulent, people tend to look to a strong leader, but history turns in circles, like a wheel. We need to urgently put a spoke in it this time.
But what policies to introduce? Parliament will have to be re-jigged so that Independents can take on portfolios. Members of Parliament who have a passion for or expertise in a particular cause could nominate for that portfolio. If there is more than one candidate for the position there will have to be a vote or a gentlemen’s agreement.
Nne of our present politicians started out as experts. You learn on the job. Public servant advisers are available to help new M.P.s navigate the tricky business of protocol. Make sure, however, that they do not advise you on policy. Public servants dressed in a little brief authority can cause much damage. You will, of course, have conservation and the environment as your major themes, but there are a myriad causes allied to conservation and the environment: jobs, roads and transport of all kinds, retail, even banking, to name a few. And you will have to deal collectively with other issues.
Superannuation, for instance, is an issue in which all employed persons would be interested. It is used to invest in government and non-government projects but my personal opinion is that compulsory super-annuation is a government scheme to avoid welfare payments to deserving citizens at the end of their working lives, while politicians take good care of their retirement. I believe it would be cheaper in the long run, and more equitable, if all people were automatically granted a pension on reaching a certain age. But you might have an opposing opinion and so might your electorate.
The strategy is to listen to your electorate. Be honest. If you find that your own views are totally opposed to those of the majority of people you listen to in your electorate, perhaps you shouldn’t stand……unlike present party politicians who, if one electorate doesn’t agree with them, move to another electorate that will.
A pivotal position which will have to be re-jigged is that of Speaker of the House. At present the Party in the majority appoints the Speaker, but if there is no clear majority, perhaps the Speaker could be elected by all the Members of Parliament. An even more interesting development is that in a situation where there is no majority, or a majority of Independents there can be no Prime Minister, no vying for power. The Speaker will be the one who controls the House, though he is limited in legislative power as he has only a casting vote. That will bring an end once and for all to the recent unhealthy cult of personality, to mud-slinging and character assassination, to speculations by the media, and the situation where leaders are too busy watching their backs to govern, or worse, try to silence the media and cohorts so that there is no debate. You will rule by consensus, arrived at after civilised and intelligent discussion.