Why Independents Matter
Independent voices bring diversity of thought, perspective and most importantly ACCOUNTABILITY to Governments.
Independent candidates who run and are elected into the Senate or House of Representatives have the power, right and often the inclination to independently decide whether to support, reject, debate legislation or policy positions.
If a government attempts to rush through poorly formed policy /legislation, they must negotiate with all who are eligible to vote, thus negotiate with the independents in order to gain majority support for the bill. Thus, the more independents with the power to vote in parliament will make it harder to pass poorly formed bills in Parliament. This shoulda greater layer of accountability and acts like a democratic filtration system. Conversely, it will make passing of ALL legislation more difficult, which could negatively impact the productivity of Parliament. The question Australians need to ask is — could it get any worse than it already is?
Theoretically, independents have the power and right to regularly poll their electorate, and ask them directly about their thoughts on major policy decisions. Technically there is nothing preventing the “will of the people” to be the basis for all decisions made by an Independent, because an independent representative is not compromised by a need to “toe a party line” or suffer undemocratic interventions like cabinet solidarity*.
So how can I make sure we elect more Independent Voices into Parliament this election?
On your ballot sheet make sure you place the Independents & Minor Parties you like, first.
If you would like more Independent voices in Government, then you MUST place the Micro/Minor parties and Independents before your preferred major parties. If voters preference an Independent BEHIND a major party, they will never get the opportunity to keep either major party in line, simply because the numbers don’t work that way. They have to be voted before a major party to have any hope of being elected.
Below is a terrific explainer by Patrick Alexander
Technically if you have read through the summary of the ways the current Government has fucked us, and you are happy to continue. Then #LibsLast doesn’t apply to you. The main takeaway here is the need to vote the majority party you dislike the most, last. Once you have done that, feel free to follow them by the micro parties you dislike, then somewhere in the middle the majority party you want to have the majority of Government, making sure the Independents and Micro Parties who pledge to represent YOUR voice, first.
What about Labor?
What most Australian voters don’t realise is that our electoral system has been gamed so that the major parties will win power, even if the majority of the country preferences them second last. Seriously.
So assuming you were keen for a Labor Government, but you wanted an additional layer of accountability by having a handful of terrific Independent candidates of Minor/Micro party voices there for them to negotiate policy with, you can achieve that simply by making the vote preference below;
It might seem crazy but if the majority of Australians submitted the above ballot, it would be a Labor victory. However if you placed Labor first, there would be no way for Independent voices Anne or Gary, the Micro Party you like or the Greens to benefit in anyway from that vote. So long as you know that, you are almost good to go!
Do your Research
The last thing we must hammer home before May, is to do your homework. On this site we have tried to make it as easy as possible to do that in the shortest amount of time possible.
I get it. For many of you politics is as boring as bat shit, but whether you like it or not, the people we vote into power in May, are the very same people who will be shaping our futures.
- Be sure to check out all the Independent Voices (most are listed on this site)
- Be sure to look into some of the issues facing our country both on this site and on sites like The Conversation
- If you have Twitter, be sure to follow the #auspol hashtag, which provides a wealth of information & a cool, engaged community
and stay awesome!