As citizens, we know that trustworthiness and clear choices underpin a healthy democracy and this includes a productive life, flourishing families, productive businesses and viable economies, however, it seems that Canberra has lost our trust and robbed us of honest, workable choices to create a sustainable future for all.
There is a growing dissatisfaction in the Australian community with the current state of our politics and politicians.
Many of us do not feel our interests are being represented at all in Canberra. This is not just a feeling, the evidence shows Australia is going backwards when it comes to representative democracy with:
- public satisfaction with the way our democracy is working having crashed over the past decade - from 86% to 41%.
- Australia’s status as an open transparent democracy was downgraded from ''open'' to ''narrowed'' in 2019 by CIVICUS
- And while for almost 20 years, Australia ranked in the top 10 least corrupt countries, however, by 2018, we'd fallen 8 points to 13.
This raises serious questions about the ethical underpinnings and intentions of political parties, politicians and institutions in this country.
This is why Voices of Goldstein (VOG) started back in late 2020. VOG emerged off the back of a group of concerned Goldstein citizens from across the community, business and political spectrum who got together and formed the IndGo group to see if we could get an Independent candidate to run in the electorate of Goldstein.
The initial unifying force was the lack of climate action, especially at a Federal level, however this force has turned into more than that.
We’ve been conducting many Kitchen Table Conversations (KTC) across our community since January 2021 and the major concerns being raised include:
- The undue influence of political donors, lobbyists and industry bodies influencing and corrupting our political system leading party politicians to vote in favour of their vested interests rather than for their constituents.
- The dramatic rise in corruption with the current federal government throwing a veil of secrecy over deals and decisions that keeps us in the dark
- Mainstream media being too concentrated, distracting and misleading us with biased reporting and propaganda, and;
- And the lack of workable policies and accountability for major issues such as the climate crisis, growing poverty and inequality, and misogyny and racism
The KTCs also showed an overwhelming support for an Independent Candidate for Goldstein especially because our current federal representative has a 100% track record of voting with his party and not for his Goldstein constituents.
From here we have been inspired to follow the path set by the likes of Voices of Indi who elected Cathy McGowan and then Helen Haines as their Independent federal representatives and Voices of Warringah who ousted Tony Abbott and elected of Zali Steggell.
At last count there are 35 Voices of communities around the country calling their elected representatives to account and demanding better representative democracy.
While things may look dire, all is not lost.
As Covid has demonstrated, we do have the knowhow, capability and capacity to address these major concerns when there's a will. And while we feel the political system at present lacks that will to act on the big issues of our time, we are not standing still.
Instead, Voices of Goldstein is helping its citizens have their voices heard, so we can play an active and constructive role in the way we are represented in Canberra now and into the future.
Ways you can participate with VOG:
Nominate a Candidate - Help us find and elect an Independent representative who has ours and the nation's interests at heart.
Come and join our Democracy Walks
Buy a t-shirt or tote bag
Sign up to volunteer
Come to our community events
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