Chapter 11:      “NEW LEADERSHIP” VIA THE MEDIUM OF SPECIFIC VOTES OF THE PEOPLE ONLINE.


 

MOTION: That the Rudd Government immediately initiate a referendum seeking to change the Federal Constitution during the current term of government, (a) to provide mechanisms for conducting referenda in a secure environment “online” and (b) incorporating a mechanism for including a paper trail for purposes of dispute settlement should the need arise.

Rationale:

The traditional major party arguments against the frequent use of referenda to settle political disputes over controversial legislation or uncertain mandates or executive decisions has often been that (a) the inconvenience of a call up to vote is a major disincentive to the public and (b) the cost would be prohibitive. The latter has usually accounted for occasional referenda on the major parties’ terms being held concurrently with a general election, State or Federal.

Such arguments are no longer valid. If the Opposition of the day were actually doing its job of “Holding the Government to account” as claimed but failing with such consistency as to be nauseating in the “Robust Democracy” context, then they would be demanding referenda rather than resorting to sound and fury amounting to failure.

If OZ Media were to do its job as a defender of the public good, then they would also be demanding referenda to establish mandate certainty, but they don’t.

In effect the supposedly democratic process has been corrupted badly in the absence of the people actually having a specific vote on how the country should be run. Rectification can only come from the frequent use of referenda. To that end, it would be a relatively simple matter to establish mechanisms for conducting referenda online to establish a more inclusive, more “Direct Democracy” than the simplistic and corrupted version of supposed democracy derived from “One Vote, One Value” at an election and denies specific voter input between elections.

The following article from The Age newspaper refers to Switzerland’s use of online referenda:

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/09/27/1096137135511.html#top

The consideration that Online polling has been tried before in US primary elections and in British local tax votes” should not be an excuse to deny the utilisation of online referenda  to enhance the prospect of actual democratic outcomes in Australia, especially in relation to (a) all mooted wars and (b) major controversial legislation.

 

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