Australian politics is broken, torn between left and right, progressives and conservatives, career politicians and single-issue activists. Nothing is being fixed. We have reform-free governments, distrust of our institutions, paralysis in public debate, and widespread frustration amongst ordinary people.
The credibility of all our political parties – major and minor – has collapsed.
The 80% of us in the sensible centre of Australian life can no longer sit by and watch the mess. We have to find a way to reclaim our democracy and take charge of our country’s affairs.
We are calling for nominations for candidates for the House of Representative and the Senate for the federal election scheduled for 2021-22. It is vital that the career politicians who fill our parliaments be removed and replaced by people with track records in bringing people together to solve problems and fix things. Submit an Expression of Interest.
We have a Two-Year Plan – from July 2019 to July 2021 – to establish a mainstream centrist political movement to represent the 80% of us in the Sensible Centre of Australian life. You can read our plan here.
We need to bring Australians together across the traditional political spectrum. We think both right and left have failed to empower ordinary citizens and instead created a political and managerial class that puts its own interests before the community and the national interest.
Everywhere we look – in corporations, government departments, social media, NGOs and charities, public institutions, traditional media, unions and consulting firms – we see growing concentrations of market and state power. This is wrong. We think political & economic power should be dispersed as widely as possible and not concentrated in the hands of a few.
Our Two-Year Plan is designed so that a wide range of individuals, groups and parties may join at any point in this twenty-four month period and participate and test the authenticity and prospects of this initiative. We want you to judge these for yourself and reach your own conclusions.
The main features of our approach are:
1. We welcome diversity of opinion as a normal and natural feature of political life. We do not expect everyone to think the same.
2. We welcome people from across the traditional ‘left-right’, ‘progressive-conservative’ spectrum by emphasising:
a. empowerment of citizens and strengthening of civil society,
b. collaboration across social divisions and political backgrounds,
c. local initiatives and practical solutions to economic, social and environmental challenges, and
d. stronger personal and community relationships and responsibilities.
3. Candidates for office and elected representatives of our movement have an obligation to work collaboratively with colleagues, but retain a right to hold and exercise a conscience vote on any matter, and/or a right to vote in accordance with majority opinion in their constituency.
4. Candidates and elected representatives of our movement are not career politicians and therefore may serve for a maximum of three terms only in a lower house of parliament, and two terms only in an upper house.
The key components of our Plan are:
1. Participants in May 2021 will vote in their federal electorate in a Community Preselection of a federal candidate in the 2021-22 federal election.
This will follow a trial in March 2021 of our preselection process in the federal electorates of Robertson and Dobell on the NSW Central Coast.
2. Participants in June 2021 will vote in their state or territory in a Community Preselection of a lead Senate candidate in the 2021-22 federal election.
3. Members of Participating Political Parties may also participate in the preselection ballots (a participating political party is a registered federal or state party that participates in the community preselection process, and agrees to support the preselected candidates in the federal election).
To participate in these ballots, a small membership fee is payable. There are two categories:
Full Members – $25 fee, full voting rights, eligible to be candidates, FEA Convenors and Directors
Community Preselectors – $10 fee, eligible to vote in Community Preselections
All membership fees paid in this two-year period are valid until July 2021.
Members of The Sensible Centre may be people who have never been involved in politics before, as well as seasoned campaigners. We don’t mind if you are a member of another political party, so long as you tell us about it when you join up.
Members come together in each federal electorate (there are 150 across Australia) in a Federal Electorate Assembly to:
- connect online;
- organise initiatives as they see fit (discussions, policy forums, self-education);
- support a candidate in their federal, state or local electorate.
The Sensible Centre is an initiative of Civil Society Australia, a peak body of community groups and social initiatives independent of government and the commercial world.
There is no time to waste. Join up today – this is urgent!
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