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.
What has gone wrong in Australia?
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, the media, NGOs and charities, universities, trade unions, schools and hospitals, consulting firms – we see a small section of society running the country into the ground. Ordinary people have been disregarded and disempowered, and made second-class citizens in our own country.
This is just as true for small business people as it is for low and middle-income workers, for suburban families and country folk, for people with traditionally ‘conservative’ views as well as people who’ve traditionally thought of themselves as ‘radicals’. All of us have watched a growing concentration of power in the hands of fewer and fewer people, in Big Government and Big Business. We think political and economic power should be dispersed as widely as possible and not concentrated in the hands of a few.
How will we change this?
1. We need to break-up the concentration of economic and social power by winding back both states and markets (Big Government and Big Business) and dispersing power to civil society (families, communities, associations, small businesses, clubs and mutuals).
2. We need to break-up the concentration of political power by conducting Community Preselections in every electorate to enable voters to select their own representative to send to Parliament, removing the gate-keeping role played by political parties and their networks of patronage.
Become a Member
We are a non-party movement. We have two categories of membership:
Full Members – $25 fee, full voting rights, eligible to be candidates, Electorate Convenors, and Directors of Divisions
Community Preselectors – $10 fee, eligible to vote in Community Preselections
Members of The Sensible Centre may be people who have never been involved in politics before, as well as seasoned campaigners. You may be a member of a political party, or you may not. All we ask is that if you are a member of a party, you tell us about it when you join up.
Members come together in each federal electorate (there are 150 across Australia) to:
- connect online;
- organise initiatives as they see fit (discussions, policy forums, self-education);
- search for and support a candidate in their federal, state or local electorate.
Bringing People Together
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 representative should have 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 for office and elected representatives should not be career politicians and therefore should serve for a maximum of three terms only in a lower house of parliament, and two terms only in an upper house.
5. We are not aligned with either Coalition and Labor parties.
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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