Australian politics is broken, torn between left and right, progressives and conservatives, career politicians and populists. 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 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. Between March and October 2020, we will conduct a Community Search in each federal electorate to identify a community leader capable of representing their community in the 2022 federal election.
2. Participants at the end of October 2020 will vote in their federal electorate in a Community Preselection of a federal candidate of the movement in the 2022 federal election.
3. Participants at the end of June 2021 will vote in their state or territory in a Community Preselection of a lead Senate candidate in the 2022 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
Members of a Participating Political Party may also participate in the preselection ballots (a participating political party is a registered federal or state party that participates in the community search and preselection process, and agrees to support the preselected candidates in the federal election).
All membership fees paid in this two-year period are valid until 31 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 151 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.
Members also come together in Divisions:
Divisions are based on sections of the community that have a long history of exclusion from public affairs and an urgent need for a national political voice. They operate as a voice within The Sensible Centre, adopting policy, organising campaigns and developing representatives for public office.
There is no time to waste. Join up today – this is urgent!
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