What is happening?
We have seen an accelerating collapse in trust,confidence, and belief in our politicians and government over the last several decades. Indeed, it has been something of a “race to the bottom” by our major parties. Most conspicuously, they have increasingly failed to understand and represent their communities, preferring to play a short-term political game, scoring points on each other, gaming the system to their own personal advantage, or for their mates, rather than providing good government in the national interest.
What is the problem?
The bottom line is that the big national issues and challenges, despite their increasing urgency in most cases, have been left to drift – integrity and accountability in government, recognition of the First Australians and an effective response to their disadvantage, climate change, child, aged, and disability care, mental illness, domestic violence, tax and transfer reform, declining education standards, constraints on our medical and health systems, and many more.
Is there a solution?
In my view there has never been a more compelling case for increased representation of community-based Independents in our politics and government at the next election. Indeed, I can see the possibility of Independents pulling electoral support from the major political parties to actually hold the balance of power, or should I say the power of the balance, in both Houses of our Parliament. Collectively they could then work to ensure better government in the interests of both their communities and our nation.