Jill Briggs

(Read Jill’s Bio here)

So many disappointments, so many leadership opportunities missed, so many questions of integrity and governing left unanswered. There are so many arrows that are pointing Australia in a new direction.

Can you see the arrows?

Arrow 1

There is a deep concern and pain about the countless Federal Government inactions. I know I am stating the obvious here, but inaction is not only a current political issue inertia has happened at other times in our political history. The clear problem that emerged is the inability for the major parties to be part of responding to the community’s call(s). They are stuck in a downward spiral of protecting their occupied political territory. They are like two ancient sparing armies. Actually, that is what they are and the rigidity of the two major party structure silences good people in their ranks, no deserters allowed. They are disconnected from the community… it would appear that there is a deafness, an inability to listen and respond.

And then there is another arrow. Can you see it?

Arrow 2

The ever-repeating swing between Blue and Red. In 2019 I wrote an opinion piece about the leadership we are yelling for. But having recently listened to Judith Brett, Emeritus Professor of Politics at La Trobe, I more clearly understood the frustration of the pendulum oscillation that swing voters provide Australia. We swing from “oh “they” (blue or red) look like they might address my wants” to “oh “they” (blue or red) look like they might address my wants” with a hope the opposing major party will be more accountable and more responsive to the community rather than just focused on fighting, combat, winning-at-all-costs.

After emceeing the 2021 Getting Elected Convention for Community-Minded Independents and joining a founding team for The Community Independents Project I now feel calmer about the swinging pendulum between the two major parties.

And now the third (very sharp) arrow.

Arrow  3

There is a need for another community-focused accountability mechanism because red and blue are not doing it for me and a rapidly growing number of Australian voters. In this adversarial Westminster system, research is undertaken by blue or red, reports are written, then said reports gather dust on a blue or red shelf or are reviewed and responded to by a select group (of the same colour). Well, then the accountability is a vacuous concept…. except when we have a community independent and well-populated cross bench.

The third arrow has turned amber and is flashing incessantly and seems so obvious now I have seen it line up with the other two arrows.

Community Independents are beyond the “two tribes going to war” model. A strong and well populated independent cross bench solves this warring stalemate. Community Independents, by their very nature, ask us questions and are bound to listen to our calls. They ask the questions of all, have the conversations with all, can knock on all doors, can walk along all the aisles. They are our accountability mechanism, more powerful than the red/blue swinging pendulum. We are their power; they are us and we are them. By increasing the Community Independents on the crossbench we reduce the warring and increase the opportunity to have broader conversations about policy settings beyond blue and red.

 

What should you do?

I encourage you to follow the direction the arrows are pointing and find your local Community Independent candidate.

Give yourself time to adjust to a different way of politics and accountability. Read their values, hear the electorate vision, understand the deep community-focused motivation and sense of accountability to you and get involved and build another way.