A 'frontier' is a new opening, a new opportunity for a release of creative energy and activity from the straitjacket of the exhausting and exhausted status quo. The concept of real freedom is associated with the idea of ‘frontier’; the possibility, the challenge, and the soul stimulating freedom of breaking new ground.
We think of the early achievements of man, the invention of the wheel, of written language, ancient civilisations, Athenian democracy, the Renaissance, the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, the aeroplane, the jet engine, the computer, the silicon chip and the PC; and now the Internet! All these have been instrumental in transporting mankind into new realms of power and potential to do things never done before, enabling the fulfilment of man's creativity and spirit of adventure, into the unknown and the untried.
Action is an essential component of life, which requires real freedom - the freedom to do our thing; to follow our dream. So, what of the future? Will we be free? Will we have the freedom to think, to express new and life-changing thoughts, and convert them into action, in our various environments? Will we be free to do our thing, to follow our dream? In our personal lives faith sets us free. In home and family, love makes us free. In our work environment the integrity of honest endeavour gives us freedom. And in the wider community we have 'democracy'. If that does not set us free to lead productive lives, with well being, then it is a fake; and we are lost. We may suffer many setbacks through our own incapacity, through natural events, or through bad health - that's life. But we cannot afford an avoidable degeneracy of democracy, which hinders the legitimate freedom and creative potential of us all, as individuals.
In many cases the help that more fortunate nations give to the less fortunate ones is not the real answer to their problems. Internal order, with justice, is the primary need so they can climb out of the murk by themselves. But instead we see tragic turmoil throughout the world today, with enmity and armed conflict between ethnic groups as the world fragments. Only real democracy can achieve the good government they so much need, to stem the tide of distrust and fear; and the suffering caused by war and starvation in so many places. The world needs a model to follow, an example of a valid, viable democracy free of the partisan taint which existing examples of 'democracy' exhibit. The world suffers while it waits. Only with a steady reform of the world’s democratic systems can there be real hope for the future. At the moment it is simply the 'blind leading the blind'.
There is no reason why Australia cannot provide the example of a breakthrough to a far more just and effective democracy. The secret ballot IN parliament is the way to real democracy. A secret ballot parliament, radical in concept, will far outshine any party system, be it a one, two, three or multiparty system. It will open the door wide to a new quality of unifying self-government, which can yield better justice, and better freedoms than any bill of rights can confer. Serious problems will become tractable as a strongly cooperating society produces the initiative, and the will, necessary for their resolution. And this new style of democratic government will enable many new frontiers to be opened, providing a wide range of new freedoms in all spheres of human endeavour.
Under this system the reputation and standing of parliaments can be enormously enhanced, bringing honour to any country, in addition to the good community life, which only sound and just government can bring. For all concerned people the opportunity to be part of the 'solution' will arrive with Secret Ballots in Parliament. There will be an open opportunity for people in any walk of life to initiate action with new ideas in respect of any of the many issues that bedevil us. Anyone will have the same unfettered opportunity to enter into an arena of substantive debate whenever they choose, within the one new and comprehensive stream of non-partisan political activity and self-government.
Those with no desire for real democracy may cry "Chaos", as their counterparts did in 1856, when the secret ballot for elections was first adopted in Victoria. The reverse was true and it will be proved true again. They should hold their fire, and realise that the good objectives they (hopefully at present) seek will be much more effectively and securely achieved under this new system of cooperative government. The secret ballot IN our parliaments is the final step to real democracy.
Was it Churchill who said, "Give us the tools and we will finish the job"? This is the tool we now require.
The Secret Ballot In Parliament is the vital step that must be taken to:
1. Change the basis of the debate in the Parliament, and make Parliament a place where the decisions are made; (no more debates with outcomes predetermined in party rooms),
2. Move towards television of a parliament which is worth watching, reviving the real interest of the public, with objective and purposeful debate replacing the lengthy formal speeches, and putting an end to the nonsense of party politics in Parliament. Prime-time telecasts will then become more and more vital viewing for an increasingly informed broadcast audience,
3. Eliminate personality politics. Under the proposed system such behaviour will be profitless, will find no favour, and will cease. Only sound argument aimed at swaying Members' votes in the ballot could win any respect and have any value,
4. Achieve a greater power and flexibility for Parliament,
5. Eliminate the party tactics of attack, defence and cover-up, with new levels of openness and honesty in government and the bureaucracy,
6. Have the Parliament elect the most suitable Members as Ministers, regardless of affiliation,
7. Ensure that all Members are accountable individually, and directly, to their constituents by necessitating their immediate appeal to their electorates in regular public meetings (this being the most effective and economical method of commending themselves to their electorates in the new environment - meetings in which each representative will, and must, urgently show worthiness as a representative for re-election - meetings which will probably become mandatory, by law.),
8. Provide a forum in which critics, and concerned people generally, can be seen and assessed as possible rival candidates at the next election, well before it is due, and
9. Open up a new and effective avenue for persons of significant ability to enter directly into an appropriate role in the parliament, without delay, at the pleasure of Parliament,
10. Enable the attraction of the best people as candidates by reason of the vital opportunities presented,
11. Enhance the status of politicians, by a vast improvement in the function and potential of all Members, existing and to come,
12. Create a strong parliament fit to govern in all eventualities, Remove the huge pressure and responsibility now resting on party leaders, and give opportunity for all Members to undertake positive leadership on appropriate issues,
13. Eliminate the attraction of, and the need for, bigger and more expensive advertising campaigns, based on parties, and (to an increasing extent) on party leaders,
14. Enable the excessive powers of single issue groups to be diffused, but give them new opportunities to influence public opinion in local (non-party) meetings, which will form a significant part of the decision-making process,
15. Reduce the influence of big money, and the media in the dissemination of information, and provide a new avenue for the growth of political understanding,
16. Enable a majority to freely form on each matter on the basis of its objective merits. With the ballot this will happen simply and quickly, whether the matter relates to an issue, or an appointment to an office,
17. Have a truly democratic parliament, flexible, decisive, and strong, yet fully accountable.
We can be the most politically stable country in the world if we want to be - with extraordinary benefits to all. We just need to recognise the outstanding contribution of our secret ballot's civilising effect on the conduct of elections, and apply it to the operations of our parliaments. We got it together once, in 1856, with the Australian Ballot. Let's do it again - in our parliaments. Let's hear it for democracy!
Yes, we have a dream. The task is to convert the dream into a reality.
It is said that people fall into three categories. The people who make things happen - those who watch things happen - and the rest, to whom things just happen. Which are we going to be?