Sticking pins into Politicians

The media has turned this federal election into an Aussie version of a Spanish bull fight. Writers and commentators are busy all day and all night screaming out “Fight! Fight!”. The words “Do unto others…” come into my mind.

Most of us will vote to elect our local candidate in our local electorate. If we elect Dodos locally we will have a Dodo government regardless of who leads. Whereas in monarchy and dictatorship the leader rules, in democracy the majority rules – in electorates, parliament, the party room and cabinet.

We need smart and dedicated local MPs. That should be the focus of every Australian. Think nationally vote locally.

Leaders

Few of us vote for either political party leader, Morrison or Albanese, perhaps 200,000 out of 17 million voters do. Yet these two unfortunates are subject to relentless prodding with hot irons that make them jump first one way and then the next. This just discourages most potential politicians.

Just logically in the hurley burley of being stuck, poked and provoked, these two party leaders forget things they really know. They stumble over trick questions almost like what did the treasurer have for breakfast on Thursday three weeks ago. As if the party leaders should know everything about government when in fact they have a cabinet of ministers or shadow ministers and a paid bureaucracy that really runs the government!! They just set policy and oversee what is done.

We are given the impression on TV and in the newspapers that neither of the party leaders could successfully run a sausage sizzle. We are given that impression by people who you would never pick for government in a fit. Nor would they consider standing to serve us in parliament for any money. It is so much easier to criticise others than do something for Australia.

The party leaders and senior party candidates are so confused and so bedazzled by the constant barbs driven into their minds and bodies that they spend more time sticking pins into each other than announcing what they will do for us if elected. Promises pour forth from their mouths like lava from a volcano and we know that in most cases they will freeze to rock when the campaign is over. Most of the “promises” could not be delivered without doubling our taxes and cutting other expenditure.

How to vote

We should be voting for our local candidates on the basis of their past performance and spending time finding out which one of those standing most closely resembles the person who will represent us.  Voters Network members have been able to record every month during the last term of parliament, how well their local MP has represented them. They have reviewed the performance of politicians and rated them accordingly. Those individual MP ratings automatically flow through to their parties. The more people who join and rate their politicians the more meaning it will have nationally. But that is not the point. The point is to allow voters to record what they think of their politicians on a regular basis and then use that to determine how to cast their vote.

It is worth having a look and considering joining Voters Network so that after this election you can start recording your views on your local MP monthly. That will give you your own “How-to-vote guide” for the next election and avoid you being influenced by the media circus that seeks to entertain us by making our key politicians look stupid. What the media really achieves is to drive us towards bad government. Perhaps that creates more disasters that sell more TV time and newspapers. Otherwise it seems the most destructive force in democracy, far worse than the worst political party we could imagine.

Democracy

The secret to making democracy work better is for voters to get more involved without taking any party sides. Then they can influence whichever party is elected. Voters have truly amazing power over their government if they use the services provided by FairGO, Votergrams and Voters Network .

Jesus said that what God wanted was “Kindness”. Democracy is a superb system of government but it requires voter involvement to deliver kind, fair, honest and productive government that helps us all to live life to the full. It’s success is up to you and me, our families, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Politicians will do what we want if we go about it the right way. Thousands of Australians have been getting what they wanted from governments ever since Votergrams were invented in 1986. Only those who don’t know about them or try them are still suffering from bad government. They can change that in an instant if they wish.

More dangerous than Covid– Election fever!!

Symptoms: High excitement, media frenzy, mixed messages, over-reaction, confused minds.

Cure: write down now in your diary for May 21, whether you will put your local MP top or bottom on your ballot paper. That way you will vote on the actual past performance of your local MP, the party that MP represents and the party leader.

If voters want good government they need to elect good members of Parliament. Being a good member of Parliament involves understanding what the voters want and why they want it, then knowing how to get government departments consultants and contractors to provide it.

 

Being a good member of Parliament involves being a good representative of the Australian voters. It does not require the skill of shadowboxing or fencing with media personalities who stick pins into politicians like a picador does to a bull.

 

Those members of the voting community who study the media or even just watch it for casual entertainment over the next six weeks, will unwittingly be influenced to vote in a certain way because of how the media presents one or other of the party leaders. Voters who are influenced in their voting pattern that way, are actually encouraging widespread corruption. They encourage big business leaders to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to political parties so that those parties can spread their message by advertising and public relations over the media, in the weeks leading up to the election. The sole purpose of that activity is to have the members of Parliament who are recipients of the large donations win their seats in parliament back again thanks to those donations.

 

Of course they will come up for re-election in three or four years time and if they do what the donors want in those few years, then the donors will probably donate hundreds of millions of dollars to them again. Should they not do what the donors want or, shock horror, do what the donors specifically do not want, those donations may not flow to them at all for the next election. It is as easy and logical as that! Politicians, without any desire on their part at all, are bribed and bullied by those who make big donations. The money donated is often recovered many times over when the donors are given ultra-profitable laws, contracts or consultancies worth many times the donations paid, all from the public purse.

 

Those voters who value good government and honest government will recognise that they are not electing the Prime Minister. They are electing or replacing their own local member of Parliament. It is important that they get to know their local member of Parliament and decide whether that is the sort of person who they would like to represent them and whether that person and their party are likely to do what those voters want if re-elected.

 

This is particularly important for voters who live in marginal electorates because those are the electorates where the local member can be changed by the way a small number of votes. In most safe seats it does not matter as much how any individual voter votes. It would take thousands of voters to change the result. But if the number of those who vote for the sitting member falls as a percentage of total votes cast, then that MP will lose favour with the party who has endorsed them.  If their voting percentage continues to fall in successive elections that electorate might go to an MP from a different party. Voters in safe seats are in an ideal position to vote against the sitting member if they disagree with what that MP, their party or their party leader has done. Those voters can do so without any fear that the end result will change any other result.

 

So it looks like a long six weeks ahead of in Australia where the media will hope to excite and entertain people and flog advertisers’ products by poking the political bears in order to provoke a response that amuses voters. What that really does is make our members of Parliament, who are just ordinary Australians just like the rest of us, look to be somewhat stupid. Voters may recognise that they too could easily say the wrong thing or transpose figures, when questioned by 10 or 20 journalists. They will understand that what happens in the next six weeks will not show us anything of any great value about how good the candidates would be at governing.

 

More important than how to vote, is perhaps how to influence the Parliament when elected to do what you want. In 1986 I invented the Votergram which gives each individual Australian great personal power to influence what government does, Thanks to our excellent  but much-maligned Members of Parliament. It works through polite, persistent political persuasion, in the relative privacy of Parliament. No matter who gets elected on May 21 each Australian, regardless of how unimportant or poor they might consider themselves to be, has enormous power to influence the course of society by the use of the simple Votergram. Anyone interested can learn more by going to Votergrams.com.au or emailing me, greg@fairgo.org

 

There is in Australia a quite erroneous impression in the community that democracy provides fair and just government. Those who have studied any amount of history will probably know that very few governments of any kind in the past 2000 years have automatically provided fair and just government. The fact is that democracy simply provides voters with the opportunity to enjoy fair and just government. It is often said that “one gets out of life what one puts in” and the same certainly applies to democracy and our modern society. Those who put in the time and effort in the most strategic way, will almost always influence government to do what they want. Those who sit quietly at home dreaming that government will do what they want even though they have never informed the Parliament of what that is, are often living a nightmare.

 

There are several steps necessary to achieve good government that will provide the desired benefit to each individual.  It helps if it also provides a benefit to the broad community, whether that be at a local level or a national level.

 

The first step is for the voter in question to tell every member of Parliament what that voter wants and explain why. It is necessary to tell every member of Parliament because if the voter just goes to their local member there is a 50-50 chance that the local member will agree or disagree, then a 50-50 chance that the local member will or will not do anything about it. There is a far smaller chance that the local member will achieve what is wanted. The latter is because the Parliament consists of around 100 to 200 MPs and one local MP is highly unlikely to be able to persuade the Parliament to do anything. That is particularly because half the people in parliament are political opponents for power. It is no good going to the minister, because the minister does not even read the mail. However if a voter has sent a Votergram to every member of Parliament then the MPs will be warmed up to the concept when the local member raises the matter in parliament. If the suggestion from the voter is a good and fair from a general viewpoint then there is no reason why the members of Parliament or a majority of them would not adopt it.

The main reason that they would not adopt it would be if someone else more powerful was opposing it. In FairGO we find that the major reason people come to us complaining that the government has not done what they want, is that someone else is pulling the government in the opposite direction. Whoever influences the parliamentarians the most invariably gets what they want done. Many of those disappointed with government have not been aware that they need to invest more time, effort and money to achieve their goal.

 

The reason that the big business community often seems to control government is that the people running major corporations are well aware that they must spend large amounts of time effort and money on influencing government if they want government decisions that are going to increase their profitability and pay packets. That is why they collectively donate hundreds of millions of dollars to political parties, spend vast amounts of time and money on professional lobbyists to persuade politicians to do what they want and are careful to build very good relationship with politicians of all major parties.

 

However despite the millions of dollars of money available to big business to persuade parliamentarians to have government do what they want, the voters themselves hold more of the aces. In most cases they do not play them at all and in many cases they do not even recognise them as aces. There are about 17 million voters in Australia. If one in every 100,000 of those voters worked together for any one cause they would probably win it. If one in every 10,000 worked together they would absolutely ACE the multi-million-dollar donors. FairGO has proven that over and over again.

 

There is no reason any more for people to protest on the streets. That is just another form of bullying a bit like making a huge donations. What FairGO promotes is voters taking the time to explain to all members of Parliament what is wanted and explain exactly why it is wanted. There is a good deal of strategy required in persuading politicians and that is quite reasonable. The members of Parliament want to be convinced that what is suggested is good, fair and worthwhile for the Australian people, or at least not bad for them. Unions and professional bodies fail so often because they only deal with the bureaucrats and ministerial staff. The do better when they deal with the people who depend on their votes for their jobs.

 

Even if the request is just for a new hospital or school hall or is for learning support for one disabled child or a hospital bed for a parent in urgent need of care, it is important for the voter making the request to explain it carefully to each member of Parliament so that at least one of them will pick it up.

 

Years ago when I was writing an article for a magazine on sales tax I needed some information from the tax office about the law. I had been a practising Chartered Accountant and Tax Agent for many years and felt that the tax office would willingly and easily give me the information by phone. However the tax officer to whom I spoke refused to give me the information, suggesting instead that I ask a car dealer. Instead I sent a brief Votergram asking members of Parliament whether they could help me with the information. I knew my local member of Parliament quite well.

I sent the Votergram on a Thursday and the following week I received a package from a Graeme Campbell, the member for Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, who I had never heard of. He kindly sent me all the information that I needed. My local member of Parliament did not bother to answer my Votergram. The fact was that my local MP then became irrelevant to me. It just showed the benefit to me of asking everyone and it was a real eye-opener to find that someone I had never heard of right across the other side of Australia had decided to help me with no possible gain to himself.

I then sent another Votergram seeking an investigation. That gave the Tax Officer an opportunity to explain his lack of assistance to a Public Service tribunal.

I guess when I started dealing with difficult government I too had a fairy tale view that the people in government would do the right thing and help voters. I was taught an abrupt lesson to the contrary. But what I have discovered in the intervening years is that there are very many extremely helpful politicians in our Parliament and that it is mainly a case of us telling them what we want and explaining why, that determines whether they will do what we want or not. Of course it is unrealistic to expect that the Parliament would vote to do something that they had not been asked to do. We should recognise that members of Parliament are not psychic, able to read our minds. Nor are they our leaders. They are our elected representatives to a voting forum called Parliament. They are there to represent us, something many of them are very good at doing. A totally false view of politicians is projected by the media highlighting every tiny fault that they make and failing to mention any of the sensational good things they do.

 

Good government depends more on us voters engaging with our elected representatives in Parliament than it does on them doing the right thing themselves. FairGO’s Votergrams provide a very easy quick and cheap way for every Australian voter to communicate effectively with all members of Parliament in order to inform them. We can identify needs that they cannot because we are out there in the community living relatively unsheltered lives. We actually know from our daily experiences what needs to be done.

 

Please try to ignore the media circus and vote for or against your local member of Parliament on the basis of whether they have done what you wanted them to do or not during their past term of office.

Why you should join FairGO’s Voters Network?

Because democracy is a society in which voters are key.

They elect representatives (MPs) to a forum called parliament which controls the government.

Because they vote to choose who represents them, their voices carry great weight in parliament – if done politely, persistently and persuasively in the privacy of parliament rather than in public.

Because Jesus did not say, ” If you have faith God will move mountains for you.” He said “If you have faith YOU will move mountains.” He also said, “Take up your cross and follow me”. By taking up your cross and joining Voters Network to confront injustice and selfishness, you can influence governments to promote fairness and kindness – what Jesus said God wants. God has given us Democracy instead of Caesar’s military dictatorship. We can do it to achieve many of the goals that Christ set before us.

Businesses and public servants do not have to show members of the public any consideration because members of the public have no authority over them whatsoever.

In the 1980s FairGO discovered that people being abused or neglected by government could get very effective help and satisfaction from parliament.

It had been found that many people had not received help when they wrote to the minister or contacted their local Member of Parliament (MP).

A special communication system called a Votergram was invented to take a person’s request to every Member of Parliament. It was an overwhelming success. He said “Ask and you will receive” so we invented Votergrams and asked every MP and it worked. We got what we wanted. The parable of the sower taught us to ask every MP, not just the Minister and local MP. And that worked too.

It was discovered that the more people who contacted the MPs on a given topic and the more good reasons for change that were put forward, the more the politicians would do.

It was also discovered that the quality of the message and strategy behind it made a big difference to success.

Voters Network was formed to assist interested voters to influence government easily and effectively by Votergram.

Voters Network Members are supported by skilled political persuaders in their requests for government assistance whether on personal matters (eg Hospital treatment), community matters (eg school facilities) or matters of national significance (eg climate change). Membership is free.

Voters Network has no party-political affiliations or favourites. Its overriding concern is “Fairness for all”. It helps voters deal with THEIR issues, not its own. It empowers voters, not itself.

Voters Network is the place for nurses, doctors, patients, relatives, students, parents teachers and headmasters to come together to guide government to sensible, effective and fair policies and programs to make our hospitals and schools provide the best possible services to the community.

It is the place for all interested Australians who wish to see our society grow as a nation with a focus on fairness for all. Australians need to lead the people they elect as their parliamentary representatives, support and work with them to achieve the desired results.

MPs are not all-powerful kings, queens or dictators leading their people. They are there to work for and with the Australian people and in particular the people who elected them. They are very helpful.

Without that prompting from the people involved in delivering or receiving those services, improvement will not happen. More than with fairness and justice, democracy works like a tug-o-war with those who do most to persuade the politicians, receiving the most attention. That is not surprising as politicians depend on pleasing voters for re-election. But many rich and powerful organisations compete with the voters for political favours, in order to increase their wealth.

Votergrams make powerful political allies!

Strikes & protests make powerful enemies.

We may love our enemies, but our friends are more likely to help us.

If ever there was a profession that reflected Christian values it is Nursing.

Nurses don’t have to strike to get patient/nurse ratios, shift bonuses and pay right.

Nor do teachers, doctors, paramedics and other government service providers.

They need to individually explain their cases and seek support from every MP in Parliament by Votergram.

Christ said ” Ask and you will receive”. If you don’t personally ask the decision-makers and explain your case to them, how could you possibly receive the right decision.

Votergrams reflect the parable of the sower. Some MPs help some don’t. You only need some more on side to make a difference.

How could making enemies of decision-makers possibly be sensible?

Forget bureaucrats. They are the people who can say “NO!”. Voters have no impact on them whatsoever.

Members of Parliament are the people who can say “YES!” because MPs control the bureaucrats AND Members of Parliament are  the people over whom individual voters have great influence, for individual voters decide whether politicians are elected to parliament and whether in government or opposition. They are very powerful, whether as friends or as allies.

Make them powerful allies with Votergrams and win your campaign for a fairer, safer Australia.

Jesus also said “where 2 or 3 are gathered together…” because it adds credibility.  When a number of Voters send Votergrams seeking the same outcome and supplying their own individual reasons for why it should, that also adds credibility in the eyes of MPs seeking the best outcome for the Australian people.

For additional experienced support join the Australian Voters Network  or contact community lobbyist and Democracy Coach FairGO.

The old concept of a peak body speaking for its members is no longer valid because it does not vote in government elections. The wisest Peak Bodies make their detailed submissions to the Minister and Departmental Head then help their members, who do vote in elections, express their own views and reasons, to every Member of Parliament by Votergram.

You can move mountains…

The Australian people have a fairy tale view of our democracy which causes them to be deprived of the benefits that democracy that it can bring.  Those who understand it benefit greatly. Those who don’t suffer. FairGO, Voters Network, Votergrams and Peak Body Voterlobby have helped Australians guide government for 35 years.

Now Voters Network is offering the opportunity to every Australian voter or potential voter.

You may wish to view the playlist of 6 videos which introduces this series on understanding Australian democracy.

In  truth democracy is pretty much the same in the USA, UK, France, Germany, NZ and many other countries where it is also misunderstood, causing voter frustration. The solutions are easy but require a small amount of time effort and money.

You can have unimaginable power and influence to us as Christ suggested. A good starting point is to join Voters Network, contact  me, greg@fairgo.org or send a Votergram to all Members of Parliament telling them what you want and why. FairGO and the Votergram service have been built about Christ’s teachings, like the woman knocking on the judges door, the parable of the sower, the Good Samaritan, Ask and you will receive. Come to me you who are heavy laden.

We know how you can influence government because we have been doing it for 35 years, quietly without fuss.

You can build your own Voters Network Interest Group to promote the issue that most concerns you or join an existing interest group.

Greg

 

Why join Voters Network?

A letter-writer to the Sydney Morning Herald 1/2/22 wrote “ It’s time the major parties took a stand to show that integrity and honesty in government count.”

Integrity and honesty have never counted much in any government in any country in any century that I have heard of.

French castleAnother letter- writer in SMH 2/1/22 wrote “everyone is a life-long, fully paid-up member of the What’s-In-It-For-Me society” I don’t know if that is completely true either.

Combine the two and you have a good idea of how a large part of society and much of government works – doing what is best for themselves. That’s okay, as long as we recognise it. It is a problem if we don’t.

Voters Network, along with FairGO Voterlobby and Votergrams, have for 35 years helped Aussies get governments doing what Aussies want, by showing how doing so will be best for Australia and best for those MPs who represent them in parliament .

Don’t be deluded into thinking honesty and integrity rule Australia. Voter oversight, party-free is what encourages honesty and integrity. This is what Christianity is about, doing our bit to make the world a better place.

No President needed in a Democracy

The highly respected Republican Peter FitzSimons recommends a hybrid Republic with candidates for President nominated by each state government then voted on by the people. “It is primarily ceremonial, to call elections and endorse government”.

Why, if abandoning Royalty, would Aussies hanker after the expensive and dangerous ceremonial trappings of Royalty that actually deprive voters of direct control of their own democracy, as Labor voters believe happened with Gough Whitlam? God warned his people about appointing Kings and what it would cost them and it did. Presidents are like Kings and really have no place in a genuine elected democracy.

The country can be well run by our elected MPs and PM. I am surprised that Mr. FitzSimons would set up a repeat of The Dismissal. He sees us getting an “eminent person”. “This process ensures that Australia’s most distinguished, respected and trusted citizens will be in the starting line- up.”

More likely we will get an ex-politician, a friend of politicians or somebody that 90% of Australians don’t know, respect or trust. Politicians will pick the President to look after them, not the people. In a country of 26 million, voters will get a choice from 11 mostly unknown candidates.

This person, Mr. FitzSimons says “ Will represent and embody the dignity of the Australian people.” What, all 26 million of us?? The president would appoint as PM the person who controls the majority in Parliament.”

The Australian voters already appoint the PM by the party they vote into power. They do not need a “President” to endorse or reject that.

If Australians want a republic the role of the Governor General should surely just disappear. The PM who the voters elect should be the head of state. That is how Australian see their PM now. Most would not even know who the current GG was, or care.

The President would not be responsible to the people, but to the state governments who put that person forward. This person would be able to dismiss an elected government!!

Voters are far more able in 2022 to control inappropriate action by their MPs than was the case 50 years ago in 1972. It is now 35 years since I launched the Votergram Service, Voterlobby, FairGO and Voters Network. Voters are far more engaged with government than they were then.

In almost all cases politicians now accept sensible and fair solutions suggested to them by Voters. The Australian voters, not a politically appointed President, should be the ones to have Total Control and thus enjoy “Government by the people, for the people”. If they are denied that, a quick campaign by voters in some marginal electorates soon changes the government.

Politicians and the people are a good combination. It is hard to see why that would not work well.  Australians can do ceremony, without forgoing control of government.

The housing cost conundrum

Jesus did not get into home buying, but many Christians, young and old, do face that challenge and it is getting harder. Buying a house can be a lot better than burying money  in the ground or putting it on term deposit.

The combined impact of house price and interest rate determines a monthly loan repayment on a home loan. So if interest rates are low, as now, people can pay more for a similar home than we did but the repayments still remain similar to when we borrowed @ 11.5% p.a.

But the house price never varies from the day of purchase, whereas the interest rate can rise. So it is not that simple! Paying a higher price for the house with low interest rate borrowings to begin with, poses a far greater risk to the borrower.

If the interest rate were to rise from 3% to 9% on a $700,000 loan the interest would rise from $1,750 a month ($21,000 pa) to $5,250 a month ($63,000 pa), quite a difference.

Assessing how much to pay for a house is not as simple as looking at the quoted monthly repayments unless the interest rate is fixed for the term of the loan.

For home buyers, a touring holiday of inland cities and towns in their state might reveal a beautiful environment where housing is a quarter of the price of capital city housing; people are nicer because the population is smaller and people get to know their neighbours and communities; the air is cleaner and healthier; there are more wide open spaces for children; the land is flatter and better suited to walking or cycling and solar power is abundant.

Just holidaying is fun anyway as well as interesting and informative. It may also open new horizons.

We are always happy to provide professional assistance based on Christ’s teachings, whether it is dealing with banks through GBAC, building strength for political persuasion through Voters Network , running political persuasion campaigns through FairGO or helping organisations gain political leverage through their membership via our Peak Body Voterlobby

A Christian driven Democracy

Votergrams helped bring Australian David Hicks home from Guantanamo Bay. Those who want Julian Assange to be tried and dealt with in the UK  or Australia should use Votergrams to help Aussie MPs persuade their US counterparts.

That some jailing is failing in many cases to prevent crime is self-evident. If interested in backing the Justice Reform Initiative to find more effective solutions for our safety, please email greg@fairgo.org with “Cut crime” in the subject line. I will get back to you. It will not happen without substantial voter support which is most effectively conveyed by Votergram!

Those wanting greater choice of vaccines can make their views known by Votergrams to the most powerful people in Australia – all federal MPs. Votergrams are the most cost-effective means of influencing government.

As Christmas approaches it is worth thinking about what we can give to improve the lives of the least advantaged Aussies and how that will also improve our own lives. Australians have unique tools and strategies available to them through FairGO, Voterlobby, Voters Network and Votergrams. Power and influence spread over the Australian people is the least corrupting and most effective of all.

Instead of huffing and puffing about blowing China’s Taiwan house down if the USA wants us to, we might be better to use our trade as a negotiating tool. We buy a heap from China that we could subject to high tariffs as they did to our wine and we export a heap of coal and primary products to China that we could  stop. Talk and trade are a lot better bargaining chips than bombs and battleships.

Come on Christians, come on. Flex your muscles and guide the government. It is your country. You pay the taxes. You elect the politicians to represent you. Ask properly and you will mostly receive what you want if it is fair and good for others too. Don’t leave it all to God.