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Video: Open Mic session of Must Melbourne keep growing

Inside is the video of the Open Microphone session for members of the audience, including members of community groups for Must Melbourne keep growing. Motions passed calling for a national plebescite on population numbers and for a national conference on sustainable population taking into account State of the Environment reports.

We may replace this film with one taken from another angle which recorded the size of the audience, the applause and the show of hand on the motions. In the meantime this gives the content of the Open Microphone session.

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At this meeting, and previous Vic First meetings, as well as any Resident Action Group meeting, story after story comes through on how the democratic process has been subverted, and how vested interests are able to bypass resident concerns.

... the system by which residents can have input into the development of their community is completely, and deliberately broken.

It is clear from this therefore, that the system by which residents can have input into the development of their community is completely, and deliberately broken.

Yet people insist in using it, and hitting their heads up against brick wall. There seems to be some cognitive dissonance. Everyone tells each other how the game is rigged, but continue to play exactly the same game... The government is clearly working against us, so why continue to appeal to the government?

Why? Refusal to face facts? Denial? Are people just slow and silly? Are they uncomfortable thinking outside the box?

RAND developed the Delphi method in the 1950s, originally to forecast the impact of technology on warfare. The method entails a group of experts who anonymously reply to questionnaires and subsequently receive feedback in the form of a statistical representation of the "group response," after which the process repeats itself.
The Delphi technique is ‘a method for structuring a group communication process so that the process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with a complex problem’.
First, the staff team in collaboration with decision makers develops an initial questionnaire and distributes it…to the respondent group. The respondents independently generate their ideas in answer to the first questionnaire and return it.
The staff team then summarizes the responses to the first questionnaire and develops a feedback report along with the second set of questionnaires for the respondent group. Having received the feedback report, the respondents independently evaluate earlier responses. Respondents are asked to independently vote on priority ideas included in the second questionnaire and mail their responses back to the staff team. The staff team then develops a final summary and feedback report to the respondent group and decision makers.
The "change agent" or "facilitator" goes through the motions of acting as an organizer, getting each person in the target group to elicit expression of their concerns about a program, project, or policy in question.
The facilitator listens attentively, forms "task forces," "urges everyone to make lists," and so on. While she is doing this, the facilitator learns something about each member of the target group. He/she identifies the "leaders," the "loud mouths," as well as those who frequently turn sides during the argument ­ the "weak or non­committal."
Using the "divide and conquer" technique, he/she manipulates one group opinion against the other. This is accomplished by manipulating those who are out of step to appear "ridiculous, unknowledgeable, inarticulate, or dogmatic." He/she wants certain members of the group to become angry, thereby forcing tensions to accelerate. The facilitator is well trained in psychological manipulation. S/He is able to predict the reactions of each group member. Individuals in opposition to the policy or program will be shut out of the group.
During the recess, the facilitator and his spotters (people who observe the crowd during the course of a meeting) watch the crowd to see who congregates where, especially those who have offered resistance. If the resistors congregate in one place, a spotter will gravitate to that group and join in the conversation, reporting what was said to the facilitator.
The Delphi Technique
Oppositional or problematic comments are eliminated. Recorders politely but persistently “interpret,” reject, ignore, rewrite or “reframe” unwanted comments. Requests for debate or discussion are ignored or rejected. Monitors politely but persistently delay debate and redirect conversations to safer areas.
It's tiring and hard work being the odd-person out, so questioners and those who persist with objections are weeded out. Those who remain on the committee or consultation tend to be supporters of the institutional agenda, or they’re willing to go along to get along, or they become convinced they’re being heard. Dissent evaporates, and things quiet down. The few who continue to present an opposing view are easily managed and dismissed.
The result- "consensus" and resident groups have their "feathers smoothed" or our socially manipulated to agree to consensus. The residential structure plans, for housing growth, may end up being moderated from the initial over-developments, but then ultimately they get the green light for what they probably wanted anyway!