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GetUp Campaign for Direct Democracy needs your support now!

(Belated) update (30/4/2016). Not long after this article was published, the GetUp site administrator suddenly and without warning deleted this proposal together with the many other posts, all of which enthusiastically supported my proposal, as I recall. Had we been warned at least we could have retrieved copies of the posts that were of interest, before they were deleted. Given this outrageous treatment of a proposal which is clearly consistent with GetUp's purported goal "to build a progressive Australia and bring participation back into our democracy", GetUp cannot be what it claims to be.

To vote on this campaign go to http://tinyurl.com/3nmwwjq . Yesterday, I made a proposal on GetUp that GetUp launch a campaign to have the Australian constitution changed to include provisions for Direct Democracy similar to what is practised in Switzerland. Whilst the response has not yet been overwhelming, I see no reason why a campaign for Direct Democracy now in Australia should not be able to gain sufficient support to force the Government make it law. But to succeed the campaign needs your support. To find out what you can do, please read this article and the previous article, particularly, that article's What You Can Do Section.

Could I first express my thanks to Jill, Vivienne, Menkit, Sheila and others for your support for my Direct Democracy campaign?

But so far, now at 2.20pm, 18 hours since I first launched my campaign with e-mails to several dozen contacts at 8.10PM last night and over a day after I posted my proposal to GetUp, I have to say, I am underwhelmed at the response. Although the response is a long way short of what I had hoped -- only six votes in favour so far [1] -- I don't think that that is yet cause to be disheartened. Given that it was Sunday night when I posted the e-mail and that so many I e-mailed would have immense constraints placed upon the time and energy that they needed to deal with my e-mail (which Sheila has advised me is somewhat more verbose than needed) it is hardly surprising that many recipients weren't immediately convinced that it would have been worth the effort to read my e-mail.

However, I still feel confident that at least a small number of those I e-mailed will take the trouble to read my e-mail, come to see that it would be well worth their time and effort to follow some of my suggestions and do what they can to broaden support for Direct Democracy.

Once only a few extra become interested, it should only be a matter of (not too much more) time before they should be able to convince others around them that my proposal has merit and would be well worth any time and energy they could put into it. When this occurs, I believe we will have achieved a critical mass of support.

Once this campaign has a critical mass of supporters, we should face little difficulty in getting enough votes to have it officially launched it as a GetUp campaign.

Because Direct Democracy essentially takes the concept behind GetUp to its logical conclusion, I think that it is likely that this proposal will be read by a considerably greater number of recipients than most GetUp proposals. I think that few who take the trouble to read it will not become convinced of the merits of Direct Democracy. Once this occurs the campaign should have achieved a sufficiently high profile to attract support from much broader sections of the Australian community.

Past campaigns from the GetUp archive include:

  • Fund Hope For Mental Health
  • Ban Live Export
  • Save Tassie Forests
  • Support Victorian Human Rights
  • End Mandatory Detention
  • Save the (Murray-Darling) Basin
  • No Child in Detention
  • Pokies Reform
  • No Pulp Mill
  • No Compulsory (aboriginal land) Acquisition In the Kimberly
  • Don't Let Them Stop You From Voting
  • Our Rights
  • Climate Action Now
  • Clean Up Tasmanian Politics
  • Political Donations
  • Economic Fairness
  • (Increase essential aboriginal) Homelands funding
  • Save the Net
  • Save Our Heritage
  • Do it for the Children
  • Make this (song about the apology to the Stolen Generations) a Hit
  • Roll Back, Not Roll Out (GetUp investigation of Fraser Government intervention in Northern Territory)

One very worthwhile outcome was the outcome of the "Save the Net" campaign which succeeded in stopping of the Federal Labour Government from subjecting all Internet traffic to mandatory filtering for the spurious reason that this measure was supposed to help stamp out child pornography on the Internet.

Whilst the "Save the Net" campaign and a few the other GetUp campaigns have considerable merit, the vast majority of causes that Australian communities have fought in recent years, and are fighting today, are missing from these pages. This would seem to indicate that many serious political campaigners see little reason to hope that having GetUp take up their cause would substantially increase their prospects of success.

Currently, my proposal for a Direct Democracy campaign has attracted only 6 supporters on GetUp. Perhaps those on candobetter, who have demonstrated that they understand the urgent need for Direct Democracy could consider taking a little more effort to help me achieve the critical mass of interest I need in order to progress.

What you can (also) do

  • Please consider acting upon some of the suggestions I made in my previous article.
  • If you haven't voted for my GetUp proposal, please vote for it now. You will need to be a member of GetUp in order to be able to vote. If you haven't joined, please do so now;
  • Please raise this issue again with each of your contacts, whom I probably have already e-mailed or spoken to. Point out to each of them that if Direct Democracy were to become law in the not-too-distant future, then whatever cause they are now fighting so hard far now would have much better prospects of success. In future they can expect to have to spend far less of their own time, energy and money to achieve similar outcomes. So, whatever time and effort they put into supporting this campaign now could easily be repaid to them many times over in future.

Vivienne, in her comment on GetUp, made a very god argument which backs up the point I made in the seconf of my above suggestions:

There are too many action, lobby, environmental and animal rights groups all in opposition to government policies, and our election system does not address these multiple concerns. We need a true democratic system in Australia, not the farce we have.

Footnote[s]

1. [back] As of 4.00PM on 15 August, 20 hours after I launched the campaign, the support for my campaign still seems very modest: only 6 votes for of a total of 16 votes. Presumably as many as 8 GetUp members voted against my proposal, which is a cause for concen. The given 'avg vote' figure is 2.33 votes. That figure bears no relationship that I can work out with the previous two numbers I have given. The overall rank of my proposal (out of over 1,000 as I recall) is 438. (As of 6.14PM the proposal has 10 supporters and is ranked 318 - still a long way to go.)

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Comments

The following comment was posted to GetUp:

This could backfire.

"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter"

Winston Churchill

I think if people were more aware of all sides of Churchill, he would not be considered such a morally credible authority on democracy.

Whilst Churchill is rightly credited for refusing to surrender to Hitler in 1940, when so many of the British ruling elites wanted to give in to Hitler, his record in those years also includes many considerably darker episodes. One was his betrayal of the Greek people in 1944 by the imposition upon them of a brutal dictatorship made up of Greeks who had collaborated with the German and Italian occupiers. I wrote of this on the ABC Radio National web-site on 17 July 2011:

I think Rear Vision owes to the Greek people and to its Australian audience to tell the truth about Greek history.

The account of the Greek Civil War is untrue. The Greek Communist Party led the resistance to the German occupation and had overwhelming support of the Greek people. In 1944, the British tricked the Communist partisans into disarming whilst they secretly re-armed those who had collaborated with the Germans against fellow citizens. They were able to do this because of the betrayal of the Greek Communist Party and the unquestioning support for Stalin by the Greek Communist Party. The Greek Communist Party abused its support from the Greek people to convince then to lay down their weapons. The result was a massacre of the most patriotic Greeks by former German collaborators whilst the British looked on. At this time, the heroic partisan leader Aris Velouchiotis was murdered by collaborators. He died in the knowledge that the Greek Communist Party leaders that he supported had denounced him as a traitor for refusing to lay down his arms.

One of the placards at the mass Greek protests against the British read: "The Germans are back".

Patriotic Greeks could have so easily beaten the British and the former German collaborators in the war of 1944 and the subsequent civil war from 1946-1949 if they were not so appallingly misled by the Greek Communist Party.

For a truthful account of the Greek Civil War please read "The Kapetanios" written about 1970 by Frenchman Dominique Eudes.

It was, in part, due to his crimes committed against the Greek people that Churchill was deservedly beaten in the elections of July 1945.

I would be interested to know of how many examples Churchill would have been able to cite of his being smarter than the average British voter.

If Britain was anything like Australia has been in recent decades, I doubt if Churchill would have been able to cite anywhere near as many examples of stupidity by British voters as they would have been able to cite examples of his government's stupidity, if not criminality.

I just posted this comment to GetUp suggestion for the ABC to return to its Charter and it was not posted as far as as I was able to tell. So the need for me to post it here and not let it go to waste.- JS

If you want to see what abysmal service the ABC provides see how they failed to even to act upon my request that they find out what all the candidates' intentions were in regard to privatisation prior to the 2009 Queensland elections please look hereat 6 . Had they done so, either the Labor Government would have been made to promise not to sell off any assets or they would have been voted out, but YOUR ABC did neither and they gave me, the one candidate campaigning against privatisation in the 2009 elections almost no air-time.

After Bligh got back into power, she announced her plans to sell off huge amounts of publicly owned assets, again the wishes of more than 80% of Qld electors according to some opinion polls.

This is not only a good reason to sack Bligh and every labor member from Parliament and from ever again holding any job paid for with taxpayers' funds it is also a good reason for Direct Democracy.

Could you consider supporting my proposal for Direct Democracy at tinyurl.com/3nmwwjq ? I think if Direct Democracy were law, we would stand a much greater chance of having great suggestions such as this adopted as law.

Please also see http://candobetter.net/DirectDemocracy.

Personally I have never been impressed by GetUp.

It was too well-funded from the start to be a grassroots organisation and I know it ignored suggestion after suggestion to include population numbers, going years back. All their campaigns are just stuff that the mainstream media already allows to run because they know it is useless or it serves their purpose. As far as I can see it is a way of siphoning money away from the community by giving them false hope. GetUp also takes names and contact details from contributors and so it has a record of who thinks what. It seems to me that its major function is as a polling device, to feed back information about public concerns, demographics and activists to the corporates and the political majors. I would not give them my real details.

I was incensed when I tried to follow the link for your campaign for Direct Democracy todayand found all the archives of suggestions destroyed, but still the organisation which is obviously quite rich, is asking for my money.
GetUp has destroyed the record of your campaign suggestion and of all the other campaign suggestions. What an insult to the people who proposed them!
If you go to this link for your suggestion for Swiss style democracy, you are told that the account has been closed:

http://suggest.getup.org.au/forums/60819-getup-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/2150467-changing-the-australian-constitution-to-enable-sw

"Campaign suggestions
As of December 2011, GetUp's suggest tool will no longer be operating. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of such colourful discussions!

Stay tuned in 2012 for new ways to get involved with progressive issues and bigger, better tools for taking campaigning into your own hands.

Want to be the first to hear about GetUp's new innovations? Drop us a line on discuss@getup.org.au. Include your name and your whereabouts - we'll keep you in the loop!"

Yeh, sure. And I bet they will include a bunch of corporates and pollies in that loop as well, with the information about public opinion that you and I provide.