Local author's political thoughts
IAN McLeod believes Australian politics needs a shake-up if our country is to live up to its democratic name.
The Freestone resident has just published his twelfth and last book entitled Don’t Even Give Them One More Vote, in which he voices his thoughts on the political system and where he sees it failing the voters.
He starts off by saying the political leaders are not true representations of the everyday taxpayer.
“We need to go back to our Constitution which says ‘the members shall be directly chosen by the people’,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean directly chosen after the political parties choose them first.
"It also implies we are able to not vote for anyone we don’t want, which isn’t true.”
Although once belonging to one, Mr McLeod doesn’t believe in political parties, saying they don’t represent the views of the community.
“Political members don’t vote for their electorates, they vote along party lines,” he said.
“The party whip tells them ‘forget everything you’ve said, from now on you vote and think exactly how I tell you’.
"That’s not a representative.”
Mr McLeod would like to see a new system in place, which would involve a community-based – not party-based – selection of a representative.
“Political parties don’t look after us, they look after themselves,” he said.
“If you could start a committee in the electorate, and that committee looks around and decides who would be a good candidate,” he said, “then when they settle on someone, they would ask him to stand up and represent the electorate.”
The person would be asked to represent under the proviso they did not create party alliances and they “do what the electorate wants”.
Mr McLeod said between six and 12 people in the committee would suffice.
“That way it’s the community choosing the person for their candidate,” he said.
“It could happen across all levels of government – state and federal government and even for councils.”
Mr McLeod said he didn’t have a strong political background, and belonged to the Confederate Action Party before it was disbanded.
He said he felt so strongly about the current political climate, he had to put pen to paper.
Asked whether he couldn’t agree politicians such as Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott or State Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg didn’t reflect our views, he again disagreed.
“Let’s look at Lawrence Springborg – when gun laws came out and they were debated in parliament, he spoke up against them,” he said.
“Later he turned around and voted for them because he was told he had to.
"Where’s his creditability?”
At the next election, Mr McLeod will encourage voters to submit a donkey vote.
“It’s a secret vote, so we don’t have to vote; we have to have our names crossed off the list,” he said.
“If we don’t like the candidates, write ‘out’ in the box.”
Mr McLeod will hold a public meeting next week to have a discussion about the issues raised in his book.
Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting at the Criterion Hotel’s Alman Room next Wednesday, August 10, from 7.30pm.
More information at 4666 1729.
Australia: a democracy?
Ian McLeod’s book outlines his following thoughts:
- Political parties don’t represent their communities and electorates.
- A ‘committee’ should be established to seek out the best candidate to represent the community.
- Anyone who doesn’t like any of the representatives at an election should submit a donkey vote.