A social Contract for the Independents of Australia Party (Part 4)
Conceptually, the mission of the Independents of Australia party is to improve the function of democracy for the benefit of the Australian people, now and into the future.
The intention is to band together resources and support to offer “economies of scale” level benefit to Independents, without dictating or influencing in anyway policy positions.
The hope is Australians band together in the next two months (election is around the corner), and
- establish a political party designed to provide the support Australian candidates sacrifice for their independent status;
- get >500 paper signatures;
- build a community on social media and pledge support across Australia to spread the word that change is coming and the Australian people are behind it;
- crowd-source a Social Contract that all independents who are supported by the party must sign.
Why the Social Contract is important?
Theoretically by joining the Independents of Australia (IOA), members will regain the disadvantage that currently exists when a candidate or elected representative opts to remain independent in thought, action and ideology. The opportunity to access this support should be available to any eligible Australian without limitation. Diversity of thought, experience, background, culture and perspective is an essential component of healthy, strong democratic systems, so the IOA wouldn’t be wise to dictate any position to its members. However, in an effort to combat corruption, poor representation of the will of the people, it would be ideal if the IOA were to simply ask that all members who wish to run as a candidate or benefit in anyway from the support services and resources provided by the IOA, simply agree to a social contract that is designed to reenforce a minimum standard of behaviours. A social contract is where a “persons’ moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live, and a legal contract binding members to a code of conduct will be important to ensure the Independents of Australia organisation support quality representatives who protect the best interests of the Australian people.
Repeating the idea of “crowd-sourcing” the constitution of the IOA, it would be advisable that the IOA Social Contract is also crowd-sourced so that the Australian people set the expectations for their elected representatives.
Examples of clauses in the IOA Social Contract may include;
- The need for any IOA candidate or elected representative to regularly offer opportunities for the Australian people to vote on major policy positions or give perspective on what the people want. The IOA could offer blockchain voting technology as part of this clause, or encourage members to utilise tools like Twitter polls or online surveys;
- Requests for greater levels of transparency, whether it be to ask IOA candidates and politicians to publish their calendars so that the Australian people were able to see who IOA candidates and/or politicians met with (perhaps some exceptions if national security is questionable), or perhaps transparency measures in relation to the publication of bank statements at the end of each month to simplify and monitor expenses claimed or spent by the members and their teams
- Requests for greater information, supporting documentation, insights, interviews and access to the candidates might be detailed.
The intention is to establish a basic website that interested Australians who support the IOA concept can begin to contribute ideas and begin the process of crowd-sourcing both the constitution and the social contract.
How would the income from the collective fundraising be managed?
The rules pertaining how money should be applied from collective fundraising efforts will play a critical role in the success or failure of the IOA, and thus its something I think should be crowd-sourced and worked out in the constitution.
Conceptually the idea that those who donate have a Chinese wall that separates candidates/members from direct financial gain or influence is based more in ideology than reality, however that would be the goal.
If all incoming donations were posted live online for the world to see real time, the transparency at that level would be revolutionary, and this is an important matter to be discussed in the crowdsourcing process.
It makes sense to me that each IOA candidate could have their own fundraising page, and that their friends and family could donate directly to their campaign, however say 35% of the income generated by all individual campaigns would be collected on behalf of the IOA to cover the costs of services. Maybe, this is something for debate.
It also makes sense that a division within the IOA is dedicated to fundraising campaigns and targeting donations from organisations or individuals who want to invest in a stronger democratic system for Australia. Donations received from the “collective efforts” should go towards covering costs of operations and resources (that all members benefit from) and whatever is left over be equally divided and returned (like dividends) the the individual campaign box (also fully transparent online) for them to spend as they personally require (ideally how they choose to spend their money is also a simple click away online).
These are just ideas, the genuine challenge is in whether anyone in Australia are willing to contribute their ideas and work towards an improved democracy.
If you are reading this and know of anyone who might be interested in supporting this movement, please share this article with them and the world on social media.
The times, they are a changing….