Needed – a new style of politics
The desire to stay in power has often reduced politics to attacking the ‘opposition’, with appeals to our fears and greed to win votes. A new vision is needed, a new style of politics that moves beyond the politics of blame to a vision of personal responsibility.
The ‘Australian Independents Movement (AIM) for Political Integrity’ represents a grassroots initiative interested in establishing integrity in political culture through encouraging direct participation by ordinary Australians in the political process.
Of course, politicians of integrity as well as ability are needed, free from having to compromise and operate through deals. There is also a need for policies architected by people who have vision and conviction as well as technical skills, and for leaders who can inspire people to greater achievement rather than simply imposing policy as if by right.
There are however, no political messiahs. Politicians and political parties of themselves cannot effectively handle the issues facing Australia.
Perhaps the single most important discovery that needs to be made is what the ordinary person can do – the power of one. The way the environmental movement has given a vision, and then made clear how each person has an important part to play – however insignificant they may feel their part is – needs to be replicated in all areas of national life. The bottom line for society is not purely economic. There is a social, environmental and democratic bottom line also.
In 1984 Vaclav Havel, then President of Czechoslovakia, wrote out of personal experience, “It is becoming evident that a single seemingly powerless person who dares to cry out the word of truth and to stand behind it with all his person and all his life, has surprisingly greater power, though formerly disenfranchised, than do thousands of anonymous voters. It is becoming evident that truth and morality can provide a new starting point for politics and, even today, have an undeniable political power”.
The political role then is far wider than Parliament, and concerns the whole way we view ourselves as citizens, the realisation that we are not powerless to bring change for the greater good. The force for change as the creative talents of the silent majority begin to be tapped would be undeniable and unstoppable, giving once again a positive outlook and direction for the future.