Friday, May 26, 2006

Who will bell the cat?

Joo-Cheong Tham, (Melbourne Age 26/5), in your excellent article 'Party Funds threaten democracy', you recommend that we 'institute limits on the amount the parties can spend, to ... promote a level-playing field and...stanch the demand for private funds' for elections.'

But, who is going to do it?

I am reminded of the Aesop's Fable, about the little mice forming the plan to solve their problems by putting a bell on kitty's neck.
However Grandma mouse sees a flaw in the plan. 'Who shall bell the

Many and varied are the problems caused by the power of party governments to ignore public opinion, thus destroying democracy.

But where is the political will to put an end to it. The only answer lies with ballots in our parliaments - for every decision.

The fable concludes with the MOTAL: 'Many a plan has just one flaw: No one has the courage to try it.'

The Secret Ballot Party plans to 'bell the cat'.

Basil Smith 111/100 Harold St. Wantirna. 3152. 9800 2561

Secret Ballot Party

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Unpublished Letter to the Age (Melbourne) 23/5/06

'A Call to Arms',(The Age 22/5).
Anne Mancini calls for a 'united effort from the thousands of angry Australians who want to hand on a respected democracy to their descendants'. She has a point! What's wrong, you ask?

The domination of our democracy by party executives has progressively destroyed the fundamental element of a genuine democracy - real representation, and accountability of MPs to their constituents - not to party heirarchies or minority interests.

The Secret Ballot Party has the sole objective of a referendum to free our representatives to decide all debates in parliament (and elect all ministers) by secret ballot.

Some object that: 'But you wouldn't know how they vote', ignoring how bankrupt is that privilege, when we, as unorganised individuals, are helpless to influence outcomes on any specific matter at all, even at elections.

With the ballot in parliament, representatives will no longer be controlled, or endorsed, by parties. They will therefore need to hold regular public meetings to win constituent support.

In such local meetings a 'respected democracy' will certainly reappear, as we take hold on the new opportunity for effective participation.
Then the 'anger of thousands' will be dissipated in a confident, purposeful community life, with stable, accountable parliamentary government.


Secret Ballot Party
03 9800 2561