As you know we do not give any preferences. We need you to give us a "1" and then you must number all the other boxes in order of your choice to make your vote valid. In most cases the chance for any independent or small party to get elected it based on increasing your base votes of "1" to a point where you are getting close to the established parties: Labor, LNP and The Greens. Then from that point Labor, LNP or The Greens need to preference you above the other established parties to give you a chance of getting elected. Labor, LNP and The Greens know this through and through, it is basic election maths. The system favours the estalished parties and they often pass laws and make decisions that make it even harder for independents and smaller parties to get elected. Recently, there has been a lot of this at Federal and State level. Having diverse voices, greater transparency and accountability is what makes democracy strong. People Decide is all about that. So it is sad when the established parties make decisions (through whatever process they do) that reduces this.
It just happened again. For the last 3 elections all the established parties have given Karel reasonably good preferences. The 2017 Qld State Election is the first election we are giving it a go and Karel is at the top of the ballot paper. The chance is still small but any independent or small party giving it a go should at least have a chance. The Greens have always given Karel "2", they changed it this election and put Labor ahead of Karel (and all the other independents). This decision effectively nukes any chance any independents have. It is really disappointing for diversity of voices and trying to change the existing system from what it is.
Please understand the importance of giving independents and smaller parties your first votes, because in the order you put the numbers on the ballot paper, the moment you put one of the established parties: Labor, LNP or The Greens ahead of an independent or smaller party, is the moment you have nuked the independent or small party's chance of getting elected.
What do you think makes you personally qualified to represent the residents of the South Brisbane electorate?
I believe I am the only candidate in Australia to have personally door-knocked most of their electorate. The effort that takes shows my commitment to voters and I don’t think you can get better insight into the electorate by doing anything else.
West End is very politically progressive. How do you think you’ll cope with some of the more out-there ideas floating around the suburb?
I may be the most out-there! But I am also very pragmatic. I run a business in alternative economic and political development. I believe in transforming the economy, not restricting it. I believe in building a strong safety net using community currencies for the 99%. I do not believe in fighting the 1%.
I studied mechatronic engineering, physics and arts, and had one of Einstein’s colleagues as a supervisor for a project looking into the nature of reality. Managed the development of the laws for the Cambodian Stock Exchange. Taught meditation courses from the age of 19 and lived solo in the wilderness like in the movie ‘Into the wild’.
I also wear five finger shoes and I am on the ball, literally, my desk chair is a swiss ball. It’s all very practical, you can grip what you are walking on and stretch while you are at your desk, respectively.
The issue dominating West End for the past ten years has been development (Some would say over-development). What policies would you implement to deal with the pressures on infrastructure -traffic, schools, open space, community resources, planning, etc.?
I am running on the People Decide model. You can vote right now on planning and development laws at peopledecide.org. I have signed a contract that irrespective of my own opinion, I must vote with the majority of voters in the South Brisbane electorate in Parliament. You just need to elect me now, I need a 1 for Karel Boele. The thing I love about the People Decide model is we also include impact assessable developments. We need to get someone elected in Council but it is already creating transparency.
The Labor Party has announced restrictions on political donations from Developers. Where do you stand on donations? Would you accept money from anyone and everyone?
If all politicians were contracted to vote with the people, there would naturally be less competition between candidates and need for political donations. I believe People Decide is the ultimate platform to solve the donation issue. Personally, I would have trouble receiving a donation from anything that only cares about making money.
Has your party decided on preferences in the South Brisbane electorate? Is there a State-wide policy, or will you make an electorate by electorate decision? Who would you preference?
People Decide is about the people deciding, if we gave preferences it would be counter-intuitive to what we stand for. We tell people you must give a 1 to Karel Boele because we are trying to change the established system, so need you vote above the established parties. Then you MUST number all the other boxes in order of you choice to make your vote valid. See our blog Preferences.
With voters globally disillusioned with a political process which is dominated by established or traditional parties, there is talk of a hung Parliament after the election. Would you consider a power-sharing arrangement with other parties to form government? What are your non-negotiables? Or, in what areas would you be prepared to compromise?
We are very clear about this. In all our communication we clearly state we automatically support supply and confidence votes to ensure a stable government and that it runs its full term. We do not want a kangaroo parliament, people and business want certainty and do not want multiple elections. If participatory democracy is shown to work in Australia over a number of decades maybe then supply and confidence votes can also be voted on by the people.
This does not cover the situation after an election where both major parties can form a government and we are in the balance of power. In this situation we have flexibility in our Constitution to do two things. We can run a vote in our electorate or take the results of the election to see who the majority wanted to support in the electorate. Our Constitution also states we must give voters at least 6 weeks to make decisions, given people and business do not want continued uncertainty after an election we would likely go with the later.
The Carmichael Coal Project and the involvement of Adani has caused a great deal of controversy and generated loud opposition locally. Where do you and your party stand?
The size and environmental impact of the Carmichael Coal Project and the reputation of Adani raise many issues we need to confront. The majority of Australians think climate change is an issue and want more incentives for renewables. With the People Decide platform in parliament people would vote for that and we might become the world leader in climate change solutions.
The demographics of West End have changed since the last State Election, with thousands of new voters enrolled and a redistribution of the Electoral boundaries. How will this affect the outcome?
The South Brisbane electorate has a strong cultural identity. I believe the People Decide platform will enhance this. People Decide is a new way of doing government where the people get to vote on the laws. It allows ideas to be shared and deliberated, and brings the community together. It creates education, awareness and engagement with new voters on the things that affect us.
Finally, any personal comments?
People are sick of, and disillusioned with divisive left/right personality politics, broken promises and public projects being thrown back and forth between different governments. As a result, voters are doing protest votes. That is why we have Trumps. If we don’t do something we are going to end up like the U.S. It has increased the chance of war.
We need to change the system NOW! We need to move to issue-driven politics. This is only going to work if the politicians are contracted to vote with the people, like me. Overseas in countries like Switzerland which has been doing a form of participatory democracy for centuries, people are proud of, and happier because they have more control over their legislation. Voting on issues makes us feel part of the process and engages us. We can’t blame the politicians when we get it wrong so we have to learn, understand and consider what we are voting on. It’s not a referendum or plebiscite where you are voting over a short period with no real-time transparency of the result. It is deliberative democracy where you are voting over a long period with real-time transparency of the result, giving busy and apathetic voters time to give their opinion and creating a more balanced vote. You won’t have time to vote on everything so you will be voting on what you have expertise, experience or interest in and that is exactly what we want. This is only going to work if you Vote 1 for Karel Boele and remember to number all the other boxes to make your vote valid.
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The government argued it needed $122 million dollars for an "urgent" or "unforseen" issue. This is how it got $122 million dollars without approval from Parliament. It is hard to argue that the Marriage Equality Postal Survey is urgent or unforseen. The High Court decision today sets a potentially dangerous precedent. It gives more power to the executive and less to Parliament and the people. In future, governments may be able to use this method to spend money on other arguable things they deem "urgent" or "unforseen". So be it, it is done. At least with a plebiscite the government would have got Parliament's approval, but then it would still choose the question and how it implements it. Plebiscites and surveys are slow, non-democratic, divisive and expensive.
We need a new form of government that DOESN'T cost $122 million per decision. Where the people vote on the ACTUAL decisions over a good duration of time to allow deliberation, and where decisions are BINDING. Then we will have effective, sustainable, inclusive and efficient decisions, and marriage equality wouldn't have taken 20 years to decide. Check out our model!
We are facing a mini-Cuban missile crisis. What does our Prime Minister do? Go wholeheartedly support a U.S. president that acts more like a dictator than a democratic leader. Malcolm, if you are a true leader you would clearly state that we will help defend the U.S. against a preemptive attack, not a threat or a crusade by the U.S. with “Fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before”. Have we learnt nothing from Iraq? Malcolm, you sold yourself on marriage equality, don’t turn bull and sell yourself on war, you will steep lower than the brute. This is a new low in Australian politics.
North Korea’s Guam threat is unusually detailed and an admission that they don’t have the reliable capability to reach the U.S. mainland.
Firstly, they have said they are not threatening any other countries, only the U.S. because of Trump’s behaviour.
Secondly, their threat is unusually detailed, numbering the missiles, trajectories and target. Allowing the U.S. to prepare and details to shoot them down.
They have clearly said they do not plan to hit Guam but international waters near Guam. This may be within international law. It is clearly a threat and provocation by North Korea but Trump’s behaviour creates this.
In the media, it sounds like they plan to hit Guam.
Media get your act together on this one it has all the hallmarks of Iraq.
Countries like North Korea feel insecure because they don’t have weapons others countries do.
It is an opportunity to discuss global nuclear disarmament and put all countries on par.
People do not want war because they know it is the ordinary people that get hurt.
If we put our minds together we can come up with a solution to ensure global security and implement global nuclear disarmament. Where there is will, there is a way.
I believe the people would vote for global nuclear disarmament.
In addition, to contribute to peace and ensure a stable form of government there are a couple of things People Decide politicians automatically vote on. No, on preemptive strikes of war and yes, on supply and confidence bills.
We can’t let Australian politics keep going the way it is, where politicians don’t stand up for peace because they are scared for their own survival. We urgently need to implement People Decide, a new system of government where the people have a say and we put in place safeguards to reduce the chance of war.
The vast majority of Australians believe climate change is real, that we should be a world leader in finding solutions, should not wait for other countries and should put in place more incentives for renewables(1).
Image what Australia would be like with People Decide?
We would a research, innovative and industrious nation in clean, green technology, creating jobs, making our education institutions sought far, people would be healthier and costs reduced, our environment would be cleaner and tourism increase. Overall, we would be richer economically and socially.
You don’t need to be an expert to work this out or that climate change is real. If you can’t make the deduction that gases that kill you, if you put yourself in an enclosed space with a car, may have some impact over time on the enclosed space we live in in our atmosphere, it is recommended you look in the mirror and make sure you are not living a limited life. For many things in life we know excess can be disastrous, and it can be too late to change when impacts fully hit home. If you can’t agree that we should use things in moderation before we know the full impacts (because effectively, that is all the Paris Climate Agreement is). You are likely living an unhealthy life, detrimentally affecting others and your legacy doomed.
You use the technology scientists developed for you, such as: cars and phones. Then listen to their warning that overuse is a problem?
The last years have been the hottest on record. We are currently in a Solar Minimum, the time in a solar cycle when the sun is least active. There is evidence we are slowly moving into a Grand Solar Minimum, a period when there is a significant reduction of activity in the sun. Technically, this should have a cooling affect on the planet, but it is getting hotter. To those that do not believe in climate change, I hope for your sack, when the cycles reach Solar Maximum, the impacts are not twice as bad.
If you are someone who can’t live with science then you should not use the technology it gave you.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who is right and wrong. We are doing stuff we have never done to our planet. We do not know the full impacts. Logic and deduction is definitive, we should be careful and limit our use till we know the affects, otherwise it may kill us. Countries that do not abide by the Paris Climate Agreement may end up having to pay for the damage done by climate change. Environmental law continues to progress.
You can take responsibility and act now. Why drive a car, that makes you fat and costs money, when you don’t have to? Why do you need two showers a day? Why do you need to eat meat multiple times a day?
1. The Climate Institute, Climate of the Nation 2016, pp 6, 2nd June 2017.
Bishop supports threatening North Korea to stop going down a "path of risking regional and global security" (ABC Radio).
North Korea is scared and lonely. They are scrambling to do what they can to protect themselves from intimidation and ensure self-preservation. An inclusive diplomatic path where they are treated as an equal is needed.
Their technology is primitive and unreliable at best. Advanced strategic and missile defence systems of developed nations can counter it, possibly without touching North Korean soil, and should be used in self-defence only.
Playing bully and threatening them with a US aircraft carrier fleet lead by self-serving and short tempered Trump, will make them even more insecure. It may force them to come out, do more than fire a missile into the sea and instead bite for their life. This can create many, many deaths and huge suffering in the region.
This is a logical conclusion. To support and contribute to this risk can only be the result of blindly supporting an ally.
Bishop is a bullying pawn contributing to regional and global insecurity.
Karel's opinion on the US missile strike in Syria.
On Friday the 7th of April 2017 Donald Trump launched 59 tomahawk missiles against a military target in Syria.
This was done unilaterally, under the guise of peace and democracy without consultation with other nations and when there was no imminent threat to the United States. It was done on preliminary evidence. There was no proper investigation into the bombings in Syria that were cited as the reason for the action.
The outcome of George Bush invading Iraq in 2003 based on circumstantial evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), is an example of the consequences of pre-emptive attacks. You don’t attack unless it is in your own self-defence. There was no evidence that Iraq was about to attack other states, the evidence of WMDs was wrong and there was no connection to September 11. The result, arguably, more than a million people died directly or indirectly because of that action, and it has contributed to creating the instability in the region now and terrorism around the world.
It is disappointing our Government supported this. If you have any greatness you do what Nelson Mandela did and stand for non-violence. If you want to use force you stand in between the attacker and the victims and then respond in self-defence only. Pre-emptively attacking when it is not in your own self-defence is how imperial and dictatorial states act. It damages your image, removes your authority and feeds the war you are trying to stop. It sets precedents and is a slippery slope.
It shows Malcolm Turnbull is weak and Labor should be ashamed for supporting it also.
When a more powerful state unilaterally attacks another state, when it has no imminent threat to itself, based on no, preliminary or circumstantial evidence and even more so when it is in the name of democracy, is how world wars start.
We will live in a world of love and togetherness. We will stand up for that.
We cannot allow someone to get elected that says “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters”, “Anybody Who Hits Me, We're Gonna Hit Them 10 Times Harder!” and “I would bomb the SHIT out of ‘em!”. Calls people of race and religion “killers and rapists” or bans them from the country. Degrades women with comments, such as: “grab them by the pussy” or “blood coming out of her whatever”.
It shows someone with the temperament that they think they are a God, superior to other groups and that they can fall into ‘us-verse-them’ mentality when making decisions. It is the weakest kind of leader using fear and division to take advantage of people’s disenfranchisement without rational thought. It is the same thing that happened in World War II. It is the temperament that can start World War III.
I am not religious but I know God does not condone this.
We need to acknowledge this, we must NOT forget this, we need to keep our integrity, speak plainly, the truth and not accept this as a norm. You DO NOT sugarcoat this.
At the same time, someone who can’t take a joke and responds with comments such as so-and-so “is a pussy” is inconsequential, we don’t have time for them, they are someone we do not acknowledge. ‘Delete your account’
Someone hell-bent on just getting as much material gain and fame as they can, is more part of the establishment than anyone. Isn’t that the exact thing the people who voted wanted to stop?
Going on the path we are, we are going to end up like the US.
People are frustrated voting for personalities in a system that produces the same results.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”, Martin Luther King. This is true for all political and personal aspects of your life. If you don't you can loose your integrity (and in my belief the possibility of true happiness), enthusiasm or health.
We need to stand up against this. Take action now and not allow our democracy to fall into division and hatred too.
We need more democracy now not less!
Karel Boele and People Decide will change the political system so people can vote on the actual issues rather than personalities.
A blog by Grigory Graborenko, one of People Decide's candidates.
Trump is president. It seems impossible, but here we are. Clearly the voters made a terrible choice, and we will all have to live with it. So do we then blame democracy? Is giving ordinary people the awesome responsibility to pick their leaders the root of the problem?
No. Absolutely not. Now more than ever, even at it’s darkest moment, we need to defend democracy, and work to expand it. Trump is only here because there was a deficiency of people power, not an excess of it. Remember when Trump hinted at not accepting the results of the election, and it was seen as one of the most dangerous moments of the election? Well, that works both ways. He won fair and square – in the current system – and we have to grapple with that.
Trump won through the electoral college. Clinton, as of time of writing, looks like she won the popular vote, like Al Gore back in 2000. This archaic system of electing the president was set up to protect the “rights” of slave states from too much democracy. As a result, voters in Wyoming have their vote count five times more than those in Florida. A fairer system of choosing the president would have us celebrating a narrow Clinton win today.
The US system of checks and balances could also use a hefty dose of extra democracy. The senate, now in the possession of Republicans, is one of the most skewed and unrepresentative institutes in the world. A voter in Wyoming has 66 times the ballot leverage over the senate as a voter in California. The lower house, Congress, is so plagued by gerrymandering that the Democrats would likely have control if the election process was fairer. Trump would likely be facing a hostile upper and lower house if he won at all in a more democratic system.
This was the first Presidential election after the gutting of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by an unelected, unaccountable supreme court. As a result, right-wing state legislatures could then close inner-city polling booths and pass voter ID laws, making it harder for poor and minority voters to get to the polls. On top of that, each election is held on a Tuesday, without any kind of national holiday, so workers often skip voting so as to not jeopardize their job. There’s a reason the electorate tends to be older, richer and whiter than the population at large, and it’s deliberate.
The winner-takes-all system of voting is also insane. Here in Australia, we have ranked voting. It allows us to vote 1 for a smaller party, then choose the order of the major parties we prefer. In an election with the two most unpopular politicians in presidential candidate history, a safe outlet for third parties that didn’t throw people’s votes away might have resulted in President Jill Stein or President Bloomberg.
Remember the super-delegates that might have cost Bernie Sanders the nomination? The party officials that tried their best to quash his insurgent campaign? A more democratic primary might have resulted in a Sanders victory over a humiliated Trump. After all, he was offering real hope of substantial change – not Clinton’s small, technocratic patches on a slowly deflating society.
But these are all technical quibbles with the method, not the system itself. There is a far deeper problem, and it’s the true reason we’re in this sorry mess right now. Representative democracy is fundamentally corrupt. We choose our leaders every few years, then they go off and ruin the country on behalf of the rich, the powerful, the well connected. The US has an especially vicious form of plutocracy, but all western democracies suffer from it to one degree or another.
Where is the people’s veto? Trump can now enact all sorts of crazy policies with a pliant congress, senate, and right-wing supreme court. The next chance the electorate has to stop him is in two years time, during the mid terms. He’s well aware of this, and will do his absolute best to jam through as much as possible before he gets held accountable. America elects a temporary nobility, and then hopes that the threat of upcoming elections will be enough to curb abuses of power. It’s not enough – we all need a more direct say on legislation.
One of Trump’s biggest selling points is that the country has been screwed over for years by a corrupt congress and senate. How could this not ring true when an unresponsive, barely-elected bunch of millionaires run the nation? It seems bizarre that this message was coming from one of the elite themselves – but let’s not forget that Clinton is pretty rich herself, and spent years cosying up to financial titans and Wall Street. It never looked like she was sincere about recognizing the capture of democracy by the wealthy, and her leaked speeches to hedge funds only confirmed that it was all politics to her. The only reason she ran a reluctantly left-wing campaign was that Sanders held her feet to the fire, and that contempt for the minimum wage, free tuition and proper healthcare was all too visible.
Finally, we come to Trump voters themselves. Despite how rigged the system is, ultimately, they did have a choice. Clinton or Trump. Why then, when presented with two choices, did they pick the objectively worse candidate? Perhaps the road that led them there was rigged – but the final choice was not. In the end, they did pick an amoral, regressive idiot to run the country – is this not proof of democracy’s limitations?
Only if you strip down the decision to such a narrow, context-free dichotomy. Sure, when picking the lesser of two evils, just that once, you always pick the neo-liberal ex-Walmart executive over the bankrupt racist buffoon. But what happens in the next election, and the one after that? Bill Clinton started the right-wing drift of the Democratic party, and Hillary Clinton never disavowed her husband’s time in office. Sure, maybe regrets over their “super-predator” comments, but how about his execution of the mentally disabled? The bombing of Sudan’s main pharmaceutical factory, the crack-cocaine sentencing disparity, the gutting of welfare? How about the massive surge in the prison population brought on by his tough-on-crime stance? If this is the way to win elections, how much worse would the lesser evil be in the next round? Perhaps it’s better to go with the reckless narcissist for four years, weather the storm, and hope for the left to get it’s shit together next election and actually present a candidate with convictions.
The temptation will be to declare that voters are stupid, democracy is wrong, and suggest all kinds of atrocities like poll taxes, literacy tests for voting and so forth. These will only do more harm, and let the rich and powerful burrow deeper into the flesh of the nation. There needs to be a way for the powerless to reject the dominant ruling class’s narratives. This is what we saw yesterday – an emphatic no to the Clinton machine’s cynical, triangulating electioneering. Perhaps voters thought that it’s better to risk everything on one last gamble rather than opt for the slow, steady, predictable death of low expectations that Clinton was selling. The greatest tragedy is that the only vehicle for that rejection was someone like Trump. Let’s hope that this will wake the country up to the danger of regressive anti-democratic structures like the electoral college and a gerrymandered congress. Let’s hope that the flaws in representative democracy become so glaring that we have no choice but to fix them, and abandon the endless odious “lesser evil” choices we’re constantly forced into. Maybe, by showing us how bad things can get, Trump will inadvertently make America great again. We just need to learn the right lessons.
We need to look at ourselves first before we point the finger.
Are we good citizens? Do we treat others with respect, inclusion and sympathy?
When a terrorist attack or internal uprising occur it is a tragedy, often lives are lost and we feel for the victims and their families. However, we can easily get caught up in the blame game and point the finger at others. We first need to look at ourselves, have we done anything to contribute to this instability? In most cases “it takes two to tango” and there are always things we can improve. We should focus on these things, ensure we uphold the law, strengthen human rights and be good citizens.
The main reason terrorism and internal uprisings occur is because there is injustice in the world. There are rich dominating countries and sections of society, and poor subservient ones. This has generally been caused over-time by self-interested parties. Those in strong and powerful positions have the ability to exert influence over others. This makes those that are disadvantaged and marginalised insecure. People Decide gives people more power by giving people a bigger voice.
Those in strong and powerful positions have a greater responsibility and duty to be good citizens. If they stand by democracy, the rule of law and champion human rights and not abide by them, it makes them look hypocritical, creates more division and they are weaker. If they are not held accountable for their actions injustice remains, infuriating those that are suppressed.
Australia is a strong and powerful democratic country that stands for the rule of law and human rights. However, we have broken the rule of law, our biggest recent unlawful act is invading Iraq, as a result 100,000s of people have been killed and it created huge distrust, anger and instability in the Middle East. Injustice remains, anger and division simmer and percolate. Acceptance of this wrongdoing and justice brought to those who committed it is the biggest thing that can help contribute to lasting peace.
We have broken laws in our past, particularly against indigenous people, acceptance of wrongdoings can help ease tensions. We have recently eroded human rights in the name of security when we have contributed to the instability. Not standing by human rights in our own country creates greater internal division. We need to strengthen human rights and ensure there is balance between police powers and civil rights.
Karel MSA, BEHons, BA
Karel is contracted to vote with the people, he has policy ideas he hopes the people will vote for: