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    THE DEMOCRATIC ASSEMBLY -- INVITE TO DISCUSS -- REASON FOR CHANGE

    OLIGARCHY

    An oligarchy is where a small number of powerful, influential or wealthy people control the mass of the population. Oligarchy, is a despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for sometimes corrupt or usually selfish purposes.
    A plutocracy is a subset of an oligarchy. In a plutocracy, the leaders are rich. The leaders in an oligarchy don't have to be rich, even though they usually are.

    It could be argued that this is effectively the system of government in Australia, being dressed up as “democracy”.

    The Argument

    How do we justify that statement and present the argument trying to dispute the system in order to alleviate the stress which it clearly creates?

    We consider the careers of two flamboyant politicians - one Australian the other English.  We think that this will illustrate the point we are making, and serve to highlight what change means in political terms.
    330px Billy Hughes 1919William Morris (Billy) Hughes,born 1862

     

    330px Sir Winston Churchill 19086236948

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

                                                                                                                                                                                  Winston Spencer Churchill, born 1874

      Both politicians were active in the early parts of the 20th Century, and have similar patterns of lives.

    Churchill was born in rural England of an English aristocrat and American Mother, in luxury surroundings, BLENHEIM PALACE

    BLENHEIM PALACE    Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough

     

     PIMLICO

     

     

     

     

                                                                                                    PIMLICO LONDON ENGLAND

     

     

    Hughes was born in working class conditions, with a Welsh-speaking carpenter father and a farmer's daughter mother, in Pimlico, London, England. He migrated to Australia when he was in his early twenties.


    They both died after living long lives, Hughes living to 1952, aged 90, and Churchill, 1965 aged 91.

    Hughes was an amazing man, who, from being a teacher, studied and gained qualifications as a barrister, whilst Churchill relied on his influential friends and colleagues to support a lifestyle of relative luxury, which saw him in debt for much of his life, and reliant on handouts from supporters. 

    They both had deeply-held opinions and beliefs about what life and politics should be about, and were not afraid to voice these ideas, and were elected to be Prime Ministers of their respective countries, Hughes to Australia and Churchill to England.

    They both imposed their ideas on others, and would not tolerate opposition, even though they were in and out of power.

    They each carried on a lone crusade in the 1930s on the need to prepare for war, as they saw what Hitler was doing.

    Each was unafraid to propose their views in the face of volatile and sometimes severe opposition from fellow politicians.   

    And finally, each “represented” several constituencies or “seats” in their respective parliaments, without seemingly to understand, or even seek to find out, what were the opinions, wishes or needs of the people in those places, and switching constituencies and party affiliations to suit their own ambitions.
    When these two men had executive power, they used that power to press on with the ideas they espoused, and thrust their ideas onto others in order to get their way.

    Right or wrong. Ill-advised, or wise.

    Both men are remembered with respect, perhaps Churchill more so having been a leader in the second World War.
    They both suffered physical and mental illness, and were controversial figures through their lives,and to some extent, they remain so today.

    To some people, they appear to be great statesmen, and patriots, to others they were uncontrollable and rebellious dissidents. They aroused extremes of admiration or hatred, but never indifference. Their characters could be abrasive and ruthless, but also charming and amusing. They were both witty and erudite, could go into violent rages but these quickly forgotten. Curiously, they both had their wilful progresses halted by Americans, but that's another story.
    The fact that on occasions their decisions and statements were “right” and sometimes “wrong” is not the point. The people they “represented” were not consulted, as neither were the people who were “represented” by the politicians overridden by these two men. The fact is, they had thepower, unfetterd in many ways, to do the things they thought was "right", and chose the things they thought that everyone else wanted....or was "good" for them.

    That is NOT democracy.

    There are acts on the Statute Book right now in Australia, for which the lawmakers have no mandate and are not part of any manifesto presented prior to the election at which they were put in power. Therefore the general public have no say in the matter. 

    That also is NOT democracy.

    Now some will say that the choice of such people to lead the population is the only way to go, and therefore we must take the rough with the smooth. Today, we have similar situations around the World, in which leaders are imposing their will and ideas on the rest of the population, whilst ignoring the wishes, opinions or character of the people they “represent”.  In many cases, self-enrichment is an added bonus to the "Leader". 

    It is our opinion that this cannot be called, in any sense, “democracy”, any more than Genghis Khan, Napoleon, or Adolph Hitler could be called Democrats.

    The argument that present day politicians only last from election to election and can be dismissed, misses the point; after each election it is simply a new opinion that  is imposed on the rest, without consultation.

    We are talking here about change. Change in the way in which Australia runs itself, and manages its affairs, for the benefit of all citizens.

    So far we have been governed in the Westminster way, copying what Britain ( and, in a way, America), has done for centuries. 

    This was ratified by the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act ion the 9th July, 1901

    The result is the usual mess, with some making a great deal of money and others left without hope or direction.

    Historically, this sentiment has been felt in several places world-wide, and usually results in revolution caused by utter frustration. The World has witnessed it many times, and two such revolts are going on as we write.

    But historically, what comes out of revolution is more or less what went into it. A few people, usually men, end up running things according to their own wishes and ambitions, and making money while they do it. (George Orwell writing in “Animal Farm” accurately described this phenomenon).

    We propose that we all need to find something different. We need to find a different way to True Democracy, where the people have the power to do what they think is best for themselves, as a group, not as individuals.

    So, we don't need revolution, anarchy, communism or fascism......they all had their chance and have shown their shortcomings.
    We need to find a way in which the best motives of the majority of people are used to plan the way to the future, without corruption, self-seeking or atrocity.
    And that is what we shall try to do.
    One thing is clear. Probably for the first time in history human society has the way to achieve these high ambitions with the assistance of the mass communications..

    The internet is powerful enough that in various parts of the world, governments have shut down the internet to keep knowledge and information away from their populations. In a True Democracy, especially in an age of mass information dissemination, where each individual has a say, it would be easy, (as has amply been shown in the past), for some agency or other to manufacture rumour and untruth to further its own agendas by influencing a large body of opinion with bending the truth and false innuendo.

    In a governmental system in which a few people have the power, to make decisions, there is much likelihood of this happening, because the carpet under which much can be swept is always available.
    In a True Democratic government, in which many are involved, there may be a way to avoid the mismanagement of information, and, if it exists, it must be found.

    The answer may well lie in the construction of larger pools of checking systems, so that every piece of information vital to decision-making is subjected to transparent and effective examination.

    In any discussion and development of democratic government for Australia, we have to consider that we have in Australia, a ever-changing, multi-layered society of humans, each with their own views, wishes and opinions, and cultural backgrounds. This observation is probably true for any contemporary society influenced by the continual movements of peoples due to migration, engendered by many factors; fear and unhappiness among them.

    The study of statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it, is called demographics.

    The obvious and major division or segment within a society, is male and female; beyond and within those two groups are people who hold spiritual and religious beliefs, as well as those that do not; people with many layers of income levels;  so-called “rednecks” who wish Australia would remain the same as it was in 1938; there are intellectuals and intelligentsia, people with disabilities, physical and mental, who need constant care, and some who don't; educated and uneducated; wealthy and poor; middle-income people; parents raising families, and people who don't want to. We have people in many age-groups, and many levels of health and wellness, as well as multiple stages of personal security and contentment. 

    Brace all this with emotional and developmental charcteristics, moralities and beliefs, and statistics could go wild!

    Some want to understand and keep a watch on politics and government issues, whilst others don't give a damn as long as they are OK.

    We have people from different ethnic backgrounds, first-, second, and third-generation migrants from many diverse Nationalities, some speaking a first language not English. Plus our original occupants of the land called Australia, our Aboriginal peoples. And so on.

    The list is endless. Twenty-four and a half million people, (Jan 2020). 

    All have to be accommodated, their views and opinions considered, in addition to their needs nd desires in a fair society. We then have to think about the question of co-minglings between all the aforementioned characteristics. Some people wish to live in isolated areas, others rural places and many wish to live in towns and cities; and on and on.....

    Ethnic Diversity exists: Today, (2020),  people of British descent continue to be the majority with 67.4% of the population. This is followed by other European ethnicity: Irish 8.7%, Italian 3.8%, and German 3.7%. Those of Chinese ethnicity represent 3.6% of the population and the Aboriginal, and Native Australians are now only 3%. (Jul 18, 2019).

    The task is considerable. Especially because it may be that the present system is the best we can hope to achieve, simply because people in general and the majority, are willing to accept the status quo, because it is comfortable, has always been there, and allows them to sit back and criticise the politician, and the things they do, whilst having to accept whatever results from that apathy, even though it is not True Democracy.

    Mistakes will be made in such a change....but at least they will be our mistakes and not those of some individual who thinks they know what is best for us all,  think they got it right, and whose ear we know that lobbyists have.

    It is pointless raging at politicians. They are merely using a system with which we choose to govern ourselves, and which is designed to benefit those with advantages and influence, has always been with us, and is wrongly called democracy. If you doubt this, just ask yourself, "When were you last asked to give an opinion about a major government decision?"


    The following are a few opinions which represent what many people may hold as views about the way we are governed, and the possibility of change. They were asked:

    QUESTION:     IS TRUE DEMOCRACY POSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE?

    No.  Direct  or True democracy is not possible in contemporary society, because we do not all have enough time to spend legislating. It would be very expensive and time consuming if every person in the country were to vote on every single bill.
    Also, most people are not very smart and would not do a good job directing the country.  (Note this opinion...! )

    No.
    A direct democracy is not possible in the modern world. There are far too many decisions that the government has to make every day for normal people to be involved. Our current system of representative democracy is a good balance that allows for people to be involved in the government.

    (This view infers that normal people don't go into politics !)

    No.
    Direct or True democracy is not possible in contemporary society. There are too many people in society and the government is too big for everyone to be directly involved in every decision. The model of representative democracy is more suited to the modern world. Unfortunately, direct democracy will never be practical in modern times.


    Do these views reflect your own?

    Let's have your opinion.........

    As we have written elsewhere, our interest in all this is to try to end the massive stresses created by present-day politics, if at all possible.


    Credit: Douglas J. Hall
    Published in Finest Hour 103 pp. 49-50 and https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/reference/churchills-elections/
    See http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hughes-william-morris-billy-6761

    BACK TO THE TOP

    Learn more about Hughes here

     

     

    THE DEMOCRATIC ASSEMBLY -- DISCUSSION ONE -- M...
    THE DEMOCRATIC ASSEMBLY -- PROPOSITION AND INVIT...
     

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