The Something About It Now (SAIN) campaign in the federal election on Voter Policy Ranking can report good, but only partial success.
The Voter Policy Ranking proposal is for voters at the election, having received from the Australian Electoral Commission when the election is called statements of policy earlier submitted to it by the parties, to be able to rank the policies in their order of preference by policy title, ranking as many policies for as many House of Representatives candidates as they choose, probably on a separate ballot paper.
My present thinking is that voters who wanted to take this extra trouble would register with the AEC. Because counting the rankings would produce a national governing program direct from the people, those I have asked immediately say they would take the trouble.
SAIN asked all candidates to agree to consider the proposal, recognising that for parties to determine support for the proposal could take months of party process. We have sought replies indicating support or rejection within a year, by May 2020.
As I write on Thursday evening 16th May the following candidates have agreed to take the proposal back to their parties and policy teams for consideration: Adam Blakester, Independent; Yvonne Langenberg, Labor; Cindy Duncan, United Australia Party; Julie Collins, Christian Democratic Party; Natasha Ledger, Independent.
A popular voice in government is too important an issue for us to take our bat and ball home because we only hit five runs instead of eight. While I can't pester people further, it is of course open at any time for Mr Joyce to indicate that he will take the idea up with the Nationals, Mr Lonergan with the Greens, and for Mr Taber to consider it. There being no Liberal or One Nation candidates for the House of Representatives in New England, those parties will have to be approached at central level, as all the parties eventually may.
I'll be trying to organise further discussion of it in New England, including through these pages.
Stan Heuston for SAIN