ANZAC Day – what it means to me

April 25 is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, and it’s one of those days with a variety of meanings to a variety of people. Primarily it is a day to remember and pay respects to the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who fought and died on our nation’s behalf in wars of past and present.

To me, ANZAC Day is a confusing mixture of respect, solemnity, pride and despair. Respect and pride for the sacrifices made by brave men and women in the hope of securing a safe and free life for their family and friends, and solemn remembrance of innocent civilians who die needlessly as a result of war every day. Then comes the despair. Continue reading ANZAC Day – what it means to me

Australia needs a new flag

“How Long will it take? How long do we wait? When we gonna get a new flag?” – exactly what Urthboy asks in his song “Empire Tags” on his most recent full album release “Smokey’s Haunt“, and it’s a question I can’t get out of my mind.

Urthy hits the nail on the head with the following lyric:

“From a time when the empire tagged the globe, We ain’t cleaned that graffiti off the front of our home”

Because that’s exactly what the Union Jack really is. The British supremacist gangs’ tag, emblazoned across the most prominent point of our national symbol; the ‘Australian’ flag.

  Continue reading Australia needs a new flag

Improving Democracy (Pie-chart Representation)

Recently I’ve been ruminating over a very interesting article entitled “Democracy Without Elections” by Australian journalist and fellow tweep (heavy twitter user), Austin G Mackell.

To fully understand what follows in this article, you should probably read his first. What Austin proposes represents a pathway toward replacing ‘representative’ democracy with ‘direct’ democratic participation in decision making, through allowing electors to choose positions on actual policy proposals before they are voted on.

While I support direct democratic participation as a desired end-goal I do not believe we are yet at a place in history where we can achieve this, despite rapid technological advancement. On the other hand, contained within Austin’s suggestions are other very practical methods for reforming the way political representation is determined within a parliamentary system, to allow increasing levels of citizen participation and ensure more equitable representation.

Part of this is achieved via making the vote ‘fluid’ – giving the voter the power to change who they support as their representative at their own demand. But that part will become a post of its own.

For now it is necessary to understand a proposed new system for allocating your “vote”. Continue reading Improving Democracy (Pie-chart Representation)