Prior to March 1986 the only voice Australian voters had to government was via their local MP. Even if those MPs were inclined to do what was asked, they often did not have the power to do so. Voters became very disillusioned with democracy. The “Yes Minister” bureaucracy ruled with an iron fist.
Then in March 1986, a Chartered Accountant by the name of Greg Bloomfield launched the Votergram service. That allowed every individual Australian and organisations of Australians to directly contact each and every Member of any Parliament in Australia. Suddenly “government by the people, for the people” became a reality.
Big business has over 1,000 highly paid lobbyists working full time to make government do what it wants and it spends millions or perhaps billions making that happen.
Yet for a relatively small $120 any Australian can still directly reach and influence each Member of Parliament to persuade them to do what is needed.
That way Australians have, in the past, got an operation or hospital bed for a sick or injured relative, respite care for someone disabled, a new facility for their child’s or their own school. Or on a broader scale they have had government enact environmental legislation, food safety laws, cut the road toll by 65%, stop smoking on commercial airlines, fund community pharmacies to the extent of $1.5 billion a year and keep the NSW snowfields available for community ski lodges.
What Greg and the Votergrams organisation did not know in 1986 but does know now, is that democracy depends on continuous input from the voters themselves. That is because they have elected to parliament “Representatives” not “leaders”, though some MPs with leadership skills will become leaders. To represent the voters well, each representative needs to know what is wanted because if they do not know what people want, they cannot do it.
Because parliament is a voting forum even though not all decisions require a vote, it is essential for voters to contact every MP individually to ensure that they do know what that voter wants done.
Democracy is a magnificent system of government, but unlike a monarchy or dictatorship, it allows and depends on voter input to guide what it does.
If you do not do that, someone else will and their goals may be strictly personal gain rather than a fair society. Australian Government can be and is, guided by those voters who use Votergrams.
Not all voters, community organisations or peak bodies have the knowledge and skills to effectively use Votergrams to persuade politicians to do what is required. To solve that, Greg established FairGO.org to manage campaigns effectively for individuals and groups on the basis of people chipping in to help cover costs. Some have donated thousands of dollars, some regular monthly contributions and many between $5 and $50 at a time. They have done that via the Australian Voters Network that FairGO established to educate and inform voters about guiding government through political persuasion. It has the donation facility.
Politicians are not the rogues painted by the media to whip up controversy. They are ordinary Australians trying to do the very difficult job of pleasing the vast majority of 17 million people.
You can do your bit by using Votergrams to tell them what you, your community or Australia needs in respect of any matter or issue. Your power to guide government comes from your ability to vote in elections and to influence the votes of others where they count most.