Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Those Democrats Again

While I have left the Australian Democrats (let's not go there) I still get their e-mails. I regard them as public documents.

The latest missive sent under the heading "What do Australian Democrats believe in?" states;

An important part of rebuilding a party is restating what it is you stand for. Often it is hard to condense that down in to something you can communicate quickly and easily.

To get started, we have defined our core beliefs: the central things we believe in that underpin all our actions, objectives and policy:
1. We should all be free to live our lives how we want to
2. Every Australian should have equal rights and opportunities
3. We should care for the world around us to sustain our resources, our economy, and the well-being of future generations
4. Our representatives should put the interests of people first, weighing all perspectives to develop fair, inclusive, and lasting solutions
5. We must take responsibility, individually and collectively, for our nation and its people

This is the start of the conversation. In coming weeks we will expand on these core beliefs to illustrate how they inform and direct all of the other elements that comprise what we stand for.

To join the forums on the Australian Democrats website to discuss how we express these belief and further define our values and objectives, you will need to become a member.

We hope you will join us in this conversation, and talk online and offline about what these beliefs mean to you and why you support the Australian Democrats.

So, talking of offline, principle 1 (the libertarian principle) is in conflict with principle 3 (what could be called the environmental principle) and to a degree principle 5 (the mutual obligation principle).

It is better written in a form in which the social nature of man and the principle of mutual obligation precedes the individual. Hence if I were building an amalgam political/moral philosophy, I'd start by noting that man is a social animal first.

1. Human economic progress has been delivered through co-operative endeavour, treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves. (The principle of mutuality)
2. There are many ways of achieving this co-operation, and we should be all free to live our lives the way we want to without interference if our choices do not infringe the princile of mutuality. (The principle of individual rights)
3. The consideration of the effects of our behaviour on others needs to consider future generations as well as our contemporaries. (The principle of sustainability)
4. The rights of all people are equal, irrespective of wealth, race or any other consideration. (The principle of equality)
5. Representative democracy is the most effective means of achieving these principles, and the principles themselves need to underpin the design of democratic forms. (The principle of democracy)

I could add a fair bit to this. It looks very similar to the Dems list, but is vastly different as it creates one structure and puts mutuality before individuality. Mutuality is NOT the same as collectivism.

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