A one page Candidate Statement (below) invites each ACT candidate in the coming Federal election to summarise their qualifications for being a parliamentarian and specify the main issues which they will stand up for.
Not all candidates have shown willing to sign the pledge to tell the truth. As the Canberra Times reported,
“Curiously, none of the Labor or Liberal candidates was able to respond by Monday, a week after the invitations were sent. … Some of the independent and minor party candidates for Saturday’s poll did reply, taking the opportunity for free placement of their policies on the group’s website.”
The plan came out of the Festival of Democracy (DemFest) that was held at the University of Canberra June 18–19. Participants in the DemFest discussed a number of actions to strengthen democracy in Canberra, and settled on the Candidate Statement as having immediate application.
The statement was sent to all candidates for the two ACT House of Representatives seats and the Senate, with an invitation that they return their completed statement before Monday, 27 June for entry onto the website.
The spokesperson for this initiative, Bob Douglas, said,
“Voting for our parliamentarians is a vital part of Australian democracy but it is dominated by the party system. Many of us would like to know more about the personal attributes of the candidates we are being asked to vote for and what issues they will fight for in their parties, or the parliament.
“We would also like to know how they view the points in the Charter of Democratic Commitment.
“Voters who are having difficulty deciding how to vote in the two houses, with their long list of candidates will be able to consult the Canberra Alliance website after 27th June to see who has submitted a statement and what they have said in it.”
The request was sent out on 21 June 2016 at 1pm. Here is what the candidates have sent in so far.
|FIELD, Deborah||Animal Justice Party||Yes||No||Download|
|HANSON, Anthony||Mature Australia||Yes||No||Download|
|O’CONNOR, Sandie||Rise Up Australia Party||Yes||No||Download|
|HAYDON, John||Sustainable Australia||No||Yes||Download|
|TYE, Martin||Sustainable Australia||No||Yes||Download|
|CAHILL, Patricia||The Greens||Yes||No||Download|
|HOBBS, Christina||The Greens||Yes||Yes||Download|
|SAEEDI, Carly||The Greens||Yes||No||Download|
Wording of the Candidate statement
My name is ______________ and I am a candidate for the Senate/House of Representatives in the electorate of Fenner / Canberra / ACT. Party: Liberal/National / ALP/ Greens /Independent / Other ______________
These are my principal qualifications for being a parliamentarian. (No more than 200 words – in 8pt Arial font)
If elected, these are the issues that I see as the most important for the long-term benefit of my constituents and towards which I will be working on their behalf. (no more than 300 words – in 8 pt Arial font)
I will abide by the CAPaD Charter of Democratic Commitments as follows: (any amendments to be in italics and underlined)
1. I will at all times tell the truth to the citizens and voters of Australia and be honest in all aspects of my work as an elected representative of the Australian people.
2. I will fully disclose and make public the sources and value of all political funding donations, contributions, gifts public and private, towards my election campaign and political activity.
3. I undertake to be fair, ethical, compassionate and diligent in serving my electorate and the nation at all times, and to uphold the Australian value of “a fair go for all”. Where possible, I will promote and support participatory and deliberative methods for policy and legislative decisions.
4. I will place the public interest (the welfare and wellbeing of the general population and the integrity of the planet) ahead of sectional, corporate, party, personal, religious or other interests.
5. I will never abuse or misuse the allowances, subsidies, concessions and privileges accorded to me by the Australian people and Parliament in my role as an elected representative.
Please send a scanned copy of your statement to email@example.com desirably before Monday 27 June, when a summary of those who have submitted a statement and their statements will be placed on the website at www.canberra-alliance.org.au/requests/