Completely Biased

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Half Arsed Theories

Whilst considering breaking a toaster over a customer's head at Target today, I started getting all Margo Kingston and thinking about democracy.

I feel you need three things to make it work. We'll call it The Democratic Triangle! Sort of like that heat/fuel/air thing that starts fires.

So the three points on our triangle are:
  1. Honest & Accountable Government
  2. Unbiased Media
  3. Informed Public

You need any two of those points, and the third one will appear.

At the moment we have none of them. So where do we start? Obviously not with Honest & Accountable Government; that'll never happen until 2007 at least. So that leaves us with Unbiased Media and Informed Public.

Unbiased Media
Within the next year, almost the entire Australian media will loosely become the promotional wing of the Liberal party (unless FF does the right thing - they've already said they are against selling Telstra, so maybe they'll see this too). So if you rely on traditional media for information, you're stuffed.

So where does this leave us? Internet.

We need an independent news source, updated as frequently as the regular sites. I'm thinking something like Crikey, but free, with a large advertising budget to pull in traffic. How? I don't know. I am thinking a news site where all the stories are reported with a declaration at the top stating which way they lean. Make it available to all browsers, PDA's, 3G phones, everything. If there is a way to transmit information, there should be a form of this news source available for it.

It sounds like a stupid idea that'd never work, but it's something to aim towards. Jess has been considering it too.

Informed Public
This is important. Over the next three years, make sure people around you know exactly what is going on. When someone starts talking out of their arse in a political argument, give them a bitchslap and set their facts straight. Get the message out about all the little things that don't make front page news. The more these facts are known, the better.

And if we can get these two things to happen, then we have ourselves an honest and accountable government as a result. You can't screw people over if they know exactly what you're trying to do.

Other Random Thought
Another democratic reform thought - what if elections were held at random? The GG has a draw and pulls a date out of a hat at the end of every election. He keeps this date completely secret to everyone, then, a week before that date, an election is announced. It would kill campaigning, meaning parties would be judged on their performance instead of their bullshit. But then I suppose it would always mean you're voting a government out based on what they'd done, not on what they had to offer. Blah.