2020: obfuscating the REAL agenda
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-04-27
While the media and politicians talked about moving to a republic as the "big idea" from the 2020 stream on "The future of Australian governance: open government (including the role of the media), the structure of government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens", my sampling of 30-odd submissions from that stream shows a completely different focus.
Apart from off-topic submissions, those from the Australian Republican Movement, and those from schools (where a republic was included as a leading question in the "discussion points" presented to them by the government), only one mentioned a republic.
So, what were the dominant themes of submissions on the future of governance?
- A human rights charter
- Better consultation with citizens, including provision of e-Democracy (rather than mere e-Voting)
- Greater accountability from politicians, including independent auditing of government advertising
- Better direct access to information held by the government.
The spruiking of a republic by the government seems to be an attempt to distract attention from the real issues that affect governance.
I hate to admit it, but I think the Herald-Sun’s anti-intellectual-in-residence Andrew Bolt has been spot on with his critique of the government’s motives and methods.
Such actions seem consistent with the many comments, even in the press, that the 2020 gabfest was little more than a media stunt, and a way of pre-emptively stopping the intellectuals from attacking the government’s agenda early in the term, by making them feel they might be listened to.
I’d hoped for better. I hope later reports on the summit will more accurately reflect the opinions of citizens.
Has anyone else looked through the submissions from the governance stream, with a different random sample, and seen a strong call for what KRudd and company are representing as the agenda?
Has anyone looked through the other streams and found that the politicians have spun or obfuscated less?
I think the citizenry and even the media have merely had sweet nothings whispered in their ears – and like a battered spouse being promised "I won’t do it again", have been sucked in by these too-smooth operators now in power.
- Other 2020-gabfest posts
- Update: "How to win friends and influence people" (Larvatus Prodeo, 2008-05-01) discusses the attitudes of summitteers (I can’t help humming S-U-M M-I-T Double-E R-S… showing my age)
So incensed are the delegates that attended the Creative Australia strand of the 2020 summit, they are now forming an advocacy group from within to keep a check on the Federal Government.
What’s angered the delegates to this point? The censorship of ideas within the Initial Summit Report, which have been replaced by other ideas that were never discussed.