The more people participate in our political system, the healthier we make our democracy. The Greens will trial a variety of digital platforms to increase participation in democratic processes.
Access to technology is critical to enabling more people to actively participate in our democracy. Twenty first century technology can enhance twenty first century democracy.
New technology has the potential to enhance equality in so many areas - improving public education, driving wealth redistribution, and expanding access to MPs and all decision makers to name a few.
Power to participate
Our democratic processes and institutions urgently need rejuvenation. Technology has made it easy for ideas to be widely circulated and debated, and for support and interest to be easily gauged. The ability to directly influence legislation and debate will strengthen participation in the political process and increase the legitimacy of the parliament.
New technology has the potential to facilitate this by distributing power and increasing transparency. From requiring all levels of government to be open and accountable to tapping into the expertise of members of the public, the possibilities are limitless.
Budget setting by digital democracy
The Greens will use interactive technology to facilitate public participation in annual government budget-setting to determine priorities for new infrastructure and services as well as revenue raising measures. Media outlets and other governments, including local governments in Australia, are already utilising such technology. One example is the Budget Allocator.
The Australian Citizens’ Initiative
Inspired by the Finnish initiative, the Greens will establish a similar mechanism to strengthen links between the community and the parliament. Ideas can be raised on an online platform, and if enough support is gathered, the idea must be debated in the parliament.
Foreign affairs by digital democracy
We will encourage participation in treaty-making and decisions about going to war. These policies affect the whole country for generations and the community deserves a say. Technology has made it possible for people to have informed opinions about these complex matters, and to have their opinions heard.
Putting freedom back into FOI
Information gathering, storage and publication is becoming increasingly efficient thanks to new technology. We will move legislation that will require all government departments to proactively release information including their budgets and contracts, publishing the information in an easily searchable format.
Human rights bill
Everyone should be able to have a say on the contents of a human rights bill. Technology can facilitate crowd-sourcing ideas and debate. Using a platform like those found in The GovLab would give all Australians ownership over the process to draft a human rights bill. This will help to increase the legitimacy of the final bill in the eyes of the community.