NFP Launches 'Rethink Australia' Website
7 May 2010 at 5:01 pm
A national Not for Profit has launched a new democracy website to allow Australians to have a say on how democracy works, in the lead up to the Federal Election.
Called Rethink Australia, the website is described as a national project to capture the ideas and viewpoints of Australians on how to improve the rules that govern the nation. The website is run by Citizens Charter, a Not for Profit organisation established to improve the quality of democracy around the world.
Citizens Charter Executive Chairperson Rodger Hills is spearheading the Rethink Australia project which he says aims to create a new Australian Constitution.
Hills has been involved with four Not for profit organisations over the last 15 years and is the author of a civic education book, The Consensus Artifact which delivers five years of research into constitutional design and democracy reform.
Hills says the website challenges Australians to consider these simple questions, "How should our democracy work to cope with the future, and what should Australia's Constitution contain or control?"
He says Rethink Australia hopes to fire the public's imagination and capture more effective alternatives to the present way of governing the nation that are citizen-based, fairer and less complex.
Hills says that before the next Australian Federal Election in 2010, Rethink Australia will give everyone the chance to have a say in how our democracy works and seeing if the Constitution of Australia is able to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
He says people have lost faith in the whole political process and there is high cynicism towards the elected leaders and if voting was not compulsory, only around 30% of young people say they would vote.
He says that this is not good for democracy and Citizens Charter wants to be the catalyst that enables Australian citizens to take practical steps to correct the situation.
Rethink Australia is funded by a group of community organisations and private donors but Rethink Australia is also calling for donations to keep its project going.
It says it urgently needs donations to:
- Create balanced public Discussion Papers to distribute to all Australians.
- Educate people about the issues and get them submitting their ideas and views.
- Hold forums where people can deliberate on how to improve our democracy.
Rodger Hills says Rethink Australia is not advocating any particular form of government, nor is it advocating for or against a republic.
He says these decisions and perhaps completely new alternatives will emerge from the deliberative process and will be decided by the Australian people themselves.
To find out more go to www.rethinkaustralia.org