Friday, 16 March 2018

The Ownership of Vital Electoral Decisions

For much of the past week, this digital forum on mental health has been examining the most important policy landscape facing South Australian voters as they make their most vital electoral decisions about the future of their society, and their state.

Are you aware that the future of societies and states, in democracies, is meant to be owned by the voters within those societies and states?

How much ownership do you have of your own future?

How do you contribute to the improvement of South Australian society?

How do you make a contribution to improving the state of South Australia?

If you are a South Australian voter, how can you prove you will be voting wisely tomorrow?

Will you be supporting the usual Marshall Coals and Weatherill Wallies political duopoly?

Will you be supporting the Xenophon corner shop or the Greens organic farmers' market or the Conservatives native and feral butchers or the Dignity allergy-free alimentary store?

The Adelaide Adagia News Ensemble will bring you all the election results and enlightened, nutritious analysis from 6.30pm tomorrow evening.

All suitably enlightened South Australian voters will, by now, be well aware that mental health relies upon food security, water security, energy security, job security, home security, financial security, emotional security, personal security and security of tenure.

Do you have ownership of your own security?

If you missed today's earlier sessions of this forum, you may find it useful to catch up with news about them now:

Since information about this forum was first publicly announced on Sunday, many interesting, confidential interactions have occurred.  Information about those interactions is obviously confidential.

My name is Lavinia Citanul of the Loyal South Australian Society for the Preservation of Reason.  In that capacity, I participated in an email panel discussion here yesterday morning.  Perhaps you did, too, though I do not recall your contribution.

An open society, an open government and an open political party, will allow all fair criticism to occur while respecting privacy.

Unreasonable defensiveness and other forms of aggression will always be unacceptable.  Yet unreasonable defensiveness is common in Australian politics.  Fair criticism in and of most political parties often leads to ostracism.

Enlightened societies, enlightened states, and enlightened political parties encourage fair criticism.  And fair criticism supports mental health and societal wellbeing.

How are you contributing to a statewide mental health strategy?

How are you contributing to a society-wide mental health strategy?

What is your personal mental health plan?

Invitations to be part of the online audience for yesterday's panel discussion were sent out on Wednesday morning.

Supporting mental health is about protecting and preserving good reasoning from all sorts of abuses.   

How do you usually protect and preserve good reasoning?

How will you be expressing your good reasoning at the ballot box tomorrow?

How did you express good reasoning if you have already voted?

At the Loyal South Australian Society for the Preservation of Reason, we are loyal to enlightenment.  We encourage everyone to question assumptions about South Australian society and seek the truth.

How do you usually compare personal strategies, party political strategies and bureaucratic processes when considering mental health and wellbeing in South Australia?

Tomorrow evening, Donald the Canary will be involved in tweeting the results of the state election.  He will not be asked for his analysis.  He knows very little at all on the subject of dignity in society, or dignity in care.

But what do you know on those subjects?

I was very fortunate to be able to participate in the preparations for this forum, earlier this month.  You may already know something about how this ethereal venue is adapted for various, deliberative purposes:

In most political parties in Australia, whatever their demographic aspects, there is a prevalently aggressive and intolerant attitude towards differences of opinion.  That is shameful in a purportedly democratic society.  It shows that the culture within those parties lacks suitably enlightened leadership.

Yet the dominant culture in the Australian mass media is little better.  It is probably even worse.  That culture thrives on divisiveness, not clear analysis.

In Australia, the dominant media culture encourages aggressive competitiveness as entertainment.  That is why I, and many other loyal South Australians, have no interest in participating in public debates.  We do not wish to be derided for challenging ideological positions.

Enlightened leaders reject aggressive competitiveness, just as they reject all other forms of hostility, bullying and obnoxiousness.  Yet enlightened leaders also know when competing views are not aggressive.  They know that people holding reasonable, alternative opinions have a right to be heard, and respected.

Enlightened leaders do not close down debate or try to stage manage public opinion.

The public has a right to the ownership of vital electoral decisions, not political parties, not the media, and not political donors or lobbyists.

As I always do my homework thoroughly before meetings, and before making major purchases, I have never suffered fools, pushy salespeople or self-assured con artists.  There are many of those in South Australia.

I refuse to take anyone's word at face value about legal and financial matters.  When questioning financial advisors, bank staff, lawyers and accountants, politicians, public servants and sales people, none have ever been able to put my mind sufficiently at rest.

If you are as cautious as me, you will want straightforward answers to your questions, too.

In the late 1990s, I was investing considerable time and money in the development of a business in South Australia.  The complexity of the tax system was making it difficult to understand my legal responsibilities, develop an accurate business plan and assess whether my ideas would be profitable.

I joined the Loyal South Australian Society for the Preservation of Reason just as the Goods and Services Tax was about to be undemocratically foisted upon the public.  My instinct was then to put my business ideas on hold.  Fortunately, I had not borrowed money, signed any lease agreements or spent considerable sums on legal fees.

How has Australia changed in the last 20 years?  Who is living better and who is living worse?

How many undemocratic decisions by federal, state and local governments will continue to be foisted on the public without adequate consent, and what can be done to stop such practices from occurring?

The self-serving bubbles inhabited by the dominant political parties in Australia are an undignified spectacle, a degradation of democracy and an indication of their contempt for the wider public.

They put out their glossy leaflets, superficially claiming that their candidates are loyal to the electorate at large when they are, in truth, only in it for ideological, vanity-related reasons. 

For all their smiling photographs, with party hacks pretending to be members of the wider public, they are disloyal to reasonableness, to justice, to fairness, and to truth.