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Forums > Social Chat > Head in my hands in shame...

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:As some of you may know, I am a member of a political party out here in Australia. Right now it is imploding rather spectacularly, with leadership fighting & bickering. I think my favourite part of it is that one of our representatives is claiming that the party has been infiltrated by U.S. Officials determined to de-stabilised the party

So, advice required. When something you believe in starts to fall apart due to the actions of a small minority, who happen to hold a lot of sway, what do you do? Do you walk away? Do you stay and fight to make it what you believe in again?


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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FireMikeZ


FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US

Total posts: 1438
Posted:well,

how important do you think it is?
how much do you believe in it?
will you succeed...this time?

what do you need...courage, resources, to publish your opinion and get your voice heard, allies, leadership or to provide some yourself and get it forthcoming from others, humor?


molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:If you look at political history, this type of situation is more common than black boogers on a firedancer!

There's really no way for anyone who isn't heavily involved with the party to give you any suggestions, except to help with the decision tree on how you shoudl react?

The above comments are a great starting point, but add to that how many others are of a similar mind? Not just those who are against the current morons, but who are also aligned with your own beliefs (a common enemy isn't a good bond if you plan to get rid of the enemy ).

Also, how much time and effort are you prepared to sink into this? What other parts of your life would you be willing to sacrifice for making your attempt.

Try not confuse "making the attempt" with actually achieving your goal or cause. Most people would sacrifice almost everything for a cause they believe in, but out of thoise who make the sacrifice, virtually none of them actually achieve their goals and they can end up being bitter and twisted.

And try to redefine your goals as well, making sure that they fit in with the original idea, things may have changed more than you have thought.

Well, anyway, that's my thoughts...

Good luck!


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SickpuPpy


SickpuPpy

Ninja Rockstar!
Location: Denver, Co. U.S.A.

Total posts: 1100
Posted:I think that you have to ask yourself one question: Will it be easier to fight it out and reform it or would it be better to rebuild it from the ground up?

Since it is a small minority causing the problems there is still the majority who (seemingly from your short explanation) still have the core values at heart. Would it be better to form a faction and break off from the original group, as the Protestants did from the Catholic church, forgoing the pains and toil of reforming the group from within? Would the good people in this party follow you if you did so? Or is more realistic to instigate change from within, swaying the heart of the beast to conquer it's head?


Jesus helps me trick people.

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the mind gap.


the mind gap.

old hand
Location: Brigadoon

Total posts: 829
Posted:if you really do believe in it of course you have to fight for it.
i don't understand the indecision.


wherever you go, there you are.

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:u a democrat, rosi?
ima confused

[ 26 July 2002, 18:52: Message edited by: Bender_the_Offender ]


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Yep, I am a Democrat. It is a bit like watching a car crash in slow motion at the moment...

You are right, if I believe in some-ting, I have to act. The question is, what to do.

I believe in the basis of this party, we ballot all policies, and all decisions. We do not have to vote on party lines. We tolerate disagreement based on fact.

The problem at the moment is that the disagreement at the top levels in the party is based on personality and pride, so no one is willing to back down, or discuss to come up with a new solution. Basically the leaders & representatives in the party are behaving like a bunch of prats.

But ordinary branch members are still committed to issues and policies, and not faffing about over who hates whom. So I guess my energy goes with them, my fight goes with people who still have the focus on the politics of issues and ideals, not the politics of personality & profile.

Thankyou for the advice Feeling slightly better now. And at least no one will ever accuse us of being a major party ever again


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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SickpuPpy


SickpuPpy

Ninja Rockstar!
Location: Denver, Co. U.S.A.

Total posts: 1100
Posted:Sounds to me like you need a good ass whomping stick

Jesus helps me trick people.

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:quote: Walk softly & carry a big stick It has always been my motto

It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:So Rozi what's the goss then? I've always admired Natasha... she's quite brilliant. Is she caught up in all the pride stuff too? What a shame.

I think she may have been a little bit too young to take on the leadership of the dem's in hindsight. What's your take?

Finn


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

Enter a "Title" here:
Location: San Diego California

Total posts: 2905
Posted:*Hugs Rozi*

Rozi my favorite dueling partner, this is something that you must decide on your own. Politics is not my game, they point I shoot, that as close to politics as I want to get. There comes a point when you must ask yourself, is it worth fighting for?

We cant answer that for you. You are a strong and intelegent young woman, I know you can do anything when you have put your mind to it.

Dont let someone else put out your fire.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Thanks Ray!!!

The Nat thing is difficult. She has immense potential. She is an excellent public speaker, an excellent representative, and an excellent legislator. However she does make the mistake that many politicians make, surrounding herself with people like herself, rather than with people who will give her a bit of stick and some new ideas.

She has managed her own career brilliantly, but haphazardly. She has worked hard and taken the opportunities given to her. However that does not work when you are leading a group of people. You have to plan and you have to make the opportunities. If you can't do it, you surround yourself with people who can.

As a group, the leaders & representatives of the party have all got into positions that they cannot back down from. And none are willing to lose face. This should have been handled internally a long time ago, before these matters reached a head.

The answer to the world's woes is not in political parties. And so I want to be more involved in volunteer work etc. However in the current system, you need some political influence to get in major changes in legislation. The Democrats have the potential to be an important tool for social change. This is very unfortunate.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Paddy


back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W

Total posts: 884
Posted:Sounds remarkably similar to what's happening over here...

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I always get confused by politics in other countries. In the U.S.A. the names of the parties are confusing (they both really mean the same thing), but the situation is simple. As a general rule:

Democrat=Politically Liberal
Republican=Politically Conservative

In other countries, the names are confusing. In come countries, the "Liberal" or "Socialist" party is the most Right-wing, for example.

In general, I track U.S. and Israeli politics and I figure that everyone else gets to govern themselves without my watchful, guiding eye.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:Mike,

It's much the same here in Australia. There is very little difference between the two main political parties.

Liberal = conservative
Labor = slightly less conservative (traditionally Labor were great believers in social justice and left leaning, not so these days )

While the Democrats (along with the Greens) have little influence in the lower house (house of representatives), they have been able to exert considerable influence in the senate, often holding the balance of power in recent years.

There is now talk of a merger between the greens and the democrats. This is an interesting move given that the democrats were originally a spin off from the Liberal party. In recent years the dem's have become much more left wing and adopted a motto of 'keeping the bastards honest' ie. bastards = Liberal and Labor. I'm not sure how well the greens and Dem's would gel together. There would have to be major compromises made on both sides for it to work.

Rozi,

Thanks for the inside info on Tash. I hope she manages to regain control of the situation (and the party).

What do you think about a merger between the greens and the dems's? Wouldn't Don Chip be appalled?

Love and Light,

Finn

Politics has always fascinated me.


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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:I think a lot of people would be!!

It would be a very difficult thing to achieve. The two parties aren't far apart in policy, really. However they are very far removed in terms of structure, procedures & activities.

As I understand it, the Greens are fairly losely organised on the outer fringes. People join eco-groups (say a local environmental group) which is Greens affiliated. They can be called upon for actions etc. There are then people who are directly members of the Greens. They have an executive who work on policy & decisions about the party etc. I don't think they really ballot policy.

The Dems, on the other hand, do not have many active members. This means that our involvement in rallies etc tends to be fairly lacklustre. Most of our members just vote on policy etc & don't attend meetings. We elect all internal positions, and are organised in branches. When it comes to policy, branches or divisions (maybe a state division, or the young Democrats) will develop a policy. The policy will then be circulated and each clause will be voted on to see if it is accepted. This is a pretty lengthy process, but greatly valued in the party.

It would be really hard to join the two parties, for those reasons alone. But also there is the culture. The Greens tend to be very focussed on the ends, getting a desired political result no matter what. The Dems tend to be focussed on the means, it has to be done the right way.

There is also a lot of ground level animosity between the two parties at the moment, because the last election saw an interesting trend in both parties fighting each other directly for the same votes. Competition hasn't been that extreme up to now.

It would be very tough to merge the two parties at this time.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:Yeah... Bob sure didn't sound keen when asked about it yesterday.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens at the democrat pow wow today.

Finn


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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:wowies what a deep internal understanding of the 'other' parties. I have always wondered as to why the democrats were underrepresented at student rallies. My student union (Melb Uni) was overrun with FIGJAM student politicians, and as such the RMIT had a much friendlier, active cohesive socialist movement. and free sausages
I dunno if this may offend you, Roz, since you are the person with the deepest understanding, but i find that Meg could have found a more honourable way of addressing her differences with Natasha - and especially a less damaging one - i don't want meg to diminish my vote.
your feelings on this?


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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Don't worry, I am not easily offended about these things!!! & my experience of the Greens is as an outsider, and so take what I have to say with a grain of salt (& a free sausage ). Student politics can get pretty full on, and scary. i like it better when the groups work together, instead of just getting together to shout things at each other.

I can understand your feeling about the Meg thing totally. It would be fairly tough at the moment for us to get any votes. This is really damaging. & I wish she had found another way too.

Ah well. I don't care who puts forward motions or holds seats as long as they do so intelligently. So if the Greens or another party benefit from this, and use it to bring in excellent reforms, more power to them. Unfortunatly, it might just result in Meg-gie assisting in the sale of Telstra


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:Rozi,

Not sure whether you read the crikey website.... received this in the crikey alert e-mail today

quote: DEMOCRATS INSIDER ON "THE WALKING DEAD"

"The Walking Dead"

Having been a member of the Australian Democrats for almost a decade, a candidate, a staffer and an office bearer it is somewhat saddening to
see a once almost great party implode. But the party died a long time ago now. The party organisation is run by a rag tag group of amateurs and unprofessional wanna-be's who have lofty ambitions but little if no talent. The entrenched culture of anti professionalism and rank amateur values has eaten away at the party like a cancer.

In the past twelve months there was a small blip of increased support, under the leadership of Natasha. However, as this was primarily based on
a cult of personality, it was inevitably short lived. Those who put Natasha on a pedestal soon saw the party for what it was and either
continued as a 'NSD' groupie or left the party, bored.

Serious political parties are about substance, policy and compromise. Not personalities, media appearances on light entertainment programmes,
photo op's and obsessive paranoid image making. The leader's office during and since the 2001 federal election has been run like a playpen
for the Gestapo; isolationist, autocratic, and paranoid. With a motley crew of loyalist staff members - lead by Frank Maguire - constantly
giving the leader poor advice. In terms of media, Natasha's press secretary, Alison Rodgers - who is now widely know for her rudeness and
abruptness to almost everyone - is never pro-active, they are constantly fielding media requests, never setting the agenda.

The current leader has twelve months - at most - left. Then NSD will no doubt resign, get married, maybe have kids and then work in the
media, or as a political consultant in the US, or making a great deal of money in the private sector perhaps, whatever. Subsequently, the
Democrats will be left with Aden as leader, which is somewhat tragic, as Aden is a serious under-performer in the Senate and in the media -
having been dubbed 'invisible' and 'mute'. Aden will call for unity and position himself as a consensus leader, and as a saviour of the part
(just as NSD did), internally of course Aden is known as 'Black Jesus'. Aden will lead the walking dead party to the next election, but fail to even get re-elected in his own NSW Senate seat. It will be the worst ever result, with the party being all but wiped out. While the Green's
fortunes will continue to soar, becoming the balance of power party.

In march 2003 at the NSW state election the Democrats will field a gaggle of lower house candidates, all of whom will never be elected.
While they run a fractured divided and bitter upper house ticket of Lantry, Furness, Burridge, Baird, Ferrarah and Zakzewski all belonging
to opposing factions and ideological standpoints -no unity. Not a single Democrat will be elected, as the candidates will be viewed as 'the infighting bastards', rather than candidates that can 'keep the bastards honest' and it will be the final nail in the coffin of an already dead party.

A sad state of affairs maybe. Certainly a pale imitation of the vibrant substance based party of 1977, founded by the senile Don Chipp.

Ding, dong, the Australian Democrats are dead. Long live democracy. As for me? I'm just another Demo-rat fleeing the Titanic.

Sincerely, Name Withheld Whaddaya think of that?



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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:www.crikey.com.au

it's always entertaining!


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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:To be honest, not surprised. In any political party there are divisions, and people get quite het up. They even get into personal attacks on people they disagree with. Crikey has provided a really useful forum for the extreme elements on both sides to anonymously do this kind of thing. It would be far more useful if they said it within the party & put their name to it. And even suggested how to fix the problem. But, what can you do? People will be people...

Dems aren't perfect, any more than any other political organisation. it is mainly run by volunteers, not holding paid positions, so the amount of energy they can put into it is limited by how much they want to eat that week

Our representatives hold many portfolios, and they don't have as many staffers as the major parties. They have a lot to do. And quite often, they are not brilliant at getting media attention. It has been an ongoing problem with the party at election time.

We may survive this, we may not. That is the honest fact of the matter. What do you think? Do you think the Democrats still have something to add?


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:Yeah I do. I voted Democrat in both houses last election. Labor lost my vote in the lower house over the way they mishandled the Tampa thing
(this was an issue the Dem's were very strong on).

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.

I hope things work out for you Rozi. It's heartbreaking seeing something you're passionate about tear apart.

Love and Light,

Finn


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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:yeah i share finn's sentiments - i hope that the performance of the party eventually honours the efforts of people like yourself, Rozi! you're definitely not alone in that sinking feeling

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