Australia is making political history next week. A question posed by a citizen will be asked in Federal Parliament during question time and recorded in Hansard. Over the last 4 weeks, Crikey and OurSay provided Australians with the opportunity to get a question asked in the House of Representatives. We agreed with a secret MP to have one of the most voted for questions on OurSay asked during Question Time and Crikey would report on new and popular questions in the lead up to the big day.
Our secret MP is Adam Bandt, the member for Melbourne, and he plans to take the top question on the OurSay site (which is about end-of-life decision-making) into parliament house next Wednesday.
This is a big step in democratizing our democracy. We are putting the power back in public hands to set the agenda.
The challenge is showing people this is possible. People are skeptical about their ability to impact decisions made by our political leaders. Over the last 2 weeks, Australians watched a political leadership game take place in our nation’s capitol and became more cynical about the distance between decisions made in Canberra and their day-to-day experiences.
We are trying to change this by strengthening public involvement in what we want our leaders to address and providing our elected representatives with the political capital they need to make courageous decisions.
The People’s Question will be the first of many, as we shift the political and media agenda to be focused more on the issues which matter to you. We invite other members of parliament of all walks of life to get in touch with us to participate in the next People’s Question.