Twelve Indigo Shire residents in Victoria’s lovely north-east are starting up an incredibly old but also an incredibly new idea – Voice for Indi – kitchen table talks to thrash out grassroots problems from which information can be passed on to our elected representatives who can then, hopefully, incorporate this into the policymaking process.
“Voice for Indi is not party political. We are a group of local community leaders who feel the undercurrent of dissatisfaction about the way in which we are represented.
Around the country people are talking about the need for a real change; a change that genuinely reflects the voice of the people. Voice for Indi is hosting conversations across the region and promoting thinking about what we, as citizens, want and expect our electorate to look like in the future and how we could make a real difference on the national stage.
People across all political parties are involved in these conversations.
We encourage anyone interested in Voice for Indi to contact us via our website www.voiceforindi.com and we thank those many people who have participated already. The support has been overwhelming and the ideas filtering though have been inspiring.”
The Voice for Indi website – full of stunning rural photography – says:
“The relationship between the one hundred and fifty Federal MPs and by extension their communities is the foundation block of our national system of democracy – not tabloid owners or other powerful interest groups or individuals. But for this relationship to work properly, MPs and their constituents need to engage with one another constructively and respectively” (From a Switch in Time, Mary Crooks, 2012).
Voice for Indi (V4I) aims to become the voice for the people of Indi, and to act as the conduit to our federal representative; to rebuild the relationship between our politicians and the people and create a new standard for politics in Australia.
The Voice for Indi committee was set up by 12 residents of Indi who share a common goal of strengthening the relationship between community and policy-makers. The committee intends to operate as a financially strong and long term organisation. Voice for Indi will work on developing a system for community engagement and providing a new means of political action. We aim to mobilise a voting public that is well informed and engaged, and develop political representation that is receptive and representative of the broader community. There is a need for a strong voice from civil society that carries a clear and powerful message.”
Is this a way to move beyond media hype driven by the need to attract viewers/readers? I will be attending a Beechworth Kitchen Table Talk in 10 days and will be able to judge the process for myself.
As my son says, this concept is ‘very Pigs Will Fly’!