Just in case you missed it, the ABC’s 7.30 Report (Victoria) gives an excellent rundown on newly-elected Federal MP Cathy McGowan’s remarkable mobilisation of community effort across all political persuasions in Indi. Note the age of the campaign managers – young – and the age range of volunteers – huge! Take note major party machines, voters are speaking. What price your focus groups?
After the amazing swing achieved in Indi by a grassroots campaign, the major parties are on notice that we ARE a democracy and people like to have a voice. We don’t like the cyclical succumbing to yet another ‘dictatorship’ – one of just a slightly different colour.
Let’s use media and social media to communicate, empower communities and solve entrenched problems.
How much better to build self-help than to persist solely with centralised control/handouts, especially when there are budget constraints. Help communities to help themselves and money is saved.
People will contribute time, effort, skills when they can see they are making a difference. If government insists on command and control from Canberra, none of this will emerge. Isn’t it time our leaders took note of community development research, such as Asset Based Community Development?
I’ve been following the election and Cathy’s progress from Italy. Now I’m home the standout points I’ve heard from Cathy on the radio have been:
Voice for Indi adopted the Victorian Women’s Trust ‘kitchen table conversations’ model and during April and May this year held 55 conversations across 40 postcodes. The opportunity was enthusiastically received. This was a true grassroots campaign writes Virginia Trioli. V4i established community concerns:
BUT the incumbent, Sophie Mirabella, in the 11 minute V4i had with her, disagreed, saying community concerns were the cost of living and ‘stopping the boats’.
As their MP had it all wrong, the only alternative was to take the seat. The team drew on Harvard’s Marshall Ganz and the grassroots political organising campaign used by Barack Obama in 2008 and their local knowledge.
The key to the success…’Planning, Vision, Follow-through, Community’…Simple!!
Well done Cathy and Voice 4 Indi – Keep it up!