The Liberal Democrats believe government should be a servant, not a master. The response to COVID has demonstrated just how unaccountable governments can become between elections.
The basic rights we thought we enjoyed have not been the norm across human history and were hard-fought to establish. We’ve benefited so much from those freedoms that many people were taken off guard when our governments bulldozed over them. We will make sure governments can never do this to you again.
Make recall elections available. Citizens must have the right to recall power-mad politicians. A petition signed by a set percentage of any given electorate should trigger a by-election, and a petition of a set percentage of the whole electoral roll should trigger a full election. Recall elections are rare in jurisdictions that permit them, but the simple fact that they are an option restrains politicians.
Enable a citizens’ veto of any legislation. Citizens should also have the right to act as an effective third house of parliament, with the power to recall any legislation. A petition signed by a set percentage of the electoral roll to repeal any legislation should trigger a binding public vote on that legislation.
- Make voting voluntary. Voting should be a right, not an obligation. Australia is one of the few democracies in which government compels people to vote in elections, and this forces political parties to pander to those who are apathetic or uninformed. Voluntary voting would empower informed voters and enable real leadership to emerge.