March 6, 2011

As in the Arab states, Australian politicians are widely regarded as opportunist kleptocrats who will do just about anything to stay in power and have little stomach for hard decisions. The difference is only the degree of loathing.
Locally, we are still some distance from the tipping point. But now we have a call for “people’s revolt” from the leader of political parties that command between 49% and 51% – let’s say half – popular support across the nation. Mr Abbott’s call for uprising legitimises the peoples’ cause. And he has a solid historical foundation for making it – not just by way of echoing the jasmine revolt – but in pursuit of the ideals of Jefferson himself, who famously observed that the tree of liberty needs frequent bloody refreshment.

Let’s not have his cry die on the wind. Even if Mr Abbott’s call for an armed rebellion gets no legs, we still can – with the authority lent by his charge – finally get the chance at our own Australian revolution without a drop of blood having to be spilt.

And so we must. Now – while the rhetoric is hot. Or put another way: Yes We Can.

Our revolution won’t be orange or lavender. It won’t even have a colour. We will advance ourselves alphabetically or more precisely, it will be the Vowel Revolution.

“E” is for, you guessed it, electronic. “I” is the subjective personal pronoun and also ‘i’ as in the information age, internet or whatever i-thing that takes your fancy. “O” is for goooooogle and “U” is for ‘you’, as in the objective “I”.
I don’t have to tell you what “A” is for.

The Vowel Revolution will be entirely on-line: a web-based constitutional convention starting on 1 May for three months. Everyone who can spell may participate. We will ask the AEC or GetUp! to provide the back end and the AEU to disqualify bad spellers except for mid word capitalizations like GetUp and for the number of’ o’s in google.

Before then convenors from each state must be elected. The conveners’ job is to moderate delegates’ wiki edits to the WikiConstution which will include a Bill of Rights preserving the people’s control over the legislature and an elected president.

Any citizen, other than a sitting federal politician, can nominate before 1 April for the five convenor positions for each state.  I am thinking Ian Frazer, Kevin Sheedy, Dick Smith, Murrandoo Yanner would agree to be on the ballot.  State parliaments can also have one convener each, ex officio. Tony Abbott will only be allowed if he quits parliament and renounces violence.

Everyone with an Australian IP address is a delegate and entitled to propose edits. Edits will also be moderated algorithmically – so each fortnightly draft of the WikiConstitution improves in quality over the previous one. The convenors will select among algorithms resolved and submitted by Facebook and Google as part of a sponsorship package.

On 1 August, the final draft – compiled in (electronic) peace and tranquillity reminiscent of Philadelphia in 1787, but on this occasion drafted by the entire Australian internetocracy – will be put to the vote.

One vote per IP sub-address with public computer instalations created for those without a their own computer or an internet enabled mobile device. Voting on a star system (one to five) will be conducted online for seven days. To record a vote, at least one star must be submitted but voting is not compulsory.

The new constitution would be ratified and become the law of Australia law from 1 September if the star vote averages 3 or more.

And there we have it – a revolutionary Australia in six months with the voices of you and I heard – without a shot fired.

The improvement in national spelling prowess will just be a bonus.

Categories: Opinonian

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