Australia has three major political parties, each backed by their own training and voting block: the Australian Greens have the Environmental and Activist movements, Labor has the Unions and the Liberal Party has the business sector.
Unfortunately the Labor and Liberal models are the Boys Club in Australia, and while the Australian Greens have a very different internal model of democracy, they participate in a parliamentary model that was created by the Boys Club, and they do not have the numbers to change the system – yet.
Australian Politics: The Boys ClubThe largest population in Australia without a voice is women; our very urgent needs for parity, safety and leaders are being ignored and wound back, our leadership is locked out of power and as voters we are unable to direct our vote to a party that champions us.
Our political system simply cannot cope with diversity of candidates - and that is the fault of the system, not the fault of diversity. Diversity is ever-present and requires systems to improve, not retreat.
Systems are just tools, they should react and change with the user. But our systems are not changing with the population that use them, as evident by under-representation of varied proportions of our population in almost every area of public and private life. The systems are wrong, not the diversity of the population trying to use them.
Australia’s Two-Party System Has Failed Us; Here’s How We Can Fix It by Jane Gilmore at JUNKEE
Australian women do, however, have an established and proven mentorship and training ground for female candidates to gain political experience and female voters to gain access to candidates to influence policy; the Country Women's Association.
Ruth Shanks from Dubbo leads the Associated Country Women of the World.
Rural women breaking the Grass Ceiling and becoming leaders in their communities.The CWA is a National and International group of women who can provide mentors, training and leadership for women who want to be political candidates, or women who simply want their informed vote to count in a new political system.
This is not a suggestion that the CWA itself field candidates - the CWA is explicitly non-political - but membership of the CWA means women can access grassroots political training and mentorship from an exclusively female leadership. The CWA provides all-female mentorship and training, but it accommodates women of any political persuasion as members.
Australia normalizes men and women working up through business, the Unions and the activist movements to become effective political candidates because that is the Boys Club method. People of all voting persuasions can take part in business, the Unions or the activist movements and they are not bound to any party whilst employing people, being employed or working for their passions.
Australia is not comfortable with women working their way up through an effective organisation like the CWA to become candidates, because that is using the Boys Club method and making it work for women. Using membership of the CWA to learn to be politically effective is entirely practical and does not politicise the organisation, but it will train women to be great candidates and informed voters.
The CWA consult to the Australian Government on many, mainly rural, matters, and this is important because the Nationals are no longer a legitimate power in the Coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party.
Rural votes are no longer exclusively for the LNP, as the Voice for Indi campaign proved with Cathy McGowan, and the rural vote is the most powerful and important in Australia. We survive on the food and water that the rural voters preserve for us, and they are the Australians that live closest to the climate changes of the coming century.
Your Electorate, Your CandidateBetween the Australian Greens naturally protecting the environment, and female candidates who are active in rural life through the CWA, voters can place their vote with candidates that take the challenges of this century seriously. Voters can turn away from the two major parties and be sure that they are participating in growing a new type of politics.
The campaign that got Cathy McGowan elected in Indi used the Kitchen Table Conversation model of involving people in the electorate directly.
The CWA is a similar model that could be used to facilitate involvement in grassroots programs so female candidates and female voters start learning about how policies impact people on the ground, and how to consult to government at all levels.
With the mobilising and organisational power of social media and the internet, the established mentorship and opportunities of CWA membership, and a campaign team, you could be one of the women that stands up and takes the first step towards a party of women, for women, by women, thinking of the future and challenging the crippled major parties.
With the unique possibilities of joining the Australian Greens and the cross-benchers in holding Labor and the Liberals accountable, and lending strength to the arms of those who wish to widen representation in Australia, it’s time. It's time for women to be candidates outside the existing political system, and it's time for a Women's Political Party.
A national political party advocating for women? It's time by Jane Gilmore at Women's Agenda
Think about social media and how connected women’s groups are, and how easy it would be to reach out to your base. Think about the Country Women’s Association and how terribly the regional areas are treated by Canberra.
Think about the (so far) 52 women killed this year, the pay gap getting worse, the gender disparity in our national leadership and how no one in our current parliament appears even slightly interested in genuine action on those things.
What Can I Do? (within the existing system)
And we will not be alone: Women's Equality Party, UK
What to do now
JOIN your local CWA and start being politically informed on a practical level. Tell your CWA group that you are interested in female candidates and electoral change:
CWA Western Australia
CWA Northern Territory
CWA New South Wales
CWA South Australia
The Associated Country Women of the World
EMAIL the Women's Equality Party in the UK and tell them that you are interested in an Australian Women's Equality Party.
READ this: What Can I Do? (outside the existing system)
What to do before the 2016 Election
LOOK for the women who are politically active in your area, and talk to them - each electorate will need a CANDIDATE, a CAMPAIGN TEAM and a MENTOR - and to be honest, you already know who they are, or you'll find them in less than a week.
What to do until the 2016 Election
ADD the Independent Media to your life
What to do in the 2016 Election
BE the winning candidate, build the winning campaign team or vote for a new type of politics in Australia.
OTHER THOUGHTS ON AUSTRALIAN POLITICS
Not our circus, not our monkeys
So, women of Australia, take thee to the CWA, become involved with all manner of practical local politics, all manner of women as mentors and all manner of consulting to Government, and participate in politics on your terms.
Find your own policies, build your own campaign teams, field your own candidates and vote for the candidates who have the best vision for new politics you can find. You are the only people who can build the future, because the existing systems are dying, and trying to take us all down with them.
And for all of our sakes, be militantly inclusive; as 51% of the Australian population, the women of Australia include Indigenous Australians, refugees/immigrants, the LGBTIQ community and anyone who has additional access and medical requirements. Our new politics must include everyone excluded from the current systems so our votes and candidates count the first time, and into the future.
Fighting Winter with Summer
I credit the 1% with being fully aware of the impending water and energy conflicts, and it is clear from their actions that they are taking the requisite steps to survive while preventing the population from taking the same steps. Unfortunately their pride and entitlement will never allow them to consider the fact that their place in the 1% means nothing to the environment. Water and energy do not obey, and never have obeyed, the forces of nations, economies and capitalism.
Anyone who thinks they can argue for 21st Century Climate Aware action with 20th Century Climate Ignorant ideologies is going to be pulled back into historical patterns of conflict and paralysis, which is exactly where the Government and their corporate partners want their population.
Ask for me tomorrow
The current Australian Government makes announcements that destabilise the news cycle, and these announcements come in two forms:
1. An outrageous suggestion designed to let opponents react with scorn and satire, but neither suggestion nor satire achieves anything but noise, and a false sense of protest for those who did not vote for this current Australian Government.
2. A very real threat that opponents cannot ignore, but is sure to be withdrawn or watered down once it has short circuited the news cycle and wasted the time and resources of those who did not vote for this current Australian Government.