Posts Tagged ‘Mark M Aldridge Independent’

Does the Constitution in its reference to representative and responsible government protect free speech?

July 16, 2018

Does the Constitution in its reference to representative and responsible government protect free speech?

 

Sections 7 and 24 of the Constitution, read in context, require the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to be directly chosen at periodic elections by the people of the States and of the Commonwealth respectively. This requirement embraces all that is necessary to effectuate the free election of representatives at periodic elections. What is involved in the people directly choosing their representatives at periodic elections, however, can be understood only by reference to the system of representative and responsible government to which ss 7 and 24 and other sections of the Constitution give effect.

 

That the Constitution intended to provide for the institutions of representative and responsible government is made clear both by the Convention Debates and by the terms of the Constitution itself. Thus, at the Second Australasian Convention held in Adelaide in 1897, the Convention, on the motion of Mr Edmund Barton, resolved that the purpose of the Constitution was “to enlarge the powers of self-government of the people of Australia”.

 

Sections 1, 7, 8, 13, 24, 25, 28 and 30 of the Constitution give effect to the purpose of self-government by providing for the fundamental features of representative government. As Isaacs J put it:

 

 

“The Constitution is for the advancement of representative government”.

 

 

Section 1 of the Constitution vests the legislative power of the Commonwealth in a Parliament “which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives”. Sections 7 and 24 relevantly provide:

 

 

 

“The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate.

 

 

 

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators.”

 

 

Section 24 does not expressly refer to elections, but s 25 makes it plain that the House of Representatives is to be directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth voting at elections. Other provisions of the Constitution ensure that there shall be periodic elections. Thus, under s 13, six years is the longest term that a senator can serve before his or her place becomes vacant. Similarly, by s 28, every House of Representatives is to continue for three years from the first meeting of the House and no longer. Sections 8 and 30 ensure that, in choosing senators and members of the House of Representatives, each elector shall vote only once. The effect of ss 1, 7, 8, 13, 24, 25, 28 and 30 therefore is to ensure that the Parliament of the Commonwealth will be representative of the people of the Commonwealth.

 

 

 

Other sections of the Constitution establish a formal relationship between the Executive Government and the Parliament and provide for a system of responsible ministerial government, a system of government which, “prior to the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 … had become one of the central characteristics of our polity”[33]. Thus, s 6 of the Constitution requires that there be a session of the Parliament at least once in every year, so that 12 months shall not intervene between the last sitting in one session and the first sitting in the next. Section 83 ensures that the legislature controls supply. It does so by requiring parliamentary authority for the expenditure by the Executive Government of any fund or sum of money standing to the credit of the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, irrespective of source. Sections 62 and 64 of the Constitution combine to provide for the executive power of the Commonwealth, which is vested in the Queen and exercisable by the Governor‑General, to be exercised “on the initiative and advice”[35] of Ministers and limit to three months the period in which a Minister of State may hold office without being or becoming a senator or member of the House of Representatives. Section 49 of the Constitution, in dealing with the powers, privileges and immunities of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, secures the freedom of speech in debate which, in England, historically was a potent instrument by which the House of Commons defended its right to consider and express opinions on the conduct of affairs of State by the Sovereign and the Ministers, advisers and servants of the Crown. Section 49 also provides the source of coercive authority for each chamber of the Parliament to summon witnesses, or to require the production of documents, under pain of punishment for contempt.

 

 

 

The requirement that the Parliament meet at least annually, the provision for control of supply by the legislature, the requirement that Ministers be members of the legislature, the privilege of freedom of speech in debate, and the power to coerce the provision of information provide the means for enforcing the responsibility of the Executive to the organs of representative government.  In his Notes on Australian Federation:  Its Nature and Probable Effects, Sir Samuel Griffith pointed out that the effect of responsible government “is that the actual government of the State is conducted by officers who enjoy the confidence of the people”.  That confidence is ultimately expressed or denied by the operation of the electoral process, and the attitudes of electors to the conduct of the Executive may be a significant determinant of the contemporary practice of responsible government.

 

 

 

Reference should also be made to s 128 which ensures that the Constitution shall not be altered except by a referendum passed by a majority of electors in the States and in those Territories with representation in the House of Representatives, taken together, and by the electors in a majority of States.

 

 

Freedom of communication on matters of government and politics is an indispensable incident of that system of representative government which the Constitution creates by directing that the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall be “directly chosen by the people” of the Commonwealth and the States, respectively. At federation, representative government was understood to mean a system of government where the people in free elections elected their representatives to the legislative chamber which occupies the most powerful position in the political system.  As Birch points out, “it is the manner of choice of members of the legislative assembly, rather than their characteristics or their behaviour, which is generally taken to be the criterion of a representative form of government.”  However, to have a full understanding of the concept of representative government, Birch also states

 

 

 

“we need to add that the chamber must occupy a powerful position in the political system and that the elections to it must be free, with all that this implies in the way of freedom of speech and political organization.”

 

 

 

Communications concerning political or government matters between the electors and the elected representatives, between the electors and the candidates for election and between the electors themselves were central to the system of representative government, as it was understood at federation. While the system of representative government for which the Constitution provides does not expressly mention freedom of communication, it can hardly be doubted, given the history of representative government and the holding of elections under that system in Australia prior to federation, that the elections for which the Constitution provides were intended to be free elections in the sense explained by Birch. Furthermore, because the choice given by ss 7 and 24 must be a true choice with “an opportunity to gain an appreciation of the available alternatives”, as Dawson J pointed out in Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth, legislative power cannot support an absolute denial of access by the people to relevant information about the functioning of government in Australia and about the policies of political parties and candidates for election.

 

 

 

That being so, ss 7 and 24 and the related sections of the Constitution necessarily protect that freedom of communication between the people concerning political or government matters which enables the people to exercise a free and informed choice as electors. Those sections do not confer personal rights on individuals. Rather they preclude the curtailment of the protected freedom by the exercise of legislative or executive power. As Deane J said in Theophanous, they are “a limitation or confinement of laws and powers [which] gives rise to a pro tanto immunity on the part of the citizen from being adversely affected by those laws or by the exercise of those powers rather than to a ‘right’ in the strict sense”.  In Cunliffe v The Commonwealth, Brennan J pointed out that the freedom confers no rights on individuals and, to the extent that the freedom rests upon implication, that implication defines the nature and extent of the freedom.  His Honour said

 

 

 

“The implication is negative in nature:  it invalidates laws and consequently creates an area of immunity from legal control, particularly from legislative control.”

 

 

 

If the freedom is to effectively serve the purpose of ss 7 and 24 and related sections, it cannot be confined to the election period. Most of the matters necessary to enable “the people” to make an informed choice will occur during the period between the holding of one, and the calling of the next, election. If the freedom to receive and disseminate information were confined to election periods, the electors would be deprived of the greater part of the information necessary to make an effective choice at the election.

 

 

 

In addition, the presence of s 128, and of ss 6, 49, 62, 64 and 83, of the Constitution makes it impossible to confine the receipt and dissemination of information concerning government and political matters to an election period. Those sections give rise to implications of their own. Section 128, by directly involving electors in the States and in certain Territories in the process for amendment of the Constitution, necessarily implies a limitation on legislative and executive power to deny the electors access to information that might be relevant to the vote they cast in a referendum to amend the Constitution. Similarly, those provisions which prescribe the system of responsible government necessarily imply a limitation on legislative and executive power to deny the electors and their representatives information concerning the conduct of the executive branch of government throughout the life of a federal Parliament. Moreover, the conduct of the executive branch is not confined to Ministers and the public service. It includes the affairs of statutory authorities and public utilities which are obliged to report to the legislature or to a Minister who is responsible to the legislature. In British Steel v Granada Television, Lord Wilberforce said that it was by these reports that effect was given to “The legitimate interest of the public” in knowing about the affairs of such bodies. Whatever the scope of the implications arising from responsible government and the amendment of the Constitution may be, those implications cannot be confined to election periods relating to the federal Parliament.

 

 

 

However, the freedom of communication which the Constitution protects is not absolute. It is limited to what is necessary for the effective operation of that system of representative and responsible government provided for by the Constitution. The freedom of communication required by ss 7 and 24 and reinforced by the sections concerning responsible government and the amendment of the Constitution operates as a restriction on legislative power. However, the freedom will not invalidate a law enacted to satisfy some other legitimate end if the law satisfies two conditions. The first condition is that the object of the law is compatible with the maintenance of the constitutionally prescribed system of representative and responsible government or the procedure for submitting a proposed amendment to the Constitution to the informed decision of the people which the Constitution prescribes. The second is that the law is reasonably appropriate and adapted to achieving that legitimate object or end. Different formulae have been used by members of this Court in other cases to express the test whether the freedom provided by the Constitution has been infringed. Some judges have expressed the test as whether the law is reasonably appropriate and adapted to the fulfilment of a legitimate purpose. Others have favoured different expressions, including proportionality. In the context of the questions raised by the case stated, there is no need to distinguish these concepts. For ease of expression, throughout these reasons we have used the formulation of reasonably appropriate and adapted.

 

 

It would seem the answer to the proposed question is answered with a yes, even if it is less a protection and more a correction to any law of our nation that would seek to undermine free speech.

 

What has yet to be argued is the application of S34, which in the most empowers most adult Australians the right to nominate for the various houses of parliament. This ought to ensure the protections initially defending the free speech of elected members and candidates should flow to all Australian citizens, albeit of voting age.

 

 

We may have a legislative agenda in this country, that seeks to undermine our right to free speech, but we still retain a constitution that can invalidate that agenda, in much as it is in conflict with that speech, where it is required to protect our represented democracy.

 

 

Mark Aldridge, “work in progress”

Much of the wording has been stolen from high court judgements

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COME ON RAMSAY, LETS LEAD BY EXAMPLE!

March 9, 2018

WOULD RAMSAY VOTERS LIKE THEIR “OWN REPRESENTATIVE” IN PARLIAMENT  No not a representative of a political party, a representative for YOU!

Some one who will work 24/7 using their power in parliament for YOU, their spare time for YOU, their income to make things Better for YOU.

We can work together, not just to make Salisbury great again, but we can lead the way as a community and set a great example for the rest of the state.

I am already increasing my “Farm Direct Markets”, to create even more jobs, and increase savings on genuine fresh produce, promoting healthy eating and helping lower the cost of living.

My markets already feed around 15,000 families, but we can do more.

I would like to expand my support of local schools, who utilise my markets to teach about healthy eating, and can do even more if elected.

I will work to support local small businesses, by ensuring they get council and government contracts, creating real local jobs in Salisbury and teaching skills to our children.

We can demand all government infrastructure investment employs South Australian workers, by saying no to the increase in 457 visa workers.

Ensure all animal rescue is supported by no kill ethics, we can work together to lead in animal welfare reform. I am already involved in rescue and run the local native wildlife sanctuary.

Support me in the development  “Feed the north” program to ensure our vulnerable are fed and supported. I will fund this either through donations or my parliamentary wage if elected, my market stall holders will help supply the produce.

I will Lobby to clean up and beautify our streets, parks and reserves, and get those shopping trolleys out of our streets with compulsory coin deposit systems.

If we cannot educate which ever government that is elected, to correct current power prices and reliability through investment in base load power renovation, we can set up our own consortium, so we can enjoy reliable and affordable power.

I can use my vote to ensure the roll out of subsidised solar initiatives are offered in an equitable way to all Ramsay residents.

We must restore the Salisbury police station to a 24-hour service, and lobby for increased local services.

Working together, we can lobby to increase staff levels and upgrade equipment at the Lynell McEwin Hospital to improve emergency department waiting times and elective surgery lists, which are now the longest in 20 years. If you or your child becomes sick or injured, we need to know immediate help is available, as it used to be.

I will demand emergency department workers retain their penalty rates, to ensure we retain after hours services, and reduce waiting times.

We should all work to create genuine anti-bullying programs, including the empowerment of local police services to deal with online bullying.

I will continue to lobby to expand the wet lands projects to increase our ability to store potable water by utilising our aquifers, while also restoring “Native habitat”.

We need to precure funding to upgrade Kings road and Salisbury interchange crossings to improve traffic flows, and I will do all I can to get increased commonwealth funding for local road works and upgrades.

I will work with the government in return for increase public transport services for the Salisbury area, in each case reporting to you on any decisions.

I would like your views on creating off-road bike parks and skid areas, away from residential areas, to get hoons of our streets.

I will continue to lobby to reform electoral law, to introduce optional preferential voting and improve the general conduct and accountability, something I am well studied to demand.

This is all very achievable if we work together as a team, with me using my balance of power position and parliamentary income to increase services and investment for you, the people I will represent.

If you do not support me, I will still lobby for all these reforms, and invest my time and money to achieve them.

I have always tried to achieve my promises even though I have not been elected, but if you show me some faith and give me a chance, I can do even more as your paid representative in government.

I promise I will make you proud you supported me, and I will earn the title of honourable.

If you have any questions, you can either phone and have a chat, or google my name and the topic of interest to you.

 

Mark Aldridge Independent “Representing You”

Which promises will win your vote, SA 2018 Election

March 8, 2018

While voters try and decide with party’s false promises sounds best, they forget about the concept of keeping the bastards honest, by putting in honest accountable people with balls to do that.

Voters tend to forget that after each election, the promises fade away, in fact, so much so, some of the promises have been used for 4 or 5 elections, and no one notices.

You also find politicians want you to only look forward, because looking into their pasts would devastate them, yet they themselves have trouble looking beyond an election term, when fixing our troubles means planning for the long-term future.

The ideas I have tabled are only now being considered 15 years after I brought them up, remembering the costs quadrupled in that time.

Do they mention they are in debt to business, hundreds of millions, and are behind in their payments, what damage is that doing to employment outlook, or what about the billions of dollars of infrastructure promises, if they are kept, will they mandate hiring local workers, or as usual will imported workers reap the benefits?

And not that I am privy to all the finances of government, but didn’t I hear our state is in debt to the tune of 15 billion, who is going to pay that back, well could we also ask, who is going to fund all these promises?

After the election, will they again start selling of our remaining assets?

Not sure about you, but as a small business myself, not a lot of cash being spent, for us to cough up more than we already are.

No mention of the broken desal plant, no mention of turning us into a toxic waste dump, no mention of how “Transforming health” is destroying health care.

If you vote for the party that offers you the most, have you remembered if they actually deliver, you have to pay for it?

Here I am, one of those pesky Independents, in fact I take pride in being the Independent that pisses of the government the most, and I am creating jobs, backing up farmers and addressing the cost of living through my markets, which means I have honoured my campaign promises, yet have never been elected.

During disasters, I am on the ground getting problems solved, before the government even offer help, in fact the government usually bugger up and make things worse. I tried to replace all the uninsured homes that were burnt to the ground in the last fires, only to be shut down my government.

I tried to expand my markets, ending up in the courts for god knows how long, when if I was elected, I would have simply lobbied for a simple amendment, but the majors can’t do that, they have to continue backing up those who fund their campaigns.

Democracy is all about you casting a free and informed vote, and the winner of the ballot, “Representing you” in Parliament, when do you think that last happened?

If you want change, change what you do, who you support, and you might actually see some 😊

Mark Aldridge Independent “Representing You”

Independent calls to “Keep Facebook Advertising sites” FREE

March 4, 2018

Independent candidate calls to keep Facebook advertising sites a “Free Service”

Facebook is getting ready to let media and advertising outlets charge readers for access to their news stories or marketing sites.

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for the South Australian seat of Ramsay, is opposed to any cash grab from his sites members.

I have spent years setting up my pages, including FB FREE VEHICLE ADVERTISING, said Mark, and I did that to offer people a “Free Service” not so my hard work can be hi-jacked.

Many others have great sites, offering a range of service to the Facebook community in their respective areas, one would think they ought to retain the full rights of use for their groups and pages.

Setting up basic rules, keeping our pages spam free, and the many hours each week we invest in monitoring, ought it have earned us the right to control access as we see fit.

Facebook social networking management, has started briefing the largest publishers on the forthcoming subscription service and hopes to start testing it by October, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While details are still to be ironed out, Facebook is currently telling news service publishers, they will be able to show at least 10 free articles per month before the paywall kicks in.

“The current agenda is aimed at the larger media services, but we all know they look to regain lost ground in relation to advertising income” said Mark.

Facebook users, enjoy being able to access a range of products through their timelines, if the big publishers wish to charge a fee, that is up to them. What we don’t want to see, is a cash grab from sites privately owned.

“The concept is to have split feeds, which may undermine small players like me, even though my main page has over 65,000 South Australian members” Mark said.

We all know if they can split feeds, the premium feed with be beyond those of us who wish to keep our service free.

I have also have had meetings with Business and Consumer affairs relating to how local legislation is to be applied.

It appears even local authorities in South Australia are considering their position in relation to the usual red-tape the big advertisers are forced to comply with.

At first, I was asked to ensure registration numbers were shown in the text, but I now find a rego number in the main photo, seems to work.

I feel from my meetings however, greater scrutiny is being considered as well, something I think is out of place on Facebook.

I am sure we can adapt to the red-tape, in fact most sites including mine already have good guidelines in place. But I will stand against any rules that exceed common sense.

Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, confirmed the subscription service has already been discussed recently at an industry conference in New York.

“From my studies Facebook, will have subscription services through a pay wall set up, then work towards the dual feed system, which will only go to empower, those who can pay for the premium feed.” Said Mark

Its not just about protecting me, or my members, its about the damage this will do to so many struggling small businesses.

“I will not be opposed to the big media, charging for their service, but I will oppose any attempt to undermine those of us who wish to keep our pages services free to our members.” He concluded.

Mark Aldridge Independent, is he The Best candidate for Ramsay (overview of policy)

February 27, 2018

People ask me what I stand for, so here are a few of the issues of importance to me for which have studied and spoken on;
I have broken them up into local, state and federal, as I have stood in all these electorates.

Local issues (Ramsay)

Improved employment opportunities.
Increase in funding to upkeep road side verges, parks and general beautification, by lobbying council to hire locals to address maintenance.
A moratorium on rates rises for 3 years.
Restoration of 24-hour police services, with an increased investment for local services.
Increased water storage for our plains producers using the aquifer system via the Salisbury wet lands project.
12-month rate reductions to all new business employing 3 people or more.
Increased investment in job training services.
Lobby council to ensure all local outsourcing prefers local businesses.
Increased participation of local school children in the study of healthy eating, my markets will offer this service free.
I would like to personally set up my own organisation and support others that help feed those who are struggling.

State issues (South Australia)

Increased funding to clear all critical waiting lists, starting with the disabled children.
Abolish the NRM (National resource Management) legislation and replace it with an advisory group of which has at least 50% farmers and producers on the board.
Remove all water meters on farm dams or water storage areas.
Increased water storage for our plains producers using the aquifer system by injecting potable water into the great artesian basin.
Electricity discounting for all local Farmers and producers, to keep down the cost of producing fresh produce.
Amend the development act to define its terms regarding local Markets and events, to define a stall is not being a shop, and any further amendment’s necessary, to safe guard farmers markets and local events.
Enquiry into the current animal welfare standards and the award of powers under the legislation.
Lobby to ensure infrastructure works are carried out by local contractors to help increase employment.
To demand full accountability to government for their actions and electoral promises.
The restructure of the JSCEM (Joint standing committee on electoral matters) to better reflect the demands of state electors and ensure recommendations are legislated into the act.
I support legislation that undoes prohibition on Marijuana/hemp for a variety of purposes including industrial and medical applications.
The axing of the Safe school’s program and replace it with a genuine anti-bullying program.
The application of a bill or rights of legislative means.
Utilise that bill of rights to address any legislation that breaches any of those rights.
Increased investment in programs to grow local small businesses, with added investment in “on the job training”.
Re-open the Mulligan report for public scrutiny and act efficiently on its recommendations, while fully investigating all the child deaths found to be of a suspicious nature.
Retain at least part of the old RAH for education, training and emergency health care applications
Restore the REPAT hospital to its full operation within 12 months.
Address affordable justice, while restoring the common law right of the presumption of innocence and the right to face one’s accuser.
Increased investment in State housing, including renovation and building new public housing assets.
Lobby for increased investment in mental health services, early intervention and stigma reduction.
Employ new tactics to address traffic violations, to ensure all methods are utilised for road safety, not revenue streams. ie; Placement of speed cameras in known black spots, rather than where there is a sudden lowering of speed limits.
Reduce maximum bet on Pokies outside of the Adelaide Casino, over a 3 year period to a maximum of $1 per bet.
Increased minimum sentencing for all those found guilty of child sexual abuse.

Federal ambitions

Rework of federal taxation to ensure all income derived from operation in Australia is taxed equally, Past time the big corporations paid their fair share.
Increased CPI pension increases for our elderly and veterans.
Constitutional Bill of Rights (Retrospective), produced through public consultation, to then be taught in our schools.
Public consultation into changes to the federal family court legislation.
Overhauls of the federal electoral act to comply with the constitution and the rights defined in a constitutional bill of rights.
Full reversal of the sale of all Australia’s strategic assets, including all farms, water resources, power production, our ports and ownership of all minerals.
Lowering of all immigration quotas by 50% until we can assure adequate services for our current population.
A 70% reduction in foreign aid, while we set up alternate ways to help those in need, by supplying direct equipment, services and products to those in need (no more cash for foreign governments)
Replace Carbon trading and the Climate change concept with investment in Australia’s environment, habit restoration and green energy production.
Pull out of any current free trade agreements where they disadvantage Australia’s trade practices or equity to Australian manufactures or growers.
The re-introduction of Tarif protections to re-invigorate Australian manufacturing.
Pull out of the United nations.

Most of all, if elected I will increase my resources to assist as I always have, in relation to helping those in need and supporting those affected by natural disasters.
Mark Aldridge “Independent” candidate for Ramsay

Independent calls to abolish “how to vote cards” .

February 25, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

MARK ALDRIDGE, INDEPENDENT.

 

Independent calls to abolish how to vote cards.

How to vote cards undermine the voter’s right to cast an informed and free vote.

They are only produced to promote the backroom deals done by the parties and candidates, where democracy ought to promote a more informed process.

Over the past decade we have seen an increase in issues arising from the use of How to vote cards, where the process has been abused by the parties with the sole intention of gaming election results, something we can all do without.

We have seen an increase in dodgy how to vote cards by various parties and candidates, designed deliberately to undermine our electoral process, this needs to stop.

It is the electoral commission’s job to educate all voters on their rights and on how to cast a valid vote.  The increase in political parties delving into electoral process itself, has only worked to undermine the process.

We see parties telling voters how to vote, how to preference and getting too heavily involved in other processes like, postal ballot applications, the decoration of polling booths and even intimidation of electors lining up to vote.

Candidates ought to stick to selling themselves and their policy’s, and let the electoral commission as an independent authority, handle every aspect of the process.

Voters can surely handle the process of marking the ballot papers in an order that suits them, without having to endure a tirade of people sticking pieces of paper in their faces at the polling stations.

If any voters have questions, let the Electoral Commissions independent experts answer any questions they have.

Sadly the very people that have the most to gain from structural biases in our electoral system, are being allowed to write electoral law, it is this problem that undermines the concept of a genuine free and informed vote, for all electors.

It’s past time the electoral commission was offered better resources and powers over the entire conduct of the election process. Then for we the people to demand the candidates keep their noses out for the process

Until then, I call for all voters to either refuse the how to vote cards, or to simple tear them up, and let them vote from the heart for the candidates in their own order of preference.

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Ramsay (Representing You)

Indigenous children in care continues to rise, since the stolen generations “apology”

February 25, 2018

The number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care has doubled in the decade since the 2008 apology to the stolen generations, according to figures released by the Productivity Commission.

The report on government services, released on Thursday, said there were 17,664 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care in 2016-17, compared with 9,070 in 2007-08.

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Ramsay in SA, said the “shocking” figures reflected the failure of Australian governments to address generations of bad policy.

“[The system] keeps failing Aboriginal families and communities because it is punitive, not supportive.

“We are spending the money in the wrong places”.

Separating Children from their families and not putting any strategies in place to help them get their kids back.” Has proven to be inept policy.

The rate at which Indigenous children were removed from their families increased by 80% between 2007-08 to 2016-17, from 32.7 per 1,000 to 58.7 per 1,000.

Meanwhile, the proportion of children placed in accordance with the Aboriginal child placement principle, which states that children must be housed with Indigenous family members, other kin, or with an Indigenous foster carer, decreased from 74% in 2007-08 to 67.6% in 2016-17.

Our children need to be with family to overcome the anxiety of separation from their parents, every parent knows this, so why can’t our government understand “says Mark

The number of non-Indigenous children in care between 2007-08 and 2016-17 grew 36%, from 22,096 to 30,069, while the rate of removal increased just 24% to 5.8 per 1,000.

The total number of children in out-of-home care grew 53.7% over the period, from 31,166 to 47,915, while the total rate of removal increased 38% from 6.3 per 1,000 to 8.7 per 1,000.

The growth in child removal indicates that Australian governments have not learned the lessons of the stolen generations, Mark Aldridge said as a reminder to all politicians.

All Australian parents must come to realise, this issue is not restricted to indigenous children, the Mulligan inquiry in SA, exposes similar if not worse issues with the treatment of all children taken into state care.

“[The apology] was considered a clear statement of regret and empathy with Aboriginal people that had seen their children taken by state and territory governments that didn’t care about the damage being done to Aboriginal communities and cultures,”

report by Indigenous organisations in November warned that the number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care would triple by 2036 unless the funding was focused on early intervention and support.

Early intervention and support services are the only way we can improve the outcomes and ensure the numbers of children n “Out of home care” start to decrease.

“The best way of achieving equitable placement with Aboriginal carers and kin would be to simply start to reduce the number of Aboriginal children taken in the first place,” Mark said.

keeping children culturally connected to their community and ensuring they are reunified with their families as quickly as possible, should be the primary goal on any legislative agenda.

Before we vote at the SA state elections, just maybe we ought to ask the budding candidate where they stand on this important issue.

Mark Aldridge is an Independent candidate for the lower house seat of Ramsay in the northern suburbs around Salisbury.

Mark Aldridge finished by saying, “This issue may be as big an issue to my electorate, but any candidate hoping to represent any community, should have a strong sense of Family, and the protection of all our children”

CAN YOUR VOTE, CHANGE YOUR FAMILIES FUTURE? Ramsay 2018

February 22, 2018

 

Your vote can change your future, but only if you consider changing how you vote.

Firstly, you need an independent representative that is devoted to your best interests, one who has pledged allegiance to a political party, will have less power to bring change.

I am sure you have been told, Independent candidates are a wasted vote, well of course you have.

The most well-resourced electorates in the country are held by Independents.

So, what would I do that is different and what experience I have are worthy questions.

Most are answered by what I already do for my community but let’s look at how I think.

When I secure infrastructure spending, I will also fight to ensure local workers get the work, where you now see imported workers reaping the rewards.

When I lobby the local council for improved upkeep and beautification, I will also be demanding local workers are first on the list.

When I convince the government, we need a 24 -hour police station, I won’t stop there, as that station will need improved services. I argued this in 2012 at the bi-election, but I came second to Labor, since then, services have continued to decline.

I think the current regime of representatives do not understand the importance of feeling safe in our homes and walking the streets.

When I argue for increased mental health spending, I will want them to set up in my electorate, the same will apply to any increase in essential services.

As I expand my Farm Direct markets, I will do so offering improved support for local businesses.

I am vey well known for my support of our primary industries, especially our farming sector, and have stood up to protect them for over 20 years. I maintain the belief that some assets in this country are strategic to our future and should be protected and remain in our hands.

While I lobby for increased renewable energy, I will want to ensure at the same time we protect economical baseload power, so power bills are kept affordable.

If I have trouble achieving state government support for any important issue, I will seek a way to get it done myself, without their help, but I will ask for yours.

When I lobbied to protect local community events as a concerned local, and my calls for government support failed, I headed to court and did it myself. Even though a simple and fair amendment would have done the job.

If there are issues with the local council, I will go into bat for you.

I can call for rate caps, if they are not forth coming, I will look for other ways to address the cost of living.

Our local hospitals have the room and the beds we need, what they lack is the staff to “open up” those beds and reduce waiting lists, I will push to achieve that, and I will push hard.

The commonwealth fund local infrastructure like roads, they do so by applications through state government which directs the money to local councils, I will push to streamline that process and increase spending in my electorate.

Additional education programs for our schools will be a strong point in my parliamentary negotiations, where I fall short due to budget restraints, I will find other ways, like increasing my Farm Direct markets ability to teach healthy eating and setting up programs with other local industries.

When parliament needs my vote, I will use that as bargaining power to get more for you, where that negotiation means I must sacrifice my ideals, I will report to you, and ask you for your opinion.

Everything I do, will be transparent, so debate on line will be a part of my decision making, rather than the usual back room deals party politics makes compulsory.

I will fight to restore democracy, where any amendments to electoral law, empower you, rather than the political parties themselves.

We still use a pencil and a piece of paper to vote, in a system called two party preferred, even when neither party always is, and you still MUST presence every candidate, and I will continue to ask why you must.

I have clear vision to restore affordable justice, to ensure you maintain your rights and liberties. That means demanding your right to a fair trial, the presumption of innocence and affordable access to competent representation.

I have studied electoral law, have a firm understanding of our judicial system, and can read and understand legislation, so I know what to look for and how to address changes that empower your rights and freedoms.

My wife and I own a native animal sanctuary, I preform animal rescue, and I am well versed on animal welfare law, so there is no better candidate to represent the best interests of our animals.

I have spoken all over this nation, on a range of topics, in each case they are issues that empower your best interests.

I truly believe I am Ramsay’s best choice, if you indeed want to see change.

I am not always loved for everything I do, but everything I do is because I care for and love you all.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent “Representing You”

aldridgemark@bigpond.com

0403379500

Written and authorised by Mark Aldridge of 201 Taylors rd. Penfield Gardens.

VOTING FOR A “BETTER SALISBURY” Ramsay electorate 2018

February 22, 2018

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Election time has come back around, those in the Salisbury area must again chose a candidate to represent them, the Ramsay electorate takes in Salisbury and parts of the surrounding area.

Casting both an informed and valid vote, takes just a little research, so here is a reminder of how best to achieve that.

There will be several candidates, I am an Independent, my job is to “Represent You”

There will be other candidates who are endorsed by political parties to represent those party’s in your area.

The Major parties, Labor and Liberal designate seats as safe or marginal, they choose which of their people will be candidates and where, based on that fact. The minor parties mostly do not think they have a chance, some run candidates with the sole hope of getting votes in the upper house (The Legislative Council) where they have some chance of getting one of their representatives elected.

This creates  culture where preferences are one, ie; an exchange of preferences in the lower house seats for deals in the upper house. These back room deals only work if you follow “How to vote cards” and you do not have to.

Safe seats in the most are not so well represented, the party who believes they will win that seat easily, rarely offer much to that electorate in terms of campaign promises, they will also not send in their best candidates.

Marginal seats get the most electoral promises from both sides of the debate, because it is those marginal seats that can help the major parties form government.

Ramsay has been one of the safest Labor seats since it was created.

So much so, that when I ran in the 2012 Bi-election, the Liberals did not even run a candidate, because they did not think they could win, a minor party called the “Liberal Democrats” ran instead, using a how to vote card that looked similar to the Liberals usual one. The Liberal democrats gave their preferences to Labor, so I came in second.

A lot of people voted for me, based on being Independent, in other words I had not signed contracts to represent a party, or to adhere to set policy. Others backed me based on my extensive experience.

This election there will be a few choices, Mark Aldridge Independent, Labor’s candidate, Liberals candidate, Nick Xenophon’s candidate and a couple more minor party candidates.

So, for the purpose of this post, lets imagine there are going to be 6 candidates in total.

How to vote cards;

How to vote cards are put out by registered political parties and reflect the deals they do behind closed doors, they are handed out to you, asking you to do the will of that political party, by marking your preferences in the same way as they would prefer you do, but you do not have to.

In my opinion, “throw them in the bin”, to cast an informed vote, I am sure you can handle marking 1 to 6 in an order that suits you, based on who you think will best represent the Ramsay area.

You have the power to decide, that is called “Democracy”

There are so many ways to use that power, you can reward good performance, punish false promise, vote for change, or send a message.

For instance, lets say you have always voted Labor in the area, you don’t mind them, but you want to remind them the area needs increased investment and services.

You could put me Number 1, and then Labor second, then number all the boxes through to 6

The two-party count, will most probably see your vote go past me to Labor, but they would see a swing away their usual primary vote, so you may then find they start to listen.

You can vote in reverse, for instance, you can’t stand Labor, so you put them last, you like a minor party, so you put them first, then you work out in what order to put the rest from 1 to 6.

Once your vote hits one of the major parties, it will rarely go beyond them in the count, so keep that in mind, they write electoral law, so tend to create a bias in their favour.

This means putting smaller parties or Independents ahead of the majors, can be a great protest vote, but still ensure your votes goes to the major you prefer most.

So, what happens if an Independent like me is elected?

Well that would mean most of you preferred me, which would be a strong sign you want change. I would then have to work with which ever party forms government, and lobby them for those things we need, while demanding they keep their election promises.

Electorates represented by Independents all over the country tend to receive the best investment and services (shameful but factual plug)

The most important thing you can do, is take your vote seriously, its only once every 3 years and you only have to decide, between a hand full of candidates.

Research the parties, because party candidates represent them, with independents, research the candidate themselves, as they will be “Representing You”.

Best of luck my friends.

Since 2012, I decided to bring change, even though I was not elected, as a person who grew up in and loves the area. As many may know, I have set up markets, backed up producers, lobbied for improved services, and tried to create jobs.

I will remind you all thought, none of the major issues I wanted fixed by state government back then, or the promises they made, have been achieved.

 

Mark Aldridge “Independent” for a Better Salisbury

Written and Authorized by Mark Aldridge of 201 Taylors rd Penfield Gardens SA 5121

MARK ALDRIDGE “INDEPENDENT” FOR RAMSAY

February 15, 2018

MARK ALDRIDGE “INDEPENDENT” FOR RAMSAY

 

My name is Mark Aldridge and I believe I am SA’s best independent candidate for Ramsay. I am passionate about making a difference and with your support I will bring a voice back to the people of Ramsay who have been ignored for too long.

I want to help make SA a better place to live for our children and for future generations – this includes increasing job opportunities, making where we live safer, reducing the cost of living and reducing the impact we’re having on the environment.

I have been a community advocate and Independent candidate for over 20 years, I grew up in Parafield Gardens, I run your local markets to give back to my community, and my family and I have been active in the local area since I can remember.

Since the electorate of Ramsay was created in 1985 it has been considered a ‘safe’ Labor seat, and because of this, the government has stopped listening to people in the Northern suburbs and the Liberals have been missing in action.

I will not be representing Nick, Jay or Steven, I will not be taking orders from big business or political donors, I will be listening to you, and I will be representing you.

I want to bring the Government’s focus back to the people in Ramsay whose lives are affected by the decisions made in State Parliament. I am best suited to achieve this, as I am well known for never backing down, and my resourcefulness at bringing change.

I have worked in a variety of fields, from local jobs as a child, to running small business, disaster response, animal welfare & rescue, and my time protecting those in primary production.

I have always been available day and night for those in need, during disasters I am on the ground and taking action before our government even debate what to do. I back our farmers on a daily basis, and if called upon to sort a local issue, I act immediately.

I have studied a variety of topics over the years, from our constitution, our legal system and the application of legislative reform.

I have worked in the retail, manufacturing and automotive industries, and over the past 20 years, I have taken a deep interest in political & electoral reform. This experience has given me a valuable insight into how politics works, what needs to change and how I can best help people.

I will work tirelessly to fix the problems of job losses and underemployment, the rising costs of utilities, the rise in social regulation and the sale of our nation’s strategic assets. This will reduce inequality, improve opportunities and bring back hope for our young people.

Unlike the local Political party representatives, I do not fear open debate, unvetted questions and answering to you. I also am proud of what I have achieved as a community advocate and would enjoy your scrutiny of my achievements.

Will I be controversial, you bet, I will not bow to political manipulation, corruption or threats of any kind, I will be your representative, and I will represent you with compassion and honour.

I am asking you for the privilege of representing you in the seat of Ramsay to put the North back on the map, by resorting it to its former glory.

I would like to meet as many of you as possible over the next few weeks, and I look forward to hearing your concerns and suggestions for our community.

If you have a topic of interest, give me a call, or google that topic and my name 🙂

 

Mark Aldridge “True Independent Candidate for Ramsay”