ETHICS

A moral compass to ensure our behaviour towards others stays within the boundaries of how we would like to be treated ourselves.

Our peace of mind depends on being treated ethically by those who have any type of power over us. Read our Code of Ethics and Required Conduct to find out more about how we want to change political behaviour by example.

Our leaders must be the very finest human beings. Leadership, fundamentally, is about setting an example.

Thus we expect our leaders to be the best of what Australia has to offer. They should be people of great character: people with courage, compassion, integrity, wisdom and self-awareness.

The Australian Progressives want to give you inspiring political leaders, but we understand that we are going to have to go back to the community to find them. We are committed to producing extraordinary leaders in our community hubs, and only fielding candidates who prove themselves worthy of it.

Similarly, we have an absolute commitment to great character within the Australian Progressives, and believe that our organisation must be a model of the society we want to create.

EMPATHY

Compassion for others is the basis of a truly contented society. Without seeing others’ points of view, how can we make policy that helps to solve people’s problems? How can we help the disadvantaged without imagining how it would feel to be in their position?

The concept of ‘walking a mile in another’s moccasins’ has taken a beating in recent years and caused our society to feel fearful and disconnected from one another. Yet we are all human.

The cornerstone of community is, firstly, to see through the ‘otherness’ of our neighbour and perceive a common humanity, regardless of race, religion, sexuality or gender. Without empathy and compassion for others’ suffering, we create division and nurture hatred. If, on the other hand, we allow compassion and empathy their place within our decision making processes, we build the bonds of community; we enrich our human experience through inclusion, and we protect the vulnerable and those who are in physical or emotional need.

And the world has shrunk; to be a great 21st Century society, we must be empathetic global neighbours too. Similarly, we must find empathy for future generations. Our actions must be supported by a vision which looks far into the future, not just to the personal hurdle of our next election victory.

EVIDENCE

Creating policy that references fact-based, peer-reviewed research and/or proven experiences elsewhere.

To create a functional and fulfilling society we must reject the use of personal and for-profit agendas when we make policy. Transparency and logical rationales for decisions are vital if the people are to regain their belief that the government is working in their best interests.

Our values determine the broad direction of our policies, but the specific methods used must be determined on the back of sound evidence – peer-reviewed research being the most obviously verifiable, transparent example – or upon a carefully thought-out projection from past experiences or new discoveries. Too often policy has been dictated by a manipulative hidden agenda or by populist impulses in the face of a looming election, with dire results for the community. The Australian Progressives are firmly committed to using evidence to shape our policy specifics.

Evidence is, of course, not a foolproof blueprint, though it is almost certainly the most reliable one. Mistakes may be made in the application of ideas. But a great society is one that is self-reflective, learning from its failures as well as from its successes, rather than trumpeting the latter while quietly hiding the former under the carpet.

A mature society also learns from the successes and failures of other societies. There is, literally, a whole world of ideas we can draw from. We are not afraid to introduce bold new ideas which have been proven to work overseas, or to learn from less successful examples.

EMPOWERMENT

Giving people a measure of control over what happens to them, and the knowledge that their voice will be heard.

It’s hard to feel positive when we have no control. Our people and communities should be driving the progress of our country, not having their voices stifled and ignored. We will provide the platforms and support/assistance which empower people to take back politics, to create positive change for their community, and to live a more fulfilling life.

The greatness of a society flows from the greatness of its people. The Australian people are capable of great things. We see our party as a vehicle which we can use together to find our way to that greatness.

We have let ourselves be ruled by a self-proclaimed ‘political class’ for too long, and the results have been disastrous. The only way forward is for us to find the right leaders amongst the Australian people – leaders from all walks of life who can come together to create the Australia of the next century. The Australian Progressives intend to empower committed Australians by offering the support, skills, knowledge and network needed to become community and political leaders. We see a day when all of us are leading the country together, towards a wiser future.

Similarly, we have accepted as normal the idea that work should be drudgery. Bullying, harassment, boredom and lack of fulfillment are simply the price we must pay for survival. The Australian Progressives strongly disagree – we see work as the path to creative expression and fulfilment. Given that we spend a huge part of our lives at work, enjoying what we do is critical to finding happiness.

We see the greatest obstacle to fulfilment in our work being the concentration of power in large, authoritarian corporate structures which are designed to beat people into compliance. We believe in entrepreneurship as the way forward – small, collaborative, creative organisations who rely on creativity and genius to thrive. The Australian Progressives are determined to make Australia one of the great entrepreneurial hubs of the 21st Century.

EQUALITY

Bridging the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged, in more than an economic sense.

Injustice kills happiness and breeds resentment and depression. The first step to solving so many ills of our community- homelessness, mental health issues, uneven standards of literacy and numeracy- is to ensure that life becomes fair and that people are able to access the level of help that they need.

Achieving equality for all our citizens is not a matter of giving all citizens the same thing, regardless of where they stand in the current demographic. To do so simply retains the degree of injustice. As a government we must apply principles of equity, regardless of each citizen’s social, economic or political standing- providing the resources that people need to bring them up to an equal footing with others.

The culture of blaming whole sections of our society for their disadvantage must end. The illusion that people can always control what happens to them is a fallacy. An empathetic society stands in the shoes of the disadvantaged and sees that ‘there but for the grace of God – or circumstance – go I’. An ethical society holds out a hand and helps the disadvantaged rise to an equal level of happiness and fulfilment with compassion – it does not hold them down with judgment.

ENGAGEMENT

Starting and supporting conversations and positive actions between citizens; asking people for their feelings and opinions, and really listening to the answers.  A sense of local community has been lost in too many places, and we want to restore it.

Getting the people of an area involved in the decision-making which affects them, encouraging ethical and empathetic interaction with others both online and face to face, and recreating communities so that people understand the humanity, needs and desires of those in their local area and beyond is vital if our lives are to be happier and more fulfilling.

Our society has become cynical of all things political, and with good reason. It seems that engagement with politics has moved away from membership of political parties and towards either inertia or activism. Yet to achieve real change, the people must insist by entering the political world as a body and moving towards better goals with a sense of purpose.

The Australian Progressives aim to be the bridge between peaceful grassroots activism and politics. If every concerned citizen who has marched in a protest, signed a petition, sat knitting in front of a parliamentary representative’s office, phoned their local member and made their objections known to the media – or, indeed, have thought they should do so but didn’t get around to it – if all such people were to unite behind a political movement for progressive, long term change, so much would be possible.

Unity begins with community. Our ‘branches’, or community hubs, will be encouraged to be active in face-to-face conversations with the local community, and to contribute to that community in any way they can. Progressivism must be more than rhetoric and theory. It must prove itself to do real good that improves people’s quality of life. Only with grassroots positive action can we fight the disillusionment and cynicism that pervades our society and elevate the human race to the next level of enlightened civilisation.