Permaculture People's Party

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Tamara, May 24, 2007.

  1. Tamara

    Tamara Junior Member

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    Great Fern,

    you have heaps more contacts that me and and spreading of the word is highly appreciated.

    I have emailed david Holmgren but I think he is overseas and hasn't seen the message - he gets so many emails...Do you have direct contact with him?

    Love T
     
  2. Fern O.

    Fern O. Junior Member

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    Took this to PIL list serve, here's the first round of responses:

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 11:31:42 –0400

    For those who don't know about this, there's a campaign to start a
    permaculture political party "Permaculture People's Party" (PPP)

    The campaign is being driven by Tamara Griffiths (from Bunyip) with support
    from Bill Mollison.

    To join, download a form at:

    https://www.aec.gov.au/pdf/party_reg/han ... _handbook_
    2005_app05.pdf
    Party name is Permaculture People's Party.

    Send it to:

    Bill Mollison
    31 Rulla Road
    Sisters Creek
    Tasmania 7325

    There's a discussion on this at:
    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/ftopi ... asc-30.php

    I've joined. I think it's about time permaculture set up a political
    party. We need more permies in politics. I'd like to see a PPP candidate
    in each seat, and on each voting card... that would really permeate
    permaculture into the main stream... and disintegrate the perception of
    permaculture just being about gardening.

    Cheers!

    Fern

    500 applications are needed to start the party.

    From: Laurence Gaffney
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 09:04:35 +1000
    What evidence is there that Bill Mollison is supporting the creation of a conventional Political Party?
    Given Bills writing & statements in the past this would seem impossible.

    eg. "All Political Parties will always treat you with contempt." (PDC TYALGUM 94)

    Laurence Gaffney

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 20:26:26 -0400
    Talk with Tamara about it

    Tamara Griffiths
    Moonrise Permaculture
    03 5629 5918
    0407 45 7707
    [email protected]

    She did the practical course at Sister creek will Bill last April...
    obviously Bill has changed his mind... people do that...
    But I don't think the PPP will be conventional...

    Cheers
    Fern
    Otways & Coast Bioregion

    From: Deb Guildner
    To: , permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 10:21:46 +0930

    Damn, I just joined WhatWomenWant!
    So many new political parties, so few elections!!!

    Deb

    From: David Arnold
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 11:21:52 +1000
    As Deb said, "So many new political parties, so few elections!!!" I agree.


    I don't really have any objection to the Greens. For what you can set out
    to do from the top down end, the kinds of things the Greens say and do seems
    fine to me.

    PPP seems like an oxymoron.

    And I am reluctant to contribute to splintering the [small g] green vote
    even further.

    If the Greens do what they can through the political process, that flies the
    flag there, and leaves us permies free to do what we can at the edge. I
    feel that, yes, the action is at the edge.

    I know it is difficult to balance edge and mainstream..... I personally
    struggle with wanting to engage the local council more and more, as the next
    step on from our village 'council' which is already fairly actively green.
    [yes, even considering suggestions to run for council, but absolutely not
    wanting to]..... not wanting to get sucked in to their institutional
    inertia and mainstream paradigm. All power to others who are able to
    achieve good things by doing that.

    This tension between applying our energies at the edge or into the
    mainstream is absolutely part and parcel of our challenge as permies, and we
    all have to find our own way with that.

    dave

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 03:50:06 -0400
    Good that there's more political parties springing up... the more diversity
    the better!

    I also don't have any objection to the Greens, but I know quite a few
    people (including myself) who would hesitate to become a member of the
    Greens, but would join the PPP.

    I see the difference between the Greens and the PPP, like the difference
    between Landcare/ Greening Australia and a Permaculture Organisation.

    I don't see how PPP is an oxymoron.

    I don't think the PPP would splinter the Greens vote. Rather, I think it
    would add to it. There are some people who wouldn't vote for the Greens,
    but would vote for PPP. If the option of the PPP became available, some
    people would change their vote from a mainstream party, some people would
    not donkey vote anymore, and some people may even enrol to vote.

    There would also be another party who would preference the Greens.

    In my seat of Western Victoria (for the State Government upper house), we
    had the situation of a candidate (from the DLP) being elected in on
    preference votes, even though they only had less than 2% of the primary
    vote. The Greens had the most primary votes, but because the majority of
    other parties gave their preferences to the DLP, the DLP candidate got in.
    If the Greens and the PPP preferenced each other, then we would be
    supporting each other, and adding more strength to the Greens & PPP's final
    outcome.

    Declan Kennedy at the end of his IPC8 speech, urged permaculturalists to
    get involved in politics "To get things done, get the taxes changed and get
    the priorities changed"

    But I agree with Dave's sentiment that "we all have to find our own way
    with that"

    cheers
    Fern

    From: Champagne
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] (no subject)
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 18:21:35 +1000
    Well said David, I agree.

    Top-down thinking \ bottom up action is a better way to go here. So many
    good things happening around the country at a the community grassroots
    level that its important to work and nurture these rather than expanding
    a whole lot of energy pushing ideas and policy from a party political level.

    Surely most would agree that voting Green and a Labor victory is our
    best option with whats realistically available.Our work within our
    bioregions would become a lot easier with this scenario than the
    conservatives we now have. Sure, there are issues we have with some
    Greens policy but they command more than 10% of the national vote at the
    moment and to attempt to split that would only harm environmental
    thinking toward issues in general, with the media having a field day
    highlighting how divisive we all are.

    If permies want to get active at a political level then I'd suggest the
    best place to start is at your local council level where at least you
    'may' effect some change at a local level.

    Permaculture has trouble operating at a unified bioregional level in its
    home country and to suddenly jump to the national level with no form of
    structure in place is very risky stuff. A hell of a lot of energy needs
    to go into managing a successful election campaign and maybe the time is
    not yet right.

    kind regards
    John Champagne
    Mumbulla Bioregion

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] Politics?
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 19:49:00 +1100
    Dear all,

    I'd concur with David and John.

    Would want to state for the record that I am a member of the Greens; keen
    to see people engaged in politics but when it comes to the concept of a
    Permaculture Political party, I wonder about a few things, such as

    1. although many Permies might vote Green, a solid block would also vote
    for other Parties... we are NOT a homogeneous group
    2. the energy involved in starting and then maintaining a legal political
    party is huge - who is going to do that and why would that be a good thing
    to do with their energy?
    3. maybe more local councillors would be the right point of initial
    interaction - building some PC design into local planning reg's would be
    interesting, for instance
    4. diluting the primary Green vote (especially in the Senate in the Federal
    election) makes oddities like Family First getting a Senator (after polling
    less than 2% primary vote) more likely - if the Left vote went first to the
    Greens instead of via splinter parties, the Greens would have a quota in
    their own right and we wouldn't have our Senate decided by dodgy backroom
    deals done by the major parties (primarily the ALP!)

    I'm personally regularly challenging myself to consider how best to balance
    my time - and if I had to chose between my party political activity and my
    community-based practical work (climate change/local food production
    focussed), then I'm sure that the local and community-based stuff is
    actually making more difference in the world right now. As long as I can
    also contribute to a progressive political presence in Australia, I'll do
    that

    so there you go - : )

    Steve

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 05:29:17 -0400
    According to Tamara, Bill wants the PPP to be worldwide, not just national.

    Permies come in all shapes and sizes (some people are better gleaners than
    growers... I don't think you need to be a gardener to be a
    permaculturalist), and those who are into the political side of things can
    go that way, if they choose or wish.

    Sometimes there's not much point getting involved in local council, when
    the local council is dictated to by the state government. The local
    council being in debt, state government and state institutions such as RACV
    and Tourism Victoria provide the funding, the local council has to submit
    to their demands or have their funding cut/ not given to them. So RACV/
    Tourism Vic are able to build their 4 storey hotel resort complex on the
    foreshore.
    If the council objects, the developments then get taken to VCAT and then
    gets overruled. This process of going to VCAT, drains the local council of
    their resources further.

    I think the best way for permaculture to work (as a movement & worldwide
    network) is both ways. Both top down and bottom up, action & thinking. I
    agree with Declan Kennedy.

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Politics?
    Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 05:51:33 -0400
    Steve,

    As a fellow resident in the Western Victoria seat and member of the Greens,
    you should be well aware of what happened to the Green Candidate who
    would've got the 5th seat, had it not been from preference votes that
    streamed to the DLP.

    Or were you overseas at the time?

    The greens candidate got the most primary votes, but hardly any preference
    votes.

    The liberal and labour partys have lots of splinter parties that
    preferences them adding to their tally (or vice versa).

    Fern
    Otways & Coast Bioregion

    From:
    To: , permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Politics?
    Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 01:12:45 +1100
    For those resident outside Victoria, what Fern is referring to is the 2006
    Vic State Election, in which the Greens Upper House candidate for Western
    Victoria, Marcus Ward, missed out on a seat in parliament because of the
    preference deal the ALP did with the DLP (once their greatest enemy!).

    Marcus received more primary votes than the DLP candidate who now sits in
    the Upper House with the three Greens MLC's who did get elected, BUT he
    didn't get sufficient votes to assure him of a seat without needing to rely
    on preferences.

    A PPP might give preference flows back to the Greens, but I'd personally
    rather see the Greens get the votes in the first place; this sends a
    stronger message to the major parties and wider community - I would rather
    see the Greens winning seats without needing the preference flows of other
    parties (major or minor).

    plus there is another element which most people forget - a vote for the
    Greens is a donation to the Greens! In any Federal seat where the Greens
    poll more than 4% of the vote, they receive a payment from the Australian
    Electoral Commission for each vote received. This system of providing
    public funding to parties that have a reasonable (over 4%) level of support
    is a structure to reduce the influence of big donors to parties. The PPP
    might not poll 4% and so the potential cash donation to the Greens would be
    lost. (If the party you give your primary vote to doesn't poll 4% in your
    seat, no money is paid out by the AEC for your vote)

    I agree that the ALP and Libs may be preferenced by some minor parties, but
    they don't rely on them - Lib and Labour work on winning in their own
    right.

    In the upcoming Federal election, the ALP cannot win control of the Senate
    from the Conservatives, but if enough people in the right states vote
    Green, we can restore the Senate to being a true house of review...

    ....so that's enough on that from me - have to go get ready for a
    community garden tour tomorrow! : )

    cheers,

    Steve

    From: Robyn Francis
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] permaculture political party
    Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2007 10:34:40 +1000
    I find the precautionary emails about this are most valid.

    Permaculturists would achieve a lot more by focussing on a good marketing
    and promotion strategy to get permaculture solutions out to the world than
    by setting up yet another political party.

    As John said, we simply don't have the infrastructure to organise such an
    enterprise and I think the efforts spend in such a futile endeavour could be
    better invested for greater impact. I'm concerned it would only fragment our
    energies and could potentially lose more support than we gain.

    A new documentary like a permaculture equivalent to End of Suburbia, Future
    of Food and other DVD's coming out in recent years would serve the movement
    and the planet well (it's over 15 years since Global Gardener). Streaming
    lots of short permaculture videos on the internet would also get a lot of
    people thinking and instigating solutions in their own lives and
    communities.

    Ciao
    Robyn

    From: Deb Guildner
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] permaculture political party
    Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 11:16:17 +0930
    I agree with many of the points made in this thread.

    I've had much political involvment since the heady election of 1983, when,
    with the help of the Democrats (mainland OZ), and the world's first green
    party, the United Tasmania Group (Tasmania, and the party which was the
    precursor of the Tasmanian-and-later-every-other-Greens-Party-on the
    planet), the Franklin-Gordon Rivers were saved for posterity (not by Labor,
    but by a very narrow 4:3 vote of the Full Becnch of the High Court....with
    due thanks to the Hawke Labor Govt who took on the Tasmanian Govt in the
    high court ...seeking a states-federal constitutional ruling.)

    Hmmm. After that victory....we have been endlessly plugging away at various
    green political manoevers, with varying degrees of success.

    In fact, even Bob Brown acknowledges that it is up to each person to make
    their own decisions about what is the best way for themselves to partake in
    the whirlygig that is our democracy. A very fair call. One should NEVER
    predispose to tell anyone else what to do. Though some commit to the party
    process, it isn't for everyone, and independence is a very valued commodity.
    Even in a consensus model outfit like the Greens, it isnt always possible to
    achieve consensus, which is why they have a rule for how to make decisions
    in cases where consensus isnt achievable. But compared to Labor, a
    belligerent 51:49 model, where you simply cannot go against the faction in
    the party room or cross the floor without being booted out of the party, the
    Liberal Party seems fair (at least to those within its own ranks) and allows
    members to cross the floor. You may not get preselected but you wont get
    thrown out of the party!

    Minor candidates AND independents are extremely worthwhile. They can
    highlight particular issues in ways that larger outfits find impossible.

    But where many greenhorns (if you'll pardon the term) fail is in the heady
    weeks leading up to the election, where the ultimate jousting contest
    occurs....and PREFERENCES get decided. The Greens got very savvy at
    this....there is no automatic allocation of preferences these days. [Back
    in 2001, 80% of Green voters second prefs went Labor and 20% went Liberal].
    Our esteemed Senator Kerry Nettle was ultimately elected on the back of One
    Nation prefernces.
    Indeed, one can no longer assume anything about the ultimate allocation of
    the Green vote... except in case of above the line voting in the upper
    house...(lower house in Tasmania?).

    The treacherous labyrinth that is Tasmanian politics has taught the Greens
    well. In the leadup to the 2004 election, and in the desperate struggle to
    save Tasmania's Old Growth forests, the Greens announced that the major
    parties would have to EARN the Greens' preferences. This confused the
    punters momentarily, but the Greens were on the money. Suddenly in the week
    before the election, the Howard Govt came out with a deal to save the
    Tarkine, and a $50 (80?) million restucturing package. It wasn't everything
    we wanted, and it didnt even come close to what the Latham Govt offered
    (more like $800 million, and more precious Tassie forests would have been
    spared the bulldozer).. But alas, Latham Labor lost, and the Liberal deal
    was the only real offer.

    Preferences hold the key. I heard that legally binding deals are signed
    about promises made on the back of preference deals. You can never trust a
    politician!

    And as Green parties are all State controlled and NOT a federal machine,
    generally speaking, not all State Greens parties are created equal. The
    Australian Greens are actually a loose federation of State parties. WA runs
    its own show, it is only a part of the national green political circus by
    its own grace.

    I try to avoid politics as much as I can these days, but when an election is
    impending, like the hand of doom itself, I am compelled to turn my gaze
    toward it.
    In a democracy like ours, one's only real democratic freedom is...you
    guessed it....voting! And it only comes around every three or four years.
    Ignore it at your peril, as I remember to forget the plethora of politically
    inspired aphorisms.....zzzzzzzzzzz.

    I think it was Bill Mollisol who once said: "When the revolution comes,
    don't get caught doing something stupid". I don't know if it was original,
    but it stuck in my head. Politics IS a neccessary evil. But sometimes I
    think I should have ignored it and done full-time teaching instead. Could I
    have done both? As I now live with post traumatic stress burnout, I turn my
    attention back to writing...and therefore teaching.

    One way or another, the generic green message yelled from ever more rooftops
    in increasing volume eventually sunk into these retrograde politicians
    brains. Visionaries jumped willingly, while neo-cons et al were dragged
    kicking and screaming.

    I, along with many other, have saved some beautiful forests along the way.

    Gathered around on a NW Tasmanian forest floor in the late winter of 2003,
    it was another quote of Bill's that I trotted out, to keep some wonderful
    young mainland uni students inspired along their journey to save Tassies
    forests:

    Bill once said: "If we lose all the universities in the world, we have lost
    nothing; but if we lose all the forests, we've lost everything".

    The young students all broke into spontaneous applause. And then they went
    back to the mainland and saved the Tarkine.
    Sometimes political activism is necessary. It is certainly gratifying to see
    the results of your efforts.
    When your only reward is the satisfaction of a job well done, it does count
    for something. Most of us don't get paid!

    Poitics however can be like a drug. So it is I paraphrase another of life's
    aphorisms: "Always let your politics be a slave to you, never be a slave to
    your politics"
    Just drop it in the recycle bin on the way out, when you're done: someone
    else might be able to use it.

    Cheers
    Deb

    From: pacific-edge
    Reply To: [email protected]ional.org
    To: pil
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2007 12:05:54 +1000
    So. A political party. Bill must have had a fundamental change of attitude
    on this if, as reported, he now supports the idea. He's always been
    skeptical (that's a mild term for it) of political parties. Perhaps he's had
    an epiphany on the road to Deloraine.

    I admire the enthusiasm of those that have set this Permaculture party thing
    up, however I have just a few thoughts.

    First, I wonder whether seeking influence is more effective than direct
    involvement in party politics. Influence, that is, based on the efficacy of
    Permaculture and carried out through the techniques of low key, targetted
    advocacy and lobbying.

    Secondly, here and there across the country Permaculture, both as a set of
    ideas and as a term, is starting to make a few inroads into local government
    community education. And there remains potential to exert influence at the
    community-based level by permaculturists participating in global warming
    groups, food security organisations and so on.

    Local government educators may no longer be able to make use of Permaculture
    in their work, now easily mention the concept, were the design system to
    become politicised through association with a political party. This is
    because, in their work, they cannot support particular commercial products
    or political organisations.

    I doubt if a party would attract those permaculturists who traditionally
    support mainstream parties. I know one, perhaps two, who are members of the
    ALP, believe it or not, and I bet there's more than a few in the safe
    Liberal seats on Sydney's northside that are members and/or supporters of
    that party. Then there's permaculturists who might be members of the Greens.
    Question: are permaculturist members of these parties better seeking to
    reform them than form another party?

    It's been a talking point over the years that local government is the level
    with the most direct impact on individuals and localities.

    ...Russ Grayson

    From: P Ferguson
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Pil-pc-oceania Digest, Vol 9, Issue 1
    Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 15:16:54 +1000
    Robyn wrote:
    ""Permaculturists would achieve a lot more by focussing on a good marketing
    and promotion strategy to get permaculture solutions out to the world than
    by setting up yet another political party.""

    Quite right. Permaculture is only just getting over the scathing tag of
    'money making' - following the dash for cash by people with no horticultural
    or architectural experience hanging out their shingles as 'permaculturists'
    or 'permaculture advisers', and now someone has climbed a tree and wants to
    form a permaculture political party.

    P Ferguson
    Illawarra NSW

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: ,
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Scathing Tag
    Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 02:42:07 -0400
    When & where did the "scathing tag of 'money making'" happen? What
    happened there? Please tell me the history of.

    I have formal training in both architecture (although I only did 2 years of
    the bachelor degree) & horticulture... but I don't think people who
    identify as permies, or practise as permaculture designers need to have a
    background in architecture and horticulture.

    If someone (being Tamara and Bill) have the energy and time to climb a tree
    and set up a permaculture political party, I applaud them. Perhaps setting
    up a political party is a good marketing and promotion strategy... It
    certainly breaks permaculture away from the perception of it being just
    gardening.

    Cheers!
    Fern

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] permaculture videos on the internet
    Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 03:29:02 -0400
    There's a fair amount of permaculture videos on YouTube

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=vUr4uPe9WBk& ... er&search=

    Tens of thousands of people have done PDCs...

    I'm finding that alot of people who did their PDCs in the 80's/ early 90's,
    or who were into the back to the land/ self-sufficiency movement (&
    implemented permaculture practises) in the 70's and then fell asleep... are
    reawakening...

    we are a powerful network... and have so much potential.

    Fern

    From: mossmans
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 22:16:48 +1000
    Many years ago, in NZ I handed out leaflets, and voted for a party called
    Values party, it was slightly leftish, espoused green things, sharing of
    land etc. I always believed that my vote should be a positive vote

    The effect of people voting for Values was that it split the vote and
    instead of Labour getting in the Nationals won (Piggy Muldoon etc)

    The more we split tne next vote the more likely the current party will stay.
    At this time in history and in our climate crisis where do you think your
    vote would be more effective.

    Do an analysis of what people practicing permaculture do. They quietly go
    about their business setting up systems in their own back yards.

    In a city of Sydney (4million) there are now 3 groups. Permaculture North -
    booming with about 180 + members, Permaculture Sydney West - Wentworthville
    area about 30 members, oh and a fledgling group in Campbelltown area of
    about 10 or is that 4 people. With a few scattered around the greater basin
    area ?50 That adds up to about 260 people.. Wow!!

    Where are all the people I keep hearing about that have done PDCs or intro
    courses? If we cant even get those into meetings/working together/anything
    -- what chance have we of having any credibility

    What are we doing to promote permaculture, what are we doing to get together
    to make a difference and sway opinion, what right have we to start a party
    when we cant even make a difference where we live.

    Your choice!!

    Sue

    From: Graeme George - Earthcare Permaculture
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Politics?
    Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 09:07:03 +1000
    Dear Colleagues

    I support the comments made by David, John, Steve, Robyn and Sue on this
    issue.

    One doesn't have to form a political party in order to become
    politically active. Local Government has already been mentioned as a
    good starting point. Joining an existing party and having some influence
    on policy development is another, as is personal lobbying, letter
    writing to politicians, and active membership of community groups. In a
    permaculture design you don't waste the embodied energy in a solid house
    because it's energy inefficient - you retro-fit it. The same should
    apply to our invisible structures. As Steve has pointed out we should be
    taking advantage of political structures that are already heading in the
    right direction and work from the grass roots up to effect top-down
    change further down the track. We seem to have two camps developing,
    those wanting revolutionary change and those taking an evolutionary
    approach. As a biologist and pragmatist I believe that the latter
    approach is more likely to succeed in our industrialised society.

    I'm surprised that the design technique of analysing options and
    pathways (Designer's Manual, p 47) appears not to have been utilised on
    this occasion. We've been presented with a /fait accompli -/ a
    structure and a name for a political party without any debate or
    consensus. How can such a party purport to represent the permaculture
    movement? We've all been taught that permaculture is non-hierarchical
    and bio-regionally focussed. Now we're being urged to go national and
    even international. John rounded off a previous discussion about Future
    Directions for Permaculture on this list with the comment -
    > this issue needs to be high on the agenda for APC9 in Sydney. Before that though,I feel we need solid discussion papers fleshing out all possible options.
    I agree and see that this starting to happen. We've now had a number of
    cautionary emails and there is obviously no consensus that a
    permaculture party is the way to go. Without that consensus, how can it
    happen? I wonder if this is just kite-flying by Bill.

    Stuart Hill, in his keynote paper presented at the APC8 Symposium in
    Melbourne in April 2005, said, in discussing the way forward for Phase
    Two of Permaculture -

    > Because we live in a culture that over-values /Olympic/ scale
    > initiatives, which are impossible for most of us to be involved in, we
    > should make a special effort to emphasise the importance of /small,
    > meaningful projects that individuals or small groups can guarantee to
    > carry through to completion./ Indeed, I put forward the fairly
    > revolutionary idea that by celebrating these publicly (for example,
    > through the local media and social gatherings) they are likely to be
    > copied by others and, paradoxically, be much more likely to bring
    > about positive sustainable change in society than the mega-projects
    > that currently attract most attention and resources.
    >
    Lots of suggestions are coming forward in line with this approach. It
    seems to me that a dedicated political party is a very un-permacultural
    way to achieve change in society. I'm reminded of the strategy of using
    gravity when building a house - design the access so that you don't have
    to cart everything uphill!

    Regards

    Graeme George
    *Earthcare Permaculture*
    35 Deering Ave, Healesville, Vic 3777
    (03) 5962 5070

    From: Scott Smedley
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 01:06:15 +1000
    Hi,

    > And I am reluctant to contribute to splintering the [small g] green vote
    > even further.

    Australia uses a preferential voting system. "Wasted" votes are a myth.
    In fact, failure to educate the public about the preferential voting
    system heavily favours the major parties.

    https://nsw.greens.org.au/campaigns/201c ... s2019-vote

    Scott.

    Wasted vote myth exposed

    Double your voteIf you vote 1 for The Greens candidate and they are eliminated during the counting of the vote, then your vote flows on, at full value, to the remaining candidate you have preferenced. That's not a wasted vote -- it's a safe vote with a powerful message! To understand the way preferential voting works visit the NSW Electoral Commission.

    Both Labor and the Coalition are happy for tens of thousands of voters to continue to be conned by the myth that a vote for a minor party is a “wasted vote”, because it means more number one votes for their party.

    Many voters would like to give The Greens a number one vote but are worried that if they do, it will somehow help the major party they can’t stand, defeat the major party that they think is not quite as bad. The reason so many voters mistakenly believe this, is because the NSW preferential voting system has not been properly explained to the public.

    The Greens MP Lee Rhiannon reassured many voters thinking of voting for The Greens, particularly those that had voted Labor in the past, when she explained “A number 1 vote for The Greens, then a preference allocation to the major party a voter prefers, is a safe and powerful vote. It sends a message to the big parties that their performance is not good enough, and if The Greens candidate is eliminated during the counting of the vote, then the vote flows on, at full value, to the major party candidate that was preferenced by the voter.”

    Under Australia’s preferential voting system often candidates are elected because of minor party preferences. Labor for example has won hundreds of seats over the years because of Greens voters’ preferences, and in some of those seats the Labor candidate had less number one votes than the Liberal or National party candidate. The preferential voting system is entirely different to the British and American first past the post system where the candidate who has the most number one votes automatically wins.

    It is the “wasted vote” myth that helps the incumbent major parties retain two party political dominance. While it is difficult to estimate the size, strong anecdotal evidence from voters is that the minor parties, especially The Greens, are missing out on a huge number of votes because of this myth.

    Greens campaigners reported that at the last federal election many voters would say “I would have liked to have voted for The Greens but we have to get rid of John Howard so I voted Labor.” A number one vote for The Greens and a two for Labor would have worked just as well, and sent a message to Labor. Fortunately the voting system allows voters to vote for whoever they like safely, provided they allocate preferences.

    A simple example is if the Liberal candidate polled 10 votes, the Labor candidate polled 8 votes and The Greens candidate 6 votes, and the Greens voters gave preferences to the Labor candidate by giving them a number two when filling out the ballot paper, then the Labor candidate would win the seat, defeating the Liberal by 14 votes to 10.

    From: Deb Guildner
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: , permacultue discussion list
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 08:55:41 +0930
    Thankyou Scott.
    Democracy = one vote, one value.
    There is a saying: "democracy is not about getting the best people in, it's
    about keeping the worst people out".
    Sadly, if we do nowt, that is frequently what happens.
    The only caution I would advise is that it takes a lot of work and energy to
    run an organisation, and it isn't that much fun. More like a means to an
    end.
    If one begins EVERY meeting by taking 5 minutes (which isn't long) to
    explain how the consensus model works, and encourage ppl to take turns
    chairing the meeting, there might be more democracy afoot, but even the
    Greens forget to do this, as everybody has brought their 51:49 baggage with
    them: hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to number crunch we go.
    According to the Greens own constitution, a convenor is not supposed to
    automatically be a chairperson, they are just supposed to make sure that one
    is appointed for the meeting. But sadly I have not seen a meeting where this
    appropriation of the task does not occur. There may be one somewhere, but I
    haven't seen it myself. There is room in the constitution for it to happen
    though, but it requires individuals to share a degree of authority.
    This failure is where power begins to manifest, and where democracy and
    grassroots empowerment fails.
    Those with the power of authority can manipulate the process.
    Thus it is rare indeed to make friends in politics, as politics generally
    does not bring out the best inmost people.
    But if you can start a group that does this, you may get somewhere.

    Personally, I would rather every candidate was an independent, but that is
    just a pipe dream. SO.

    The reality is that neither major party gets 50% across the entire
    electorate. That is, both Labor and Liberal rely on discarded preferences in
    most lower house seats to get elected. Some are 'safe' seats, ie have a
    comfortable lead over the opposition candidate, but even safe seats fall.

    Here's how. If the first candidate of your choice fails to get elected, the
    candidate you placed second then has a chance.... with the help of your
    vote.

    When the vote is counted, if no candidate gains a clear majority (50+%) they
    take the candidiate with the least number of primary (or 1st votes) on the
    ballot paper, and redistribute that candidate's 'discarded preferences' to
    the remaining candidates...until someone gets across the 50% line, until
    your vote finally goes to someone who...gets elected!

    Historically known as the two-party preferred vote, harking back to the time
    when there were only Labor and Liberal candidates running, it is more
    accurate now to refer to the count as two-CANDIDATE preferred. Because
    increasingly, candidates are elected to the lower houses of parliament who
    do NOT come from either Labour OR Liberal. Hallelujah!

    The minor candidates are reviled by the major parties because they represent
    those annoying little voices that won't stop talking, when the reality is
    that the major parties just don't want to hear, and that is precisely why we
    need minor candidates. Ask David Holmgren about the 'S' curve...(from
    visionaries to reactionaries): it is a great analogy for political
    diversity.

    Kerry Nettle is up for re-election in the coming election. I don't believe
    that One Nation (whose preferences gave her the required edge in 2001) is
    much of a force any more...and if the Greens cannot get a quota in their own
    right (about 14% of the total vote) then she is going to rely on preferences
    from other candidates to get across the line. "Who can it be now?", Greens
    must be wondering...

    BTW, Peter Garrett was a NSW Senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament
    Party in the 1985 Federal Election. He gained an amazing 250,000 primary
    votes but was pipped at the post when the dreaded Labor Party gave their
    leftover quota (or preferences) to ....wait for it...the Liberal Party, so
    that Garrett would not get elected. The ALP had had some very divisive
    years due to the fracas over uranium mining, which had controversially split
    the party.. Ah, the heady days of the early 80's. Peter is a very forgiving
    soul isn't he?

    The upper houses (Senate) etc are fertile ground for minor candidates.
    Until the 2004 election, neither of the major parties had held total control
    over both (upper and lower) houses of parliament since about 1975. The
    government, formed from a majority of lower house members (House of
    Representatives), must submit all bills to the Senate for approval. Easy
    when the government has the numbers there as well! But NO good for
    democracy. And that's the situation we've had the displeasure of since the
    last election. Wake up Australia! SO the more minor candidates who get
    elected to the Senate, the better. Who wants to see Labor get elcted and
    control the Senate as well? None but the Labor Party, and it's a safe bet
    that even some of them wouldn't want to see that.

    The House of Reps comprises 150 members, or one for every 80,000 voters in
    their electorate.
    The Senate comprises 77 Senators, which is 11 Senators from 7 states. It was
    formed that way to prevent the most populous states from comandeering
    parliament, which was a potent fear factor leading up to the C1900
    federation of the State colonies to form Australia as we know it.
    Eg South Australia has only enough punters to field 11 lower seats (SA did
    have 12, but lost one recently because of the eternal SA 'brain drain' which
    causes people to leave; and Tasmania with about 500,000 people has only 5
    lower seats).

    The Senate is also arguably more representative of the people because of its
    potential for minor candidates to get in, even though they, like the Greens
    in most cases, only get one with the help of the discarded preferences of
    failed candidates...who may or may not also think like them!
    They may only be a 5% minority, but they deserve to have a voice. Otherwise
    our so-called parliamentary representative democracy isn't truly
    representative.
    Right?

    Anyway, isn't diversity what permaculture is all about? Eh? Go outside and
    think about it.


    Deb
    Currently searching Adelaide for a Senate candidate for WhatWomenWant Party
    [subtext, "give us back our midwife!"]
    PO Box 3312 Norwood SA 5067
    0432 887 512

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] permaculture political party
    Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 09:14:40 +1000
    Note this is a personal opinion from Maureen
    Corbett (who works at Holmgren Design Services).
    My instinct is that the suggestion to start a
    Political Party would need about a year or two of
    thinking and discussion time and is definitely
    not a good idea if the aim is the next Federal
    Election. Because of our preferencial voting
    system setting up another smaller party can split
    the environmental vote and confuse voters. The
    bigger parties use this to their benefit but I
    don't think it would work that way for us. We
    could however have a Permaculture lobby group
    that publishes candidate answers to a list of
    pointed questions.... which is circulated as far
    as possible but at least to the email contacts of
    all permaculturalists.
    Ciao
    Maureen

    From: Terry Leahy
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 11:39:02 +1000
    Dear Permaculture,

    Agree with those who worry that all this energy might better be spent
    working with the Greens or doing something to promote permaculture in
    its own right. I am wondering what it is that Permaculturists might
    have against the Greens party. This has been suggested a number of
    times but I am not sure what specifically people are worried about with
    the Greens. More importantly I am not sure that what we permaculturists
    might be worried about with the Greens would be the same across the
    movement. My own concern with the Greens is that their utopia - what we
    are working towards to replace the present social system - strikes me as
    unlikely to work; they favour what can be called a mixed economy model
    with aspects of socialism, capitalism and anarchism; I favour an
    anarchist moneyless gift economy model. I doubt if this problem and my
    solution are exactly what might be the go with other permaculturists!!!
    I also worry that they put people off sometimes with what amounts to a
    whole lot of proposed legislation that can seem like the state trying to
    control your every move. For example bans on four wheel drives on
    beaches and so on. This is a very tricky situation as I think that
    given a capitalist economy and representative democracy you end up
    having to support laws that ban this and that and tax you for the other
    etc. But the populace is not very keen on this generally. I suppose
    what I might like is a bit more attention to acknowledging people's
    concerns with government surveillance and more of an apologetic
    explanation of why we have to support this kind of legislation in the
    present context and cannot just rely on changes in community sentiment -
    e.g a carbon trading scheme rather than relying on everyone choosing
    green power. You have to debate this issue with the public. The other
    thing is that people worry that the Greens are going to rush around
    changing the economic system in ways that will end up with everyone out
    of a job. The Greens have been better on explaining their policy on
    this in recent years but it is still a key point with the punters out
    there.


    Despite all this I still support the Greens; they are the only party
    that really acknowledges the depth of the environmental crisis and the
    drastic nature of what has to be done to solve it. I also think that
    voting for them within the preferential system (i,e giving second
    preferences to the ALP) is very effective in putting pressure on the
    major parties to do something. What worries me at the moment is the way
    their vote has remained at roughly the same level for more than a decade
    despite the recent and growing concern about global warming. I am not
    sure whether this means that people think the other parties are dealing
    with it; my own research suggests this is unlikely. What is more likely
    is that most people are still too worried about their own jobs or income
    to support any party which may seem to threaten that. Watch this
    space.

    Terry

    p.s for a lot more detail on this and reasonably recent research on
    attitudes of the public to environmental issues see my new website
    address:

    https://gifteconomy.octapod.org/
     
  3. Fern O.

    Fern O. Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
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    Here's the second round of responses after I emailed Tamara the first round:
    [NB. to join the PIL list or read the online archives see -
    https://jasper.cmsarchitects.com/mailman ... pc-oceania ]



    From: tamara griffiths
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 08:10:04 +0000
    Lawrence wrote:

    "What evidence is there that Bill Mollison is supporting the creation of a
    conventional Political Party?
    Given Bills writing & statements in the past this would seem impossible.

    eg. "All Political Parties will always treat you with contempt." (PDC
    TYALGUM 94)"


    For evidence that Bill M is driving the creation of the PPP please speak to
    anyone who was at the January PDC with Bill M and Geoff Lawton in Melbourne.
    Or anyone on the practical course run by the PRI at Bill's farm in April.
    Geoff Lawton for example. Or you could ring Bill.

    Kind regards,
    Tamara


    Tamara Griffiths
    39 Wattle Tree Road
    Bunyip
    Victoria 3815
    03 5629 5918
    0407 45 7707
    [email protected]
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/boodicusducky/

    From: tamara griffiths
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party 2
    Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 09:11:09 +0000
    How does one start a permaculture political party?
    Possibly not by presenting the name and the creation of the party as a
    fait-acompli.
    But I have never convened a political party before so I beg forgiveness.

    Bill M spoke about the formation of a Permaculture political party at the
    PDC in January in Melbourne, and when I went on the practical course at his
    farm in Tassie we discussed what this would entail. He asked me to convene
    the party.

    I registered the name as a business name (as per Bill's request) and posted
    and emailed the form out to groups requesting that they tell members etc.

    There are some good discussions on the PRI forum about the PPP. Please see
    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/forum ... bcad61d52a

    I would like to invite everyone to a meeting on 30th or 31st of October this
    year in Melbourne to discuss the formation of a PPP. Bill is in Melbourne
    then and I believe that David Holmgren is in the country. All permies are
    welcome. I will give more details as they come to hand. We can discuss
    whether we want a ppp or not, and name etc.

    I am compiling a list of FAQ's and topics for discussion. Please post or
    email them to me.
    In the mean time, perhaps we should have some discussion papers out for
    circulation. Is that a good idea?

    Why did I decided to help Bill set up a PPP. These are my views and do not
    represent the PPP.
    1. The world is in absolutely dire straits. Australia is in desperate need
    more permaculture. I felt a pressing need that Permaculture have a voice in
    mainstream politics. As I have written elsewhere, even if we never get
    anyone elected, the very fact that we exist, perhaps one of us appears on
    the 7.30 report, it gets the message out there. I am unhappy with my ability
    to have any meaningful effect on my elected representatives. A letter never
    gets read by a minister, the staff answer it and usually with a form letter.
    Requests for an audience John Thwaites or his environmental advisor get an
    answer no. Why? Because I am one person. A PPP could have more chance of an
    audience with people we are trying to influence than a single person. And if
    one more person gets into permaculture, surely thats a win for the planet?

    2. On splitting the Greens: I am a Greens member and handed out for them at
    the last election. the preferential system of voting in Australia means that
    as long as people vote for the Greens as their second option, that vote is
    not wasted.

    3. Will a PPP necessarily split the greens? Possibly, or not necessarily.
    Not all Permies are greens voters. Some permies might have deep problems
    with shooting galleries or gay marriage. And some might not. We just don't
    know.

    4. Should we just work within the Greens? see above.

    5. Should we work within other political parties and structures - Retrofit?
    yes. We should. But are we being heard? In the face of crippling drought
    John Howard suggests we pray, rather than get the design right. He offers a
    10 Billion dollar plan to fix the Murray Darling and doesn't mention how
    irrigators could get enough water through keyline, swaling and other
    methods. When I spoke to the author of the Victorian government's author of
    the report on securing Melbourne's water supply, he had never even heard of
    Permaculture or Yeomans. We need a louder voice.

    6.The Greens, Labor and Liberal are parties that represent political
    approaches to society and governance. The Greens are libertarians, the
    Liberals are individualist and neo conservatives and Labor are
    unionist/group/socialist oriented.
    Permaculture is a practical rather than a political movement (is this true?)
    and as such I believe it is outside the existing dogmas of politics.
    Permaculture offers common sense and proven practical approaches rather than
    political theories to problems like abject poverty and these techniques of
    design must get out there.

    Please email me with question or topics to discuss at the late October
    meeting.
    And apologies for the top-down appearance of the PPP. My intentions were
    pure. I just want to care for people, care for the earth and to spread the
    surplus.

    Kind regards,

    Tamara Griffiths

    From: pacific-edge
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: pil
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 10:39:05 +1000
    On 2/7/07 11:39 AM, "Terry Leahy" wrote:

    > Dear Permaculture,
    >
    > Agree with those who worry that all this energy might better be spent
    > working with the Greens or doing something to promote permaculture in
    > its own right. I am wondering what it is that Permaculturists might
    > have against the Greens party.T his has been suggested a number of
    > times but I am not sure what specifically people are worried about with
    > the Greens.

    Their duplicitous role in voting against renewal of the lease for the
    Eastern Suburbs Community Garden (Waverly Greens on Waverly Council).

    In comparison, the Randwick Greens supported the campaign to retain the
    community garden at UNSW.

    This shows that the greens are somewhat erratic when it comes to policy and
    in complying with their own myth of being suppportive of community.

    > More importantly I am not sure that what we permaculturists
    > might be worried about with the Greens would be the same across the
    > movement. My own concern with the Greens is that their utopia - what we
    > are working towards to replace the present social system - strikes me as
    > unlikely to work; they favour what can be called a mixed economy model
    > with aspects of socialism, capitalism and anarchism; I favour an
    > anarchist moneyless gift economy model. I doubt if this problem and my
    > solution are exactly what might be the go with other permaculturists!!!

    This seems quite a long term aim rather than one based on present
    realpolitik. But who dares predict the evolution of complex societies? You
    never know.

    > I also worry that they put people off sometimes with what amounts to a
    > whole lot of proposed legislation that can seem like the state trying to
    > control your every move. For example bans on four wheel drives on
    > beaches and so on.

    Yes, this too. Too many laws but not those we really need for the long term.
    Too much interference in people's everyday life.

    > Despite all this I still support the Greens; they are the only party
    > that really acknowledges the depth of the environmental crisis and the
    > drastic nature of what has to be done to solve it. I also think that
    > voting for them within the preferential system (i,e giving second
    > preferences to the ALP) is very effective in putting pressure on the
    > major parties to do something. What worries me at the moment is the way
    > their vote has remained at roughly the same level for more than a decade
    > despite the recent and growing concern about global warming.

    I spoke about this with a long-term member of the ALP connected to the
    judiciary. He puts it down to the erratic nature of Green pronouncements and
    policies.

    > What is more likely is that most people are still too worried about their own
    jobs or income to support any party which may seem to threaten that. Watch this
    space.

    And this is what the PPP will have to deal with.
    >
    > Terry

    >>Grahame George of Earthcare Permaculture wrote:

    >>We seem to have two camps developing, those wanting revolutionary change and
    >>those taking an evolutionary approach. As a biologist and pragmatist I
    believe that the latter approach is more likely to succeed in our industrialised
    society.

    Is this analogous to the way the German Green Party split betweeen the
    'realos' - the pragmatists - and the 'politicos' - the ideological branch?

    ...Russ

    From: kerry dawborn
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party 2
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 10:52:01 +1000
    Hi Tamara and other permies,

    Tamara, I want to acknowledge you very sincerely for your heart and for
    your resolve, in trying to address the challenges the world is facing,
    which you have outlined, by stepping up in response to Bill's request,
    to try to move permaculture into the political arena and therefore
    further into the eyes and minds of the wider community. Having been
    involved in the past with the early stages of development of a new
    party, I know that this is a huge and courageous undertaking. I relate
    very strongly to many of the reasons you have given, for being involved,
    and have often myself thought my own way down the path of
    permaculture-in-politics, and wondered whether to start walking it.

    My reasons for not having actually begun that journey (yet), are in line
    with some of the concerns expressed by others on this list. For example,
    knowing how much effort is involved in framing the ideological and
    physical framework of a political party, so that it has the necessary
    depth and integrity while at the same time avoiding becoming so bogged
    down in ideals that it has trouble taking action or being seen as
    realistic within the current social/cultural/economic framework, I do
    wonder whether our energy could be better spent on other initiatives. I
    am also concerned about trying to unify the permaculture community
    ideologically, too much. For me, while we permies are united by our
    common choice to allow the permaculture design framework and principles
    to guide many or all aspects of how we think, feel and act, we are
    nevertheless a diverse group, and I feel this is a key strength of the
    movement. Our diversity helps to maintain the 'edges' in our thinking
    and action. As we know, it's at the 'edges' that the greatest potential
    for creativity, and therefore for appropriate responses to evolving
    challenges, is found. It is the nature of political parties on the other
    hand, that there is necessarily a 'party line' - there needs to be a
    unified vision and a level of coherence in action. This is not
    necessarily all bad in terms of carrying a political message, but in the
    case of something as broad and far-reaching as permaculture, I worry
    that a party that claims to speak on behalf of the movement might have
    the effect of silencing the diversity of voices, or of splitting the
    movement, or both. I for one could imagine myself becoming quite
    disillusioned with the movement if I saw a line I did not agree with,
    being taken in the public arena, by something as potentially powerful as
    a political party claiming to speak on my behalf. I worry also, that an
    organisation like a political party would, even if formulated in a
    manner to try to avoid it, tend towards introducing a hierarchy into the
    movement, if not through its actual structure, then possibly through the
    power relations implied in the public eye. In my opinion, it would take
    an extremely humble and decentralised approach to the necessary
    leadership roles within such a party, to avoid this. I believe many such
    people do exist within the permaculture movement, and would have to
    seriously consider supporting a permaculture party if such people could
    find it in themselves, and be supported in stepping forward, but I my
    experience and observation tell me that this will tend not to happen.

    When I first heard about this discussion of a permaculture party, my
    first reaction was 'yep, great, I'm in! Permaculture needs to be out
    there and is needed out there!' A minute or two later, the concerns
    expressed above began to creep in, and I found myself thinking that
    while I would like to see a clear permaculture presence in the political
    arena, I am not sure that party politics is the way to do it. If I think
    about what would be my personal goals in this endeavour, the key points
    would be to help bring a permaculture way of thinking further into the
    mainstream to help guide decisions and actions in all areas. I wonder
    whether this could be achieved more effectively, via either or both of
    the following paths:

    1) A coalition of permaculture-based Independents. This could be very
    challenging, since a coalition by its nature might risk some of the same
    issues regarding being restricted to a given party, or coalition '
    line', and it might be hard to work out how to do it without effectively
    functioning as a political party. I do think however, that a coalition
    of Independents might be a way to avoid some of the potential issues
    regarding hierarchy, centralisation, silencing of diversity etc. Having
    stood for State parliament twice myself, and having felt I could not do
    it within a party framework again, I would nevertheless consider
    standing as an Independent, as part of a supportive permaculture
    coalition. For me, a coalition of independents could offer the most
    effective way for permaculture to navigate a path of political action in
    the current social and political environment, whilst creatively
    negotiating, extending and demonstrating to the wider community, a
    permaculture approach to political and social organisation,
    decision-making, and action in the world, and helping to draw attention
    to other permaculture initiatives that are already doing this. It might
    also, at least to some extent, avoid, both in the minds of constituents
    and in practice, any contradiction or perceived or actual division of
    loyalty, between a 'party line', and the specific concerns or needs of a
    given local area or constituency. An Independent, guided clearly and
    openly by permaculture principles and a permaculture-based ethic which
    remains constant, rather than a 'party line' on a given issue which may
    change in different circumstances, might find it easier to respond
    appropriately and with integrity, on a local level. Finally, standing as
    Independents avoids the need to build a membership base for
    registration, which can be a big drain on energy and resources.

    On the down side, as others have pointed out, Independents or a
    permaculture party standing in the same electorates as Greens, could
    divide the vote so that neither receives the election funding that might
    have gone to one or the other if the vote had reached the required
    percentage. I wonder however, if this is possibly a short-sighted
    concern; if having a greater diversity of environmental/social
    justice-based voting options attracts more voters away from the main
    parties, it might have a long-term effect of empowering many more people
    to open their eyes, and believe in, look for and embrace ecologically
    sustainable alternatives. It might also help to build a more solid voter
    base for future elections, and help to attract even more vote-based
    funding to the environmental side, in future elections.

    2) Another approach could be a consolidated permaculture lobby group. I
    don't know much at all about lobbying or lobby groups, but if I look at
    organisations like the Victorian Women's Trust, Environment Victoria,
    the various charity organisations, I do wonder whether we could use the
    existing permaculture community infrastructure to begin working together
    and channelling resources in a more unified, consolidated manner to put
    a permaculture view to all levels of government on key issues. I for one
    am very keen to develop a public, broad and unified permaculture
    response to things like desalination and water issues in general, and
    nuclear power. Like I said, I know very little about lobbying. I don't
    mean to suggest that there isn't probably a whole heap of permaculture
    lobbying already going on, particularly at the local level. I do just
    wonder if a more unified, broadscale effort might be called for at this
    time.

    I'm pleased that we are having this discussion, because I agree with
    Tamara, Bill and others, if not in terms of method, certainly in terms
    of need, that a more prominent role for permaculture in the wider
    community in this time of immense change, is appropriate and greatly
    deserving of our attention and efforts. I will be continuing to follow
    the debate with great interest, and will be looking to see what role I
    might play.

    Best wishes to All of you!!!

    Kerry Dawborn.


    From: pacific-edge
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: pil
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] Rough thoughts on the PPP
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 11:40:02 +1000
    I've just finished participating in the last of a three day, public planning
    process that would see sustainability values and indicators incorporated
    into a local government City Plan. And, reading the PIL email this evening,
    something occurred to me. It is this - that this local government process -
    it's called the Compass To Sustainability and was facilitated by Lee Hatcher
    from the Atkinson group in the USA - has been far more deliberative, far
    more partcipatory, far more democratic than the attempt to set up the
    Permacultuure People's Party (PPP) has been to date.

    Now, for a design system professing to 'care for people' and which makes
    periodic allusions to participation and consultation, it's saying something
    that a local government can outdo it when it comes to democratic process.

    Realising this, other thoughts came. I recall Bill making public statements,
    years back, that were very critical of the adversarial structure of the
    party political process. He spoke as if it were something to be eschewed,
    avoided as undesirable and having nothing to do with building sustainable
    societies.

    Now, it seems from correspondence on this listserv, permaculturists are to
    throw out those old ideas of Bill's and adopt those same adversarial
    practices that Bill criticised. Adverserial politics is, by nature (and it's
    foolish to imagine you can play it any other way) competitive. Should we
    therefore be consistent and change that now-nuisance Permaculture principle
    that proposes 'cooperation not competition' the other way around?

    Watching the flow of dialog on this listserv, it's pretty clear that support
    for a PPP is far from universal. If the idea succeeds in capturing
    sufficient support, however, it could become a severe test of Permaculture
    and its future direction. Think about it - a PPP which gains enough public
    profile will paint (some might say 'taint') all practitioners of the design
    system with the colours of its brush.

    The PPP - would it be another fringe, single issue party doomed to wander
    the political borderlands between existence and nonexistence, tottering
    forever on the edge of the void? If not, then what about policies? Emails
    suggest that Bill is to work on policies. But Bill has never claimed to be a
    political strategist. Again - where's the opportunities for participation by
    the broad band of Permaculture practitioners across this country?
    Permaculture's Second Ethic predisposes it to a participatory, democratic
    mode of operation, but where is the is deliberative democracy? Where is the
    call to take part in policy formation on this country's two major
    Permaculture listservs? Where is it found on the PIL listserv, one of the
    main Permaculturte websites in this country? Are permaculturists to be
    dictated to when it comes to policy for a proto-political party that will
    probably lay claim to represent the design system in this country, our work
    and our reputation? Those same political parties that Permaculture would now
    compete with have already weakened democracy in this nation. Do we want
    Permaculture to add to this?

    And policies - what will the PPP's policy be on complex issues like Iraq -
    stay there? pull out and risk precipitating the already fractionalised
    nation deeper into civil war, sectarian conflict and into the hands of the
    doomsday cults of maniacal religionists and fanatical fudamentalists? And
    industrial relations? Australia's role in Asia-Pacific? Science policy and
    R&D investment? National water policy? Energy policy? Land management? The
    crises in Aboriginal communities? Defence policy? Poverty and the income
    gap? Social justice? Economic policy? The role of ministerial advisers and
    senior public servants? The relationship of Australia's intelligence
    agencies to government? Policies.

    Just passing thoughts.

    Now, there was recently a useful discussion on this listserv about the
    desirability of centralisation - that is, some form of representative,
    centralised process which would speak for Permaculture. The consensus, I
    believe, was that centralisation is undesirable. So how, then, would the
    centralised decision making that is part of the party political process be
    found acceptable?

    One of Permaculture's interesting aspects is that is has been the venue in
    which differing political attitudes find common ground. Take a look at the
    political spectrum espoused by permaculturists and you find it travels from
    the Left, through the Greens (always a mixed palette of varying tints and
    shades) to the mainstream parties like the ALP and Libs (tweedledum &
    tweedledee) and then swings right out to the outer orbits of the lonely
    individualists of the Ann Rand libertarian far right where anarchism and
    neoliberalism become strange attractors and fellow travellers. How will the
    PPP structure its appeal to this political melange?

    I've written that a party-politicised Permaculture could, perhaps, see the
    loss of its tentative presence within local government, especially among
    sustainability eduators, environmental/resource (water, waste) educators and
    the odd planner (these, coincidentally, are sometimes Permaculture trained
    people) on account of policy that stipulates that local government officers
    not support political parties in their work. I wonder, too, were PPP to gain
    traction in future and develop a public profile, whether the ABC would be
    all that willing to promote it on programs like Gardening Australia?

    I imagine that the work in local government might continue, but probably not
    branded as Permaculture.

    Looking at the flurry of email the PPP proposal has unleashed, I think it
    could have the potential to become a big issue in Permaculture. Except for
    those enthused with the idea, the reticience I detect suggests that, rather
    than discussing policies for the fledgling party, it might be more pertinent
    and less divisive to discuss whether Permaculture should become a party
    political entity at all. Bill did say - and I remember his stating this -
    that we should engage in careful and thoughtful deliberation rather than
    thoughtless and precipitative action.

    As for the Designer's Manual becoming the policy groundwork for PPP (I
    believe it has been suggested), the book was written 20 years ago as an
    amalgam of existing ideas drawn from differing practices. The world is now
    quite a different place than it was when the book was written. I'm not
    denigrating the work - far from it - but it is not a political manifesto
    ("Permaculturists of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but your
    illusions") nor is is a policy framework or even a policy directions
    document. Perhaps the hopeful can anticipate it becoming another Wealth of
    Nations or Das Kapital but it certainly is unlikely to become another Little
    Red Book (those with long memories might explain this to those without).

    The idea still persists that Permaculture could be better placed to practice
    its politics through seeking influence, educating people to change their
    behaviour and making use of Dr Robert Gillman's 'demonstration effect' than
    through participation in the ethical wasteland that is party politics.

    There are currrent opportunities for permacultirists in the local climate
    action groups that have sprung up around the country and in the
    relocalisation agneda, still to be developed in this country. Are these more
    appropriate venues for enacting Permaculture than a political party.

    I wonder if the PPP thing is important enough to deserve more discussion,
    perhaps in a more structured manner, perhaps at the coming convergence?

    Sorry if this is a bit stream-of-consciousness sounding, but that is what it
    is.

    ...Russ Grayson

    From: kerry dawborn
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Rough thoughts on the PPP
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 12:00:01 +1000
    You've made some very impassioned yet well-thought-out points Russ, most
    of which I agree with. I'd be interested to know what you and others
    think about my thoughts in my earlier message to PIL today, in response
    to Tamara's message with the subject Permaculture People's Party 2,
    regarding a coalition of independents, or some kind of lobby group....

    cheers,

    Kerry



    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] political lobbying
    Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 13:15:48 +1100
    Dear Kerry et al,

    Hasn't this idea sparked some great discussion! excellent!

    I think the idea of political lobbying or pressure is a great one -
    influence is achievable where outright power may not be. I do hear
    Tamara's comments about her letters, etc being ignored by pollies because
    she is just one person, but concerted lobbying and community-level
    participation haven't been seen as part of the identity for most permie
    groups.... the focus has been more on gardening, orcharding, training
    others, etc... these are all fantastic things (the community garden tour
    went well yesterday, thanks for asking) - but it'd be great to see PC
    groups engaging consciously with local politicians, Federal and State plus
    local councillors, local govt planning departments, etc.

    I would cite the ability of local level climate change coalitions to
    achieve non-partisan political influence as an example of the kind of thing
    we could be engaged in.

    cheers,

    Steve Burns


    From: Cecile
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party
    Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 12:01:16 +0930
    Hi Terry
    While I support the principles of the Greens and think the Senators are
    doing a great job I no longer support my State party and have resigned from
    it. I held a senior position in it and the in fighting and self-seeking
    rampant ambition was unbelievable - all ended with a bunch of us resigning
    our positions - as aspect which continues. The Greens became yet another
    poliltical party with their focus switched to getting elected and while
    there is reason in that it should always come second to principles - not
    override them.

    If PPP can stick with the principles of permaculture it could create a
    different model for politics and that is what I think would be exciting.
    Just because it's a political party doesn't mean it has to follow the
    practices of all the other parties just as a landholding permie doesn't have
    to follow the practices of all the other landholders.
    Cheers
    Cecile

    From: Col Ball
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Pil-pc-oceania Digest, Vol 9, Issue 8
    Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 18:21:33 +0930
    Permaculture politics - "Let a hundred flowers bloom" Mao

    Analysis
    I think that there needs to be a bit of analytical thinking and critical
    analysis about politics here.

    What is politics?
    There's Mainstream politics - the Capitalist paradigm.
    There's Alternative politics - indigenous, concensus
    There's Revolutionary politics too - anarcho-syndicalists, socialists,
    communists
    There are myths that politics is about meeting society's needs, and
    realities, that it is about the power of one group over another in
    determining the distribution of resources

    Ideology is required in the first instance to articulate what the issues
    are, that are to be addressed by any group.

    We experience the advanced capitalist system in Australia. The world does.
    It is considered mainstream, its thinktanks and its political managerialists
    (the parties in govt) and the whole system itself of producing commodities
    for profit, not need, tell us this constantly. They make it sound so
    normal, that it has always been so, and to say and act differently is to be
    out of their law.

    This is ideology. It's powerful stuff because it allows the ruling paradigm
    (capitalism), the dominant discourses (bourgeois ideas and philosophies,
    histories, and theories, and world views) to legitimise themselves.
    Historically this has been gained by force and invasion ("power comes out of
    the barrel of a gun", Mao) but in modern times it has surreptitiously been
    maintained through the growth, centralisation of ownership, and control of
    the media by the very same forces. People believe it and participate.

    Without this "passive" cooperation by the population the managers (the
    state) have to use force. This is fascism where the open rule of capital
    continues its operations unfettered, protected by law and the state (eg.
    modern Russia under Putin), whereas the workers and others (aboriginal,
    refugees, women, children, environmentalists, peace workers, gays,
    dissenters etc) have laws foisted upon them restricting their democratic
    rights and access to natural justice.

    Understanding politics means really understanding what ideology is in the
    first instance otherwise there can be no common approach. And then this
    also allows the idea that there may actually be other, or competing
    ideologies out there.

    One competing ideology says that the whole project of becoming a political
    party within a capitalist framework is to support it and to provide it
    legitimisation by participating in it and accepting its rules.

    We know that it has been the history of capitalism since the industrial
    revolution that is the culprit for the current world crisis's. The global
    warming brought about by the un-relentless use of fossil fuel has been
    driven by a logic of production and growth for the benefit of few. The
    results have been global environmental catastrophe and collapse brought
    about by the gross overexploitation of living and non living resources,
    through ongoing perpetual war, toxic wastes and other factors not recorded
    in the gross national product by mainstream economists, the modern times
    alchemists, for that is how useful are their predictions.

    All of the problems identified by environmentalists, ecologists,
    sociologists, in fact all of the fields taken by a permaculturist to assess
    and understand the situation have been caused by the capitalist mode of
    production. Permaculture thinking and design approaches have very likely
    solutions but I think that the real problem is that it needs to be mass
    applied all over the planet right now. That, when you think about it means
    we want all of the energy producers, auto and white goods makers, miners,
    junk producers, petrochemicalists, militarists, agri monoculturists,
    pharmaceuticals, fishers, bankers and investors etc. to stop what they are
    doing?

    Hardly. And that's the dilemma. We will not get what we want. The modern
    legislature is designed to perpetuate the status quo and invests a lot of
    energy in discrediting detractors. The media is a huge part of this. Don't
    forget who owns it.

    If permaculture participates in mainstream political electioneering I think
    that it will diffuse its own best asset, people. Let the Green's do it.
    Use what's already there. Infiltrate them to help fine tune policy more
    permaculturally if that is required. People who vote conservatively may be
    into permaculture but I think they have ethical dilemmas bigtime.

    PC doers and thinkers need to be at the edge. I agree with Kerry Dawborn
    when he says, " As we know, it's at the 'edges' that the greatest potential
    for creativity, and therefore for appropriate responses to evolving
    challenges, is found." It will be those at the edges who will be best
    adapted and in potential positions for modelling and progressing appropriate
    sustainability when radical change is imposed by further collapse of the
    system.

    I think that what attracts me about pc aside from its utmost common sense is
    that it is already political. It is still radical, it is revolutionary in
    its ideas, its ideology of saving the earth, it allows for guerrilla
    activity and demands community. The community is not quite ready for it yet
    because it is still constrained by the dominant paradigm of globalised
    capital. Having a permaculture party in energy-draining Canberra is a
    distraction.. Kerry's idea of coalition or multiple coalitions is good.
    Let those who want to play parliamentary politics go for it. That system
    needs more variety for sure and it will keep the big two - Tweedle dum and
    Tweedle do (Libs and ALP) more on their toes if lots of little players get
    into their playground.

    If Bill's involved in this I'd say it is a last grab. He's very eager for
    change in his time. One very important understanding that I have taken from
    reading Tim Flannery's works though is the immensity of time in the
    ecological history of this planet. Nature fills vacuums. We are not the
    centre of the universe.

    Colin Ball, PDC, Tagari. 1982

    From: Ian Lillington
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] political lobbying
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 14:00:56 +0950
    yes! let's talk about political strategies by all means,
    whcih is very different to seting up a political party.
    after all, can anyone show me a party that has not (in
    cecile's words) become full of "in fighting and self-seeking
    rampant ambition"?

    in the 6 weeks before the last Fed election, ACF employed me
    in Adelaide to get groups of volunteers working on river
    Murray isseus in 2 marginal seats; this was a valuable
    experience and these were the 2 marginals that Labour
    gained! (can never be sure how much we helped...)

    but it was expensive in people- and cash-terms. all kinds
    of lobbying is draining, but if there are people who have
    the internal and cash resources to do it, fine.

    also have to think about tactical voting. it is very
    important to get voters to use their vote stratgically, even
    if that means voting in a non-standard way; again this needs
    people on the ground who like endlessly talking about these
    things to the yet-to-be convinced,

    i am happy to talk more about these expericnes

    Ian Lillington

    From: Ian Lillington
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's politics
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 14:29:21 +0950
    Hi Tamara

    thanks for stimulating this discussion.

    you write: There are some good discussions on the PRI forum
    about the PPP. Please see
    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/forum ... f9bcad61...

    I wonder if it is better to start a new list on this issue,
    so that PRI and oceania subscribers are contributing to one
    discussion?

    Ian Lillington

    From:
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's politics
    Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 05:21:55 -0400
    What! another bl**dy list! Aren't we fragmented enough as it is?

    If it's fine with everyone who's posted on this topic, I'll just post them
    all on Geoff Lawton's forum, as I've got them all collated together because
    I emailed them to Tamara and urged her to join the PIL list serve and reply
    to them. She read, joined and replied.
    Perhaps if I posted all the PIL list serve responses then more people will
    join the list serve and the permaculture community will be slightly more
    knitted together?

    By the way, the response on this list serve is far more in depth (in my
    opinion) to what's posted on this topic on Geoff Lawton's site. I suppose
    that's why I posted it here, because I thought it needed more in depth
    discussion with established permaculture practitioners.

    The problem with the permaculture network is that we're not all networked
    together... there's so many factions... and list serves and forums and
    organisations etc. and we're not all connected together.

    Solution? Well, Tim's attempt with getting a PIL sub committee consisting
    of regional participates is a good start.
    The convergences are good, but not everyone goes to these (when did Bill
    last go to an Australian Convergence?)
    I've gone and posted some questions on Geoff Lawton's asking about who
    knows about PIL, and who's a member and on the list serve, etc.
    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/ftopic5230.php

    Fern

    From: timwinton
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: pil-pc-oceania list
    Subject: [Pil-pc-oceania] First move of PPP may be to act as wedge in PCmovement
    Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 20:10:32 +1000
    Hi Tamara,

    I have been following this thread and I'd like to give you a perspective on
    the task Bill Mollison has asked you to undertake in convening a
    permaculture political party. This may be a much larger issue than many of
    us
    realize, and I want to make sure that you understand how it may affect the
    permaculture community. This is my perspective and my perspective alone, but
    I have spent time with Bill and I have invested 14 years of my life in
    sustainability work in general and permaculture in particular, and I'd be
    surprised if there were not others who will resonate with, at least parts,
    of what I have to say.

    Permaculture is a word in the public domain. As such, no one owns or
    controls the word or the idea. A great many people have dedicated time, life
    energy and resources to developing projects and livelihoods in permaculture.
    All of them, I think, will gratefully acknowledge the work of the founders
    of the permaculture concept, David Holmgren and Bill Mollison. People who
    have continued on from these beginnings, and I am one of them, are and will
    be affected by the behavior of influential permaculturists like Bill.
    Organizing and running a political party takes a great deal of structure and
    conventionally it requires a great deal of control of member's behavior.
    These are two things that the permaculture movement has never gravitated
    towards and never excelled at. These can be counted as strengths in the
    context of permaculture. They would be serious weaknesses in the development
    of a political party. In my experience and opinion, Bill is fond of
    controversial and sensational acts. This raises awareness of permaculture in
    the mainstream, but it can be seen as a short term strategy which ultimately
    undermines permaculture thinking and action as a serious alternative to the
    ways of destructive aspects industrial culture.

    If in your view, Bill has come up with a viable way of developing a
    permaculture political party that furthers the ends of permaculture; and he
    is genuine about undertaking this venture in a way that honors the work and
    reputations of all permaculturists, then by all means take up his request.
    After all, who is to know what, in the end will be of service to permanent
    culture. I would agree that Bill's sometimes controversial tactics have been
    effective. I also think there has been a cost to the movement by way of the
    erosion of credibility. This balance is a delicate one.

    Permaculture is now in the position to offer the lessons and understandings,
    successes and failures, of the last 25 years to world awakening to the
    realities of energy decent, climate change and a range of other limits to
    growth which we saw coming a long time ago. This gives us credibility and
    influence.We need this to help create a sustainable future. Particularly
    with the latter work of David Holmgren, the world is now looking to
    permaculture for real solutions in the era of post carbon transition. I
    think permaculture has been through a pioneering phase since its inception
    and now the time is right to offer a more mature and developed permaculture.
    An ill conceived foray into a domain in which we have no history and no
    developed skill base could seriously undermine the permaculture movement's
    opportunity to be of service.

    If Bill's idea for a permaculture political party is genuinely well thought
    out, backed by strategic planning, support structures and appropriate
    resources then please take the idea forward. If not, then it has the
    potential to cause a great rift in the permaculture movement. The rift would
    be between those who are seen to undermine the long term prospects of
    permaculture for a sensationalist short term gain (the political party) and
    those who would like to leave the greater amount of that kind of behavior
    behind as something appropriate to the pioneering phase of any movement. In
    short, and ill conceived political party could drain a huge amount of
    credibility from the permaculture movement and there will be those who will
    point this out and seek to distance themselves from it. If this split
    reflects a real and important development in permaculture, then so be it.
    You should, however, be aware of this possibility and its downsides if you
    are going to participate in this venture.

    I have no doubt you are acting from the best of intentions and that you are
    as passionate as the rest of us about permaculture. The issue of a
    permaculture political party has created a great deal of interest and
    debate- and so it should. I hope you have found my opinions helpful, and I
    hope others will find them helpful, in trying to assess the merits of
    permaculture as a political party.

    Best Regards,

    Tim

    --
    Tim Winton
    Permaforest Trust
    Lot 3 Hidden Valley Rd
    Barkers Vale, NSW
    Australia 2474
    phone +61 02 6689 7579
    fax +61 02 9225 9536

    https://www.permaforesttrust.org.au

    Offering Certificate 4 and Diploma
    in Accredited Permaculture Training

    From: Robyn Francis
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To:
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Pil-pc-oceania Digest, Vol 9, Issue 6
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 20:32:46 +1000

    > Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 10:52:01 +1000
    > From: kerry dawborn
    > Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's Party 2
    ...> For example,
    > knowing how much effort is involved in framing the ideological and
    > physical framework of a political party, so that it has the necessary
    > depth and integrity while at the same time avoiding becoming so bogged
    > down in ideals that it has trouble taking action or being seen as
    > realistic within the current social/cultural/economic framework, I do
    > wonder whether our energy could be better spent on other initiatives. I
    > am also concerned about trying to unify the permaculture community
    > ideologically, too much. For me, while we permies are united by our
    > common choice to allow the permaculture design framework and principles
    > to guide many or all aspects of how we think, feel and act, we are
    > nevertheless a diverse group, and I feel this is a key strength of the
    > movement. Our diversity helps to maintain the 'edges' in our thinking
    > and action.
    >...This is not
    > necessarily all bad in terms of carrying a political message, but in the
    > case of something as broad and far-reaching as permaculture, I worry
    > that a party that claims to speak on behalf of the movement might have
    > the effect of silencing the diversity of voices, or of splitting the
    > movement, or both.

    Well put Kerry,
    While I can empathise, Tamara, with the motivation behind the party concept,
    the reality is fraud with pitfalls. A political party by it's very nature
    defines an ideology, which is fine in broad concepts but the devils in the
    detail. A PPP would certainly suffer the same inconsistencies of the Greens
    at the detail level due to the diverse nature of permaculuturists.
    I have had people from the full spectrum of political allegiances doing the
    PDC - Country, Liberal, Labour, Democrats, Greens, Socialist Alliance,
    extreme anarchists and untold minor parties, including councillors in local
    governments. Party political permaculture could potentially lose or alienate
    many of these voices. BTW Rod Haslam, the QLD state Education Minister is a
    permie, doing what he can within the party and his portfolio framework.

    However it really touches issues on a far more fundamental level, is
    permaculture a political ideology or a design science (one of Bills
    favourite descriptions of pc) for earth stewardship? We don't see
    disciplines and trades forming political parties - there's no Horticulture
    Party, Landcare Party, Engineers Party, Solar Electritions Party...

    I've astutely avoided joining any specific political party and cringe at the
    thought of a PPP. If Bill really wants a political party it should have
    another name and not include the word permaculture - the Sustainable Future
    Party, Save Gaia Party, Earth Care Party.
    He used to jokingly suggest we form an A (-) Political Party.

    I honestly think our energies would be better invested if the politically
    motivated set up a serious lobby group, lobbying ALL parties at all levels,
    developing a strategic promotion campaign for people of all political
    persuasions to ask pertinent policy questions, give voters a sustainability
    analysis of voting options, and collaborate with the rest of the pc
    community with a public promotion of permaculture as a viable solution
    process to achieve sustainability including press releases making news and
    responding to current issues, and with competent spokespeople to field media
    interviews.

    There are so many important pc initiatives urgently needing support to
    accelerate the vital work of getting permaculture into more schools,
    especially High Schools; of more permaculturists providing APT vocational
    training in permaculture practices, design and community development--
    including in the TAFE system; getting permaculture recognised by the
    professional institutes like architecture, planning, engineering etc with
    professional development credits for doing a PDC or Ecovillage course.

    ACF is now at the national forefront of climate change action and suddenly
    promoting the things permaculture has been doing quietly for decades. We
    have no effective central organisation, we have the entity but not enough
    people putting in time and energy (and too few burning out trying to do too
    much) to realise a fraction of our potential at this critical time.

    Yes we need to become more public, things need to change and fast, but I am
    not convinced a PPP will achieve this in a truly effective way.

    Ciao
    Robyn

    From: kerry dawborn
    To: , permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] Permaculture People's politics
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 22:07:30 +1000
    I'm quite happy for you to post my messages on the PIR list Fern -
    although somehow I think it would be good in the long term if we were
    all posting to one site, on the issue of PPP. I have to be honest - I
    have only been vaguely aware of the PIR listserve, so I can imagine that
    there are many on that list who are only vaguely aware of PIL. This
    issue has really highlighted for me the existence of two quite distinct
    groups within the movement, and I feel a bit sad and concerned about it.
    I'd like to see the movement working together a bit more effectively
    before we get too serious about going political or in some other way
    trying to build a unified voice in the mainstream.

    cheers,

    Kerry

    From: kerry dawborn
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] First move of PPP may be to act as wedge inPC movement
    Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 22:20:46 +1000
    Tim I want to thank you for your very considered thoughts on the idea of
    a PPP. I haven't been involved in Pc as long as people like you, and
    have no direct experience of the early development of the movement etc,
    so have been a bit reticent in expressing the full extent of my concerns
    on the list and probably even in articulating them fully for myself; no
    matter though - your contribution has done it for me on both counts.

    The flurry of discussion on this issue certainly seems to highlight a
    feeling among permies that there is a need to strengthen and perhaps
    consolidate our voice and our presence in the mainstream.... Will be
    interesting to see what happens...

    cheers,

    Kerry

    From: timwinton
    Reply To: [email protected]
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] First move of PPP may be to act as wedge inPC movement
    Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 22:36:53 +1000
    Hi Kerry,

    Glad getting my own thoughts down has been useful to you and perhaps others.
    This is causing much conversation for good reason. I think there are two
    very broad groups in permaculture, at least in Australia. They seem to
    correspond to the personalities and actions of the respective founders:
    David- thoughtful, understated and substantial; Bill iconoclastic, media
    savvy and controversial.

    In my opinion this is typical Bill- make an outrageous claim, consume all
    the oxygen by fanning controversy, walk away from the smoldering wreckage. I
    think more considered and substantial permaculturists are becoming more and
    more reluctant to be associated with this kind of behavior- even by one of
    the founders.

    If there is a real distinction in the permaculture community, it may be
    Bill's intention to highlight this and drive a wedge to cause a split. This
    may be a natural and useful development. As always though, any
    differentiation should be undertaken as compassionately as possible. We'll
    see how we go.

    Thanks for your own post. I sensed a real resonance with my own feelings.

    Tim
     
  4. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    I think at this stage it is important to remember that Tamara is collecting 500 names of those who wish to see the creation of the PPP [or whatever]. At this point this does not involve membership.

    Just on the Greens I cant see they have, politically, given anything more than lip service to Permaculture. Is it one of the Greens party platforms?

    I lifted that quote off the Greens website and is a good example of why I dont see the Greens and the PPP would have much common. We are past the point of 'hope for the future', we need a plan and fast.

    The only near reference I found on the Greens site that came close to what we are is 'ecological sustainability'. I havent researched this but I would bet that every party website in Oz will list this phrase somewhere, it is a catch-cry at present.

    I see permies as being 'practicalists' as opposed to 'idealists' and for this reason I believe the Greens have little to be of concerned about with the establishment of the PPP. I believe leakage would be far higher as a percentage from other parties, particularly, in the area of preferences.

    The Greens came to being in germany over acid rain, the Aussie Greens galvanised over the Franklin Dam issue [and related hydro power]. It took 20 years for them to really come of age. I believe it will probably take us that long too.

    Have you ever considered that Bill may be interested in doing this because he sees the permaculture movement thriving but so very few people within it who can 'carry his mantle'? Political parties are a great way of sorting wheat from chaff in this respect.

    Really, if he [and Holgren] can start an international movement just about by themselves - the challenge is there for us - surely we can kickstart a pissant PPP?

    Cheers

    mike jackson
     
  5. Fern O.

    Fern O. Junior Member

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  6. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Fern,

    Thankyou for that I looked at that site and it seemed hard for me to follow. I am happy plodding along here and to be honest I dont want to debate the merits of this with anyone, just see it happen.

    To that end I dont mind how many P's we have in our name or even what the party is called, as long as it has permaculture at its heart and it takes the bulk of us along I will be a very happy chappy.

    cheers

    fl :shock: :shock: t

    [ :D always wanted to do that!!]
     
  7. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

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    "I suggest if you wish to reply to the above posts, that you join the PIL list serve"

    Good luck with that, my email applications bounced seven times, I've got better things to do
    Rob
     
  8. richard in manoa

    richard in manoa Junior Member

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    It would be nice if the email list people would come over here. I got fed up with the email list a while ago and unsubscribed myself because I decided that email was better for personal communication and websites like this were better for forum discussions...
    I thought Tim Winton's (I think he used to post here for a while didn't he?)comments were telling - he seemed more anxious that his reputation would be hurt by the fallout than interested in the positive change that could be brought about by a political party.

    You get the democracy you deserve, people...
     
  9. Fern O.

    Fern O. Junior Member

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    Cheers all!

    Listservs are strange things... I get sick of my inbox being full of listserv mail, and having to sort through it all... I prefer discussion forums too.
    I can even put smiley faces in here!
    :D
    fern
     
  10. timwinton

    timwinton Junior Member

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    Tim Winton from Permaforest Trust on PPP

    Hi Richard,

    As requested I've come over to put my 2 cents in. Below your quote I have copied my 3 posts, in cronological order, from the pc-oceania-listserve on this topic. See [email protected] I think a cross polination between the list and this forum is a good idea. I think there has been a much different range of perspectives on the list that you may find interesting.


    Post #1

    Hi Tamara,

    I have been following this thread and I'd like to give you a perspective on
    the task Bill Mollison has asked you to undertake in convening a
    permaculture political party. This may be a much larger issue than many of us
    realize, and I want to make sure that you understand how it may affect the
    permaculture community. This is my perspective and my perspective alone, but
    I have spent time with Bill and I have invested 14 years of my life in
    sustainability work in general and permaculture in particular, and I'd be
    surprised if there were not others who will resonate with, at least parts,
    of what I have to say.

    Permaculture is a word in the public domain. As such, no one owns or
    controls the word or the idea. A great many people have dedicated time, life
    energy and resources to developing projects and livelihoods in permaculture.
    All of them, I think, will gratefully acknowledge the work of the founders
    of the permaculture concept, David Holmgren and Bill Mollison. People who
    have continued on from these beginnings, and I am one of them, are and will
    be affected by the behavior of influential permaculturists like Bill.
    Organizing and running a political party takes a great deal of structure and
    conventionally it requires a great deal of control of member's behavior.
    These are two things that the permaculture movement has never gravitated
    towards and never excelled at. These can be counted as strengths in the
    context of permaculture. They would be serious weaknesses in the development
    of a political party. In my experience and opinion, Bill is fond of
    controversial and sensational acts. This raises awareness of permaculture in
    the mainstream, but it can be seen as a short term strategy which ultimately
    undermines permaculture thinking and action as a serious alternative to the
    ways of destructive aspects industrial culture.

    If in your view, Bill has come up with a viable way of developing a
    permaculture political party that furthers the ends of permaculture; and he
    is genuine about undertaking this venture in a way that honors the work and
    reputations of all permaculturists, then by all means take up his request.
    After all, who is to know what, in the end will be of service to permanent
    culture. I would agree that Bill's sometimes controversial tactics have been
    effective. I also think there has been a cost to the movement by way of the
    erosion of credibility. This balance is a delicate one.

    Permaculture is now in the position to offer the lessons and understandings,
    successes and failures, of the last 25 years to world awakening to the
    realities of energy decent, climate change and a range of other limits to
    growth which we saw coming a long time ago. This gives us credibility and
    influence.We need this to help create a sustainable future. Particularly
    with the latter work of David Holmgren, the world is now looking to
    permaculture for real solutions in the era of post carbon transition. I
    think permaculture has been through a pioneering phase since its inception
    and now the time is right to offer a more mature and developed permaculture.
    An ill conceived foray into a domain in which we have no history and no
    developed skill base could seriously undermine the permaculture movement's
    opportunity to be of service.

    If Bill's idea for a permaculture political party is genuinely well thought
    out, backed by strategic planning, support structures and appropriate
    resources then please take the idea forward. If not, then it has the
    potential to cause a great rift in the permaculture movement. The rift would
    be between those who are seen to undermine the long term prospects of
    permaculture for a sensationalist short term gain (the political party) and
    those who would like to leave the greater amount of that kind of behavior
    behind as something appropriate to the pioneering phase of any movement. In
    short, and ill conceived political party could drain a huge amount of
    credibility from the permaculture movement and there will be those who will
    point this out and seek to distance themselves from it. If this split
    reflects a real and important development in permaculture, then so be it.
    You should, however, be aware of this possibility and its downsides if you
    are going to participate in this venture.

    I have no doubt you are acting from the best of intentions and that you are
    as passionate as the rest of us about permaculture. The issue of a
    permaculture political party has created a great deal of interest and
    debate- and so it should. I hope you have found my opinions helpful, and I
    hope others will find them helpful, in trying to assess the merits of
    permaculture as a political party.

    Best Regards,

    Tim

    --
    Tim Winton
    Permaforest Trust
    Lot 3 Hidden Valley Rd
    Barkers Vale, NSW
    Australia 2474
    phone +61 02 6689 7579
    fax +61 02 9225 9536

    https://www.permaforesttrust.org.au

    Offering Certificate 4 and Diploma
    in Accredited Permaculture Training


    Post #2

    Hi Kerry,

    Glad getting my own thoughts down has been useful to you and perhaps others.
    This is causing much conversation for good reason. I think there are two
    very broad groups in permaculture, at least in Australia. They seem to
    correspond to the personalities and actions of the respective founders:
    David- thoughtful, understated and substantial; Bill iconoclastic, media
    savvy and controversial.

    In my opinion this is typical Bill- make an outrageous claim, consume all
    the oxygen by fanning controversy, walk away from the smoldering wreckage. I
    think more considered and substantial permaculturists are becoming more and
    more reluctant to be associated with this kind of behavior- even by one of
    the founders.

    If there is a real distinction in the permaculture community, it may be
    Bill's intention to highlight this and drive a wedge to cause a split. This
    may be a natural and useful development. As always though, any
    differentiation should be undertaken as compassionately as possible. We'll
    see how we go.

    Thanks for your own post. I sensed a real resonance with my own feelings.

    Tim


    Post #3

    Hi Adam,

    I think you have made a good point, and I agree with you- these different approaches can be complimentary. In fact this kind of unity in diversity can be seen in healthy natural systems. Diverse elements strongly related and supporting many functions: each of these functions supported by many elements- in permaculture terms. But, I think the real issue here is about whether these respective approaches are acting in a way that ultimately fosters health in the over all permaculture movement or undermines it. If elements in the system (and I think we have other groups and styles in permaculture- not just the major ones I have pointed out here) start to act out of harmony, then they can undermine the healthy functions in the whole.

    Diversity of approaches is great, but diversity is only a necessary but not sufficient condition for complimentary integration. To have a complimentary and harmonious whole, the elements need to share a balanced exchange of energies. If the ppp draws down good will and credibility then everybody in permaculture suffers. I think that if we are going to go down that road (forming the ppp), the decision should be made democratically. We have structures is place for this. If Bill or anybody else in a position of leadership, power and influence in the permaculture movement is going to make decisions that effect all of us, and they are going to do this by decree, then, well... there is a word for this kind of political model. I don't think it is a word most permies identify with, and I don't think it is the appropriate foundation for a permaculture political party. I think there is a sizable risk that its overall effect will undermine the movement, for reasons I pointed out in my earlier posts.

    All this is by way of participating in that colourful, crackling and sometimes dangerous aspect you mention as part of the strengths of intellect applied through permaculture principles and patterns. This is the juice, and its what, for me, keeps permaculture a vital living movement.

    I love the pioneers in my system, but I don't let them overrun the garden. A little weeding here and there to keep the balance. Long live the pioneers!

    Tim


    From: adam f
    To: permacultue discussion list
    Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2007 12:21 PM
    Subject: Re: [Pil-pc-oceania] First move of PPP may be to act as wedge inPCmovement


    Tim,

    I agree more or less with your broad generalisations of Bill and David's styles (and concern about a ppp) -- but note that their styles can be complimentary, not always at odds. Bill's style might well be characterised as pioneering, not always appropriate, but then we might lose those crackling, fun and dangerous parts of human intellect which Bill colourfully embodies. There are still many generations of pioneering to be done if we can survive to transition towards sustainable lifestyles, even if most of us will best spend most of our time being thorough, careful and grounded.

    best, Adam

    --
    https://www.energybulletin.net
     
  11. richard in manoa

    richard in manoa Junior Member

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    Nice one Tim, thanks for coming over here... Am I right in recollecting that you did post here somewhat regularly a few years ago?
    By the way, I did read the first two of your posts that Fern had already copied here, but I don't think I saw the last one with the great line about keeping the pioneer plants in check...
    I do see where you are coming from, and I guess you have a well considered point, but I don't know, man, I think that there is way to much introspection and concern with public appearances and perceptions. Admittedly, I haven't associated my life's work the brand name to the degree that others have, so I wouldn't be as badly hurt. I like to think though that the results of our work speak for themselves louder than any label though.
    Who cares if campaigning for public office gives "the Permaculture movement" the "wrong kind" of publicity. At the end of the day, if we advocate better design and more sane public policy, what else is really important?
     
  12. timwinton

    timwinton Junior Member

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    perceptions of permaculture

    Hi Richard,

    I have posted on this forum somewhat erratically in the past. I'll try and do it a little more in the future.

    Not so worried about public perception of permaculture- even if we never had failures or poorly thougt out projects, I think we would still be seen by a fair chunk of the mainstream as a curiosity at best and a waste of time a worst. Life at the edge, I suppose.

    I'm only really concerned about informed perception around our work as designers and sustainability advocates. The PPP may be a very good thing in this regard, but as a designer, I'm having difficulty seeing how the patterns and characteristics of our movement could be seen to 'fit' well with forming and running a political party. If a design proposition looks good and we fail that is a valuable mistake, and in our movement we are justifiabley proud of making them. This is a design success really and we move on with that knowledge. If our design thinking is flawed from the beginning and we fail, then we have failed as designers.

    Perhaps there is a good fit between permaculture and a political party, but so far there have been no strong design arguments that favour it. I'm open to being convinced though.

    If we are going to advocate good design, lets do it through good design.

    Cheers,

    Tim
     
  13. richard in manoa

    richard in manoa Junior Member

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    Tim, it is great to have you here. I find your posts thought provoking and well expressed...

    I don't know what your philosophy of government or democracy is exactly Tim, but it definitely seems to me that having Permaculturists in government, legislating on how we run our country and manage our economy and natural resources would be a really good thing. This would simply be a matter of taking good design principles and applying them from a state level. I mean, even if we made a minimal impression, it couldn't be any worse than the current situation, could it?

    I think a while ago controversial old Bill said that it was time that Permaculturalists stop acting like mice and start roaring like lions... (or something) Perhaps I am naieve, and am giving the old scoundrel more credit than he deserves, but I like to think that it is this sentiment that is driving his support for a political party.
     
  14. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Tim,

    I will take up the 'design' challenge with an example.

    The Murray Darling system is a huge topic at present, it has been for over a decade and during this time it has got worse.

    Who would you like to see in charge of this process - the Liberals, Labor, the Greens or a PPP?

    The car industry in Australia is sustained by the Australian Taxpayer, yet still 30% of the cost of a car is advertising. So what are we subsidising and why? What would any Permie Politician do in this situation, concede and maintain the status quo?

    We could consider something like The Permaculture Council of Australia to advise/lobby/push governments at all levels in the direct of sustainability.

    As a diverse group I believe that permies have a lot to offer and it should fall to the more experienced to be at the forefront, I am referring to people like yourself. Currently education and expertise on this issue is lagging behind the need right now to speed up the good and slow down the destruction of our country.

    Politics is the fastest way to do this. People do not give power to nice people they surrender power for whatever reason to those willing to take action.

    mike
     
  15. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Hello All :)

    Most interesting to read the views of those (Tim, Ian, Robyn, Russ, etc.) on the PIL list serve; thanks for sharing the format, Fern.

    Many of you will know my own views with concern to the current political process that we have to contend with in Australia, and many of you will know that I hold the majority of this process in contempt. However there is one process in our current system that I stand for (metaphorically speaking), and that is local governance. Many (if not all) local councils right across Australia have a system in place which encourages the participation in community-based (permaculture) planning process. Go to your local council website and search 'community plan', you are bound to find it. Here you will see that right now in your very own local community there is a way in which you can introduce permaculture ideals into the mainstream governance of your very own bioregion. Many local 'community plans' have community bodies that are attached to them, informing their every decision. Why not put yourself into that body in have a real say in what does or does not happen in your local community?

    I live in a city with a population nearing 100,000. Of that figure, how many people do you think actually attend community meetings in order to provide input into the local government planning process? Of course the answer is less than 100. Out of every 1,000 members in our local community, less than 1 is prepared to stand up and be counted in the local community participatory planning process!

    By all means, create a national (or even global) permaculture party if you truly believe that it will help the cause. However, bear in mind that while we still have such a low participatory rate in our local communities for plans that are driving projects on the ground right now, what hope do we have of making change from the top down?

    Top down actions occurring since the European Enlightenment have got us into the ecologically unsound predicament we find ourselves in today - "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". Much better to have a system that encourages change from the bottom up. Holmgren* sums up this 'top-down thinking, bottom-up action' idealogue thus:

    Permaculture, although complimentary to many top-down approaches within the broad environment movement, is not primarily about lobbying government to change policies. Instead, it is concerned with facilitating individuals, households and local communities in increasing self-reliance and self-regulation.

    * Holmgren, D. (2003) Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. Hepburn: Holmgren Design Services. p80.

    (For a more comprehensive understanding of Holmgren's Principle 4: Apply Self-regulation and Accept Feedback, see pp.71-91 of the above)

    Good luck with your chosen process for making change. However I must uphold my original statements made in this thread concerning the formation of yet another political party and add, only when people are able to accept personal responsibility for the predicament we find ourselves in today, and are equally ready to personally do something about it, will we see real change occur. Or in the words of Holmgren*:

    ...we need to change ourselves as our most substantial contribution to a better world.

    * ibid: p.83

    Cheers, and peace to you all,

    Mark.
     
  16. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

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  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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  18. richard in manoa

    richard in manoa Junior Member

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    Mark, I take your point, but I do think there is a place for government of the "top down" kind, at least for certain things. A public transport network would be one example. Or a university... I'm sure there are lots of things that aren't really feasible for small communities to manage entirely on their own.
    Or what about environmental watchdogs? Wouldn't we like our federal and state governments to have the authority (and the will) to protect our natural resources from short term plunder?
    I definitely agree with you that empowering local communities to manage their needs sustainably is key, but I think that a holistic approach necessarily considers the role of bigger government, and actively engages it!
     
  19. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Gday Richard :)

    Good questions, and all worthy of a response. However I suspect you may have missed a very important point in the central theme I expressed, and I further suspect that this is because of my inability to clearly express my thoughts. My apologies for this. Please allow me to further elucidate, at the risk of further muddying the waters:

    I repeat: What is required is top-down thinking, and bottom-up action. Of course we already have a system in place for this to happen - otherwise known as federal and state parliament - but unfortunately it doesn't work very well. This is mainly due to the fact that parliament is full of people who've lost touch with reality, and the people who continue to put them there suffer from apathy. The result: An attempt to govern by bottom-up (populist) thinking, while (unsuccessfully, through unworkable laws and negative feedback regulation) employing top-down action. We need to up-end the current system, turn it on its head, if you will. Holmgren's chapter on Principle 4 (cited in my previous post) covers this idealogue in great detail. I would urge all to get hold of a copy of this book and study it.

    Now, some responses to your very fine questions, Richard:

    A public transport network would be one example. Or a university... I'm sure there are lots of things that aren't really feasible for small communities to manage entirely on their own.

    Re: public transport:

    Building transit infrastructure is just one part of perfecting a feasible and sustainable public transport system among a myriad of other planning considerations. Unfortunately, as is the case with many state and federal governments (including the state in which I live), the former is seen as a panacea and the later receive little, if any support. An example: Federal government funding data for transport between'75 and '98:

    $42b - roads
    $1.2b - rail
    $1.3b urban transit

    (source: Goldie, Douglas & Furness (2006) "In Search of Sustainability". Melbourne: CSIRO. p.131)

    What a joke, hey? What do I (any many others much more learned in the field than myself, including Holmgren) propose as an alternative? Simple: Top-down thought, bottom-up action. What would this system look like in relation to a feasible (sustainable) national transit service? A delegation of individuals (representative of their local community/council/bioregion) getting together (maybe once a year) at the national level and implementing a national strategy to get it right!

    Re: universities

    Why can't a university operate autonomously at the regional level? Surely it couldn't do any worse than what we have in operation today. Take for example current Australian federal government policies that plan to provide up to 50% of places at universities for full, up-front fee-paying students regardless of nationality and with lower enter scores than what will be expected of local, deferred-payment students. Surely a delegation of individuals (representative of their local community/council/bioregion) getting together (maybe once a year) at the national level could do a better job than this?

    Or what about environmental watchdogs? Wouldn't we like our federal and state governments to have the authority (and the will) to protect our natural resources from short term plunder?

    Sure, I'd like them to, but it isn't going to happen. Once again, why don't we put the interests of local resources into the hands of local people? Let's provide local/regional people with the power to negotiate the terms of reference for the sale/sustainable use of their resources, and I'm sure we would have a different outcome to the wholesale raping of our nation's natural resource stocks that we currently have today - Top-down thinking, bottom-up action!

    The whole point of my latest ramblings is to offer an alternative view to the current political system we have in place today. I reiterate: Sure, form a permaculture party and have a go at playing on a state, national or even international political field, but be prepared to play by their rules (and the fact that they are always going to shift the goal posts)! There is only one truly democratic political system available to us today that will ensure we create the positive changes required that will cause a steady-state of economics for a safe and secure future, and that is - DIRECT DEMOCRACY!

    Bottom-up action:

    Invade your local council. Put yourself in a position where you can effectively advocate for more sustainable (permaculturally-inspired) plans to be implemented in your local community. I call it "permaculture by stealth". Have a go, it's lots of fun and you (we, all of us) have nothing to loose.

    Anyway, enough from me. The soap box is decidedly wobbly today.

    Cheers to us all, and may all of us receive bountiful yields at harvest time, no matter what kind of seed it is that we originally sow.

    Mark .

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  20. bovine_blue

    bovine_blue Junior Member

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    There definately needs to be a top down approach. The federal government has been able to get policies through that the Australian people have been clearly against (the Iraq war, workchoices etc). They seem to be taking more and more power away from the state and local levels.
     

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