UC_008.1 Rob Oakeshott pt1


What independence brings is political contest and what comes from political contest is results on the ground on really important issues for the community. I’m Robert Oakeshott, the independent candidate for Cowper in the Federal election coming up on the 2nd of July. When I was in the National Party, I thought I was busy. What I realised when I moved to independence is that I’d only been talking to half the community. Cause only half the community was comfortable coming through my door and talking to me. And so I was shaping a lot of my view and a lot of my work around half the communities values. And so it allowed you to have a much broader and more diverse perspective of the community you live in. And also to harness a lot more energy from a lot more sources
in solving some of the problems that quite often can be solved locally. You don’t need government to get involved with as far as building resilience at a community level.
[TV announcer] ‘While the count continues in a handful of seats, the dealmakers headed to the seat of power.’ ‘There’s no decisions about preferred leaders, preferred
parties or how we’re even gonna form a majority in the lower house.’ I had no idea that it
was going to be a tight election and so it was only on election night when you’re having a big celebration party with family and friends that you notice the leaders’ speeches they
felt like they were actually addressing you personally. And that’s when you sort of put
your beer down and you go, ‘ooh this is getting a bit serious’. The phone calls sort of started
that night with people getting organised. There was no rule book for any of this. It
was like The Greatest American Hero. You had this super suit but you didn’t know how to
use it. And so, there was a bit of that going on. You’re still trying to work out just what
it was and then how to work through it, at the same time as it was happening. There are all these old habits of, ‘Party of Government’, ‘Party of Opposition’, you know, we bash heads. Whereas the parties were having to adjust to the floor of the parliament becoming a
lot more alive and a lot more fluid. And I know they like to say that that’s unstable
and chaotic. My response to that is it’s the original model. I’ma big believer that the
Parliament’s the foundation building block of democracy. But it was running in to, almost the two parties were ganging up. And rather than operating as they normally do unilaterally to push back on this model. If there’s something that’s exciting about what’s happening at
the ballot box now, and I think the mood that’s developing in Australia, I think people can
see they want their parliament back. And they want to see where individuals stand on the floor of the Parliament and they want to see debate. And debate’s not chaos, debate’s healthy. For the conversation on some pretty complex issues that aren’t necessarily black and white at times. There’s a lot of grey, and that’s, the floor of the parliament’s when
that should happen. I really liked it. It’s a bit of a look through the window of what’s possible to the original model of democracy. And I just wish more Australians could see – we can have more of that if we want, just if we get smart about the way we vote. Chaos and dysfunction is defined by a double dissolution election. The Gillard government, the one
that gets tagged with all that chaos, ran it’s full term, it did a lot of work. The
next parliament, the 44th parliament, it didn’t go its full term. It didn’t do a lot of work.
And it somehow being defined as stable. I think that’s rubbish. I think they’re around
the wrong way, and for the 45th parliament I would hope Australian voters really look
at what they want from their model of democracy. The beauty of independence is you are more than independent, you are interdependent. I think there’s a realisation when you’re
on your own, that you’ve gotta work with other to get things done. I like to think I’m an
independent of government, not of opposition as a choice. I like to work with governments, to build a better local community and build a better country, and then try and work the edges to shape what they’re doing to all of our benefit. We can have an original model of democracy in Australia, and it will function well. Yes it’ll be noisier, yes it’ll engage
on some complex issues. But I actually think that is the antidote to apathy, that is the
greatest threat to Parliament and politics in Australia today.

2 Replies to “UC_008.1 Rob Oakeshott pt1

  1. Well spoken!!. Rob Oakshott is a statesman imbued with the true spirit of cooperative
    democracy not hamstrung by party machinery dogma and narrow ideologies.

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