Monday 24th of June 2024

Where to for YD?

Merry Christmas to all at Your Democracy...

What are we to do with this site in the new year? My thoughts are that it should be taken off my hands. I've been inconsistent in maintaining it at best, and am only getting busier with Webdiary.

John, Richard, Gus? You are the core of the continuation here. Nigel, David? You built this site. What do you guys want to do? This thread is for that discussion.

... and a beaut new year to all.

... and a beaut new year to all

Unfortunately I cannot take it although I'd love too... Not a question of money or anything else, but I do not exist... I am just the figment of someone's imagination and this is why I show tendencies towards being loopy, but am often Opinionatedly correct Sorry all.
... and a beaut new year to you

the future .....

Hi Hamish ..... all the best to you & yours as well.

Obviously I'd like to see YD continue - preferably with you, Gus, Richard & everyone-else still involved - but it needs to grow & develop.

I think that can only be achieved through wider participation but that, in turn, will only happen if we can attract additional regular credible contributions from a variety of souces, on a variety of subjects / issues, including those whose views we might not individually share, so as to build that interest.

I for one do not understand what is required to administer a site such as this, either from a technical or editorial viewpoint. Nor am I certain that I have the experience / know-how as to how to build a larger base of contribution / participation.

I already owe you a call, so maybe we can chat about it early in the New Year?

Seasons Greetings to everyone at YD.


Subject matter

I'll offer Ethics in Public Life as a worthy pursuit.
Also, as a subset of ethics, Bioethics.
From a review of American Bioethics: Crossing Human Rights and Health Law Boundaries, by George Annas, in New England Journal of Medicine (full article available for loan):
    ... Americans tend to be utilitarian when it comes to ethics, especially ethical rules governing health policy and behavior in the public sphere. It is not that there are no boundaries to what can and cannot be done — violations of individual choice are viewed with grave moral alarm. But in general, Americans are not moved by the health needs of others as a reason to confer aid on them. They want to hear more about consequences and outcomes than they do about rights. They may well be wrong. I think there is much wisdom in trying to move bioethics into a more aggressive role as a defender of basic human rights. That tens of millions of Americans have no health insurance, and hundreds of millions of people around the world continue to die from readily preventable diseases, while so many bioethicists occupy themselves by fretting over the morality of cloning drives Annas (and me) to distraction. But simply hanging out the human-rights flag on page after page is no guarantee that anyone will salute it. ...

A letter in The Cronulla War-chant, Dec 23rd, echos the above:
    How I would love to open my paper one morning and find the letters page full of pleas for Australians to help the many millions of undernourished and sick children struggling to survive overseas. We seem to find it much easier to get worked up about the fate of an embryo consisting of a few cells. (E. J. Christie, Kingswood, SA)

(I would like to see a lot less about Elton John's love-life, and a lot more about the slaughter of Minke whales.)

As to maintenance and admin of YD, I have no idea. What's needed, Hamish?

John has summed up many of

John has summed up many of my thoughts since yesterday.   The site needs to exist in a way that will attract more readership and participation,  and that's going to take more than our rantings.

With Margo and Hamish both out of the picture, most people will see the site as having outlived its initial raison d'etre.  Do we continue as is, reinvent, or call it a day?


 If it's simply a matter of monitoring, updating the front page, and other "groundkeeping" duties, then I'm happy to be involved.

I'd like to know more about the workload, how much it is costing to maintain the site, the 'user-frienlines' of editorial functions.  I'd also  like to know anyone's ideas, how much time they have available.. basically, Hamish, you're asking for big decisions to be made without there being enough information to make them.

The site really needs someone proficient in democratic issues in the "'hot seat"  Frankly, I'm suprised that the concept is being deserted by its creators.


 Did anyone look into the idea of linking the blogs to theGoogle Blog index?  It wouldn't hurt.

Promotion is the key to generate increased site traffic.. there seems to be room for improvement.  I've done my best to draw people my little blog.. perhaps we could extend membership of the 'blogroll' to cross-pollenate visitors, as opposed to what is currently a stagnant pool of non-contribution by many.


YD could work with a little energy.  The questions are by who, for who and why?

Merry Christmas all


I'd like to toss up the benefits of a change of name. How about 'Against Chaos'?

The success of a text-based record relies first and foremost, on the representation of Order. Order, in itself, does not necessarily lead to Meaning. Separation into groups on the right, and on the left, on the basis of suitability or usefulness, is a wonderfully simple means of instilling order. But when that orderliness assigns greater value to one life, above another, it is destined to destroy, not create.

A textual record cannot convey music, or the depth and breadth of art, or the truth in the whiff of blood and vomit and the living death of starvation in a refugee camp.

The limitations of text are so many, that simple rules have to underlie the attempt to be durable.

But text has a right to be raucous, rude and uncouth. It's pointless to insist on being inoffensive, when great crimes are committed in the name of wanton capitalism. The captains of industry, as has been proven time after time, have to be dragged out of their dens so that their deeds can be rendered accountable to their ultimate masters, the public. The pickets and banners of public shaming rely on the simple tools of text. Verbosity may prove to be the enemy of a dynamic essay in the zoosphere.

The truths of a multi-author blog may reside more in the cartoons and poetry, than grand schemes of electronic collaboration. If SMS messages can get a thousand hoons assembled for a bloodbath, why can't SMSs get thousands of the genteel mobbing the Japanese consulate? Are we too busy blogging?

Website of the Day: How to Reach a Human Voice

PS - Jeanne at Body and Soul has thrown in the towel (R.I.P) - because her computer has died! Pretty lame excuse, eh?

linked and moving forward

I believe the blogs are already linked by the google search engine...

Okay, there is several ways we can do this to expand this site beyond...

It has been a blessing that Margo and Hamish took this on and they deserve we carry on the work... I could propose here to meet personally with John Richardson inn Sydney and work form here. All of this organised via emails to Hamish to establish first contact. Then we shall see.

Second. I propose here to concentrate on the ideals of YD site to promote a few items:

# No to the death penalty

# Improve government's responsibility to the under-privileged — shifting the unhealthy unbalance, that lines the pocket of the present government, between social responsibility and charity

# Foster the green values of preservation of forests, natural environments

# encourage people to use organic foods to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides, etc

# Enlighten people about the pros and cons of nuclear energy despite a reasonably safe record so far

# Develop the understanding of global warming in a greater context beyond religious beliefs and mercantile exploitation

State these on the fist page as goals and more...

Such as encouraging curiosity and belonging.

I won't be able to concentrate on this till end of February but can meet before hand...

This is the best I can do at the moment...

I have a dream...

Chaos is unpredictable order... To me Chaos is the essence of what drives science, invention and curiosity... so the site could not be called "against chaos"... This would also convey fascist undertones with fanatical optimization of performance —.something that removes flexibility of purpose

Yourdemocracy is good because it reflect a desire to operate freely in a necessarily regulated system in which respect and caring in diversity should overtake the importance of laws.

Just a thought...

Chaos, Order, The Nature of the Beast

    Gus, I'd prefer to be "for" something than 'agin" it, but "Pro-Order" would also be a tad to the right for my likings.

 So many people in bands change the name after spending time promoting it... It would detract from what awareness of the site we have created to change the name now.  "Against Chaos" could be a section perhaps?  And perhaps another, to borrow from the ABC, called Order In The House.  Perhaps the

I'd love to see a section of bios, perhaps taken from Wiki, of current Federal and State members., with room for observations by contributors, and of course a right of reply.

Perhaps, with three State elections coming up, a section where candidates could post their platforms would be useful for struggling aspirants in a world of little media space for them.  For example, I have no idea of the points of view on local issues that are held for candidates in my electorate.  If such a space was available I'd be happy to ask them to contribute.

What about Federal and State based Question Time sections, where if a query was left for a politician, we could contact the member for a reply.  This could end up turning into an interesting media resource.

I would personally love to see a section of Original Political Song, where all comers could leave lyrics.

I guess I'm looking for ways to make the site and its concepts a little more "user-friendly" without "dumbing-down" the ideals.

Yes Richard

My Feelings exactly... This is why "yourdemocracy" still best represents the sentiments of cohesion in diversity, — the protection of what makes us humans in an evolving natural world we vaguely understand.

Re "inviting politicians to the table here", this was one of the ideas I proposed early for the site... Engage the politicians to reveal and discuss their views. Some may surprises us some may outrage us... but this would be a key to advance our little turf, and proper political enhancement.

catch-up .....

Hi Gus.

I'd be happy to meet-up with you (as well as Richard, Hamish or anyone-else who wants to stick their hand-up).

I've emailed Hamish & asked him to pass-on my contact details to you.

Have a great break in the meantime (All) !!



In terms of time, it has taken very little time to maintain, but could take as much as someone wanted to put in.

In terms of cost, we need some basic numbers from David B. I still owe him a bit of money (not much) for the initial setting up of the name and hosting. All I know for sure is that it's not much.

I'll read through all this again when I can do it justice and comment more. Good to see the discussion has taken off. 

Inviting Politicians to the table here!

Due to my recent entry to YD I may not be au faux with procedures , but I had assumed that politicians had every opportunity to use this site as much as I and everyone else . Surely they must read it, and would they not feel compeled to respond to any claims made against them. Has such not been the case in the past? I plead ignorance, as I do not know what has been happening in the past on this site. Our democracy is what our Government control, why is "proper political enhancement" required. If I was to type up a statement with strong political overtone and made a scurrilous remark regarding an MP, would it not draw a response? Would not any remark that was made with an opposite view and with commendable reasoning be cause for politicians to be awakened to replying via this site? I think the site should be structured to something similar to that of a capital enhanced Corporate body, and you would have their immediate attention. I am regretful that I have just read Margo Kingston's book and been made aware of the YD site. In fact, along with Margo's Not Happy, John! ,and Mungo's Run Johnny Run, and the Axis of Evil, they are 3 of the last 4 books I have read. The other was a novel with a political theme.


Pass the hat around guys. In for a penny in for a pound thats me. Seasons Greetings and Good Tidings for 2006.

John, I will contact you

John, I will contact you after Chrsitmas.
Tuesday or Thursday could be okay for me....
Have a good one.
Peace. Joy. Happiness to all...

Ethics, sure.

Ethics are good.
Morality is below average.
Porkies disguised as general moral banalities are off.

Activism or discussion?

I may be reiterating some other people's points here, but here is a few items which I think we should think about:

What is the focus of the site? I like the name YourDemocracy, but I think we need to clarify if we are about a meta-democracy site, ie one where we discuss the mechanisms of democracy (in Australia and around the world) including how discussions made by the current administration effect this; or an activism site which can host campaigns and allow people to act of them (a la moveon, but far more user driven); or a combination of the two.

When I joined YD I did it to try to enable the activism side of things, as I think there are many other blogs/sites/etc like Web Diary which already play a major role in the discussion side of things. However, this has had a few false starts, but I would like to continue this into the new year, and hopefully enable some campaigns in the first few months.

Secondly, I think we need to try to refocus on a few major  themes. Media cross-ownership was one of the original premises for the site, and maybe we should try to recapture this idea. Of course it is all a matter of who we can find to write the blogs.

 Finally, I think it would be good to be able to start building static pages about certain issues, so instead of having a long series of blogs, you can go to one page and get a history of the issue, a series of links, etc. This fits the activism site profile more than the meta-discussion, but I think it would make the site far more useful than simply having a series of opinion pieces.


future directions .....

Hi Nigel. 


Sorry for the lack of response ….  


I think you make some good points, including the need for greater focus & broader participation. There are a bunch of other issues, including trying to attract a larger base of regular & credible contributors, as well as meeting the ongoing challenge of managing the site. 


Whilst your suggestion that YD should focus on a few important issues, such as media policy, might have merit, the challenge, as you acknowledge, is to attract / develop the relevant content, particularly given that most of the current regular contributors are either focused on other issues or aren’t necessarily competent to carry such a debate.  


To further potentially confuse the media policy issue, it remains uncertain what implications the death of Kerry Packer may have, not only on the behaviour of regulators & PBL’s competitors, but also on the direction that PBL might take itself. 


I’m planning on catching-up with Gus shortly & hopefully we can then take the discussion further.  


In the meantime, enjoy this medialens piece Media Alert: Brilliant Fools - if you haven’t already seen it.