THE FEDERAL ELECTION draws closer. We can all sense generally and across the media-scape the political electoral processes, including, partisan propaganda, intensifying.
Here in the #transitzone, over the last few months, we have put a particular emphasis upon the historic phenomenon of a number of centre-right, community based, independent candidates challenging incumbents in urban, regional and rural ostensibly “blue ribbon” Liberal Party seats. Many of those candidates are on the ground campaigning right now or perhaps “community building” would be a more accurate description at this stage?
In one way or another all these “Voices for” movements across Australia have drawn upon and continue to use the “kitchen table conversation” approach to activating and gathering authentic community insights into the key issues for these electorates and how they view an ideal democratic representative.
Margo Kingston for the #transitzone speaks to two women integral to the back story of the role of “kitchen table conversations” within Australian electoral politics and grassroots democracy: Mary Crooks, the Executive Director of the Victorian Women’s Trust, who forged, improved and adapted the technique over twenty-five years and Alana Johnson, the Chair of the Trust and founding member of “Voices for Indi”, the pathfinding regional electorate in north eastern Victoria, first won from senior Liberal MP, Sophie Mirabella, by independent, Cathy McGowan, in 2013.
Victorian Women’s Trust’s Kitchen Table Conversations: a guide for sustaining our democratic culture by Mary Crooks AO and Leah McPherson: https://www.vwt.org.au/projects/kitchen-table-conversations/