Wendy Whiteley is known for the restoration and landscaping of derelict railway land in Lavender Bay. It is a “magic garden”. In a society, where in the future, our children will grow up in apartments and attend schools that resemble office blocks, the preservation of such green space is essential.
The Greenwich community Association has organised a meet the candidates forum which will be held at the Greenwich Community Centre this evening Friday, 24th June @ 7.30 pm. The address is 46 Greenwich Rd, in the Greenwich Library, opposite Coolabah Ave. Stephen will be in attendance. Each candidate will speak for up to 5 minutes to explain their policy platforms. Members of the community will then have the opportunity to ask questions. Organiser & Greenwich resident, Don Murchison, will be the Moderator. It is anticipated that this lively & invigorating event will conclude by 9.30 pm.
Stephen has been an orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal North Shore Hospital for 30 years, specialising in the treatment of spinal injuries. Fourteen years ago he established a network of surgeons, based at the RNS Hospital, that has provided orthopaedic and trauma services to Dubbo Base Hospital. It provides an essential service to a significant portion of rural NSW. With his leadership, this service continues to flourish. With Cathy his wife, he has raised five children, all of whom attended Chatswood high School. He is actively involved in the upbringing of his ten grandchildren.
He became involved in politics after observing the attempts of the state Labour and Liberal parties to divest the campus at the Royal North Shore Hospital. A decision that was clearly not in the best long-term interests of our community. After community protests, which were sustained over a period of five years, this decision has been reversed. Such poor decision making in government extends not only to the health system but also the education system, the management of our economy and defence expenditure. It emphasises the importance of community involvement in the political process. With that in mind, Stephen has nominated as an independent for the seat of North Sydney. His nomination has been supported by Ted Mack who has on two occasions been elected as the Federal member for the seat.
Stephen believes that the two-party political system as it currently operates in Australia does not ensure that elected members of parliament are free to represent the needs of their communities. Policy is determined not at the ballot box, but by internal party politics and influential lobby groups. The individuals that represent our communities are elected by the party preselection process. A process which increasingly does not occur based on democratic principles. He believes that Australian democracy would benefit greatly from the election of true independents who are free to act on behalf of their electorate in Parliament. Free to be advocates for affordable healthcare, affordable education and sustainable economic development. As a nation, we need to embrace the digital age and put in place the infrastructure that will facilitate economic development and innovation in the provision of essential services such as health and education.
In the last few decades, the public service has become accountable to politicians rather than the community that it serves. This has resulted in public policies which are neither logical or based on sound economic principles. This needs to change. Similarly, government needs to be accountable for its actions and to function in an open and transparent manner. If Stephen is elected to parliament, his role will be to be a advocate for these principles and to ensure that the unique needs of our community are made clear to the elected government of the day.
As the state president of the Liberal party, you have a great deal of influence on party politics. Presumably, at both a state and federal level. It is the perception of the electorate that decision-making within your party is driven by the agendas of the major factional groups. In a democracy, in which power is monopolised by two party system it is critically important that within these parties there is a sound democratic process. As you are aware, in the seat of North Sydney the community representative will almost inevitably be a member of the Liberal party. That representative will be chosen by the Liberal preselection process, not the ballot box. As a result, the community relies on your party to select those representatives in a democratic manner. We would like you to work on ensuring that this is the case in your party, and until that objective is achieved, I will be voting for Dr. Ruff on the 2nd of July.
Image – GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=448341
This is going to be a challenge! The infographic shows Stephen’s vote in orange at the last election (1). On a two-party preferred vote, he received 40% of the votes. All we need is a 10% swing. This is something we can achieve. Please tell your friends and family about Steve’s campaign and encourage them to like our page on social media. At this time, financial support would be extremely valuable (See http://drsruff.org for details). Imagine a society in Australia whereby the political candidates were able to truthfully represent the needs of their communities in a manner independent to their alliance with the major political parties. That is our vision. It is our children’s future. It is the future of democracy in this country. Please help make the 2nd of July Independence Day in the seat of North Sydney.
(1) Thanks to Colin and Stephen at http://finitiy.com.au for their wonderful data analysis.
In this country, the “two-party politician” is an advocate for the organisation to which he belongs. He is rarely an independent representative of his community, as would be expected in a true democracy (1). Decision-making in government is heavily dependent, not on the democratic process, but rather the influence of lobby groups and party politics. It is time to make 2 July “Independence Day” in the seat of North Sydney. If Stephen is elected, it will be a “Ruff” three years for the two-party politicians in Canberra. If you can help in the lead up to the election, please see http://drsruff.org.
(1) Bongiorno, F. (2016). Politicians’ inability to speak freely on issues that matter leaves democracy all the poorer. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/politicians-inability-to-speak-freely-on-issues-that-matter-leaves-democracy-all-the-poorer-60055
“As a society, we need to focus, not just on our standard of living, but on the standard of living of our children. Where practical, we need to avoid policies which result in short-term financial gain at the expense of abandoning this vision.”
Please consider voting for Stephen on the 2nd of July. For more information about his campaign, please see http://drsruff.org/ You can help our campaign by sharing this link, and discussing the election with friends and family who are eligible to vote.