Orange Independent Candidate Identification Process
Voices for Indi bridges the gap between community and politics. It lives by the mantra of ‘doing politics differently’ and has a purpose that is embodied in six commitments:
- V4i is committed to encouraging a diversity of voices and opinion and participation in the electoral process both regionally and nationally
- V4i is committed to the voice of the people being heard and given primacy at all levels of government.
- V4i is committed to encouraging respectful and mature representation
- V4i is committed to undertaking activities which will create an invitation to participate in Australia’s democracy
- V4i is committed to developing and using simple, elegant processes when engaging with the community
- V4i is committed to being honest and respectful, to being well informed, and to referring to reputable sources when making statements.
During 2018 and into early 2019, V4I is conducting a Candidate Identification Process, to enable the Orange Supporters of the Federal Electorate of Indi, to identify their next Independent Orange Candidate. V4I prides itself on delivering best practice engagement with the communities across Indi and has shaped its current Process to maintain that standard.
V4I is proud to showcase this activity as a further demonstration of its commitment to both best practice community engagement and participatory democracy.
Best practice public participation is
- based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
In furthering the opportunity for the people of the Federal Electorate of Indi to ‘do politics differently’, Voices for Indi (V4I) has engaged with the hundreds of ‘Orange Supporters’ we are in contact with, who have been involved in participatory democracy in Indi since 2013. V4I has invited those people to continue their participation by collaborating in a Candidate Identification Process. The aim of the process is to reach a consensus decision that identifies a person the Orange Supporters can enthusiastically agree to invite to be their next Independent Orange Candidate for Indi.
- includes the promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.
The Candidate Identification Process includes a Deliberative Forum, to compare and contrast the skills and attributes of the applicants seeking to become the next Orange Candidate. The entire community of V4i associated Orange Supporters has been invited to participate in this event. The Forum will be facilitated in a way that enables delivery of information, challenging questions to be put and addressed in real time and an iterative process that drives critical thinking to support the generation of a consensus decision.The Deliberative Forum will operate at the ‘Empower’ end of the IAP2 Spectrum2. The Orange Supporters at the Forum are being fully empowered to make the decision, or in fact to decide that a choice is not possible at this time. V4I members are facilitating the Forum as a service to our Orange Supporters. Only the Orange Supporters attending the Deliberative Forum will make the decision of the Forum.
- promotes sustainable decisions by recognising and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.
The Indi Electorate covers 28,567 sq. km. of northern Victoria, including several cities, numerous towns and large tracts of agricultural and public land. The planning and invitation stages of the Process were all conducted electronically with mail-out back-ups, to enable the easy participation of all Orange Supporters and potential applicants, regardless of their location within Indi or access to transport. The Deliberative Forum is being held at Benalla, a central location, in a venue suitable to the needs of all participants.Two members of V4I have been assigned to engage regularly and confidentially with all the Applicants, keeping them informed about the process, answering their questions and providing general support.A Communications Team has been developed to provide regular information updates to the Orange Supporters about the Process and its forthcoming Deliberative Forum.The public has been kept informed of the process through media interviews. Team Orange, an election campaign organising team, has been kept informed through regular updates and their needs, in relation to timing of candidate identification relative to estimated timing of the federal election and seizing the opportunity for a campaign launch have also been included in the Process.
- seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
V4I has contacted every one of its 500+ registered Orange Supporters and invited their participation in the Candidate Identification Process. They have all been invited to contribute ideas to the development of the process. They have been asked by survey to develop a set of preferred skills and attributes for the next candidate, for inclusion in the decision-making process. Every V4I Orange Supporter has been invited to participate in a Deliberative Forum to be held in January, to identify the next Independent Orange Candidate for Indi.The current Federal Member for Indi is a key interested, but separate, party and she has been involved in the process and consulted regularly throughout the planning stage. The federal Member will attend the Deliberative Forum as a nonparticipating guest of V4I.
- seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.
Prior to commencing any process, V4I surveyed the Orange Supporters, informing them of the draft, proposed approach, seeking their authority to run the process on their behalf and inviting their input into how the process would be conducted. V4I received over 90% agreement and endorsement of the proposed approach, from the >30% of the Orange Supporters who completed the survey. V4I also considered ideas provided in survey responses and this informed planning. The format of the Deliberative Forum has been shared and tested with a focus group of participants, prior to being finalised.
- provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.
The Candidate Identification Process commenced with a public call-out, inviting anyone interested, to apply to become the next Independent Orange Candidate for Indi. Detailed information was provided to potential applicants about the process, the statutory requirements of the role and the expectations the community has that ‘The Indi Way’ of doing politics differently will be continued by the next candidate.The Orange Supporters and interested public were provided access to detailed information about The Indi Way and the Candidate Identification Process on the V4i website.A survey of Orange Supporters was held that identified what they believe to be the key skills and attributes that are needed by their next candidate. This information was collated and presented back to the Supporters, as a basis for comparing and contrasting the skills and attributes of the applicants. During the all-day Deliberative Forum applicants will present to the Orange Supporters on several occasions. This will enable the audience to gauge the applicants’ level of skills and the attributes they would bring to the role. Applicants will also be questioned using a behavioural style, informing the audience how they would respond to specific scenarios. This will build the knowledge of the audience and bring critical thinking to their decision.V4I included the current Federal Member for Indi, in planning the process, by consulting with her regularly throughout the planning stage and ensuring that she and her staff had the opportunity to be fully informed of decisions, next steps and media statements.
The public will be informed at the conclusion of the Forum, when social media will be utilised by participants and journalists will be invited into the venue to report on Forum outcomes.
- communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.
As the process is an empowerment, the participants will be making all decisions. The role of V4I members at the Forum will be to guide the Orange Supporters and Applicants through a facilitated process that leads to a consensus decision.