Gay policeman and ACON board member Wes Bas is campaigning to join the Senate ticket for the Senator Online Party (SOL) at the next federal election.
SOL aims to bring direct democracy to Australian politics, with registered voters telling the party’s senators how to vote on every bill.
“The definition of a politician is somebody who represents their constituents and that’s just not been happening, so this gives that back to the people by giving the Australian public the right to go online and vote on the topics that matter to them,” Bas told Sydney Star Observer.
“SOL senators will have input in that they can give their informed opinion to the people through the website — so you’re not just a puppet.
“But your right for a conscience vote is signed away and you have to represent the people in the way that they vote.”
Bas said he is prepared to stand by that principle, even if it means voting for bills he disagrees with.
“It would be hard if something like gay marriage came up, which is something I would want to vote for. But I think the majority of Australians agree with the concept of civil unions or gay marriage or whatever way it’s presented, so I think they’re going to vote the right way — I have that faith,” he said.
“But if the majority says ‘No’, I’m not there to represent my own views and making that ‘no’ vote, while it would be very difficult, is probably the right one because it’s what the majority want.”
For that reason Bas said he understood LGBTs might be apprehensive about supporting SOL.
“SOL will represent the majority voice of Australia and that’s a hard sell to the LGBT community because they’ll say,
‘You’re representing the majority, we’re a minority voice’, ” he said.
“My way of thinking is that we’ve lobbied the major parties for so long to get them to listen to us and they’re not, so this might turn things around in that we’ll be able to lobby the Australian public directly and if the public can be swayed they’re going to vote the right way when telling us how to vote.”
The 27-year-old said he’s been bowled over by the support he’s received from friends and colleagues.
info: Visit www.senatoronline.org.au or www.facebook.com.au/WesleyBas