Hansard Extracts


Harry Quick MP, Member for Franklin, invites all parliamentarians in the Federal Parliament of Australia to vote in the DOME

Hansard Extract 18 Mar 2003 (8.12 pm)

Australia is not a superpower. Our interests are best protected not by unilateralism but by multilateralism. Today on www.domeaust.com, the DOME of Conscience, I placed a placard which said, `I am opposed to the war against Iraq.' I challenge all MPs and senators to join the online conscience vote so that Australians from all walks of life across this great nation can judge each and every one of us on where we stand. They did it on stem cell research and I will be interested to see how many of those who voted against stem cell research join me against the war. History will long recognise your integrity and honesty. Have a look at www.domeaust.com and vote.

Greg Hunt MP, Member for Flinders, launches the DOME of Conscience and Student Virtual Parliament in the Federal Parliament of Australia

Hansard Extract - 24 Sep 2002 Page 6869

Mr HUNT (Flinders) (10.43 p.m.) I am delighted this evening to launch the Internet site The DOME of Conscience for the Parliament of Australia. The DOME of Conscience is an Internet based opinion board and polling mechanism for federal parliamentarians. It is publicly accessible and easily available. It can be reached at www.domeaust.com. It builds on the existing dome, which provides insight into the workings of the New South Wales Parliament. I believe that it brings three significant benefits to public debate in Australia.

Firstly, it is an addition to the marketplace of ideas. It provides an extra avenue for people to make their views known. Secondly, it provides an additional window of insight into the workings of the parliament and the opinions of the members of this chamber. Thirdly, and quite importantly, it provides an opportunity for a virtual youth parliament - not just throughout Australia but in each individual electorate. I think that is an extraordinary contribution to the capacity of individuals to participate in the process of decision making and to learn about it.

Since joining this House, my experience has been that there is a far greater capacity to contribute to policy debate and discussion than I expected or than is widely understood. There is the party room, the chamber, the media, direct contact with ministers of the Crown, and now we have the opportunity provided by the DOME of Conscience.

I particularly want to commend its founder, Ralph McKay, a former engineer, a former financial industry derivatives expert and now the founder of the DOME of Conscience. I commend him for his vision of an additional means of encouraging public participation and public understanding of the democratic process.

How does the DOME work? It works with short statements called placards. Any parliamentarian can submit opinion placards on any subject at any time. This means that every elected official has an additional opportunity to help set the agenda. All placards compete daily for votes from senators and members and are ranked live in the DOME's leader board for all to see. Importantly, it allows for explanations and statements. Members can choose to acknowledge their contributions or post them anonymously [Note, Voting is now transparent]. For myself, I choose to acknowledge all of mine, but it is a matter for individual choice.

Ultimately this is a new opportunity. It is not an official action of the parliament, of course; it is an action taken by an individual to provide a further means within our system for members of this House and the Senate to make their contributions known in public debate. I am delighted to launch the DOME of Conscience this evening. It is an additional window on the workings of parliament, it is a constructive use of modern technology for information and for insight into our democracy, it is an opportunity for the creation of a virtual youth parliament and, above all else, it is an addition to the life of our democracy and to the marketplace of ideas.

Robert Oakeshott MP, Member for Port Macquarie, encourages members of the Parliament of New South Wales to voting in the DOME of Conscience

Hansard Extract 27 Jun 2002 Page 4093

The online company BigPulse provides anonymous polling for members of Parliament, which gives us an opportunity to vote with our conscience. It is a bit like Maxwell Smart's cone of silence. I hope all honourable member s will visit the web site. BigPulse provides a dome of conscience that allows members of Parliament to vote freely and anonymously [Note, Voting is now transparent] on the issues of the day. I told the company that I would give it a plug and tell all honourable members to get a password and participate. The success of this venture depends on the level of participation. It is about building a bridge with a community. Ross Cameron, the Federal member for Parramatta, described a debate about six years ago in which members were allowed a conscience vote as the most rewarding debate he had ever been involved in. I hope that all honourable members will vote with their consciences as often as possible to resolve politically important issues.