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Ted Mack, 'Father of Independents', dies

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Ted Mack, 'Father of Independents', dies:
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 If North Sydney Council hadn’t approved a 17-storey office block by his back fence in the early 1970s, the remarkable political career of Ted Mack, the ‘Father of Independents’, wouldn’t have happened. That galvanised Mack, who stormed through all three tiers of Australian government as an independent. His enormous political success was built on one potent idea – that the people, not the politicians, should have the power. This led him to advocate citizen-initiated referendums, the direct election of prime ministers and presidents, time limits on office-holders, proportional representation and much more open government. Critics may have called him everything from anarchist to right-wing loony, but the people of North Sydney – the one place where he was able to put some of his ideas into practice – kept voting for him. Edward Carrington Mack, who died peacefully on Tuesday aged 84, was born in Sydney on December 20 1933. He was diagnosed with stage four lung and brain cancer in 2016. “Late last week he had a stroke from which he didn’t recover,” his family said in a statement. Mack became a NSW government architect and for years was apolitical, living in his sandstone home with his wife Wendy and their four children. His only political act was to help organise a petition supporting Jorn Utzon, the Danish architect of the Sydney Opera House, after he fell out with the state government in 1966. Then came the office block, and his activism. Mack was elected to North Sydney Council in 1974 and became mayor in 1980. He promptly sold the mayoral Mercedes and bought community buses with the proceeds. More fundamentally, he introduced a radical system of direct democracy. Mack started by opening up council business, with the public able to see all files and reports and attend all meetings. Then the council area was divided into 25 precincts where monthly meetings, open to all, were held to discuss everything that affected the residents before going to council. Residents could also list proposals to go to referendum and over five years 40 were held, in conjunction with council elections. Mack said virtually all the referendums resulted in sensible decisions that council adopted. He said the system made council more efficient because it had the people’s trust and could make decisions without the protest groups and inquiries that usually hamstring local government. In 1981 Mack entered the NSW parliament by winning the Liberal heartland seat of North Shore. He retired in 1988, two days before he would have qualified for a parliamentary pension, as a statement against what he saw as political greed. Two years later he broadened his stage still further, going to Canberra after beating Liberal frontbencher John Spender in the federal seat of North Sydney. His first speech was solely about the need to reform Australia’s corrupt and secretive system of government, run by a small group of politicians, bureaucrats and private interest groups. His basic principle w
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Asiansploitation: Life's Firsts (father son asian comedy)
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