Also, here’s an excerpt from a speech by Kevin Andrews (Liberal Party, Australia):

The institutions of civil society are important because they are neither created nor controlled by the state. Public funding requires accountability and services require training, skills, and a professional approach, but it is important that the independence and the volunteering ethos of the sector is protected and encouraged. We should guard against unnecessary state control of the civil sector.

There is a danger that government can seduce community groups into becoming its mouthpiece. There is also a danger that government will see the voluntary sector as just an extension of itself.

… One only has to look to Britain to see how non-government organisations can morph into quasi-government organisations.

… One approach is summed up in the opening words of the Maiden Speech of the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd: “Politics is about power. It is about the power of the State. It is about the power of the State as applied to individuals, the society in which they live and the economy in which they work.”

The other approach is about empowering people, not exercising power over them. It is the approach that the Leader of the Opposition utilised last week when he referred to Abraham Lincoln’s famous description of democracy as “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

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