Australian Democracy


There are only 20 countries (4.5% of the world’s population), including Australia, that are considered ‘full democracies’ by the Economist Intelligence Unit 2018 Index.

Liberal democracy is built on a core philosophy that calls for a guarantee of the rights of the individual. These include freedom from arbitrary authority, freedom of religion, the right to own and exchange private property, rights to equal opportunity in healthcare, education and employment, and rights to political participation and representation.

In today’s troubled world we need to protect and strengthen our democracy or it will decay and individual rights will be lost.

What do you think?

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Lynn Wood @ 2020.06.07 1:40 PM
Fascinating that "Australia and New Zealand are the only "full democracies" in the entire Asia-Pacific region, while the United States is among those that couldn't find its way into the top category."

Glenn Barnes @ 2020.06.07 1:44 AM
Yes, it is fascinating and encouraging that Australia is in this top group. However, unless our politicians take the time to better engage with the electorate and work seriously to overcome inequality and the political 'trust deficit' we could slip backwards.

Peter Kronborg @ 2020.06.09 10:09 AM
Yes Glenn, we are witnessing the erosion of these fundamentals. We have to keep calling them out and resist moves to a authoritarian state .

Glenn Barnes @ 2020.06.09 11:10 AM

Hi Peter,

It is very concerning to realise the level of erosion that liberal democracy has suffered in recent decades. Unless communities who still live in liberal democracies, such as Australia, start to behave as a community (vs rigidly pushing philosophical, individual or sectoral interest) and participate in constructive deliberation and policy critique the erosion will continue.

Our PM has made some tentative moves toward pulling a broad group of political and community leaders into policy debates. However, he needs to find a means of drawing the broader community into the process, so that they feel all reasonable points of view have been considered and that any trade-offs are appropriate. The most challenging issue we face is embedded inequality of opportunity, which is corrosive on belief in the system and trust of government.

Ying Wen @ 2020.06.09 1:34 PM
That’s right, democracy is a good thing. The most important thing is how to maintain democracy and how to ensure that this democracy is a ‘completely healthy democracy’ rather than a corrupt democracy deliberately controlled by authoritative countries or some leaders.

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