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party politics

Our Misconception of Australian Democracy

As Australians we pride ourselves with the presumption that we live in a democracy benefiting from the universally accepted principles of 'equality and freedom'.

We are supposed to have a "government of the people, by the people, for the people" [Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865]. But in reality we are denied full or 'direct democracy' and are expected to tolerate the more compromised version of 'representative democracy'.

But those so-called 'representatives' repeatedly let us down. They are instead controlled by their own political party agendas. Legislative voting is along party lines, not according to the say of local electoral seats that our 'representatives' are supposed to represent.

In fact we have what's branded an 'illiberal democracy' - a narrower definition of full democracy and one in which, although elections take place, voters are excluded from government agendas, denied any say into party policies, denied any say in drafting legislation, denied any say in constructing government budget priorities. Party politics is where the real political power lies in Australian politics, not with the people.

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