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representative democracy

BAHRAIN - National General Strike - Demand for Representative Democracy in an immigrant overloaded state


High on the list of causes of the Bahrain situation is mass immigration and related loss of indigenous political representation. Old British colonies and protectorates, notably the commodity economies of Australia and Canada, as well as the UK and the US should take heed.

Australians disillusioned with our vested interest democracy should look to the Swiss model

We supposedly have representative democracy in Australia, in which Members of Parliament are supposed to represent their electorate in the three levels of government. But the form of democracy we really have in Australia is a 'vested interest democracy', where members typically are patsies of political parties, which are beholden to vested interest groups. This has unsavoury similarities to the overtly corrupt political culture of many Asian countries to Australia's north.

What Australians deserve, have fought in wars for and rightly expect is true democracy, not the vested interest democracy that we put up with today.

See also: Direct Democracy on ABC Radio National's Rear Vision program of 17 Nov 2010.

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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