Limiting democracy: The erosion of electoral rights in Australia

Hughes, Colin A. and Costar, Brian Limiting democracy: The erosion of electoral rights in Australia. Edited by Peter Browne and Julian Thomas Sydney, NSW, Australia: University of New South Wales Press, 2006.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Hughes, Colin A.
Costar, Brian
Title Limiting democracy: The erosion of electoral rights in Australia
Place of Publication Sydney, NSW, Australia
Publisher University of New South Wales Press
Publication year 2006
Sub-type Research book (original research)
Series Briefings
ISBN 9780868409481
Language eng
Editor Peter Browne
Julian Thomas
Total number of pages 92
Collection year 2006
Subjects A1
360101 Australian Government and Politics
750602 Understanding electoral systems
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Australia's electoral system is distinctive, independent and widely respected. For years, parties across the political spectrum have supported its main features - compulsory voting, an independent electoral commission, uniform rules across the nation. Yet, in 2006, all that began to change.

Because Australians have no explicit constitutional right to vote, parliament has wide discretion over how its members are elected. Having won control of both houses of parliament, the Howard government introduced legislation that erodes the right to vote and relaxes controls over political donations, all in the name of "electoral integrity." Forced through parliament in mid-2006, these measures are dangerous for democracy.

In this book two distinguished political scientists, Colin A. Hughes - Australia's first electoral commissioner - and Brian Costar, reveal the dangers of the government's legislation, and of other potential changes flagged by government MPs. They trace the history of Australia's admired electoral system, revealing the carefully crafted rules that have ensured a fair and transparent system - a system now endangered by a set of poorly considered changes.
© Colin A. Hughes & Brian Costar 2006

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Created: Fri, 10 Aug 2007, 12:40:37 EST