The election result demonstrates Australians do not like the way their political system is working and provides an opportunity to put forward a blueprint to change it.
CPD thinkers – Miriam Lyons, Ian McAuley and Marian Sawer – have contributed their ideas to a GetUp! report, A Blueprint for Australian Democracy: This Moment and the Renewal of Parliament, Government and Elections. The report is being sent to all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
As has happened in Britain, Canada and New Zealand, a political system that was designed in the early twentieth century must now adapt to the very different conditions of the twenty-first century. With a changing society and more complex challenges – including a three speed economy, a second round of the resources boom, skills shortages, infrastructure deficits, climate change, refugees, indigenous recognition – our parliamentary and electoral processes need to be progressively re-cast.
The formal political and policy process is an arena that has huge influence on the wellbeing of all Australians. Taking lessons from the past and along with more recent thinking about fair electoral processes, the report suggests how both policy making and electoral regimes can be re-configured to engage Australians much more effectively in politics and policy making. It is a moment where we can renew and strengthen our democracy.
Marian Sawer is co-author of a chapter from More Than Luck, Strengthening Democracy, which was one of the background documents provided to the report’s authors. Read Marian’s chapter & download the report for ideas on how we can renew government, parliament and elections.