McLeod, Triffitt discuss in The Conversation democratic governance’s quiet crisis | 22 April 2015


Travers McLeod and Mark Triffitt recently wrote in The Conversation about how the evolution of climate change as an issue has exposed the least obvious crisis of the 21st century: our system of democratic governance.

‘It is on the tip of our tongue every time we speak of the difficulties in resolving climate change – our frustration with the lack of future-focused, coherent action. But we rarely articulate it,’ they write.

Triffitt and McLeod note that there has been a failure to deliver: competent, future-focused policy; reconcile expert knowledge and community opinion; gain and sustain long-term consensus; or achieve effective action by devolving power to local communities or projecting solutions across borders through transnational collaboration.

By way of solutions, the authors offer some novel ideas:

  • More deliberative systems that directly engage citizens and deepen debate.
  • Expert and citizen panels that are genuinely intergenerational and cross-sectoral, favouring younger generations.
  • Granting more decision-making power to institutions independent of the government of the day, but still accountable to parliaments.
  • Enabling the appointment of some ministers from outside the parliament.
  • Synchronising state and federal electoral terms (to be a minimum of four years), with state and federal elections to take place at two-year intervals: meshing short, medium and long-term planning, complete with clear milestones.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>