This paper draws on new attitudes research commissioned by CPD on Australian attitudes to democracy and to government. It also features insights from a special roundtable on Australia’s democracy convened by CPD in November, as part of our 10th Anniversary Event Series.
We think this work is important and comes at a vital time. There are reminders every day that our democracy is struggling under the strain of both new and old challenges. The arduous and painful path to marriage equality despite broad public support is one example. The rolling crisis over the citizenship status of parliamentarians is another. And this isn’t a temporary blip or a recent phenomenon. For a decade or more we’ve been treading water while the big challenges of our time – climate, inequality, innovation, growth – have gathered steam. We need better answers, and we don’t have any more time to lose.
What is clear from this research is that Australians think reinvigorating our democracy is a pressing and overdue task. This is not just a matter of reforming the system of government and its processes. It also means ensuring the best contemporary policy ideas rise to the top.