Some Australians report a growing sense that democracy is under threat. Around the world, voters seem increasingly dissatisfied with how democratic politics works for them. Public trust in democratic institutions is declining. Notions of national identity, which can be the roots of a democratic community, are changing as our world becomes increasingly interconnected. Political divisions appear to be increasing in the face of rapid economic, social and cultural change.
These are substantial issues that should concern all citizens, regardless of their political persuasion. The loss of trust in democratic institutions does not only threaten social–democratic parties or other movements that work through these institutions to implement a reformist agenda. Ultimately, these changes have the potential to weaken liberal democracy itself.
The committee is keen to engage with these issues and consider the challenges and opportunities they present. This paper discusses the landscape and some of the relevant trends.
Submissions to the inquiry close 30 September 2019.