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Representative government and representation

Representative democracy

Briefing paper

Four leverage points to improve how Australia makes its future

This is a snapshot of the first Next25 Recoded report that explores and synthesises 50 deeply reflective, one-on-one interviews with established and emerging leaders from a diverse cross-section of the future-making system.

Next25 Recoded: understanding and improving how Australia makes its future

This report is the first output from Recoded, Next25's ongoing research and engagement program that builds the knowledge and support required to drive action that improves how Australia makes its future.
Working paper

The climate crisis and democracy: from democratic debilitation to innovation

The climate crisis is also a crisis for democracy, however, it is possible to renew and re-imagine democracy to achieve a more effective response to the climate crisis.

APO NT Submission to the Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Ensuring Fair Representation of the Northern Territory) Bill 2020

In this submission, Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT) expresses their concern that the Northern Territory needs to be further included in government relations such as voter engagement, more accurate census data, and a significant presence in the House of Representatives.
Working paper

Electoral democracy in Australia: crisis, resilience and renewal

This paper examines the state of Australian democracy and considers some mechanisms that have been said to have the potential to improve democratic representation.
Discussion paper

Samoan election results: trends and patterns 1964-2016

This paper draws on data from the new Samoa Election Results database to highlight salient features and trends in Samoa’s electoral history.
Working paper

Perceptions of women's representation in Pacific parliaments: the case of Niue

The concept of Temporary Special Measures (TSM) was introduced in the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women came into force in 1979. Besides Samoa the rest of the Pacific countries have been slow to adopt TSM, which may...

Public perceptions of women in leadership

In the 2014 Fiji general election, 14% of elected parliamentarians were women. This percentage represents the largest proportion of women in Fiji’s parliament since independence in 1970. However, it also shows that Fiji is still a long way from parity and lags well behind the...
Conference paper

The 'most undemocratic municipality in Australia': changes to the franchise and electoral arrangements of the Melbourne City Council 1938-2011.

‘Centralising measures’ have eroded the autonomy of local councils’ in the form of intervention in the planning and development process and absorption of responsibilities. This paper will use the case study of the Melbourne City Council (MCC) to offer scope for assessing the character of...

Who’s afraid of Margaret Thatcher?

The Iron Lady casts a long shadow, as David Cameron is finding in the lead-up to the next British election, writes Frank Bongiorno in Inside Story

Members of Commonwealth ministries

Introduction Many Members of Parliament (MPs) aspire to ministerial office. Kim Beazley Jr once said: ‘being a minister, that really was something special from the moment I got it’.1 Garfield Barwick was said to have arrived at the Attorney-General’s office with ‘more ideas than a...

Gender and the Australian Parliament

Despite increasing numbers of women entering federal politics, female MPs have failed to drive an agenda of social change in the Australian Parliament. This conclusion has been reached through a study of 13 male and 15 female current federal MPs, whose views were sought on...

Are Australian MPs in touch with constituents?

One of the most important features of representative democracy is the strength of the linkages between citizens and elected representatives. It is commonly thought that the electoral system, particularly the ballot structure used when citizens cast a vote, plays an important role in this process...

A fair deal for territory voters?

In the 2001 Commonwealth election Northern Territory voters were divided into two House of Representatives seats for the first time. However, on 20 February 2003 the Australian Electoral Commissioner determined that due to a population shift the Northern Territory would lose the extra seat, returning...

Territory representation in the Commonwealth parliament

The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory were formed after federation and it was many years before they obtained full political representation in the Commonwealth Parliament. Initially representation was in a very limited form. This Research Note sets out the history of the Territories...