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Representative government and representation

Representative democracy

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

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...
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.
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...

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...

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

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...

The 41st parliament: middle-aged, well-educated and (mostly) male

Sarah Miskin and Martin Lumb examine the biographical details of the 226 senators and members of the 41st Australian parliament. They show that, generally, they are middle-aged, well-educated men, many of whom have worked in politics-related occupations immediately before being elected. The note concludes with...

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...