Elections: Full, Free & Fair

Front Cover
Marian Sawer
Federation Press, 2001 - Political Science - 256 pages
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Australia was the first nation to invent itself through the ballot box and has become a country renowned for democratic innovations, from the secret ballot to adult suffrage and Saturday elections. Many of these reforms are now benchmarks of democracy. Yet the equity of Australia's electoral process continues to be challenged. Does Australia have full, free and fair elections? The authors of this informative, entertaining volume tell of political forces and personalities which have shaped Australia's electoral system. They describe how Australia became a pacesetter, why it experimented so much and whether the experiments have worked. They go on to consider what could and should be done, and the major modern challenges. Are party politics and pre-selections a corrupting influence? What is the impact of a mobile and scattered population? How widespread are the rorts? Could we have a Florida down under? Elections Full, Free & Fair is an edited volume on Australian electoral history and innovations, providing a broad commentary on continuing democratic challenges. It is a timely and well researched book on democracy and electoral justice covering issues which are topical and important. The project was supported by the ANU, the Australian Electoral Commission, Old Parliament House and the Parliamentary Education Office.
  

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Contents

Chartism in colonial Australia
28
The story of the Australian ballot
45
The puzzle of womens
63
Preferential voting and its political consequences
78
The model arithmetocracy
96
Democratic experiments with Constitutionmaking
115
Compulsory voting
129
Institutionalising electoral integrity
142
Delivering democracy to Indigenous Australians
158
Exporting expertise in electoral administration
175
Australian democracy in comparative perspective
189
Confidence in Australian democracy
202
Political parties partisanship and electoral governance
216
References
234
Index
249
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