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 and Fair is an edited volume on Australian electoral history and innovations, providing a broad commentary on continuing democratic challenges.
This well-researched book on democracy and electoral justice covers topics of perennial importance. The project was supported by the ANU, the Australian Electoral Commission, Old Parliament House and the Parliamentary Education Office.
Did you know, 'In 1832, during a by-election in Montreal, the army was called in and three people were shot dead. As a result the House of Assembly of Lower Canada adopted a bill depriving women of the right to vote, believing that polling stations had become too dangerous for the weaker sex'. ...
John Ralston Saul said 'democracy is a sentence and voting just the punctuation', but I think this book demonstrates that voting, who votes and how they vote is the demonstration of how we envisage our democracy. - Inkwell, January 2002
Pacemakers for the world?
A wider field in a new country: Chartism in colonial Australia
Paul A Pickering
The story of the 'Australian ballot'
Rights without seats: The puzzle of women's legislative recruitment
Preferential voting and its political consequences
Inventing Hare-Clark: The model arithmetocracy
Judith Homeshaw cratic experiments with Constitution-making
'A great leveller': Compulsory voting
Institutionalising electoral integrity
Delivering democracy to Indigenous Australians
Exporting expertise in electoral administration
Australian democracy in comparative perspective
Confidence in Australian democracy
Political parties, partisanship and electoral governance
James Jupp and Marian Sawer
Notes on Contributors/ Tables, Figures, Illustrations/ Abbreviations/ Index