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Part I: POWER AND DEMOCRACY

1. Politics and power

2. Liberal democracy

3. Frameworks for governing

4. Parliaments

5. Electoral systems

Part II: POLITICAL ACTORS

6. Political parties

7. News and media

8. Individual engagement

9. Pressure groups

10. Social movements

Part II:I POLICY PROCESSES

11. Federalism

12. Policy analysis

13. Policy delivery

14. Australia in the world

 

2. Liberal democracy

Snapshot: Controlling individual liberty to enhance community safety
Defining a liberal democracy—Liberalism and democracy—Tensions in liberal democracies—Australian liberal democracy—Strengthening liberal democracy

1. Describe the differences between constitutional law, statutory law and common law.

2. Outline some of the key elements of liberal democratic political systems.

3. Discuss some of the tensions and conflicts that can arise between liberal and democratic elements in liberal democracies

4.  The authors suggest that the core principle of democracy, rule by the people, can only be realised by taking into account the wishes of the minority as well as those of the majority. What are the implications of this for government policy?

5. Discuss the different models of representation described by the authors: delegate, trustee, mandated and mirror. Which model do you think is the most democratic?

6. Where does Australian liberal democracy fit in with or depart from the underlying concepts of liberalism and democracy?

7. Is the concept of a liberal democracy fundamentally idealistic? How do governments negotiate the tensions between these two concepts?

Resources

Democratic Audit of Australia 

Australian Parliamentary  Library: ‘Liberalism in Australian National Politics’