Seminar: "The Future of Electoral Democracy in India and Australia"

20 August 2019

In August, CTN Co-Convenor Tom Daly, as Assistant Director of the Melbourne School of Government, attended a forum in India which brought together election officials, scholars, and policymakers to discuss 'The Future of Electoral Democracy in India and Australia'. The event was co-hosted by the Melbourne School of Government, Australia India Instiute and Trivedi Centre for Political Data.

A collection of pieces by Forum speakers are available on Election Watch. Tom wrote a piece on "Electoral Democracy in Australia: Crisis, Resilience and Renewal", which notes that Australia’s political system is facing similar challenges to many democratic systems worldwide. The political-party system has undergone significant shifts over recent electoral cycles, including declining support for the two mainstream parties (the Liberal-National Party Coalition and Labor), and a rise in support for smaller parties. Mirroring trends worldwide, the power of parliament is also seen as diminishing in recent decades, vis-à-vis the executive and external organs (e.g. corporations). Critics of Australia’s political system focus not just on how representative the existing structures are but on the need for a thorough reform of how we manage citizens’ capacity to be heard.

Dr Tom Daly, MSOG Assistant Director, and HE Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to India