The Problem of Political Participation


The Problem of Political Participation

Room 608, Level 6
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street


More information

T: +61383445284

Australia is not immune from the worldwide trend to reduced participation in the democratic process. Despite compulsory voting, voter turnout rates in Federal and State elections have been declining. In the recent Victorian State election, the voter turnout rate fell from 93% of enrolled electors to just over 90% - the lowest percentage for 73 years. Polls and election results reveal growing voter alienation from established parties and processes.

In this seminar, Paul Thornton-Smith of the Victorian Electoral Commission explains what’s been happening in Victoria, outlining the behaviour of particular groups of voters. And Andrea Carson, Associate Professor, Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, looks at the broader picture, with particular reference to the role of the media.

Light refreshment will be provided from 12.45pm.


  • Dr Paul Thornton-Smith
    Dr Paul Thornton-Smith, Senior Information and Research Officer
  • Associate Professor Andrea Carson
    Associate Professor Andrea Carson, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media