Professor Klaas Woldring has written a book on How to improve Australia’s Democracy .
The book is a progressive statement advocating major governance system change for Australia. There is an Introductory Chapter which sets out why the pandemic has (1) opened up a situation conducive to considering major political system and constitutional changes ; (2) why piecemeal tinkering, the customary ineffectual approach to governance system change, must be abandoned; (3) demonstrates that governance systems are interconnected so that major reforms need to be discussed with that in mind; (4) that decentralisation in Australia is not happening, to the contrary. Here is a statement of content in the chapters that follow:
1. Conservatism has dominated the entire political system since Federation; that applies to both major parties.
2. Proportional representation – Party List may help Australians to improve their
democracy. The existing SMD system creates the vicious cycle.
3. The industrial relations system should embrace workplace democracy in all its forms. Regrettably, the ACTU does not embrace this continental European system.
4. The Federation is costly and dysfunctional: Australians can do much better.
5. Multiculturalism and the New Australia. Consequences for governance systems. The current Government does not understand this.
6. Consequences of governance system failure.
7. Who sets the national political agendas in Australia? Who really are our representatives?
8. A new Constitution for Australia. Why not rewrite the entire Constitution?
9. The real issue: What KIND of Republic?
10. Conclusion and References
More recently he also launched a Facebook page on this topic: https://www.facebook.com/Improving-Parliamentary-Representation-in-Australia-105761175281121
The principal objective is to explain the advantages of a new electoral system for Australia. The recommendation of this Page essentially is to replace the Single Member District system with Proportional Representation – Party List, used in 85 other countries, especially European countries although New Zealand has introduced it as well in 1996. We have serious problems with our governance systems in Australia. The current electoral system is a major contributor to these problems. The emergence of a large group of Independent candidates is a sign of this dissatisfaction. However, it is quite difficult to win an Independent seat in the current two-party system which benefits the major parties greatly but some may succeed. However, a major reform is needed in the longer term. This requires an educational campaign. The Internet allows us to give this a start.