Speaking For The People
'At a time when there is major change taking place in Australian politics as old loyalties are eroded, and there is increasing evidence of alienation of some sections of the electorate from perceived "elites", this analysis of the weaknesses in existing methods of representation is most timely.'
Dr Dennis Woodward, Monash University
Without the belief that others can represent their interests, citizens will withdraw their trust from parliamentary institutions. Today this trust is fragile. Politicians appear to have a different set of policy priorities from those of the people they represent. We are now witnessing demands for citizen-initiated referenda, a popularly elected president and other means of bypassing the role of elected representatives.
Speaking for the People explores for the first time the distinctive ways in which Australians have thought about and practised representation, incorporating a ground-breaking analysis of non-parliamentary institutions of representation.
Whether and how meaningful a voice can be given to all groups within our society is one of the many questions this book addresses. Marian Sawer and Gianni Zappal bring together old and new concepts of political representation and highlight what is distinctively Australian in our practices of representation.
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