"The success of Australian democracy . . . is something we all too often take for granted."
– George Brandis
The great promise of liberal democracy is to reward the hard work of the aspiring and to provide opportunity and protection for the vulnerable. Our democratic, political and social institutions must deliver on this promise or they risk losing their relevance to people’s lives and, with that, their legitimacy. Sadly, the system does not deliver equally for all Australians and many have lost faith in politics.
At a time where governments are taking necessary and unprecedented measures to intervene in people’s lives, rebuilding trust and increasing participation in our democratic system is critical. The key institutions on which our society is built should be strengthened, not diluted.
We can protect and advance the capacity of all Australians, particularly the most vulnerable, to live happy and healthy lives. We must recognise the limited opportunities of disadvantaged Australians, and seek to eradicate discrimination in all its forms but particularly racial, sexual and gender; the national disgrace that is Indigenous disadvantage; unacceptable rates of homelessness; and the scourge of domestic violence to which no one is immune.
To sustain a prosperous and resilient Australia, our institutions must empower citizens and communities at local, regional and national levels. There are times where local communities should be prioritised over efficiencies on a national level.