POLIS 3115 - Australian Electoral Democracy!

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

Australia has led the world in electoral innovation, pioneering many practises that are now standard throughout the democratic world. It is also one of the most inclusive, agile and highly regarded electoral democracies in the world. The course will provide a brief history of Australian electoral experiments and then explore in depth its most important features as well as controversies around them. Shortcoming in current arrangements will also be scrutinised. Topics to be covered include: Australian suffrage rights in comparative perspective; voting and its democratic purposes; whether voting is a right or a duty (or both); compulsory voting, its pros and cons; whether voter turnout levels matter; the problem of electoral disinformation and its regulation in Australia; the growing problem of election conspiracism; the nature and ethics of militant democracy; securing electoral representation for indigenous Australians; addressing the voting exclusion of incarcerated citizens; exploring the voting exclusion of people experiencing homelessness; the ethics of lowering the voting age in Australia; and the problem of informal voting.

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