This chapter is about the underlying distribution of power in liberal-democratic political systems, and in Australia in particular. Australia is best understood as a liberal democracy. As discussed at the outset of this book, liberal-democratic political systems draw on two different sets of ideas. Democratic ideas celebrate equality, and demand that governments should be accountable to their citizens. Liberal ideas celebrate liberty, and demand that the power of governments should be held in check. There is a fundamental tension between democratic and liberal ideas. In turn, liberal democratic politics takes its distinctive 'flavour and fluidity' from the management of these tensions (see Chapter 1).
|Title of host publication||Government, Politics, Power and Policy in Australia|
|Editors||Dennis Woodward, Andrew Parkin, John Summers|
|Place of Publication||New South Wales|
|Publisher||Pearson Education Australia|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|