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In the News

Referendums and representative democracy

Mike McCartney

17th October 2023

Australia votes No on indigenous recognition, and divisions deepen

Many argue that referendums and incompatible with a system of representative democracy and fail to achieve what proponents of the device hope in terms of settling a controversial issue. We have witnessed this in the UK, and another example comes from a country with a very similar political system, Australia.

See my previous posting for background on this here.

Witness how Australia's political leaders have been reduced to petty political point scoring in the aftermath of the No vote.

Questions on the video:

1. What was the outcome of the referendum?

2. How did the Labour and Coalition parties respond to the failed referendum?

3. What is the general consensus among both sides regarding the nation's current state?

4. Who faced parliament after the rejected referendum?

5. What was the question directed to the Prime Minister during parliament?

6. How did the issue of the referendum dominate Question Time?

7. Who are some members of the crossbench blaming for the failure of the referendum?

8. According to Zali Steggall, what mistake did Labour make in combating misinformation?

9. What is the current status of another referendum?

10. What challenges lie ahead in closing the gap for First Nations people?


Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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