Australia: “Hung Parliaments” and “Democracy”

Abolish Westminster, we say; in this case, time for a referendum; in peace

Counter Information


Hung parliaments are deemed the bane of the Westminster System.  It makes politicians sweat, policy makers work, and the broader system of representative government unusually representative. The latter part is particularly irksome for the majoritarians.

Authoritarian tendencies are never far away from the politically elected. It is always easy to become hubristic when voters go your way, less so when they prefer other options of balance and discernment. Majoritarianism tends to be one of the great dangers of democracy practice, largely because it assumes that the stronger the backing for one force, the more democratic it is.

The fallacy of untrammelled majority rule ignores what parliamentary practice tends to be. Well it may be that governments are elected with a majority, but the rules of representation demand that other parties and voices are accounted for. Strictly speaking, governments may make laws, but parliament passes them in a final vote.


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