How do Australians Imagine Their Democracy?



How do Australians Imagine Their Democracy? Australian survey of political engagement findings 2013
ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra


The report by the University of Canberra is based on data drawn from surveys of more than 1,300 Australians in February 2013 on politics-related issues.

Among the key findings were that:

  • More than half of respondents said they had not participated in any political activity except for voting in the last two or three years
  • About 9 in 10 respondents believe they have little or no influence over national decisions
  • More than 9 in 10 respondents believe politicians should take more action on important problems
  • About a third of respondents said government would be better run by business people, and decisions would be better made by independent experts

The authors conclude there are problems with Australian political culture, but that while Australians may not generally respect politicians they do respect the ideals of the democratic political process.

The authors argue that reform should include more participatory democratic models to shore up current representative democratic structures.


Thumbnail image credit: Tim Samoff, Flickr

Mark Evans

University of Canberra

Gerry Stoker

University of Canberra

Jamal Nasir

University of Canberra

Published Date
May 11, 2015