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Democracy and Politics

The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment. – Robert Maynard Hutchins, educator (1899-1977)

What Is Politics and Why Does It Matter?

Key Terms

This is a very select list of key terms relevant to parliamentary democracies such as Australia. It doesn’t pretend to be a comprehensive list. Rather, it represents some of the key terms that I have come to see as the ones most likely to cause confusion.

Confusion often arises because Australia’s liberal democracy is built around a constitutional monarchy and the British Westminster parliamentary system, but with an elected upper house and the American federal structure grafted onto it.

  1. Liberal Democracy
  2. Constitutional Monarchy
  3. Parliamentary Democracy
  4. Westminster System
  5. Separation of Powers
  6. Federalism
  7. Representative Government
  8. Responsible Government
  9. The difference between ‘Government’ and ‘Parliament’
  10. Minority Government
  11. Executive Government
  12. The Public Service
  13. Separation of Church and State

Historical Documents




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Malcolm Farnsworth
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