A liberal democracy is a system of politics commonly practiced in Western political systems e.g. Australia, Britain and the US, in which institutions of government and democracy are forced to act within the bounds set by the constitution, the majority of the population as well as other traditional institutions and systems expressed through various ways e.g. the media and elections, (Clark, 2006). A democratic political system has thoughts which support the wellbeing of its citizens and supports the notion that the government should let its people make the decisions regarding their lives and the state as a whole, (Parkin, Summers & Woodward, 2006).
The Australian system multiply embodies the values of the liberal system, particularly through the fact that governments embody the populations’ wishes not only through the ballot box, but also through a robust civil society that ensures that civil liberties are protected, (Frankel, 2001). In a free market system of the economy helps minimize the involvement of the government in the market, which when coupled with the principle of the separation of powers, separation of the state and church and a free judicial system ensures that the rights of citizen are protected, the rule of law is ensured and governments’ powers are restricted, (Garnaut, 2001). A robust private sector in Australia influence popular and government opinions, which in turn ensure the values as well as principles of liberalism, are upheld.
On the contrary, the existence of market failures that in turn necessitate the intervention of the state in the running of the economy as perhaps best evidenced by the recent taxation cuts and spending by the government to combat the global economic crisis particularly goes against democratic liberalism, (Parkin, Summers & Woodward, 2006). In addition, the head of state in Australia is an un-elected post, which exceptionally diminishes the power of the private sector, the civil society and the population in the decisions made by the head of state. These reduce the sensitivity of the government to the wishes of the populace as well as the liberal democratic principles/values.
Clark. C.M. (2006). Sources of Australian History. Ed. London: Oxford University Press
Frankel, B. (2001). When the Boat Comes In: Transforming Australia in an Age of
Globalization. Sydney: Pluto Press.
Garnaut, R. (2001). ‘Protection, Structural Adjustment and Development.’ In Wealth,
Poverty and Survival: Australia in the World, eds J. Langmore and D. Peetz.
Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Parkin, A., Summers, J. & Woodward, D. (2006). Government, Politics, Power & Policy in
Australia. 8th Ed. Frenchs Forest, W.S.W.: Pearson Education Australia.