Features Intro

The Magna Carta is a touchstone for democracy: a devolution of power from an absolute Monarch to his subjects. The Treaty, in all its chapters, became a complementary measure to the way the King, the government of the day, governed.

This year, on the 800th anniversary of that treaty, we think a further complementary measure is needed to reflect the aspirations of Australians.

We think a complementary house of randomly selected people - A Citizens' Senate - could be trialed as a third house of parliament.

We might be wrong, and that’s why we think a fair method for studying this measure, along with any others, is to put the question to a Convention, and let them spend some months deliberating on the measures.

The Irish Constitutional Convention of 2013 is a precedent in this regard.

The Irish had a mix of everyday people selected by lot (as in a jury) together with politicians - two thirds/one third.

In Australia, we could have a similar mix to consider: ‘How can we govern ourselves better?’ and report back to Parliament.

Submissions would come from all and sundry on how to improve our government.

Democracy is more than ‘the vote’; it’s a way of organising ourselves, for no other reason than for ourselves.

Who We Are

Research Committee

Research Committee

The Hon Nick Greiner AC, Chair THE HON GEOFF GALLOP AC | RESEARCH COMMITTEE LUCY HUGHES TURNBULL AO | RESEARCH COMMITTEE CAROLYN HENDRIKS | RESEARCH COMMITTEE  

Board & Executive

Board & Executive

LUCA BELGIORNO-NETTIS AM | FOUNDER LYN CARSON | DIRECTOR KATHY JONES | DIRECTOR IAIN WALKER | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  

Jurors

Jurors

newDemocracy Jurors

Supporters

Supporters

PROF. PETER SHERGOLD AC PROF. JANE MANSBRIDGE  CHERYL KERNOT MARK TEDESCHI AM JENNIFER WESTACOTT 

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Our Work

Balancing competing needs in a growing community

Penrith City Council is a large, iconic council area and like many local government authorities in New South Wales, it is growing and changing rapidly. That change brings with it both opportunities and pressures on services and finite resources. With nearly $300m of future...

Who Pays? Agreeing Fair Shares in Infrastructure Funding (South Eastern Drainage)

Many government decisions fall into the category where all avenues of action are open to criticism from some interested party. This is especially the case where it is viewed that “the government should pay” – and...

In 2013 Noosa Shire Council de-amalgamated from Sunshine Coast, with the elected representatives ascribing their electoral success (and that of de-amalgamation) to their position of putting more decision making in the hands of the local community. In 2014 newDemocracy was approached to provide advice on structures and processes which could...

Like many councils across the country, Marrickville Council face the challenging problem of renewing a vast portfolio of aging capital assets - from roads, to parks, to pavements, stormwater drains and beyond. There are also new assets the council may wish to build such as cycleways and greening initiatives to be factored in - while at the...

In the Media

The parliamentary vote on same sex marriage is likely to be defeated, and the Prime Minister is advocating a range of options for what comes next.

One is a national plebiscite on the issue at the next election. This would only be the third in Australia's history.

By Michael Gordon, Political editor, The Age.

What struck new MP Tim Watts most about question time when he took his seat in the Parliament after the last election was not the rancour, or the shallowness, or the pettiness or even the name-calling. It was the noise.

So Watts downloaded a noise-meter on his iPad and...

Nicholas Ross Smith & Zbigniew Dumienski

A report by Bernard Orsman published in the New Zealand Herald on the state of Auckland City Council found that 88 of the 99 positions in the council's boardrooms and executive teams were filled by "white men from wealthy suburbs."

While nobody is suggesting that...