By Tony Fitzgerald, The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia is a representative democracy. Citizens who are equal, with a shared responsibility for good government, elect people of different backgrounds and perspectives to set community standards. Those elected are not obliged to tell the truth or act in the public interest or forbidden to act in their own interests or the interests of their supporters. They can also enact unjust laws. The law is an expression of power, not justice, and Parliament is almost supreme.
Since the calibre of those elected is extremely important, it is essential that voters are well-informed, especially now we live in a complex, multicultural nation where multiple interests are in constant conflict and almost every decision attracts strong dissent.