Articles on Democracy

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Unsurprisingly, Australian politicians are happier than their constituents with the way our democracy works. Shutterstock

Revealed: how Australian politicians would bridge the trust divide

New research shows parliamentarians believe the key to improving trust between them and their constituents is in improving links to the community and better educating the public about our democracy.
Kurdish fighters in Syria say the U.S. is abandoning its allies and potentially empowering the Islamic State by withdrawing from northeastern Syria and allowing a Turkish assault, Oct. 7, 2019. AP Photo

Turkish attack on Syria endangers a remarkable democratic experiment by the Kurds

Since defending northern Syria from the Islamic State, Kurdish people have established an egalitarian society where women are equal, democracy is direct and religious freedom is guaranteed.
Young people are balancing several responsibilities - they’re school-goers, job seekers or employees, caregivers, friends and community members.  Shutterstock

Young South Africans upbeat despite broken promises and poor odds

Although cynical about today's political leaders, the views of young South Africans are surprisingly similar to those of the mid-1990s.
Nurses in November 2016 expressed support for a ballot proposition to limit what California state agencies pay for prescription drugs. AP/Nick Ut, file

Expanding direct democracy won’t make Americans feel better about politics

Citizens voting directly on policy seems like a good idea. But that led to the Brexit mess in the UK. In the US, two scholars say direct democracy deepens distrust of politics and government.
Answering constituents in congressional offices often involves tabulating comments in a database. Office of Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. via AP

How Congress turns citizens’ voices into data points

Advancements in computer technology are changing how Congress handles citizen communication, which affects how elected officials represent their constituents.
Union Square: contentious political rallies helped progressive social reformers argue for the protection of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington DC, USA

How New York’s Union Square helped shape free speech in the US

New York's Union Square is an important site in American labor history. One scholar's research illustrates the shifting meanings and inherent tensions of public space as an epicenter of civic life.
Dr Yang has been held in Beijing under harsh conditions, without access to lawyers or family for more than seven months before being formally arrested. Shutterstock

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Yang Hengjun is not Australian spy

Outspoken Australian-Chinese democracy advocate Dr Yang Hengjun has been formally arrested in China on suspicion of spying, further straining relations between the two countries.
Another issue is that pre-polling gives an advantage to the major parties over the smaller ones, due to the latter having fewer resources. AAP/Bianca de Marchi

Surge in pre-poll numbers at 2019 federal election changes the relationship between voters and parties

An analysis of pre-polling figures shows a surge in early voting, particularly in regional areas. But questions remain about how it affects the relationship between voters and parties.

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