Brett, Judith: From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got Compulsory Voting

Judith Brett

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got Compulsory Voting, Text, Melbourne, 2019; electronic version available

It’s compulsory to vote in Australia. We are one of a handful of countries in the world that enforce this rule at election time, and the only English-speaking country that makes its citizens vote. Not only that, we embrace it. We celebrate compulsory voting with barbeques and cake stalls at polling stations, and election parties that spill over into Sunday morning. But how did this come to be: when and why was voting in Australia made compulsory? How has this affected our politics? And how else is the way we vote different from other democracies? Lively and inspiring, From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage is a landmark account of the character of Australian democracy by the celebrated historian Judith Brett, the prize-winning biographer of Alfred Deakin. (blurb)

The book is reviewed for Honest History by Benjamin T. Jones. Other reviews and media and an extract are at the citation link above. Review by Andrew Leigh MP for Nine (Fairfax). And another review by Lyndon Megarrity in Australian Book Review.

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