Australia: The State of Democracy, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW, 2009
[T]he Democratic Audit of Australia, a major democracy assessment project, has been applying an internationally tested set of indicators to Australian political institutions and practices. The indicators derive from four basic principles—political equality, popular control of government, civil liberties and human rights and the quality of public deliberation. Comparative data are taken from Australia’s nine jurisdictions, as well as from three comparator democracies, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for reform.
Some of the findings are disturbing. For example, Australia has fallen well behind in the regulation of private money in elections and in controlling the use of government or parliamentary resources for partisan benefit. Transparency and accountability have suffered from relatively weak FOI regimes and from executive dominance of parliaments. (blurb)