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Senators, Your Job Is Done

Brexit. BoJo. Donald Trump. ScoMo? It looks like liberal democracy is under siege across the English-speaking world. Of course, your view of which side the daily assaults are coming from ­depends on which side you’re on, although GetUp’s claim that Scott Morrison is a “Trump-lite authorit­arian populist” looks a bit desperate from any point of view.

Responding to concerns “some Australians report a growing sense that democracy is under threat”, the Senate’s standing committees on legal and constitutional affairs are doing what committees do best: holding an inquiry. Opened at the end of July, the inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy is spearheaded by Kim Carr and Amanda Stoker.

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“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time; but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.”

— Winston Churchill, in Parliament, 1947