Do Australian parties represent?

Anika Gauja, Jordan McSwiney

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the comparative stability of the party system, Australian political party membership has been in decline since the mid-twentieth century. While this chapter outlines the difficulty of studying party membership in Australia due to cultures of secrecy and problems of access, it is able to bring together data from a variety of sources to outline the general picture of descriptive party representation in Australia, comparing reported characteristics of party members to party voters and the general public. It examines the implications of declining membership for parties’ representative capacities – not only in terms of mirror and descriptive representation and the composition of the membership, but also in their ability to integrate a variety of diverse perspectives and voices into key party functions, such as candidate selection and policy development. The chapter concludes by considering the broader impact of parties’ representative capacities for Australian politics and society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDo Parties Still Represent?
Subtitle of host publicationAn Analysis of the Representativeness of Political Parties in Western Democracies
EditorsKnut Heidar, Bram Wauters
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Chapter4
Pages47-65
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351110952
ISBN (Print)9780815362944
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019

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