Article Title

For The People? Australian Democracy in Crisis: a Layperson’s Viewpoint


Pat O'Shane


Throughout the ’70s and ’80s Australians who did not live in Queensland got a lot of laughs out of lampooning the Bjelke -Petersen government of that State, and especially the man himself, for his apparent ignorance of issues such as the meaning of the Westminster system of Government, separation of powers, and executive government. Whilst there was much mirth, and some incredulity that Government practices such as those of Bjelke-Petersen could be tolerated by the people of Queensland, there was no critique of Government process in this country, except at the most arcane, academic level. Unless one were part of an “inner circle” or cognoscenti, as it were, the issue simply was not discussed.