From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting
About the book
It's compulsory to vote in Australia. Australia is one of a handful of countries in the world that enforce this rule, 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?
About the author
Judith Brett is the author of 'Robert Menzies' Forgotten People' and emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University. 'The Enigmatic Mr Deakin' won the 2018 National Biography Award, and was shortlisted in the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, NSW Premier's History Awards and Queensland Literary Awards.
In this well written and intelligently argued book Brett draws together the diverse practices, policies and institutions that together constitute the Australian electoral system. Acknowledging the flaws in that system's operation she nevertheless argues with force and persuasion that it effectively protects the Australian democratic and constitutional processes. In demonstrating the continuing strength of the Australian electoral process she makes an invaluable contribution to Australian political history and provides the book's readers with an important lesson in citizenship and its privileges.