In 1903, the year of the first Commonwealth election, 96 per cent of the adult population enrolled to vote. The Australian nation became host to the most comprehensive enrollment of any democratic state up to that time. But over the following 101 years, the nation has borne witness to a steady decline in voter participation. By 2004, despite compulsory enrollment, only 86 per cent of Australia's eligible population voted in the National election. So when and why did citizens start drifting away from the path of political participation?The aim of this essay is to pinpoint the disturbing factors that are contributing to our diminishing democracy, and to highlight the motivation behind them. I will start by defining the subject of democracy in the intention of this paper, and then identify the fundamental factors contributing to democracy's decline in Australia. Unless otherwise stated, authority for data, facts and subsequent statements in this essay have been drawn collectively from the following research papers:ÃÂ·Bringing Democracy Home - Enfranchising Australia's Homeless: Joint project of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University.
ÃÂ·Improving Access to Voting Rights Amongst the Homeless in Brisbane - University of Queensland.
ÃÂ·Youth Electoral Study (YES) - Report 1: Enrolment and VotingÃÂ·Youth Electoral Study (YES) - Report 2: Youth, Political Engagement and VotingÃÂ·Youth Participation in Australia Conference Paper.
ÃÂ·International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance - Global Survey on Electoral ParticipationThe Definition of Democracy for the Purpose of this EssayDemocracy is difficult to accurately define for its definitions and ideals are as vast, both philosophical and political, as the countries to which it is custom. But a democratic government can usually be distinguished from other forms of government by certain identifiable principles and practices. In his book 'The Case Against the Democratic State', Gordon...