In Democracy in Australia I argued that the Australian system is a mixture of features, some democratic and some oligarchical. In this lecture I want to outline the thinking behind this mixture. It is not an inconsistency or an accident, as if the drafters of our constitution meant to make a democracy but did not quite succeed. Rather, the Australian constitution is an intelligent and successful solution to certain problems which worried educated people in the 19th century but are now largely forgotten. Perhaps their problems have turned out to be unreal; or perhaps the problems are forgotten because their solution was so successful. The drafters of the Australian Constitution set out to balance Democracy and certain other values, in a tradition of the mixed or balanced constitution coming down from Aristotle.
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