Are we headed towards high noon for democracy?

Today in The Australian

In 1923, as the Weimar Republic struggled with chaos, the German polymath Carl Schmitt wrote a short but enormously influential book, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy. Schmitt later destroyed his reputation through his collaboration with the Hitler regime. But if his work is increasingly cited, it is because its contemporary resonance is undeniable.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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11 Responses to Are we headed towards high noon for democracy?

  1. Herodotus

    We are experiencing the death of democracy. The left’s long campaign to insinuate wrong thinking into all our institutions has worked, and the divisions are now so great between the left and right that common sense and orderly administration have fallen by the wayside. All formerly functional western democracies have been white-anted to a terrible degree.
    The dysfunction is plain to see everywhere.

  2. Herodotus

    Things have reached a very sorry state when the forces of the left are determined not to espouse better policy but instead to just go after decent people like Abbott and Dutton here, and Lindsay Graham in the USA, and try to remove them from the playing field by whatever it takes.

  3. AussieMAGA

    I hope democracy doesn’t die. If a fascist dictatorship comes along I’ll miss all the transgender children, Feminist commentators,mass immigration and vibrant Islamic enrichment. Please don’t let Western Civilization survive!

  4. Indolent

    It is ironic that, leaving aside the herculean battle in the U.S., it is the former communist countries of Eastern Europe, such as Poland and Hungary, which are the last, strong bastion of democracy and Western Civilization. Or, perhaps, not so ironic since they are the ones who have already had a taste of what’s in store for the rest of the West, if they don’t wake up.

  5. Herodotus

    That’s right, Indolent.
    It’s also notable how nuclear energy is ok everywhere but in Australia. Even Slovakia is getting some.

  6. What is needed is more democracy like Switzerland. But, for that to work there is a need for honesty and the truth in parliament and the public service. The Swiss as a whole are honest and thoughtful. They were late giving a vote to women. Female voters need to be thoughtful and less emotional for government to work. Quotas for females and minorities can only ruin a country. The Swiss with their Citizen Initiated Referendum have rejected around 70% questions -mostly emotional ideas put up by greens and other non-thinkers. The Swiss voters have control of budgets.
    Here politicians and those setting out to & for arguments in referendums and plebiscites need to be jailed if they lie, exaggerate or omit vital information.
    All politicians who act on the CO2 alarmism scam and support unreliable so-called renewables should be in jail.

  7. All politicians who act on the CO2 alarmism scam and support unreliable so-called renewables should be in jail.

    Yes. Financial advantage by deception.

    Tumbrils, lampposts, gallows all need to come into play.

    Scamming the taxpayer needs to have some disincentives applied.

  8. Henry Ergas: I no longer subscribe to The Australian, a budgetary rather than political decision, so I haven’t read your full commentary. However, for me it has always seemed that Schmitt’s value exists more in his 1956 work, Hamlet or Hecuba, in which he argues that the significance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet hangs on its facility of integrating history (the taboo of the queen and the deformation of the avenger). He uses this vehicle to develop a theory of myth and politics. I think that’s particularly relevant today, and not only in the western democracies that everyone seems to assume are doomed.

  9. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Dr Fred Institute promotes a new form of politics ,
    Government by referenda all proposed laws subject to the vote.
    Abolishing career politics one term in a lifetime .
    Defunding parties max $10 per year per person or organisation .
    All public employees on one year contracts .
    Salary performance based for all public employees .
    Their super to be self funded no taxpsyer contribution .
    Outsourcing functions of government to private contractors where practical .
    That should be given a try couldnt be worse than the present system its a mess .

  10. JC

    They were late giving a vote to women. Female voters need to be thoughtful and less emotional for government to work.

    This is a joke, right? You’re kidding.

  11. Myrddin Seren

    I don’t think representative democracy premised on electing delegates from a given region or locale was designed with identity politics in mind.

    It was premised on more limited transport and communications and, probably, more homogenous voting publics.

    On the current trajectory, you will have to register as a recognised identity group – with a minimum cohort of members to win a place, and vote within your identity group.

    Maybe just an Alternate Future, but you can see the trend emerging.

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