Parliamentary Triangle Seminar Series

PANEL DISCUSSION ON TRUST, POPULISM AND THE IDEAL POLITICIAN

Thu 19 October 2017PANEL DISCUSSION ON TRUST, POPULISM AND THE IDEAL POLITICIANMembers' Dining Room 2, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Australians should rightly be proud of their hard-won democratic traditions and freedoms and the achievement of stable government which has delivered social and economic well-being for its citizens. Today, however, such beliefs are increasingly threatened. There is concerning evidence of the increasing disconnect between government and citizen reflected in the decline of democratic satisfaction, trust in politicians, political parties and other key institutions and erosion of public confidence in the capacity of governments (of whatever colour) to address public policy concerns. The gap between reality and how Australians imagine their democracy has widened to such a degree that we need to pause, listen, and reflect on whether our democracy can adapt to the new realities of 21st century governance.

This panel discussion brings together a group of eminent politicians and political commentators to consider: why has there has been a decline in public trust in our politicians and political institutions? Has the calibre of Australian politicians declined and if so why? What could be done to reverse the trend? And, what would the ideal politician look like?

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