Australia's democratic heritage dates back centuries, tracing its roots to Magna Carta.
Other refinements were brought about by the American and French Revolutions and the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution. As Britain's elite power structures began to break down, Australia became a world leader in opening up democracy to everyone, adopting the secret ballot and giving every adult the right to vote and stand for parliament.
The heart of Australian democracy is the Constitution. It controls how government, the courts and the Parliament interact, and how laws are passed and maintained in the federal system.
Australia's Parliament is based on Britain's Westminster system with variations and refinements, mostly borrowed from the United States of America.
This book tells the story of Australia's democracy and how it compares with the rest of the world.