The Aussie election has seen the balance of power resting in the hands of a small number of Independent MPs. Is this a good thing for democracy or a sign that the election process is failing?
Ian Marsh has a PhD in political science from Harvard and was, a while back, research director for the Liberal Party federal secretariat and he is the author of Beyond the Two Party System. Today he is a professor at the Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania.
He says we need to get used to the idea of hung parliaments and the strong two-party system has had its day. We can now expect more parties to represent the diversity of society and what we’re seeing is the first step in a process of change.
So does that mean the system also needs to change, or is it flexible enough to accommodate these new social forces? He believes there is one way we could create a significant improvement in the level of debate in the political process.