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BOOK REVIEW: How to improve Australia’s Democracy – Breaking the Vicious Cycle!

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Cameron Daly reviews a book by Dr Klaas Woldring, which provides feasible solutions for repairing and maintaining Australia's social democracy.

IF YOU HAVE been craving a concise, well-articulated, non-partisan birds-eye view of Australia’s political construct, Klaas Woldring's How to Improve Australia’s Democracy: Breaking the Vicious Cycle! should very well be up the top of any “next to read” list.

This summary of Australia’s political landscape provides objective insight into how political threads weave our democratic structure but more importantly, it also shines a beacon on where the frays are appearing.

Normally, this is where monologues would stop. We’d have a really good analysis, chimed in from thinktanks, then we’re asked to make our own mind up. That’s all well and good when you’re a political scientist, but for the layperson who just wants to finish school, contribute to society, raise a family and do the right thing by others, we can’t afford to be drawn into the weeds and expected to draw out hard-line policy frameworks. This book details feasible solutions.

If you fail to understand why Australia is so far behind in dealing with the climate crisis, this book is for you. If you want to understand how a rewritten constitution can wield a reformative Australia, this book is for you. If you want to gain an understanding of modern federalism that welcomes minorities rather than marginalises them, this book is for you. If you are tired of the erroneous narrative projected by conservative values, this book is for you.

For too long, we’ve had a directional and leadership void in Australia, treading water, lost in the international realm of geopolitics. How will Australia meet the demands of Australia’s future? You, too, can arm yourself with knowledge in order to help right the wrongs. This book provides a fundamental understanding of what it took – and more importantly – what it means to maintain a social democracy, which we can be forgiven for taking for granted.

Because let’s be honest, most political opinions are governed by our childhood — the inadvertent echo chamber that plants that seed in your subconscious. Not anymore. We now have a new weapon to add to that arsenal: a concise detailing of how we can preserve our sovereignty but also be a global partner in freedom economics.

I think most rational people viewed the storming of the United States Capitol on 6 January this year with some level of shock and sheer horror. How could the world's superpower – and Australia’s international crutch – be fractured by such blatant fabrication and continue to this day? Could this happen here? 

I was relieved to read that others agree News Corp has a lot to answer for. Sky News has become the dictatorial megaphone of the sycophantic conservative. Likewise, Australia's Fox News or One America News Network (OAN), blames others for their own failings or misleads the viewer in respect to governance.

This is where the critical thinking piece comes in. We all have a responsibility to uphold what is truth and dismiss what is a fabrication. No longer is it okay to plead ignorance in the face of such a powerful torrent of lies and misinformation and, worse, defend such lies in the face of blatant fact. To rebuild and repair Australia’s democracy will take time and bend a few noses out of shape, but can we afford to roll over and let far-Right narratives find traction in Canberra?

If we want to be at the forefront of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the manufacturing of green technology – and become the oceanic powerhouse we can be – we’d do well to grab a pen and listen to experts such as Klaas. 

As my grandfather always said: “You can’t listen with your mouth open.”

'How to Improve Australia's Democracy: Breaking the Vicious Cycle!' 2020, by Klaas Woldring, published by Bookpod, is available in paperback and as an e-book.

Cameron Daly is in the final year of his neuroscience degree at the University of Adelaide. He is about to begin a postgraduate law degree.

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BOOK REVIEW: How to improve Australia’s Democracy – Breaking the Vicious Cycle!

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