A recent Newspoll indicated that many people in Australia are turning away from supporting the two major parties. This is, one may hope, a small but positive sign about the health of our democracy. I believe in fairness and democracy. Unfortunately, I do not believe that we live in a fair society, nor yet a true democracy.

Every age of man is modern in its own time. Each thinks it is the apogee of civilisation, but all we can really say is that, perhaps, we are more evolved than those that have come before. In truth, we are still rather a primitive species: avaricious, selfish and brutal. I can see a time when people would look back upon the way we are today and denounce us as being barbarians for the way we celebrate tribalism over individualism, might over right, and contention and disputation over harmony and conciliation.

David Donovan looks at the way the justice and political system in Australia is still rather barbaric, and suggests ways that it can be improved.

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