Judith Brett

Nov 25, 2020

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage

How Australia Got Compulsory Voting

Text Publishing 2019

In this fascinating history of Australia’s electoral system, Judith Brett makes a timely case in favour of compulsory voting. Her analysis is entertaining and enlightening, and makes a significant contribution to the ongoing political discussions around the US electoral college, the Brexit vote, and the frequently-changing Australian Prime Ministership. In From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting (Text Publishing 2019), Brett paints a lively picture of one of the institutions that helps to define Australia’s democracy; its compulsory voting system. The reader comes to understand how Australia’s democracy sausages have become a symbol of its contribution to electoral processes around the world. By Brett’s rollicking account, it becomes clear that its compulsory voting system is one that Australians should be rightly proud of.

Emeritus Professor of politics, Judith Brett is one of Australia’s foremost political biographers. At La Trobe University she was a Professor of Australian Politics, Political Biography and Political History. She is the author of a number of books, including the award winning biography The Enigmatic Mr Deakin (Text Publishing, 2018).

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