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From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting

Judith Brett

It’s compulsory to vote in Australia.

We are one of a handful of countries in the world that enforce this rule at election time, and the only English-speaking country that makes its citizens vote.

Not only that, we embrace it. We celebrate compulsory voting with barbeques and cake stalls at polling stations, and election parties that spill over into Sunday morning.

But how did this come to be: when and why was voting in Australia made compulsory? How has this affected our politics? And how else is the way we vote different from other democracies?

Lively and inspiring, From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage is a landmark account of the character of Australian democracy by the celebrated historian Judith Brett, the prize-winning biographer of Alfred Deakin.

Judith Brett
About the Author

Judith Brett is the author of Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People and emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University. The Enigmatic Mr Deakin won the 2018 National Biography Award, and was shortlisted in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, NSW Premier’s History Awards and Queensland Literary Awards.

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Text publication date:
5 March 2019
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Praise for Judith Brett
andFrom Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage

‘Brett’s writing is capable of extraordinary clarity, insight and compassion.’

‘Australia led the world in broadening the franchise and introducing the secret ballot, but few nations followed us down the path of compulsory voting. This absorbing book explains a century-old institution, how it came to be, and how it survives.’

Other editions ofFrom Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage
  • From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage
    ISBN: 9781925626810
    5 March 2019
    Buy ebook