The Law of Politics
THE LAW OF POLITICS: ELECTIONS, PARTIES AND MONEY IN AUSTRALIA, The Federation Press, 2010
Posted: 1 Mar 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2010
This book presents a comprehensive account of the regulation of elections, parties, referendums and money in Australian politics. It is the first such book for at least a century, and draws deeply on case law (constitutional, administrative and common law), statutory regulation and electoral administration and practice. It situates that law in its political and historical context, as well as drawing on comparable jurisdictions, notably the US, UK, New Zealand and Canada.
Electoral practice in Australia is associated with such innovations as the secret ballot, compulsory registration and voting, and public funding of campaigns. These are all analysed from both legal and policy perspectives. Through its normative assessments of the law, the book draws not just on realist and liberal values, but the author's account of how the law creates a 'ritual' experience of politics. In Emeritus Professor Dan Lowenstein's assessment this is 'far more than a reference. Wisdom, common sense, and wit are present on almost every page, together with...acute analysis and encyclopaedic knowledge of the sources'.
Specific chapters deal with: redistricting, the franchise, voter enrollment, candidacy, campaigning, political broadcasting, the internal affairs of parties and their registration, money in politics, and the role of courts in election disputes. The book concludes with a comprehensive research bibliography.
Keywords: Constitutional law, Law of elections, Political party regulation, Campaign finance regulation
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