2016 Young Writers’ Prize: An Imperfect Inheritance

2016 Per Capita Young Writers’ Prize – Second Prize

By Hugh Hutchison

What is the most essential characteristic of a democracy?

An effective democracy should be comprised of two equally important aspects – tradition and institutions. Australia, in sourcing much of its tradition from other countries, has developed stable and effective institutions, modelled after its democratic parentage. However, perhaps by way of selecting particular customs over others, or even in failing to innovate and create new democratic precedent, Australian democracy has proven itself functional, but not exceptional.

Perhaps, given time and a re-evaluation of Australia’s democratic tradition, future reforms will address the shortcomings of our inherited democracy, be it through our own innovations, or Australia looking abroad once more in search of worthy inclusions.