Why Australia Needs a Confident Pluralism

Check out my latest foray on The Drum into Aussie politics arguing that Australia needs a commissioner for political pluralism in order to make sure that extreme views from the margins like civic totalism (from the left) and ethno-nationalism (from the right) never gain a foothold in our pluralistic democracy.

Why Australia Needs a Commissioner for Political Pluralism

In a nutshell, it is about how to inoculate your country against the rise of a leftist dictator or a right-wing demagogue (ya’all know whom I’m talking about – let the reader understand).

I lean heavily on John Inazu’s concept of “confident pluralism,” see here for more.

I conclude:

Generally speaking, we Aussies do pluralism well and we must rise to defend it. We need a confident pluralism, even though it’s messy, conflictual, and means living with people whose views we often find frustrating or appalling, because mateship is better than hateship. It would be nice to have a politically neutral commissioner committed to bringing out the best in Australians, reminding us that floods and cancer kill progressives and conservatives alike, and that the things that divide us are not as powerful as the things that unite us. We need each other to survive in this gorgeously deadly sunburnt country. After all, in the words of St Paul, we do our best when, “we pursue the things that make for peace and mutual encouragement” (Romans 14:19).


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