Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Conversation has published yet another green attack on liberal democracy. According to The Conversation, Liberal democracy is old fashioned – it’s antiquated institutions produce climate change “paralysis”, which the authors suggest can be resolved, by transferring democratic powers to unelected panels of national and trans-national bureaucrats.
According to The Conversation;
… Specifically, the failure to tackle climate change speaks to an overall failure of our liberal democratic system…
… Successfully tackling climate change and other big policy challenges depends on making tangible the intangible crisis of liberal democracy.
It means understanding that liberal democracy’s governance machinery – and the static, siloed policy responses generated by such democracies – is no longer fit for purpose.
Naturally The Conversation has a solution for this crisis. My favourite from their list of suggestions, is their idea that democratic powers should be transferred to unelected bureaucrats, who would still somehow be “accountable” to parliament, despite having “staying power” beyond individual political cycles.
Granting more decision-making power to institutions independent of the government of the day, but still accountable to parliaments (such as the Parliamentary Budget Office or Infrastructure Australia). This would increase the capacity of policy planning and decision processes to have staying power beyond individual political cycles.
The authors of this critique of democratic freedom, are Mark Triffitt (Lecturer, Public Policy at University of Melbourne), and Travers McLeod, Honorary Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at University of Melbourne.