Chapter

Reclaiming the Political Protection of Rights: A Defence of Australian Party Politics

Joo-Cheong Tham

in The Legal Protection of Human Rights

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606078
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729720 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606078.003.0015
Reclaiming the Political Protection of Rights: A Defence of Australian Party Politics

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It is generally assumed that political parties are ‘unprincipled’ and uninvolved in debate and dialogue, so that they cannot be a significant player in protecting human rights. Political parties are disqualified because of their collectivist outlook, their concern with bargaining, and their focus on mobilization. However, political parties are necessary intermediaries between interest groups and the formulation of comprehensive policies. Moreover, politics in a democracy is pervasively party politics. Parties are agents of and forums for political deliberation and activism, activities that may enhance human rights. Political parties influence and structure political opinion. Nevertheless, there is a problem with cartel-like behaviour and the centralization of power within them.

Keywords: party politics; political representation; interest groups; party discipline; factionalism

Chapter.  8685 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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