A healthy democracy is built on the premise that public debate should allow for many and diverse voices to be heard as part of the contest for ideas that informs policymaking.
If Australians want this to be the case, the current state of play offers three reasons for concern.
NGOs are self-silencing
The first is the finding in our research, released today, that Australian NGOs are self-silencing.
Our data show that many not-for-profit organisations, representing some of Australia’s most disadvantaged people, are cautious about advocating dissenting views for fear of losing government funding and other forms of political retribution.
Of the 1,462 senior representatives of Australian NGOs surveyed, more than half think our political culture is…