Australian Democrats

Infobox Australian Political Party
party_name = Australian Democrats
party_
party_wikicolourid= Democrats
leader =
foundation = 1977
ideology = Social liberalism
political position= Centre-left
headquarters = 711 South Road
Black Forest, SA 5035
holds_government =
website = [http://www.democrats.org.au www.democrats.org.au]
international =
The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party espousing a centrist or social liberal ideology. It was formed in 1977, by a merger of the Australia Party and the New Liberal Movement, after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former minister Don Chipp, as a high profile leader. [ [http://www.australianpolitics.com/parties/democrats/history.shtml Democrats History at australianpolitics.com] ] The party's 30-year representation in the Parliament of Australia ended on 30 June, 2008, after the loss of its four remaining Senate seats, two senators then having retired from politics and two having been defeated at the 2007 election. [ [http://results.aec.gov.au/13745/website/SenateStateFirstPrefsByGroup-13745-NAT.htm Senate State First Preferences By Group ] ] A single state representative remains, in the South Australian Legislative Council.

The party was based on the principles of honesty, tolerance, compassion and direct democracy through postal ballots of all members, so that "there should be no hierarchical structure ... by which a carefully engineered elite could make decisions for the members." [Chipp D and Larkin J "The Third Man" p. 187] From the outset, members' participation was fiercely protected in national and divisional constitutions prescribing internal elections, regular meeting protocols, annual conferences—and monthly journals for open discussion and balloting. Dispute resolution procedures were established, with final recourse to a party ombudsman and membership ballot.

Policies determined by the unique participatory method promoted environmental awareness and sustainability, opposition to the primacy of economic rationalism, preventative approaches to human health and welfare, animal rights, rejection of nuclear technology and weapons.

The Democrats were the first representatives of green politics at the federal level in Australia. They played a key role in the "cause célèbre" of the Franklin River Dam.

The party's centrist role made it subject to criticism from both the right and left of the political spectrum. In particular, Chipp's former conservative affiliation was frequently recalled by opponents on the left. [Such as the then Socialist Workers' Party and early green-left parties such as the United Tasmania Group.] This problem was to torment later leaders and strategists who, by 1991, were proclaiming "the electoral objective" as a higher priority than the rigorous participatory democracy espoused by the party's founders. [The first substantive reason given by rebellious senators for deposing leader Janet Powell in 1991 was her alleged failure to develop a media profile which would attract more electoral support. The first conclusive constitutional abandonment of founding principles was probably the July, 1993, decision of the party's national executive to terminate monthly publication of the members' "National Journal" and to replace it with less frequent publication of glossy promotional material.]

Over three decades, the Democrats achieved representation in the legislatures of the ACT, South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania as well as Senate seats in all six states. However, at the 2004 and 2007 elections, all seven of its Senate seats were lost. [ [http://results.aec.gov.au/13745/website/SenateStateFirstPrefsByGroup-13745-NAT.htm Senate State First Preferences By Group ] ] Support at the state level had also dwindled.

History

1977-79

On the evening of Friday, 29 April, 1977, Don Chipp addressed an overflowing Perth Town Hall meeting which unanimously passed a resolution to form a Centre Line Party, which Chipp was invited to lead [The Third Man, p.185] —but he firmly declined to reverse his avowed decision to quit politics, having resigned from the Liberal Party and been offered a lucrative position as a radio public affairs commentator. However, at a meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall on 9 May, Chipp received a standing ovation from over 3000 people, including former prime minister John Gorton, and decided to commit himself to leading the new party which was already being constructed by a national steering committee. [The Third Man, p. 186] The name "Australian Democrats", already in informal currency [Hewat T & Wilson D "Don Chipp" (1978) p. 84: " [In mid-June, 1977] the party . . . was still without a formal name but operating as the Australian Democrats."] , was confirmed by the membership, being the most favoured of 56 alternative names on the postal ballot paper. [The Third Man, p. 188]

The first Australian Democrats (AD) federal parliamentarian was Senator Janine Haines who filled Steele Hall's casual Senate vacancy for South Australia in 1977. Surprisingly, she was not a candidate when the party contested the 1977 federal elections after Don Chipp had agreed to be leader and figurehead. Members and candidates were not lacking in electoral experience, since the Australia Party had been contesting all federal elections since 1969 and the Liberal Movement, in 1974 and 1975. The party's broad aim was to achieve a balance of power in one or more parliaments and to exercise it responsibly in line with policies determined by membership.

The grassroot support attracted by Chipp's leadership was measurable at the party's first electoral test on 10 December, 1977, when 9.38% of the total Lower House vote was polled and 11.13% of the Senate vote. At that time, with five Senate seats being contested in each state, the required quota was a daunting 16.66%. However, the first 6-year-term seats were won by Don Chipp (Vic) and Colin Mason (NSW).

1980-82

At a Melbourne media conference in 1980, Chipp described his party's aim as "to keep the bastards honest" --the "bastards" being the major parties and/or politicians in general. This became a long-lived slogan for the Democrats.The Australian Democrats' first national conference, on 16-17 February, 1980, was opened by the distinguished nuclear physicist and former governor of South Australia, Sir Mark Oliphant, who said:

"I was privileged to be in the chair at the public meeting in Melbourne when [Don Chipp] announced formation of a new party, dedicated to preserve what freedoms we still retain, and to increase them. A party in which dictatorship from the top was replaced by consensus. A party not ordered about by big business and the rich, or by union bosses. A party where a man could retain freedom of conscience and not thereby be faced with expulsion. A party to which the intelligent individual could belong without having to subscribe to a dogmatic creed. In other words, a democratic party. [1980 Conference Proceedings, "Beyond our Expectations"] "
At the October 1980 election, the Democrats polled 9.25% of the Senate vote, electing Janine Haines (SA) and two new senators Michael Macklin (Qld) and John Siddons (Vic), bringing the party's strength to five Senate seats from 1 July, 1981 .

1990-91

:"See [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ApT9ZZs5vM 'Give a Damn: Vote Democrat 1'] campaign commercial"1990 saw the voluntary departure from the Senate of Janine Haines and the failure of her strategic goal of winning the House of Representatives seat of Kingston. Her casual vacancy was filled by Meg Lees several months before the arrival of Cheryl Kernot, elected to replace the retiring deputy leader Michael Macklin. The ambitious Kernot immediately contested the Senate leadership. Being unemployed at the time, she requested and obtained party funds to pay for her travel to address members in all seven divisions. [AD "National Journal" June 1990, p.5] In the event, Janet Powell was successful and John Coulter was chosen as deputy leader.

Despite the loss of Haines and the WA Senate seat (through an inconsistent national preference agreement with the ALP), the 1990 federal election heralded something of a rebirth for the party, with a dramatic rise in primary vote. This was at the same time as an economic recession was building, and events such as the Gulf War in Kuwait were beginning to shepherd issues of globalisation and transnational trade on to national government agendas.

Janet Powell attacked both the government and opposition which had closed ranks in support of the Gulf War. Whereas the House of Representatives was thus able to avoid any debate about the war and Australia's participation, [ The sole independent member in the House, Ted Mack, was unable to launch his critical motion for lack of a seconder.] [ [http://parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/piweb/view_document.aspx?ID=377294&TABLE=HANSARDR Ted Mack's speech on Gulf War] ] the Democrats took full advantage of the opportunity to move for a debate in the Senate. [ [http://parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/piweb/view_document.aspx?ID=393706&TABLE=HANSARDS "Senate Hansard", 21 Jan, 1991] ]

Possibly because of the party's opposition to the Gulf War, there was mass-media antipathy and negative publicity which some construed as poor performance by Janet Powell.Fact|date=February 2008 Before 12 months of her leadership had passed, the South Australian and Queensland divisions were circulating the party's first-ever petition to criticise and oust the parliamentary leader. The explicit grounds related to Powell's alleged responsibility for poor AD ratings in Gallup and other media surveys of potential voting support. When this charge was deemed insufficient, interested party officers and senators reinforced it with negative media 'leaks' concerning her openly established relationship with Sid Spindler and exposure of administrative failings resulting in excessive overtime to a staff member. With national-executive blessing, the party room pre-empted the ballot by replacing the leader with deputy John Coulter. In the process, severe internal divisions were generated. One major collateral casualty was the party whip Paul McLean who resigned and quit the Senate in disgust at what he perceived as infighting between close friends. The casual NSW vacancy created by his resignation was filled by Karin Sowada.

Policy

The party's original support base consisted of voters alienated by perceived unproductive adversarial conflict between the two mainstream parties and an emerging new constituency of people with a desire to participate more effectively in government and to promote concerns for environmental protection and social justice. The party aimed to combine liberal social policies with centrist, particularly neo-Keynesian economics and a progressive environmental platform.

The original agenda included interventionist economic policies, commitment to environmental causes, support for reconciliation with Australia's indigenous population through such mechanisms as formal treaties, pacifist approaches to international relations, open government, constitutional reform, progressive approaches to social issues such as sexuality and drugs, and strong support for human rights and civil liberties. Its membership largely comprised tertiary-educated and middle-class constituents. The party also appealed to voters opposed to untrammelled government power and wishing to have alternative views aired in parliaments and media.

The party has a platform of participatory democracy, with policies supporting proportional representation and citizen-initiated referenda. Many important internal issues (such as electoral preselection and leadership) are decided by direct postal ballot of the membership. Although policies are theoretically set in a similar fashion, Democrat parliamentarians generally had extensive freedom in interpreting them. Since the early 1990s, the ballot mechanism had been susceptible to fluctuations in information flow and to charges of manipulation or obstruction by the party officers charged with authenticating and actioning member-initiated petitions.

However, by 1980, the Democrats had employed the postal-ballot method at both national at state levels to develop an extensive body of written policy covering not only the political agendas of the day but also innovative and far-sighted policies for environmental and economic sustainability, water and energy conservation, e.g., through development of alternative energy sources, expanded public transport, etc. To the community's growing concerns about human rights, the Democrats added finely detailed policies on animal welfare and species preservation. The material is available in election manifestos and copies of the party's journals, obtainable in major public libraries.

Electoral fortunes

The Democrats' electoral fortunes have fluctuated throughout their history.

During the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983-96), the Democrats held a theoretical balance of power in the Senate: the numbers were such that they could team with Labor to pass legislation, or team with the Coalition to block legislation on occasions when the Coalition decided to oppose a government bill. Their power was somewhat weakened in 1996 after the Howard government was elected, and a Labor Senator, Mal Colston, resigned from the Labor party. This meant that the Democrats now shared the parliamentary balance of power with two Independent senators, and so the Coalition government could often bypass the Democrats, and pass legislation by negotiating with Colston and Brian Harradine. After the 1998 election the Democrats again held the balance of power, until the Coalition gained a Senate majority at the 2004 election.

The Hawke and Keating governments pursued economic rationalist neoliberal policies, and the Democrats positioned themselves to the left of the ALP government and thus at the left end of mainstream Australian politics. However, the party's progressive-liberal politics remained attractive to middle class Liberal supporters ("wet" Liberals) who were disaffected by the Liberal party's social conservatism.

Cheryl Kernot became leader in 1993. She had strong media appeal, which increased media and public awareness of herself and the party. She was known to have interests in industrial relations and was able to cultivate solid relationships with Labor government frontbenchers, which also added to her credibility in the press gallery.

When the Howard government was first elected in 1996, the Democrats re-evaluated parliamentary tactics on the basis that there was now less of an opposition vacuum to be filled, and friendships made with Labor would now be less fruitful. Consideration was required as to whether the Democrats would operate on an economically centrist agenda (while still being socially liberal and environmentalist) and ready in most cases to negotiate with the government of the day; or would continue to occupy a position to the left of both major parties on economic as well as social policy, while maintaining the crossbench tradition of negotiating with both government and opposition.Fact|date=November 2007

Lack of clear direction other than, possibly, senators' common ambition to play a more productive role in government manifested itself in tensions over Cheryl Kernot's policy on industrial relations (see the Workplace Relations Act 1996). Under Kernot, after negotiations and some compromises from the government, the Democrats voted for the Howard Government's right-leaning industrial relations legislation which decreased union power and allowed a larger role for individual employer-employee contracts.Fact|date=July 2007

Kernot, however, remained both ambitious and broadly opposed to the Liberal government. This, together with her personal ambition for a role in government, led her to defect to the ALP in 1997. Initially both Labor and the Democrats benefited from Kernot's move, with polls showing that the Democrats had attracted a significant "sympathy vote".Fact|date=July 2007 In the 1998 federal election, the Democrats' candidate John Schumann came within 3% of taking Liberal Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's seat of Mayo in the Adelaide Hills under Australia's preferential voting system.

Internal conflict over the government's proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST), during the 1998 federal election and in Parliament in 1999 was extremely damaging to the Democrats. Meg Lees campaigned on a modified GST platform, opposing the GST on food and books. After negotiations with Prime Minister Howard, Meg Lees and Andrew Murray (both part of the centrist element within the Democrats) agreed to support the GST legislation with exemptions for most food and some medicines. Many left-wing Democrat voters and a large number of party members regarded this as a betrayal, and two senators on the party's left, Natasha Stott Despoja and Andrew Bartlett, voted against the GST.Fact|date=November 2007 Despite this, the Democrats' election results in 1998 and 2001 were both good.

In 2001, Lees was replaced as leader in a coup by the left-leaning senator, Natasha Stott Despoja. Despite criticism about her age and lack of experience Stott Despoja worked hard to bring disaffected former Democrat voters back in the 2001 federal election, although she was not able to bring back enough voters to prevent the loss of a seat to Greens Senator Kerry Nettle, indicating the loss of Democrat votes on the left. (The task was not made any easier by the Tampa affair.)Fact|date=February 2008 Ongoing tensions between Stott Despoja and Lees, who quit the party in 2002, but was supported by a majority of the Senator, led to Stott Despoja standing down from the leadership. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2002/s655339.htm Stott Despoja resigns as Democrats leader] , ABC 7.30 Report, October 21 2002] It led to a protracted leadership battle in 2002, which eventually led to the election of Senator Andrew Bartlett as leader. However, the tension led to Meg Lees leaving the party, becoming an independent and forming the Australian Progressive Alliance. It was very short-lived.

On 6 December 2003, Andrew Bartlett stepped aside temporarily as leader of the party, after an incident in which he assaulted Liberal Senator Jeannie Ferris on the floor of Parliament while intoxicated. [ [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/12/06/1070625583872.html Disgraced leader steps aside] , "The Age", 7 December 2003. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.] The party issued a statement stating that Deputy Leader Lyn Allison would serve as the Acting Leader of the party. Bartlett apologised to the Democrats, Jeannie Ferris and the Australian public for his behaviour and assured all concerned that it would never happen again. On January 29 2004, after seeking medical treatment, Bartlett returned to the Democrats leadership, vowing to abstain from alcohol.

2004

Support for the Democrats fell significantly at the 2004 Federal election in which they achieved only 1.24% of the national vote. Nowhere was this more noticeable than in their key support base of suburban Adelaide in South Australia, where they received between 7 and 31% of the Lower House vote in 2001, and between 1% and 4% in 2004. Three incumbent senators were defeated—Aden Ridgeway (NSW), Brian Greig (WA) and John Cherry (Qld). Following the loss, the customary post-election leadership ballot installed Lyn Allison as leader and Andrew Bartlett as her deputy.

From 1 July 2005 the Democrats lost official parliamentary party status, being represented by only four senators while the governing Liberal-National Coalition gained a majority and potential control of the Senate—the first time this advantage had been enjoyed by any government since 1980.

2006

On 5 January 2006, the ABC reported that the Tasmanian Electoral Commission had de-registered that branch of the party for failing to provide a list containing the required number of members. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/items/200601/1542299.htm?tasmania Australian Democrats Deregistered in Tasmania, "ABC News", 5 January 2006] ]

On 18 March 2006, at the 2006 South Australian state election, the Democrats were reduced to 1.7% of the Legislative Council (upper house) vote. Their sole councillor up for re-election, Kate Reynolds, was defeated.

After the election, South Australian senator Natasha Stott Despoja was obliged to deny rumours that she was considering quitting the party. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1598147.htm Stott-Despoja denies rumours she is quitting, "ABC News", 22 March 2006] ]

In early July, Richard Pascoe, national and South Australian party president, resigned, citing slumping opinion polls and the poor result in the 2006 South Australian election as well as South Australian parliamentary leader Sandra Kanck's comments regarding the drug MDMA which he saw as damaging to the party. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200607/s1683245.htm Political analyst predicts Democrats' demise, "ABC News" 11 July 2006] ] [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200607/s1683993.htm Former leader sees Democrats in 'tatters', "ABC News" 11 July 2006] ] [ [http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,19698296%255E910,00.html Kanck says rave party safer than the front bar, "The Advertiser" 5 July 2006] Article no longer available online.]

On 5 July 2006, Democrats senator for Western Australia Andrew Murray announced his intention not to contest the 2007 federal election, citing frustration arising from the Howard Government's control of both houses and his unwillingness to serve another six-year term. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/no-life-in-dons-party/2006/07/07/1152240493865.html, "Sydney Morning Herald" 8 July 2006] ] . His term ended on 30th June, 2008.

On 28 August, 2006, the founder of the Democrats, Don Chipp, died. Former prime minister Bob Hawke said: ". . . there is a coincidental timing almost between the passing of Don Chipp and what I think is the death throes of the Democrats [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200608/s1727334.htm Hawke predicts end is near for Democrats, "ABC News" 29 August 2006] ] ."

On 22 October 2006, Democrats Senator Natasha Stott Despoja announced her intention not to seek re-election at the 2007 federal election due to health concerns. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200610/s1770646.htm Stott-Despoja to bow out of politics, "ABC News" 22 October 2006] ] Her term ended on 30th June, 2008.

In November 2006, the Democrats fared very poorly in the Victorian state election, receiving a Legislative Council vote tally of only 0.83% [ [http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/state2006resultbypartyUH.html Victorian Electoral Commission: Results for Upper House, 2006] ] , less than half of the party's result in 2002 (1.79%) [ [http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/state2002resultbypartyprovince.html Victorian Electoral Commission: Results for Upper House, 2006] ] .

2007

In the New South Wales state election of March 2007, the Democrats lost their last remaining NSW Upper House representative, Arthur Chesterfield-Evans. The party fared poorly, gaining only 1.8% of the Legislative Council vote. A higher vote was achieved in some of the Legislative Assembly seats selectively contested as compared to 2003. However, the statewide vote share fell because the party was unable to field as many candidates as in 2003.

In the Victorian state by-election in [http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/stateby2007resultAlbertParkDistrict.html Albert Park District] the Democrats stood candidate Paul Kavanagh, who polled a respectable 5.75% of the primary vote, despite a large number of candidates, and all media attention focusing on the battle between Labor and Greens candidates.

On 13 September 2007, the ACT Democrats (Australian Capital Territory Division of the party) was [http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2007-279/default.asp deregistered] by the ACT Electoral Commissioner, being unable to demonstrate a minimum membership of 100 electors. Unless re-registration is achieved, the party will be ineligible to contest the ACT election in October 2008. The disqualification does not affect federal elections.

As was widely expected, the Democrats had no success at the 2007 federal election. Two incumbent senators, Lyn Allison (Victoria) and Andrew Bartlett (Queensland), were defeated, their seats both reverting to major parties. Their two remaining colleagues, Andrew Murray (W.A.) and Natasha Stott Despoja (S.A.), did not run for new terms. All four senators' terms expired on 30 June, 2008—leaving the Democrats with no federal representation for the first time since 1977. An ABC report noted that the party's vote tally of less than 2% signified impending political oblivion. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/26/2101885.htm?site=elections/federal/2007 ABC News report] ] The only Democrat parliamentarian is Sandra Kanck in the South Australian upper house.

2008

Andrew Castrique, an Adelaide Hills resident who contested Mayo in 2007, stood in the 2008 Mayo by-election. The vote in Mayo fell even further.

upport

Support for the Democrats historically tended to fluctuate between about 5 and 10 percent of the population and was geographically concentrated around the wealthy dense CBD and inner-suburban neighbourhoods of the capital cities (especially Adelaide). Therefore, they never managed to win a House of Representatives seat (despite coming close on a number of occasions, particularly Haines in Kingston in 1990). During the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s they typically held one or two of the Federal Senate seats in each state, as well as a handful of representatives in state parliaments and local councils.

However, internal bickering, the rise of the Australian Greens and growing support for the Liberal Party of Australia in the early 2000s changed this, and the Democrats are now in heavy decline - receiving 1.24% nationally, and less than 3% of the vote at all but a handful of booths, even in their Adelaide heartland. [--e.g., a negative swing of 9.3% in 1994 saw Adelaide candidate Richard Pascoe reduced to only 1.59% of the vote. [http://results.aec.gov.au/12246/results/HouseDivisionFirstPrefs-12246-179.htm] ]

Leadership

The Democrats have been notable for willingness to elect female and indigenous parliamentary representation and leadership. Of the party's eleven federal parliamentary leaders, six have been women. Aboriginal senator Aden Ridgeway was deputy leader under Natasha Stott Despoja.

The federal parliamentary leaders of the Australian Democrats have been:
* Don Chipp (1977 - 1986)
* Janine Haines (1986 - 1990)
* Michael Macklin (1990 interim)
* Janet Powell (1990 - 1991)
* John Coulter (1991 - 1993)
* Cheryl Kernot (1993 - 1997)
* Meg Lees (1997 - 2001)
* Natasha Stott Despoja (2001 - 2002)
* Brian Greig (2002 interim)1
* Andrew Bartlett (2002 - 2004)
* Lyn Allison (2004 - 2008)

enators

Current senators

There are no serving Democrats in the Senate as of 1 July, 2008, two (Lyn Allison and Andrew Bartlett) having been defeated at the 2007 election, the other two (Natasha Stott Despoja and Andrew Murray) having chosen not to contest the election but retire at the end of their terms.

Former Senators

* Janine Haines, South Australia (1977 - 1978; 1981 - 1990)
* Don Chipp, Victoria (1978 - 1986)
* Colin Mason, New South Wales (1978 - 1987)
* Michael Macklin, Queensland (1981 - 1990)
* John Siddons, Victoria (1981 - 1983; 1985 - 1986)2
* Jack Evans, Western Australia (1983 - 1985)
* David Vigor, South Australia (1985 - 1987)
* Norm Sanders, Tasmania (1985 - 1990)
* Janet Powell, Victoria (1986 - 1992)3
* Paul McLean, New South Wales (1987 - 1991)
* Jean Jenkins, Western Australia (1987 - 1990)
* Vicki Bourne, New South Wales (1990 - 2002)
* Sid Spindler, Victoria (1990 - 1996)
* Cheryl Kernot, Queensland (1990 - 1997)
* John Coulter, South Australia (1987 - 1995)
* Robert Bell, Tasmania (1990 - 1996)
* Karin Sowada, New South Wales (1991 - 1993)
* John Woodley, Queensland (1993 - 2001)
* Meg Lees, South Australia (1993 - 2002)4
* Natasha Stott Despoja, South Australia (1995 - 2008)
* Lyn Allison, Victoria (1996 - 2008)
* Andrew Murray, Western Australia (1996 - 2008)
* Andrew Bartlett, Queensland (1997 - 2008)
* Aden Ridgeway, New South Wales (1999 - 2005)
* Brian Greig, Western Australia (1999 - 2005)
* John Cherry, Queensland (2001 - 2005)

tate parliamentarians and territory legislatures

Current members

outh Australia

* Sandra Kanck (1993 - present)

Former Members

Australian Capital Territory

* Roslyn Dundas (2001-2004)

New South Wales

* Richard Jones (1988 - 1996)5
* Elisabeth Kirkby (1981 - 1998)
* Arthur Chesterfield-Evans (1998 - 2007)

Western Australia

* Norm Kelly (1997 - 2001)
* Helen Hodgson (1997 - 2001)

outh Australia

* Robin Millhouse (1977 - 1982)
* Heather Southcott (1982)
* Lance Milne (1979-1985)
* Ian Gilfillan (1982-1993, 1997-2006)
* Michael Elliott (1985 - 2003)
* Kate Reynolds (2003 - 2006)

Tasmania

* Norm Sanders (1980 - 1982)

Notes

# Appointed Interim Leader from 23 August 2002 until 5 October 2002.
# Resigned from party in November 1986 and sat as an Independent/Unite Australia Party Senator until defeat at 1987 election.
# Resigned from party in July 1992 and sat as an Independent until defeat at 1993 election.
# Resigned from party in July 2002 and sat as an Independent/Australian Progressive Alliance Senator until defeat at 2004 election.
# Resigned from party in 1996 and sat as an Independent until retirement at 2003 election.

Footnotes

Further reading

"30 Years—Australian Democrats" Melbourne 2007. A 72-page anthology of historical and biogaphical monographs about the state and federal parliamentary experiences of the Democrats, authorised by then Senate leader Lyn Allison in commemoration of the party's 30th anniversary

Paul A and Miller L "The Third Team" July 2007 A historical essay in "30 Years" (above)

Bennett D, [http://www.pwhce.org/discord.html Discord in the Democrats] PWHCE article, Melbourne 2002

"Beyond Our Expectations"—Proceedings of the Australian Democrats First National Conference, Canberra, 16-17 February, 1980. [Papers by: Don Chipp, Sir Mark Oliphant, Prof. Stephen Boyden, Bob Whan, Julian Cribb, Colin Mason, John Siddons, A. McDonald]

Chipp D and Larkin J "The Third Man", Rigby, Melbourne (?1978) ISBN 0 7270 0827 7

Chipp D (ed. Larkin J) "Chipp", Methuen Haynes, North Ryde NSW, 1987 ISBN 0 454 01345 0

Hiroya Sugita "Challenging 'twopartism'—the contribution of the Australian Democrats to the Australian party system", PhD Thesis, Flinders University of South Australia, July 1995

Warhurst J (ed.) "Keeping the bastards honest" Allen & Unwin Sydney 1997 ISBN 10 1864484209

Warhurst J, [http://australianpolitics.com/words/2006/archives/00000254.shtml "Don Chipp Was The Right Man In The Right Place At The Right Time"] "Canberra Times" 7 Sep 2006

ee also

*Liberalism
*Liberalism worldwide
*List of liberal parties
*Liberal democracy
*Timeline of (small-l) liberal parties in Australia

External links

* [http://www.democrats.org.au/ Australian Democrats] official site
* [http://www.donchippfoundation.org.au/ Don Chipp Foundation]
* [http://www.andrewmurray.org.au/ Former Senator Andrew Murray]
* [http://www.andrewbartlett.com/ Former Senator Andrew Bartlett]
* [http://www.natashastottdespoja.com/ Former Senator Natasha Stott Despoja]
* [http://www.yads.org.au/ Young Australian Democrats]


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