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The Legal Protection of Human RightsSceptical Essays$
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Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing, and Adam Tomkins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606078

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606078.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.312) 15 Reclaiming the Political Protection of Rights: A Defence of Australian Party Politics
Source:
The Legal Protection of Human Rights
Author(s):

Joo-Cheong Tham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606078.003.0015

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

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