jack lang - gough whitlam
DEMOCRACY? AT WORK?
In this webquest you are not going to be asked to join in the debate about who was right and who was wrong. Rather you are being asked about What sort of Democracy do we have in Australia?
Your task, therefore, is to
(1) Investigate what democracy means - not just as defined in a dictionary but what it actually MEANS today, now, in Australia, to you, to your teachers, to society. You will need to use some of the special links provided on the resources page to work that out.
(2) By reading through the documents on the two dismissials and the selected parts of the Constitutions of New South Wales (for Jack Lang) and the Commonwealth (for Gough Whitlam) work out
(a) in your opinion, did the Governor and Governor General ACTUALLY HAVE the power to make the decisions each did?
(b) in your opinion, if the Governor and the Governor General HAD the power to intervene what does THAT say about our democracy?
(c) in your opinion, if the Governor and the Governor General DID NOT HAVE the power to intervene BUT DID SO ANYWAY AND POLITICAL LIFE WENT ON what does THAT say about our democracy?
Then, having worked these out, evaluate the role of the Governor and the Governor General in the light of your understanding of democracy and assess whether we have democracy in Australia and what sort of democracy it is, if we do.
(3) Your last task is the part you will be assessed on. You must submit a written answer to the question What sort of Democracy do we have in Australia? This must be a formal account or exposition of about 800 - 900 words. You must use what happened during the two dismissals as part of the evidence to support your opinion. How your task will be assessed can be accessed here.
Note that this is a very open ended question and you will have to think it through carefully before you begin to write. Click on the process link for some advice as to how to go about tackling this task.
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