Government by reptile fund: our institutions have stopped scrutinising public spending

By Jack Waterford
Updated April 24 2018 - 9:17pm, first published September 8 2017 - 10:11am

There's a nice contradiction in the effect of Thursday's High Court decision affirming the right of government to have a voluntary "survey" on same-sex marriage. On the one hand, it made a gesture towards letting the people decide an important public issue. What could be more democratic? On the other, it seemed to affirm that Parliament, normally the representative of that people, is more and more the tail wagged by the executive dog, with the judiciary standing by clapping.

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