A museum commemorating the existence of democracy in Australia will soon be opened in Canberra. The Australian Museum of Democracy will serve as a historical reminder of the days when democracy was a central pillar of the nation’s government.
The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, opened the museum recently and spoke glowingly of democracy as a prominent feature of Australia’s past.
“Democracy belongs in a museum,” he gloated.
“I am enormously proud to announce the establishment of the Australian Museum of Democracy in the nation’s capital, and I am equally proud to have overseen the destruction of that democracy.”
“The museum reminds all Australians of a time when governments acted democratically and largely in the interests of their constituents, and I encourage all Australians to make the journey to Canberra and look back with fondness at such an idyllic period in our history.”
“The delightful museum is located in Old Parliament House, which hasn’t been used for governing since 1988, and this is appropriate because there’s not much democracy in the new parliament house,” Morrison smirked.
The museum displays numerous artefacts from the nation’s democratic history since Federation in 1901. One section is dedicated to the Free press and recalls a time when media outlets were owned by numerous people and offered a variety of opinions on current affairs and politics. It also recounts the days when the federal and state governments were not controlled by the man who now owns almost all of Australia’s media, Rupert Murdoch.
Visitors can read, view and listen to news stories which reported the news, rather than simply reproducing government press releases or repeating the latest slogan from the government. Visitors can also learn about something called ‘investigative journalism’ and how this held society’s leaders to account.
Many younger Australians will be amazed to learn that mainstream news content was once more than just government press releases, celebrity gossip, reality TV show recaps and stories about football WAGS.
Genuine choice in parties
The museum also contains archival and historical relics detailing the days in which Australians enjoyed a genuine choice between political parties. The Liberal, National and Labor parties all stood for distinct principles, and while they came together during times of hardship such as war, they provided Australian voters with a genuine choice according to the voter’s world view.
Australians passing through the museum can also witness politicians making policies, not slogans, and parliamentary debates obsessed with producing laws, not sound bites. They can also read transcripts of opposition members challenging policy proposals of the government, instead of weakly acquiescing.
The remainder of the museum exhibits evidence of a time when the Australian government did not attempt to merge religion and politics or glorify war, and a time when the government respected the right of citizens to protest. Australians can reminisce on a time when border security was not a national obsession, and when particular racial or religious groups were not blamed for the nation’s every problem.
Australians can also look back on a time when politicians did not use exclusive nationalism to win votes and divide the nation, and when corporations were expected to pay tax and behave responsibly. Finally, Aussie citizens can look back at a time when the government was not attempting to spy on its own citizens, unless they were red and hiding under the bed.
Image: Aditya Joshi
P.S. The Museum of Australian Democracy exists. It is real. This article is satire, written to draw attention to the erosion of democracy in Australia by the current government. The actual Museum of Australian Democracy is in Old Parliament House, Canberra, and it houses a real collection of real archives depicting real events in Australia’s political history. Apparently it’s quite interesting and informative.