For us, it means we are a party dedicated to finding and building on the common ground we all share, because we care about community.

It means we recognise that we all have diverse opinions, worldviews and priorities. The complexities and contradictions of the human conditions mean that collaboration is absolutely key to finding answers to the challenges we face as a country.

So what does this look like in practice?


  1. Everyone is welcome to be part of the conversation.

We have a code of conduct that all members and representatives agree to, that encourages civil discourse and the importance of sharing ideas in a calm, rational manner. We take a stand against personal attacks, insults, abuse and arguments made in bad faith, and reject ideological attachments  that block conversation and stand in the way of collaboration.

This is not to say that we don’t have differences! We must talk, because dialogue promotes understanding; it is a strength to meet and build relationships with people who are different to us.

Sometimes differences can be put aside, but when they cannot, we promote legitimate efforts to find solutions/paths forward together, despite differences. In all things we are committed to community.


  1. Parameters keep the discussion productive.

Everyone is welcome to have a say, but this is not to say there are no guidelines! Not all opinions are equal. First and foremost, the voices of those who will be affected by legislation should take priority over those who will not be affected at all.

Furthermore, as Australian Democrats, our unwavering commitment is that our vision for Australia must be inclusive for all people living in Australia, and it must be environmentally responsible. If someone proposes a ‘destination’ that threatens community by demonising or taking rights away from a particular group, or only focuses on short term gain instead of long term sustainability, then this is the wrong direction, and we will not be able to find common ground there.

Finally, we accept the scientific method and other research processes, and we must be guided by the facts as they are available. Sometimes this means we need to put our own opinions and strongly held beliefs to the side; other times, it means when new evidence becomes available, we have to change our minds.

But if we are committed to the same outcomes – peaceful, inclusive communities, successful Australian industries, effective environmental management, a responsible economy – then this sort of conversation is not only possible. In today’s climate it is VITAL.


  1. Democracy decides.

Disagreements must be talked through, details will need to be debated, and ultimately, things will come down to a vote. After the vote, even if we may not have gotten everything our way, we can keep working together, because we are a team, and we are headed for the same destination.

Australia doesn’t need more polarisation, where interests are pitted against one another and we are told to ‘pick a side’. Instead, we need stronger community, and we need to get on with decision making rather than squabbling over differences.

We may not always agree, but by sharing ideas and working together, using the democratic processes to make decisions, we will find solutions and keep moving forward.

This is Inclusive Democracy in action, and with it, comes a more inclusive Australia.