Democracy is an imperfect system but it’s better than others. And as proudly diverse and multicultural as Australia is, I think democracy trumps multiculturalism because there are “cultures” — or elements of cultures — which we as Aussies categorically reject (except at the extreme fringes). Military dictatorship (martial law), pedophilia, child labour, wife-beating, slavery (including sex-slavery and trafficking): ultimately multiculturalism demands the inclusion of all of the above to the extent that they are part of some cultures, but democracy grants the authority to exclude them. Democracy also gives the excluded cultures a fighting chance at re-inclusion, via dialogue; goodwill and dialogue are the doorway. At its best, multiculturalism is truly divine — my favourite vision of humanity — but I’m glad that in Australia, democracy is the substructure.

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