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Independent Democratic Party (Australia)

Independent Democratic Party
LeaderRaphael Cilento

The Independent Democratic Party (IDP), sometimes referred to as the Independent Democratic Group, the Queensland Democratic Party or simply the Democratic Party, was an Australian political party that was active in the mid-1950s. It was led by public health administrator Raphael Cilento.

Ahead of the 1953 Senate election, the party merged with the New South Wales-based Democratic Party of Australia (DPA).[1] However, they split following the election.[2] The party was also separate from the North Queensland Democratic Party.[3]


The party merged with the Democratic Party several months before the 1953 Senate election, with the DPA's Charles Russell (a former Country Party MP) saying the decision was made because both parties had similar aims and ideologies.[4] The party endorsed Cilento as its lead candidate in Queensland.[5][6] Not long after the Senate election, which saw the Democratic ticket fail to win a seat, the parties split.[7]

At the 1954 federal election, Cilento ran as the IDP's candidate in the division of McPherson, held by Country Party leader Arthur Fadden. He was unsuccessful, receiving 34% of the vote.[8][9]


The party pledged to "restore representative government" in Australia, with Cilento criticising the two-party-system and stating that "uncontrolled competition between parties, and machine politics generally, can only lead to totalitarianism".[10]


  1. ^ "New party's Senate teams". Queensland Times. 11 March 1953.
  2. ^ "Democratic team for Senate". Morning Bulletin. 8 April 1953. The Democratic team was announced in a joint statement tonight by the chairman of the Democratic Party (Mr Lance Jones) and the chairman of the Independent Democrats (Sir Raphael Cilento).
  3. ^ "CILENTO TO STAND FOR SENATE". Brisbane Telegraph. 2 April 1953. The North Queensland Democratic Party had been invited to associate itself with the Independent Democrats, but had decided not to run candidates for the Senate
  4. ^ "Democratic Party meeting at Dalby". The Dalby Herald. 28 April 1953.
  5. ^ "Democratic Party's aims". Morning Bulletin. 8 May 1953.
  6. ^ "Democratic Party to continue". Warwick Daily News. 1 June 1953.
  7. ^ "DISCLAIMER OVER POLITICAL PARTY". Sydney Morning Herald. 19 October 1953. The Queensland Democratic Party chairman today said that his party had dissociated itself from the organisation calling itself the New South Wales branch of the Democratic Party.
  8. ^ "New party planned". The Daily Telegraph. 22 April 1954.
  9. ^ "Few "outsiders" stood for election (except those 41 Communists)". The Daily Telegraph. 30 May 1954.
  10. ^ "Leader Sets Out Democratic Party Viewpoints". Truth. 16 May 1954.
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Independent Democratic Party (Australia)
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