One of the central tenets of democracy is that individuals know what is best for themselves and their family. This has been enshrined in the principle of one-person, one-vote. More recently, it has influenced the movement towards measures of gross national happiness (in Bhutan) and the establishment of a Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress by the French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, headed by Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Jean Paul Fitoussi.

Australia made an early contribution to this movement with the annual publication of Measures of Australia’s Progress, beginning in 2001.