Clive Palmer (Image: AAP/Kelly Barnes)

Democracy has had few wins in recent years. Not in our own neck of the woods, or in the United States, our political and cultural ally.

For years I’ve worried that the similarities in US political culture and ours risked American democracy arriving here.

The warning signs were everywhere. The nakedly partisan, fact-indifferent political yack provided by shock jocks and the Murdoch press. The adaptive rise of clownish demagogic politicians dancing to their tune, even if it meant moving spin to outright lying and from soft corruption to the harder stuff. The rise of misinformation and the decline of civility on social media platforms, the 21st century’s new but unregulated public square.