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Australia's Political Parties, Voting Process and Bicameral System

Uploaded by andylie on Sep 26, 2001

What are Australia's main political parties? Compare & contrast the voting system of Australia with that of another country. Discuss the effects of Australia changing its bicameral system of government.

“ Modern democracy is party democracy; the political institutions and practices that are the essence of democratic government in the Western view were the creations of political parties and would be unthinkable without them. ”
(Katz, 1980: page 1)

As a feature of modern democracy, the Australian system of government includes many political parties representing various groups of people of different ideologies and to protect the interests of these particular groups. Each party accommodates its own structures to a different conception of democracy, and maintains a different view of what a democratic society should be.

Having inherited our system of government from the British Westminster system, Australia also furthers the Westminster tradition of the ‘two party system’. This of course does not imply that there are necessarily only two parties. It simply derives its meaning from the two main points of view presented in the debate among parties. In Australia, there are three major parties; the ‘two parties’ consisting of the Labor Party and a coalition of the Liberal and National Party.

The Labor party is Australia’s oldest political party. Founded in the 1880s, the Labor Party was formed in the midst of depression & high unemployment. Traditionally the Labor Party has taken a role in voicing the needs of the common workers, & has taken the side in upholding social justice. The main goals of the Labor party are to eliminate poverty, create full employment and establish equal rights & opportunities. (Chapman, 1994: page 192) Currently, the Labor Party have not held office since 1996, & under leader Kim Beazley hold a considerable part of the House of Representatives.

The conservative Coalition consists of a long–time partnership between the Liberal and National party. This partnership has often been described as symbiotic. In this relationship, the leader of the Liberal party takes leadership of the coalition, & the leader of the National Party takes the role of deputy. Currently the coalition is lead by John Howard with his sidekick John Anderson.

The National Party, formerly the Country Party founded in 1920, was established to better represent the interests of the industries & residents of rural Australia. The National Party represents a unique aspect of Australia, from which we not only see our heritage as a nation as...

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Uploaded by:   andylie

Date:   09/26/2001

Category:   Politics

Length:   6 pages (1,432 words)

Views:   1485

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