Parliament vs Government Parliament – all elected members of both houses of parliament, plus the Crowns representative (at both state and Federal levels) Government – the political party with the majority of seats in the lower house of Parliament.
Federal Electorates for House of Representatives Australia is divided into 150 divisions with each division representing approximately 80000 electors. Therefore the physical size and number of divisions varies from state to state (minimum of 5) according to the population. Each division or electorate elects one person to represent them in House of Representatives.
Federal electorates for the Senate Each State in Australia elects 12 Senators/ representatives, regardless of their population. There are two representatives for each Territory. This structure is designed to protect the smaller states from being dominated in Parliament by larger, more populous states.
Composition of House of Representatives by political party as at January, 2008 House of Representatives Australian Labor Party83 Liberal Party55 National Party10 Independents 2 TOTAL150 Australian Labor Party forms government
Composition of The Senate by political party as at: January 2008 July 2008 Australian Democrats 4 Australian Greens 4 5 Australian Labor Party2832 Country Liberal Party 1 Family First 1 1 Liberal Party3432 National Party 4 5 Independents 1 TOTAL7676 Note that the new Senators elected in November 2007 will commence their terms on July 1 2008
Role of Houses Role of House of Representatives - http://www.aph.gov.au/house/info/gener al/index.htm http://www.aph.gov.au/house/info/gener al/index.htm Role of Senate - http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/pubs/brie fs/brief10.htm http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/pubs/brie fs/brief10.htm
Federal Electorates in Melbourne Metropolitan area Examples: 1. http://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/j/jagajaga.htm http://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/j/jagajaga.htm Jagajaga – represented by Jenny Macklin (ALP) 2. http://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/m/mcewen.htm http://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/m/mcewen.htm McEwan – represented by Fran Bailey (Liberal Party) For a complete map of all federal electorates see http://www.aec.gov.au/pdf/profiles/boundary_map_20 07.pdf http://www.aec.gov.au/pdf/profiles/boundary_map_20 07.pdf
State Parliament Electoral Districts and Regions http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/images/maps/st ateAllRegionsandDistricts.pdf Legislative Assembly – 88 Districts, with each district electing one representative. Legislative Council – 8 Regions (5 metropolitan and 3 country) with each region electing five representatives.
Activities Using web and text resources, complete the following activities: 1. Complete the summary table comparing the upper and lower houses of Federal Parliament. 2. Compare and contrast the roles of the lower and upper houses of Federal Parliament.
Houses of Federal Parliament – a comparison FeatureHouse of Representatives Senate Colour Number of Members Method of Voting Used Type of Representation Term of office Functions Presiding Officer Examples of Committees
Activities 3. Explain what is meant by a bicameral system of parliament. 4. Some states have considered abolishing their upper house of parliament (Queensland abolished their upper house in 1922). Suggest arguments for and against Victoria abolishing the Legislative Council.
Activities 5. Find the Federal electorate that you live in (lower house) and outline the following: a. its name b. the suburbs it includes c. your sitting member and the political party they belong to d. any other special features you find interesting.
Activities 6. Find the names and political parties of the Senators who represent Victoria. 7. Find the Victorian Parliament District and Region that you live in and, for each, outline the following: a. its name b. the suburbs/towns it includes c. the members who represent you for both the lower and upper house of Victorian Parliament and the political party they belong to.
Activities 8. Explain the meaning of a federal system of government. Is this system the best way for Australia to be governed? 9. Compare the composition of the current Senate with the Senate from July 1, 2008. Discuss the implications, if any, of the changes. 10. Distinguish between representative government and responsible government.