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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS - PARLIAMENT SYSTEM - ELECTORAL DIVISIONS - THE VOTING PROCESS.

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Presentation on theme: "AUSTRALIAN POLITICS - PARLIAMENT SYSTEM - ELECTORAL DIVISIONS - THE VOTING PROCESS."— Presentation transcript:

1 AUSTRALIAN POLITICS - PARLIAMENT SYSTEM - ELECTORAL DIVISIONS - THE VOTING PROCESS

2 THE PARLIAMENT SYSTEM 1)COMMONWEALTH (FEDERAL) 2)STATE AND TERRITORY 3)LOCAL OR MUNICIPAL As we already know, Australia is a federation and its powers/responsibilities are shared between three levels of government. Each level of government is run by a democratically elected council or parliament, and has a range of different powers and responsibilities.

3 Some areas the Federal Parliament looks after:  Defence  Telecommunications  Money  Customs and Immigration Some Federal Parliament focus areas:

4 Commonwealth (federal) government The Commonwealth (federal) government oversees matters that affect the whole nation. The Fed. Gov. is divided into 2 houses: THE SENATE and THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

5  Another name for the House of Representatives is the “Lower House”  The leader of the majority party in the House of Reps. is the PRIME MINISTER.  The House of Reps. is the where new laws (bills) are debated.

6 THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES  The House of Reps. is made up of members elected from 150 ELECTORAL DIVISIONS or SEATS.  Each ELECTORAL DIVISION consists of about 88,000 people. 3 50 37 5 26 1 12 14

7 THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

8 House of Representatives (photo)

9

10 THE GOVERNOR GENERAL  The Governor-General is the Queen’s representative in Australia.  The Gov Gen is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the Australian Prime Minister.  The Governor General gives Royal Assent to bills that Parliament has recently passed.  Royal Assent is when the Governor-General signs a new bill, and it becomes a law for Australia. Quentin Bryce, Governor General of Australia

11 THE CABINET  Cabinet is the committee of senior government ministers chaired by the Prime Minister.  The Parliament scrutinises the MINISTERS and the government during Question Time.  In cabinet meetings, ministers introduce proposals for new bills from their departments.

12 MINISTERS   The Prime Minister gives PORTFOLIOS to members of Parliament. These MPs then become MINISTERS.   Ministers have three main responsibilities: 1. 1.To run a department or PORTFOLIO such as Education or Defence. 2. 2.To develop ideas for new policies and bills. 3. 3.To sit in the Parliament daily and answer questions about proposed bills and policy details.

13 SHADOW MINISTERS   The opposition party is the minority party.   A shadow minister is a senior member of the opposition party.   He or she is an expert on the porfolio of the relevant minister, They develop alternative policies and scrutinize the minister.   Look up the current cabinet ministers here: http://www.alp.org.au/people/federalministry.php http://www.alp.org.au/people/federalministry.php   Look up the shadow cabinet here: http://www.liberal.org.au/Shadow%20Ministry/ http://www.liberal.org.au/Shadow%20Ministry/   Make a table including the Minister and Shadow Minister’s name, party and portfolio for:   Education   Health   Climate Change   Transport

14  Parliament: All elected representatives (the Senate + House of Representatives). Together they make laws for the Australian people.  Government: The party (or coalition of parties) that wins the most seats in the House of Representatives. Government is part of Parliament.  Cabinet: Senior government ministers including the Prime Minister or Premier Federal Parliament, Overview

15 End of House of Representatives Section  What is another name for the house of reps?  What is the cabinet?  What is the colour of all the furniture and upholstery in the House of Reps?  What is a portfolio?  What does a minister do?

16 THE SENATE The SENATE is made up of 76 senators: 12 from each STATE and and 2 from each TERRITORY 12 2 2

17 THE SENATE  The SENATE = the “Upper House” of the Federal Parliament. Also sometimes: The house of review.  Any BILL that is debated, must be agreed to by the SENATE before it can become a LAW.

18 THE SENATE

19

20 Bills and Acts A bill becomes an Act of Parliament (=law) when:  it has been passed by the House of Representatives  It has been passed by the Senate  It has been signed by the Governor-General (given Royal Assent.) A bill is a proposal for a new law. An Act of parliament is another word for a law.

21 The three levels (again)

22 End of Federal Parliament section

23 The three levels (again)

24 STATE AND TERRITORY GOVERNMENT  The States have the power to make their own laws over matters not controlled by the Commonwealth.  State governments have their own constitutions

25  Health  Education  Infrastructure  Housing  Power  Tourism Some State Parliament focus areas:

26 STATE AND TERRITORY GOVERNMENT  The Queens representative at the State Level is called the GOVERNOR (David de Kretser)  State and Territory Governments are bicameral ( 2 houses) as well.  The two houses are: THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL (UPPER HOUSE) (UPPER HOUSE)AND THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (LOWER HOUSE)

27 THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL  The Legislative Council is the Upper House of the State Government.  The Legislative Council is similar to the the SENATE: any BILL must be consented to by the Leg. Council before it can become a STATE LAW.

28 THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY  The Legislative Assembly is the (Lower House) of State and Territory Government. Similar to the House of Representatives.  The leader of the majority party in Legislative Assembly the is the PREMIER. John Brumby Premier of Victoria

29 The three levels

30  Sports and Recreation  Swimming Pools  Garbage Collection  Public Libraries  Parks Some Council focus areas:

31 Third level: LOCAL (MUNICIPAL) GOVERNMENT  COUNCILS are responsible for the specific local needs of people in a city or shire.  There are approx. 900 local governments.  A council makes “by-laws” = a local law which applies only in that council.

32 LOCAL (MUNICIPAL) GOVERNMENT  A council area is divided up in WARDS.  A ward is an electoral area.  Each councilor in the council represents his or her ward.  Council elections are held every four years.

33 LOCAL (MUNICIPAL) GOVERNMENT  The major parties (Labor, Liberal, Greens) are represented in the council, but there may also be independent councilors who specifically champion local issues.

34 LOCAL (MUNICIPAL) GOVERNMENT  Building permits  Citizenship  Dogs and cats  Footpaths  Free trees  Graffiti  Immunisation  Libraries  Markets  Noise  Overgrown land  Pests  Pollution (environmental)  Rates  Roads and streets  Rubbish, garbage and recycling  Sewer  Smoke emissions and backyard burn-offs  Stormwater  Street light - poles only  Tree removal  Water Generally, councils are responsible for:

35 LOCAL (MUNICIPAL) GOVERNMENT  Research Task:  What is your local council area called?  Where are the council offices?  What is the name of your mayor?

36 Political Parties A political party represents people with a shared view on politics and society. They are formed with the intention of being elected and influencing the Australian government. You need a minimum of 500 members to form a political party.

37 Political Parties

38 Political Parties The political spectrum

39 Political Parties

40 Task: Find out where you currently stand on the political spectrum. Answer all the questions on this online questionnaire as best as you can: http://www.ozpolitics.info/guide/fun/politics-test/

41 Media Review (Handout) You will demonstrate your knowledge of the Australian political system by reading and analyzing a news paper article on a political issue.

42

43 ELECTORAL DIVISIONS An ELECTORATE can be defined as a body of qualified voters enrolled in a geographically-defined area. An ELECTORATE can also be referred to as a DIVISION, or a SEAT.

44 ELECTORAL DIVISIONS The Australian House of Representatives is elected from 150 single-member districts called DIVISIONS or SEATS throughout the nation.

45 FEDERAL ELECTORAL DIVISIONS IN VICTORIA The state of Victoria has 37 available seats in a Federal Election.

46 ELECTORAL DIVISIONS Melbourne Federal Electorate Divisions

47 ELECTORAL DIVISIONS In a STATE election, Victoria has 88 available seats for the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL There are 44 available seats for the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY The party who wins the most amount of seats in a STATE election forms the government in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL For example, the Brumby Government currently holds 62 of the 88 available seats and therefore holds power over the STATE OF VICTORIA

48 THE VOTING PROCESS All Australians who are eligible to vote elect people to represent them in the two houses of Parliament. A citizen of Australia is eligible to vote at the age of 18, yet can enroll to vote at 17 In Australia, voting is compulsory Australia implements a “Preferential” voting system Many other nations use a “First Past the Post” voting system – ex. America or Canada

49 THE VOTING PROCESS “PREFERENTIAL” VOTING VS. “FIRST PAST THE POST” VOTING

50 THE VOTING PROCESS “First Past the Post” Voting is a system where the representative with the most votes wins. Countries like America use this system in their elections. A problem with this system is that it does not always fairly represent the majority

51 THE VOTING PROCESS Preferential Voting Ballot

52 THE VOTING PROCESS “Preferential” Voting is a system in which voters rank a list or group of candidates in order of preference. In the House of Representatives election candidates who receive an absolute majority (50% + 1 vote) are elected. The distribution of preferences is required when no candidate receives an absolute majority. This process is continued until one candidate obtains an absolute majority of formal votes and is elected.

53 THE VOTING PROCESS Here is a brief example of how “Prefencial” Voting works. Fred, Ben, Anna and Pat stand for election. They receive the following first preference or number '1' votes. Fred 10,000 Ben 18,000 Anna 19,000 Pat 13,000

54 THE VOTING PROCESS This is a total of 60,000 formal votes. To be elected a candidate needs at least 30,001 votes (50% + 1) of the total votes for an absolute majority. As none of the candidates have an absolute majority, the candidate with the least number of votes - that is Fred - is excluded His ballot papers are transferred to the other candidates according to where each voter has marked the number '2' on them.

55 THE VOTING PROCESS Fred's votes are transferred as follows: 2,000 are transferred to Ben giving him a total of 20,000 votes 5,000 are transferred to Anna giving her a total of 24,000 votes 3,000 are transferred to Pat giving her a total of 16,000 votes Even following this distribution of preferences, the three remaining candidates still do not have an absolute majority.

56 THE VOTING PROCESS So the candidate with the least number of votes - that is Pat - is excluded Her ballot papers are transferred to the remaining candidates according to the next available preference marked on them by the voter. This could be the number '2' or even '3' in the case of Pat's votes and the number '3' from the 3,000 received from Fred.

57 THE VOTING PROCESS Pat's votes are transferred as follows: 12,000 are transferred to Ben giving him a total of 32,000 votes 4,000 are transferred to Anna giving her a total of 28,000 votes Ben now has 32,000 votes, or an absolute majority, so he is declared the winner.

58 THE END


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