Today for most Australian’s the potential of what a vote can represent is lost in political apathy and some could argue that this directly relates to how the leaders of the two main political parties continually compete for the populist vote. This environment is dominated by the media portrayal of our political parties and as a result of this, policies for the long term interests of the country have become secondary to short term wins (Marsh, 2010).
For example, if the Federal Liberal party needed preferences in marginal seats in Tasmania, a deal could be negotiated with the Greens, which could see protection of the old growth forest areas of the state. In reality this can backfire, as it did for the Labor party during the 2004 Federal election. Latham and the Labor party stated they would protect the Old grow forest areas from logging practices, in an attempt to win votes. This lead to a revolt by the unions, and those involved in the logging industry, claiming that Labor had abandoned them.
Parliament is very effective when dealing with the public and their interests and needs like when they redress public grievances to make sure they are listened too. However, parliament isn’t so effective on the representative side of things. This is because the electoral system that we use isn’t very fair and excludes smaller parties of a chance of being voted into parliament. This therefore means a large number of public votes have been
Under a minority government, no party has ultimate control of making policies, it instead rules on consensus with the other parties, conversely, in a majority government, a single-party dominates the legislative process. Though complex agreements between opposition parties, the governing party can maintain confidence. For example, countries including Canada use contract parliamentarism, where opposition parties agree to support the government in return for policy on other concessions (Akash et al., 2010, p. 216). While this promotes collective responsibility, parties are still able to decide their own position on most matters. Therefore, parties collaborate to protect minority agreements that “often survive a full parliamentary term” (Akash et al., p. 216). This can result in motions being passed that cover a broad variety of different topics that ultimately can address issues that all parties see lacking in
Ever since the advent of democratic systems of political decision-making in Ancient Greece, one of the primary concerns about democratic functioning has been the principle of majority rule. Whether a majoritarian system is divisive in its essence, paves the way for demagoguery, or obstructs minority groups from having a fair say in public affairs, criticisms of majority rule have and still persist nowadays. Indeed, notorious political figures such as Hamilton, Madison or Mill expressed concerns about the potential threat of a tyranny of the majority which would infringe on citizens’ fundamental rights. Moreover and recently, the outcome of the Brexit referendum has renewed the debate around majority rule and its flaws. However, within the context of the contemporary world in which democracy prevails, majority rule is the norm many states follow. Why is this so; how can majority rule be defended and what are its limits? In order to provide an articulate and coherent answer, it is first necessary to lay down some premises to the functioning of the democratic process. Then, after arguing for majority rule, its flaws shall be assessed before eventually drawing potential alternatives from such dysfunctions.
Also, politicians may go against the wishes of the people, for example with the bedroom tax. There was a great deal of controversy associated with it, however the government still pursued it. If a referendum had been held, the opinions of the public on the matter may have been expressed, however one wasn’t held therefore this political action could be deemed as being undemocratic.
The checks and balances that the founders of our country put into place to limit the power of the executive branch have failed and allowed the Prime Minister to gather unprecedented and unchecked power. There is a need to establish or re-establish effective checks for the prime minister, at different steps along the policy making process. The traditional checks and balances on the executive branch have come from the house of commons, the senate, and the Governor General. These institutions are meant to work together to ensure that the country is being governed fairly and in the name of the people. However, over the last thirty years the power has been moving away from the legislative branch towards the executive. In a system where majority
Voting in many countries is held in different ways. In The United States of America, voting is voluntary while the Australian citizen has to vote, it is compulsory. When an Australian citizen does not vote they receive a fine. Compulsory voting has now become a large political issue for many countries. Great Britain has seen a dramatic decline in the number of people voting in the last 15 years (Singh, 2014) and compulsory voting has become a large political and social debate. However, as with any political change, there are strengths and weaknesses. The Australian system is an excellent one to analyse as the question has to be asked when introducing compulsory voting what are the long term democratic, economic and social issues? Four key points can be outlined to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian compulsory voting system. The first, compulsory voting provides a clear and accurate representation of an entire electorate. Additionally, this system may influence an increase in support for the leftist policy in a current democratic institution. Another key issue to consider is, does an active and informed citizen have a moral duty and obligation to vote to protect and further society? Key constitutional changes brought about by referendums can prove that compulsory voting is essential and needed in society for every vote to count. Lastly, compulsory voting when being a secret ballot can turn into a more compulsory “turn up” for many citizens as they can
The Australian Constitution is a rich amalgam of various classical political principles. The concepts of the Rule of Law and the doctrine of the Separation of Powers evident in Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws are both salient examples of political theses that are central to Australian Constitutional Law. The structure of the Constitution itself and decisions of the High Court of Australia unequivocally validate the entrenchment of the doctrine separation of powers in the Commonwealth Constitution . In particular, the High Court has applied this with relative rigour with respect to the separation of judicial power. The separation of the judicial power is fundamentally critical to upholding the rule of law. The High Court in Wilson v Minister for Aboriginal Affairs noted that “the separation of the judicial function…advances two constitutional objectives: the guarantee of liberty and, to that end, the independence of Chapter III judges” . Kitto J in R v Davidson also identified that the judiciary should be subject to no other authority but the law itself . This is a critical aspect ensuring the concept of legal equality is upheld. Therefore, its role clearly extends to providing checks and balances on the exercise of power by the legislative and executive arms of government . This ensures the liberty of the law and limits the abuse of the judicial system. Judicial Power is defined as “the power which every sovereign must of necessity have to decide between its subjects
The Australian Labor Party also shortly known as ALP. This party has been in resistant at federal level since the election in 2013. the party is a federal party with in each state and territory. Labor is currently in control of the government of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and in the Australian Capital Territory. The labor party challenges against the Liberal for political office at the federal and state levels. The party's federal parliamentary leader is Bill Shorten since 13 October, 2013. The Australian Labor Party is a socialist party and has the intention/ purpose of the democratic socialization of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation and other unsocial features
The political system used within Australia should be that of an aristocracy. This is superior to that of the democratic society we live. Today I shall be discussing what an aristocracy is and why it is superior to other political systems. Some issues being addressed are the values of equality, despite the classes within an aristocracy and the rights for the upper class or rulers of their society to be just and uphold the idea of society as a whole opposed to that of a democracy where individuals are favoured. This is followed by the cons of the other political systems and lastly the military and defence, which is presented in an aristocratic society.
Industrial Countries all over the world have seen a steady decline in voter participation; Great Britain is a great example of this. The country has witness turnout in elections falling slowly as time pass. However, the election of 2001 dropped the country from their average of 76% voter turnout to just a 59.4% turnout. Comparatively, Australia, a former colony of Britain, has enjoyed high and steady voter participation since 1924 because of the implementation of compulsory voting. This system has proven to be not only effective in bring voters to the polls, but also effective in improving Australia’s democracy. By evaluating these two countries with similar political structure; one can see the difference in compulsory voting turnouts
‘It is well-known that the Separation of Powers doctrine is sine qua non for maintaining the rule of law however, an absolute separation of power does not exist in the Australian legal system.’
A parliamentary government is a democratic form of government which operates on a party system. It is the most popular and widely adopted form of democracy. A state that operates on a parliamentary system is run by two executives, firstly the head of state who is either a monarch or president who then appoints a prime minister as the head of government. A parliament can be run by either a single majority political party or as a coalition government in which more than one party collaborate to form the government. In this essay I will be assessing the key strengths and weaknesses associated with a parliamentary government. In doing so I will conclude that whilst a parliamentary government has weaknesses its strengths outweigh these and therefore it is the superior form of democratic government.
Advocates of the parliamentary form of government suggested a few competitive strengths of this system of government. Since it has gained a stable parliamentary majority, the government is able to smoothly process its legislative project. In addition, the government is adequately furnished that it could still choose to adopt measures designed to support the national interests while many strong sectional groups oppose such measures (Dyck, 2012). The prime minister is the leader of this type of government, who is obliged to be responsive to all its people’s demands. Also, the people have the right to vote and replace the prime minister due to any incompetency of governance that does not address and fulfill their desires. This is known as the non-confidence vote; the government may be removed when it has lost confidence in the parliament, and cause the head of state to resign a new government (Dyck, 2012). An example of such measure occurred in Britain on March 28th, 1979. When James Callaghan’s labour government was defeated in the House of Commons just by one vote, it was forced into an early election that was won by the opposition leader Margaret Thatcher (Dyck, 2012). In this case, it can avoid or at least reduce the period of legislative gridlock, because of its flexibility in elections and the power is centered in the country’s prime