Category:Political terminology in Australia
Pages in category "Political terminology in Australia"
The following 25 pages are in this category, out of 25 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 25 pages are in this category, out of 25 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Politics of Australia – The politics of Australia takes place within the framework of a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Australia largely operates as a two-party system in which voting is compulsory, the Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, and has influenced both by the Westminster system and United States federalism. Under Section 1 of the Constitution of Australia, Parliament consists of three components, the Monarch, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, the Australian Parliament is the worlds sixth oldest continuous democracy. Voting within each electorate utilises the instant-runoff system of preferential voting, the party or coalition of parties which commands the confidence of a majority of members of the House of Representatives forms government. The Australian Senate has 76 members, the six states return twelve senators each, and the two mainland territories return two senators each, elected through the single transferable voting system. Senators are elected for flexible terms not exceeding six years, with half of the senators contesting at each federal election, as such, the Senate has the power to bring down the government, as occurred during the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. Such deadlocks are resolved under section 57 of the Constitution, under a procedure called a double dissolution election. Such elections are rare, not because the conditions for holding them are seldom met, of the six double dissolution elections that have been held since federation, half have resulted in the fall of a government. The most recent double dissolution election was in July 2016, with the government holding a slim majority, arguably, the trigger bills did not have much prominence throughout the campaign. The role of head of state in Australia is divided between two people, the monarch of Australia and the Governor-General of Australia. The functions and roles of the Governor-General include appointing ambassadors, ministers, the Governor-General is the President of the Federal Executive Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force. These posts are held under the authority of the Australian Constitution, in practice, barring exceptional circumstances, the Governor-General exercises these powers only on the advice of the Prime-Minister. As such, the role of Governor-General is often described as a ceremonial position. The Prime Minister of Australia is Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Cabinet and head of government, the office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful political office in Australia. Despite being at the apex of executive government in the country, barring exceptional circumstances, the prime minister is always the leader of the political party or coalition with majority support in the House of Representatives. The only case where a senator was appointed minister was that of John Gorton. The Cabinet of Australia is the council of ministers responsible to Parliament
2. Despatch box – A despatch box is a wooden box used as a lectern from which frontbench members of Parliament deliver speeches to their parliamentary chamber. The original purpose of the box was for members to carry bills. Whereas backbenchers in both Parliaments generally deliver addresses to the chamber while standing at their seat, frontbenchers deliver their addresses from their sides despatch box, by tradition, the modern despatch boxes often contain the religious texts used for swearing in of new members of the respective chamber. The despatch boxes in the British House of Commons were gifts from New Zealand and they are made of puriri wood and are modelled on the Australian boxes, which are replicas of the original despatch boxes destroyed in World War II. The box on the Government side contains holy books of various religions, the Opposition box contains a singed Bible. The Bible was resting on the table when a German bomb fell on the Commons chamber on 10 May 1941, in the Second World War. More recently, the Government despatch box is reported to have sustained damage at the hands of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, browns habit of jabbing his marker pen at his papers led to the surface of the box becoming covered in black pen marks. The despatch boxes in the Australian House of Representatives were gifts from King George V to mark the opening of the Old Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927 and they are made of rosewood and have enamel and silver decorations. They are replicas of the despatch boxes kept in the British House of Commons until those boxes were destroyed on 10 May 1941, inside the lid of each box is an inscription signed by George V. The Senate has two lecterns which serve a purpose, but they are used only by the Senate leaders of the Government. Other frontbenchers in the Senate address the chamber from their location in the first row of their side of the chamber
3. Double dissolution – A double dissolution is a procedure permitted under the Australian Constitution to resolve deadlocks in the bicameral Parliament of Australia between the House of Representatives and the Senate. A double dissolution is the circumstance in which the entire Senate can be dissolved. Similar to the United States Congress, but unlike the British Parliament, governments, which are formed in the House of Representatives, can be frustrated by a Senate determined to reject their legislation. If the conditions are satisfied, the Prime Minister can advise the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of Parliament and call a full election, if the legislation is passed by the joint sitting, then the legislation is deemed to have passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The 1974 joint sitting remains the only occurrence in federal Australian history, historically, a double dissolution election has been called in lieu of an early election, with the formal trigger bill not playing a significant role during the subsequent election campaign. But such dissolution shall not take place six months before the date of the expiry of the House of Representatives by effluxion of time. If a bill is passed by a majority of the total membership of the joint sitting. The only time this procedure was invoked was in the 1974 joint sitting, the double dissolution provision comes into play if the Senate and House twice fail to agree on a piece of legislation. The conditions stipulated by section 57 of the Constitution are, The trigger bill originated in the House of Representatives, three months elapsed between the two rejections of the bill by the Senate. The second rejection occurred in the session as the first, or the subsequent session. There is no provision for resolving deadlocks with respect to bills that have originated in the Senate and are blocked in the House of Representatives. However, as the 1975 constitutional crisis demonstrated, the Governor-General is not compelled to follow the Prime Ministers advice. In these cases, he or she must be satisfied that the conditions specified in the Constitution apply. As a High Court Chief Justice Barwick observed in a decision in Cormack v Cope, There have been 7 double dissolutions. However, a joint sitting following a double dissolution pursuant to section 57 has only taken place once, in 1914, the Joseph Cook Commonwealth Liberal Party sought to abolish preferential employment for trade union members in the public service, resulting in a double dissolution on 30 July 1914. In the election on 5 September 1914 the government was defeated by the opposition, Andrew Fishers Australian Labor Party, the repeal was opposed by the Labor Party in the Senate. Parliament was dissolved on 19 March 1951, in the election on 28 April 1951, the government was returned with a reduced majority in the lower house, but now with a majority in the Senate. The Commonwealth Bank Bill was presented to Parliament again on 26 June 1951, in 1974, the Gough Whitlam Labor government was unable to pass a large number of bills through a hostile Senate
4. Group voting ticket – Group voting tickets are a way to simplify preferential voting, usually in an election held under the single transferable vote or the alternative vote system. Ranking each candidate individually is called below the line voting, the system is used for the upper houses of the Australian state parliaments of South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, and for some elections in Fiji. It was used in the Australian Senate from the 1984 election until the 2013 federal election. Voters can choose to vote for a ticket by placing the number 1 in one of the ticket boxes above the line or can vote for individual candidates by numbering all the boxes below the line. Ticket votes are distributed according to the party or group voting ticket registered before the election with the electoral commission, in some elections, voters can express an order of preferences among different tickets by voting 1,2 and so on in different ticket boxes. To ease this task, above the line voting allows the voter to choose one party or group, about 95% of voters choose to use this method. This leads to trading between parties on how each party will allocate later preferences to other parties and candidates. Above the line voting has been criticised as not knowing, and having no practical way of finding out. All details are published in advance, both electronically and in a booklet published by the Australian Electoral Commission or the appropriate State electoral commission. The booklets may be viewed at polling booths on request to the poll officials, Group voting tickets were introduced for elections for the Australian Senate by the Hawke Labor Government to reduce the number of invalid votes by simplifying the voting system. Under the new system a voter cast a vote if they placed a single mark above the line instead of the scores on a typical Senate ballot paper. It was first used at the 1984 federal election, for the Australian Senate, the rate of informal voting was reduced from around 9% before 1984, to around 3% under group voting tickets. In Victoria, GVTs were introduced in 1988, Group voting tickets were abolished as part of the voting reforms prior to the 2016 election in favour of optional preferential voting. The government proposed reform of the Senate voting system for the Senate on 22 February 2016, the Senate reform legislation passed both houses of the Parliament of Australia on 18 March 2016. In December 2016, the South Australian government introduced legislation to abolish Group Voting Tickets for the Legislative Council, a number above the line would only imply a vote for candidates in one column. In effect, the legislation would make Legislative Council elections into a form of party-list proportional representation, using GVTs, the potential for tactical voting by parties is greatly increased. A notable case was the 1999 New South Wales state election when the Outdoor Recreation Partys Malcolm Jones was elected to the Legislative Council with a vote of 0. 19%. Motorings Ricky Muir won a seat on a record-low primary vote of 0. 5% in Victoria
5. How-to-vote card – How-to-vote cards are small leaflets that are handed out by party supporters during elections in Australia. Voting in the Australian lower house uses a voting system. Voters must rank every candidate on the ballot in order for their vote to count, there are often numerous candidates on the ballot, some with little public profile, so voters may find it difficult to decide on all of them. Parties produce how-to-vote cards ostensibly to help voters and they contain details about the candidate or party as well as instruction how to cast a ranked vote in the order that the party would prefer the voter follow. The flow of preferences can assist the party dispersing the cards directly and indirectly help allied parties, the use of how-to-vote cards has benefited minor parties in a number of ways including increasing their chances of winning, punishing opponents and receiving policy commitments. Sometimes preference deals are done between political parties so that they are favoured by each others how-to-vote cards, voters are under no obligation to follow the cards. In South Australia, all cards are displayed on all polling booths. The Importance Of How-To-Vote Cards Example images Faulkner, Andrew, labor accused of sneaky how-to-vote cards. How-to-vote cards awaken the rebel in inner-city voter, the ‘How-to-vote’ Cards used in Australia’s elections that use preferential voting
6. Responsible government – Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability, the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. Responsible government of parliamentary accountability manifests itself in several ways, ministers account to Parliament for their decisions and for the performance of their departments. When the lower house has passed a motion of no confidence in the government, lastly, the head of state is in turn required to effectuate his executive power only through these responsible ministers. They must never attempt to set up a government of executives or advisors and attempt to use them as instruments of government. The British colonies that formed the Dominion of Canada in 1867 evolved gradually into responsible government rather than achieving it through a revolution as in the United States, early Canadian governors and administrators were answerable only to British authorities. Even after the formation of elected assemblies, governors and their executive councils did not require the consent of elected legislators in order to govern. Responsible government was an element of the gradual development of Canada towards independence. It did not regain responsible government until it became a province of Canada in 1948, in the aftermath of the American Revolution in 1776, the British government became more sensitive to unrest in its remaining colonies with large populations of British colonists. In his report, one of his recommendations was that colonies which were developed enough should be granted responsible government and this term specifically meant the policy that British-appointed governors should bow to the will of elected colonial assemblies. The plaque in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada reads, the first Executive Council chosen exclusively from the party having a majority in the representative branch of a colonial legislature was formed in Nova Scotia on 2 February 1848. Following a vote of want of confidence in the preceding Council, James Boyle Uniacke, joseph Howe, the long-time campaigner for this Peaceable Revolution, became Provincial Secretary. Other members of the Council were Hugh Bell, Wm. F. Desbarres, doyle, Herbert Huntingdon, James McNab, Michael Tobin, and George R. Young. This was a law that provided compensation to French-Canadians who suffered losses during the Rebellions of 1837–1838 in Lower-Canada, the Governor General, Lord Elgin, had serious misgivings about the bill but nonetheless assented to it despite demands from the Tories that he refuse to do so. Elgin was physically assaulted by an English-speaking mob for this, nonetheless, the Rebellion Losses Bill helped entrench responsible government into Canadian politics. In time, the granting of responsible government became the first step on the road to complete independence, initially, this took the form of appointed or partially elected Legislative Councils. Then, during the 1850s, all Australian colonies except Western Australia, along with New Zealand, the Cape Colony, in Southern Africa, was under responsible self-government from 1872 until 1910 when it became the Cape Province of the new Union of South Africa. A popular political movement for responsible government soon emerged, under local leader John Molteno, not everyone favoured responsible government though, and pro-imperial press outlets even accused the movement of constituting crafts and assaults of the devil. The ensuing period saw a recovery, a massive growth in exports
7. Stolen Generations – Documentary evidence, such as newspaper articles and reports to parliamentary committees, suggest a range of rationales. A minority of historians dispute that substantial numbers of mixed-blood Aboriginal children were taken from their families. They contend that some children were removed mainly to protect them from neglect, given their catastrophic population decline after white contact, whites assumed that the full-blood tribal Aboriginal population would be unable to sustain itself, and was doomed to extinction. The idea expressed by A. O. Euro-Australians believed that their civilisation was superior to that of Aborigines, the Northern Territory Chief Protector of Aborigines, Dr. Cecil Cook, argued that everything necessary to convert the half-caste into a white citizen. The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act 1869 included the earliest legislation to authorise child removal from Aboriginal parents, the Central Board for the Protection of Aborigines had been advocating such powers since 1860. Passage of the Act gave the colony of Victoria a wide suite of powers over Aboriginal and half-caste persons, including the removal of children. As a result of legislation, states arranged widespread removal of mixed-race children from their Aboriginal mothers. In addition, appointed Aboriginal protectors in each state exercised wide-ranging guardianship powers over Aborigines up to the age of 16 or 21, often determining where they could live or work. Policemen or other agents of the state were given the power to locate and transfer babies and children of mixed descent from their mothers, families, the exact number of children removed is unknown. Estimates of numbers have been widely disputed, the Bringing Them Home report says that at least 100,000 children were removed from their parents. This figure was estimated by multiplying the Aboriginal population in 1994, the report stated that between one in three and one in ten children were separated from their families, not one in three persons in the total population. Given differing populations over a period of time, different policies at different times in different states. Australian historian Robert Manne suggests approximately 20,000 to 25,000 were removed between 1910 and 1970, based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics report of 1994, keith Windschuttle and other historians have argued for a much lower figure. In certain regions and in periods the figure was undoubtedly much greater than one in ten. In that time not one family has escaped the effects of forcible removal, most families have been affected, in one or more generations, by the forcible removal of one or more children. The report closely examined the distinctions between forcible removal, removal under threat or duress, official deception, uninformed voluntary release, Aboriginal Protection Officers often made the judgement to remove certain children. In some cases, families were required to sign documents to relinquish care to the state. In Western Australia, the Aborigines Act 1905 removed the legal guardianship of Aboriginal parents and it made all their children legal wards of the state, so the government did not require parental permission to relocate the mixed-race children to institutions