Elections – How Voting Works

The Commonwealth Parliament consists of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Voting occurs every 3 years and gives the citizens of Australia the power to contribute to who will lead Australia.


The two major parties in Australia are Liberal and Labor. Voting is comprised
of 156 seats and each vote will count towards a seat. The majority will form
the government. Therefore, the party with 50% +1 will win, that is 76 seats. 

If the numbers of seats are equal, then this will result in a hung parliament and the decision of who will form government will be passed onto the independents.

Where you vote will usually be at your local school. When you enter the school you will have to line up alphabetically. You will be asked your name and address to verify your identification and get your name marked off the list.

You then obtain two ballet papers.

One is for local
voting and the other for the state.

You will have to fill in the ballet by
putting 1, 2 and so on in order of your preference. Once finished, you place
your ballet into the ballet box where all the votes will be counted at the end
of the day.

To be eligible to place a vote you must be over 18 years of age and
an Australian citizen.

 

By Jordan L, Jesse and Asher

What does a local member in parliament do?

A local member in parliament does voting in parliament house, looks after their local place, make things right and comfortable for the people in their local area. Voting for what they believe in and what they think is right and best for the people.

-The number of voting members is determined by how big the population is in the area.

-Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory should have at least 1 member

-each House of Representatives member can continue their job for 3 years maximum.

-Local member speak on behalf of the people in their local area.

– Local members make decisions whether or not a bill should become a law

– A Local member of parliament can become a government minister responsible for a portfolio such as transport  or a local member can be a shadow minister or a back bencher (who is not a government minister or the shadow ministry of the opposition).

– Local members are split up into different parties; one is called the Liberal party and the other is the Labor party.

– A local member is required to work a full time job and every member has to attend the sitting in parliament unless they have permission to leave by the speaker of the house

-Citizens can contact their local member for any problems or request for they are the voices of democracy in the parliament

The local member of aston: Hon Alan Tudge

AUSSIE republic Debate

© By Phoebe & Lekah

well.

Once upon a time there was a country calledAustralia, mate. It was a fine land, full of golden soil and wealth for toil. Oh, and girt by sea. BUT, there was room for dissent, as it was not ruled, officially, by an Aussie. ‘WHO CARES,’ some may say,’ IF IT AINT BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.’ Others proclaim that we need to show our independence as a country and appoint a president.

                If someone asked you today what our country’s government is, what would you say? While it is a democracy, Australia is actually a constitutional monarchy, which means that even though the queen is our monarch, we have our own constitution: [a body of fundamental rules and regulations according to which a state or business is governed.] The queen is represented by the governor general, who is the head of state and appointed by the prime minister. The governor general really doesn’t have much power over the way our country is run. But the thought is still there: do we need to change our system of government to reflect our independence as a country?

            Why should we become a republic? The central argument for this is that we should be able to represent our independence as a country. Another argument is that in the past, Australians have felt united under the British rule, but no longer. Australia is becoming more and more culturally diverse, embracing its aboriginal heritage and welcoming immigrants from around the world. The Queen no longer represents the ‘average Australian.’ One more argument is the economic benefits. With international trade becoming increasingly competitive, the way Australia is portrayed important. As a republic, we are more independent, and free to promote our own interests as a country. As well as this, those in favour of a republic say that an Australian should be head of state. More importantly, they believe that the head should be chosen according to their abilities, rather than by their birth. 

 

            Why not become a republic? Monarchists believe that our government is perfectly fine as it is, so why change it? They say that we shouldn’t become a republic, for the following reasons: firstly, appointing a president instead of a prime minister wouldn’t really change the role. There are no obvious benefits for the average Australian. And despite the fact that Australia is now culturally diverse, our ties with England are still important to our heritage. Another argument is that becoming a republic will be a waste of tax payers’ money. We will have to go through the whole process of changing our currency, holding a referendum, and everything else. The end result, a system of government not that much different to our current one, is not worth it. Our current system combines all the advantages of a constitutional monarchy with independence and freedom. Monarchists argue that there is no need to convert to a republic for these reasons.

So now what do you think? After all, it’s yours, and the rest of Australia’s, decision.

😀

How Laws are Made

How Laws Are Made

by James Yu and Andre

A law is a system of rules that a particular government recognises that its members enforce in their particular country. People might question “Well how do they make laws in Australia?” Well the government make a law using these principles:

How Laws are made in Australia

 

Step 1: Before a law is made and enforced it is called a bill. A bill is proposed in the House of Representatives and the two sides of parliament (The Government and the Opposition) has to debate to either reject, amend the bill and or pass the bill to the Senate

 

Step 2: After the majority of politicians in the House of Representatives agree to the bill, it would then be passed on to the Senate or Upper house. The senate have to amend the bill or propose changes where appropriate. The bill is then sent back to the house of Representative

 

Step 3: When both houses finally agree on the bill by majority vote the bill is passed on to the Queen’s representative in Australia, the Governor General to sign of the bill so it can become a law

 

Step 4: The bill is now officially a law and is enforced according to its content.

 

Major Political Parties

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

History: 

The Labor party was established in 1891 and first came together in Parliament House in 1901. The party was a success in the early years and grew rapidly.
They formed a minority government and Chris Watson became the first ever Labor Prime Minister.

In 1910 Labor won Australia’s first federal election and Andrew Fisher was elected Prime Minister. This was the first Majority Labor government.

Policies/Aims:

One of the Labor party’s values is about sustainability.  They take interest in climate change and protecting the future generations.  They work in stopping the extinction of animals and plants. Workplace fairness is an important aim for the Labor party.  They help in distributing wages fairly and so people can bargain collectively.  The Labor party believes in freedom of speech and religion.  People should be able to express their religion and respect other peoples’ religions.  Labor supports jobs, businesses and the Australian community during tough times caused by global downturns.  They are trying to stop young Australian from being condemned to unemployment.

Leaders/ Ministers:

Julia Gillard is the current leader of the Labor party, and the current prime minister.  She is the 27th leader of the Labor party.  When Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister in 2006, Julia Gillard was deputy leader.  Wayne Swan is the deputy Minister and the Treasurer of the Labor party.  Kevin  Rudd is the Minister for Foreign Affairs.  He is a member of an electorate in Queensland called Griffith.  Peter Garrett is the Minister for Schools, Early childhood and also Youth.

Achievements:

One of the things the labor party has achieved is increasing the
hospital funds to 50%.  Hospitals now have more doctors, nurses and more hospital beds.  The Labor party has helped with pensioners and has given them an increase in money per fortnight.  They are committed in helping the research of cancer, treatment centres and the prevention of cancer.  The government has already spent over $2.3
billion in fighting against cancer.

AUSTRALIAN LIBERAL PARTY

History

Established in 1944.  First leader was sir Robert Menzies who led the liberal party to win the election in 1946 and went on to lead Australia and the liberal party for 17 years. The liberal party is Australia’s most successful post-war party. The liberal party was elected to government for 23 years in a row from 1949-1972 and another term for more than seven years between 1975-1983

Policies and Aims

Economic management: the liberal party stands for action to stop wasteful spending and to grow the economy. Backing small businesses: the liberals stand to
keep costs down and to protect small businesses from larger businesses.
Liberals will back the small businesses to grow the economy and create jobs for
Australians.

They are protecting our national interests: Liberals stand for direct action on border security. The liberal party will keep fighting to protect our borders, people and values.

Opportunity for all:  the liberal party believes in providing
opportunities for all Australians including families, women and indigenous
Australians

 Leaders

The Australian liberal party current leader is Tony Abbot. Tony has been the leader of the liberals for 2 years but has been in parliament for around 15 years. His previous career was in journalism and wrote for the bulletin and the Australian. He is also represents the electorate of Warringah.

The liberal deputy leader is Julie Bishop.  She has been a part of the House of Representatives since 1998, representing the electrate, Curtin.

Other major leaders in the liberal party are:

Alan Stockdale is the party president and Philip Higginson is the liberal parties treasurer.

Longest serving leader was Sir Robert Menzies.  He was
leader for 20 years and 11 months.  The shortest serving leader was Alexander Downer who only served for 8 months

 Achievements

The Howard and Costello government between 1996 and 2007 was successful buy eliminating over $96 billon in the government’s debt they also restored Australia’s AAA credit rating and delivered Australia more jobs. They did all this during Australia’s lowest unemployment rates in 33 years, lower inflation, lower interest rates and a lower tax burden.

Symbol

The liberal party symbol is made of the Australian flag.

Bibliography:

http://www.alp.org.au/ 

http://www.liberal.org.au/

Ben and Caleb’s Post on Federation

Hello All

Please see http://benandcaleb.wordpress.com/
It is a blog about Federation for Year 9 Commerce class with some activities.

Thanks

 

House of Representatives

By Daniel Huang and Jonathan Mathew

The Australian Parliament House includes two separate houses:
The House of Representatives and The Senate.

This blog will teach you a few things about the House of Representatives.

The House contains 148 members. Each of them represent their electorate

 50 come from New South Wales,
37 from Victoria,
12 from South Australia,
14 represent Western Australia,
1 from the Northern Territory,
27 from Queensland,
5 from Tasmania and 
2 from the Australia Capital Territories.

The functions of the House of Representatives include making laws, determining the government, representing the people, and many more. The sitting pattern is normally from February to March, May to June and August to December.

One of the first actions for the House of Representatives is to elect one of its members to be the Speaker, along with the Deputy Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker.

The centre of the House of Representatives is the Speaker’s seat and the Table where the two Clerks are seated. The Government Members are seated on the right and the Non-government Members are seated on the left.

Bibliography:

http://media.lonelyplanet.com/lpimg/27452/27452-25/preview.jpg

http://www.aph.gov.au/house/info/general/index.htm