17.11.06

No House of Lords for us Aussies

All states and territories in Australia do have upper houses of course as does our Federal Government EXCEPT good old Queensland who abolished their’s years ago and just has the Legislative assembly as it's Parliament. In New South Wales: • The Legislature consists of the Parliament of New South Wales, made up of two Houses (the Upper House or Legislative Council, and the Lower House or Legislative Assembly) together with the Governor of New South Wales. • The Executive is made up of the Premier and Cabinet or Ministers (currently 19 but there can be up to 21). Each minister is responsible for one or more government departments or agencies. They are appointed from amongst the majority party in Parliament and remain members of Parliament. • The Judiciary is made up of independent judges appointed to a hierarchical system of courts, the highest being the NSW Supreme Court. There are also a series of federal courts with jurisdiction in New South Wales. Above them all, the Commonwealth High Court has been established as the highest court for the whole of Australia. In Tasmania the Lower House is known as the House of Assembly whilst the Upper house is called the legislative council. In South Australia the lower House is known as the House of Assembly, whilst the upper House is the Legislative Council State & Territory Government All State parliaments except Queensland, which abolished its Upper House in 1922, are bicameral, with two Houses of Parliament. The Lower House in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia is known as the Legislative Assembly; in South Australia and Tasmania it is called the House of Assembly. Each of the five State Upper Houses is known as the Legislative Council. Under the Federal Constitution, State Governments are responsible for the residue of powers not administered by the Federal Government. These include education, transport, law enforcement, health services, and agriculture. The Federal or Commonwealth Government also has its own police called the Australian Federal Police. At December 1994, all State governments, except for Queensland which was Labor, were Liberal. The Northern Territory had a Country Liberal Government and the Australian Capital Territory a Labor Government. As at November 2006 all state and territory Governments are now Labor and the Federal Government is a Liberal Coalition with the National Party Arch Conservatives both of them. Heads of the State Governments are known as Premiers; in the NT and the ACT heads of governments are called chief ministers. Voting in Most Australian Elections are compulsory a heavy fine results if one does not attend thus ensuring well over a 90% turn out at the polls on election day. The only thing with our system I myself do not like is the voting ballot system. Called the preferential voting system it to me is very difficult to understand at times a sample of it lies below. Political Information. An explanation of the Australian preferential voting system. (Or of why a candidate that polls less votes than the other candidates still wins the election being contested) Simply put, for an example; say there are a 100 voters. Candidate A receives 45 votes, B receives 40, and C receives 15, all in all 100 votes. C cannot win, so he is allowed to pass on his votes, he passes them to B because he and his political party would prefer B to A, B now has 55 votes which mean’s a majority of voters prefer B to A. Therefore, Preferential voting is fairer than first past the post, wherein A would have won with a minority of voters supporting him. To me this does not seem fair, first past the post is fairer in my book but that to has its drawbacks. Preferential voting was introduced in Australia in 1918 by the Conservative Government with the emergence of the Country Party. Conservatives did not want to split and waste their votes.

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