Australia’s Government • Australia has a federal parliamentary democracy. • There are three key factors that determine Australia’s government: • form of leadership • type of legislature • role of the citizen
Form of Leadership • Queen Elizabeth II (England) is the head of state. • She does not run the country, but she signs laws, approves elections, and is commander-in-chief of the military. • The prime minister recommends someone to represent the Queen in Australia—the governor-general. • The prime minister is the head of the government & has the most political power. • leader of the political party with the most members in the Commonwealth Parliament
Type of Legislature • An elected government operates the country. • Every 4 years, citizens who are over 18 vote for members of parliament. • Parliament meets several times a year and makes laws that affect how Australians live. • There are 2 houses of the Commonwealth Parliament: • House of Representatives • Senate
Type of Legislature • House of Representatives: Australia is divided into areas called electorates; people living in each electorate vote for a person to represent them in parliament. • elected person becomes the MP of the House of Representatives for that area • Senate: people from each state and the 2 territories elect 12 people to be their senators
Role of the Citizen • democracy: voters choose the lawmakers • Everyone who is 18 or over is required by law to vote. • Citizens can be fined or go to court if they don’t vote. • Citizens vote for MPs -- the leader of the party that gets the most votes becomes the prime minister. • Voters do not vote for the head of state (Queen), the governor-general, or directly for the prime minister.
Role of the Citizen • Australians enjoy many freedoms. • freedom of religion, speech, job choice, travel, etc. • They can vote for the leaders that make laws and lead the country. • Their level of freedom is similar to what people have in the United Kingdom & the United States.
Your Task: • Create a brochure that informs others about Australia’s government. Please include a section for each of the following: • 1. Leadership • Describe the 3 leaders • 2. Legislature • Describe the 2 houses of Australia’s Parliament • 3. Role of the Citizen • Who gets to vote? What freedoms do citizens have?