Short for AU by Abbreviationfinder, Australia is a federal state consisting of six states with large internal autonomy and three territories. Federally, the legislative power lies with a parliament with two chambers. Two party groups, the Labor Party and a bourgeois coalition between the Liberal Party and the National Party, have changed power. The British monarch is head of state but is represented in Australia by a general governor.
According to the 1901 Constitution, Australia is a federal state consisting of six states with significant autonomy: Western Australia (Western Australia), South Australia (South Australia), Queensland, New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and Tasmania. In addition, there are three territories: the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) metropolitan area and the Jervis Bay Territory, which was previously part of the ACT. All territories were previously ruled directly by the federal government, but the first two have since 1978 gradually increased self-government similar to the federal states. The Northern Territory rejected a full state status in a 1998 referendum.
- Countryaah: Total population and chart of Australia for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The British monarch is formally the head of state but is represented by a limited governor general. The Governor-General formally appoints the Prime Minister and also has the formal right to dismiss him / her, which has only happened once in modern times.
There is considerable support among the population for the establishment of the republic, but when a referendum on this was held in 1999, the monarchists barely won. The Labor government, which took office in 2007, had the abolition of the monarchy on its agenda, while the bourgeois coalition, which came to power after the 2013 parliamentary elections, wanted to retain the monarchy. Few, however, believe that any change will happen as long as Queen Elizabeth II is head of state.
The executive power is exercised by the government, led by the prime minister. This elects other members of the government from among the members of the federal parliament and is also responsible to the parliament. General voting rights for white women and men have existed since 1902, but only after a 1967 referendum did Aborigines get the right to apply for Australian citizenship and vote. Duty to vote prevails and the voice teacher gives a fine.
The legislative power is constituted at the federal level by a two-chamber parliament consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The number of members in the House of Representatives is 150. They are elected for a maximum term of three years through majority elections in one-man constituencies. The Senate has 76 members, twelve senators from each state and two from each of the Northern Territory and ACT respectively. This means that the sparsely populated states are over-represented. The senators are elected in proportional elections for six years (the senators from the territories sit for three years). Half of the senators are replaced in connection with each election to the House of Representatives. In the 2016 election, however, the entire Senate was replaced, because then, for the first time since 1987, the Governor-General had dissolved both parliament’s chambers in accordance with a special constitutional clause.
The legislative work is mainly done by the House of Representatives, but the Senate has far-reaching powers to stop new laws.
The states have their own governors, who represent the monarch, their own constitutions, parliaments and governments. Most states have two-chamber parliaments and the terms of office vary from three to four years. The states are allowed to legislate on all matters except those which are solely federal affairs (for example, foreign and defense policy). However, federal law applies over state law.
In recent years, increasing power has been transferred from the Länder to the central government, which has, among other things, a great influence on fiscal policy. At the same time, the need has increased due to cooperation and coordination between the states and territories, as well as between the central government and the states, not least about the taxes.
The justice system is similar to the British one. At the federal level, there are mainly three courts: The Supreme Court (Supreme Court) is the highest legal body to which legal cases from both state and federal courts can be appealed. The Supreme Court is the only body of constitutional and international law; The Federal Court was created to relieve the Supreme Court, including in labor and tax law; the Family Court judges in cases involving family and inheritance law. Subordinate to these are the courts of the states and territories.
Domestic politics has long been dominated by two power blocks: the Labor Party (Australian Labor Party, ALP) and the bourgeois coalition between the Liberal Party (Liberal Party, LP) and the National Party (National Party, NP). After six years with the ALP in power, the bourgeois coalition returned to office after the 2013 parliamentary elections. The bourgeois bloc retained power even after the 2016 and 2019 elections (see Current Policy).
Despite the name, LP is conservatively and economically neoliberal. Queensland and the Northern Territory have their own liberal parties, which have always been part of the bourgeois coalitions at the national level. NP is a strong interest party for the rural population, especially in Queensland, but with an aging and shrinking voter base, support for the party is decreasing.
In the 1980s, the Labor Party’s (in daily speech) economic policies became more liberal, but as far back as the 1990s Labor maintained a large part of its distribution policy, which sought a society where the state made sure everyone was involved. of jobs, healthcare, education and more. Among other things, health insurance and pension systems were improved in exchange for restrained salary requirements during the party’s reign 1983–1996. The party has had leadership problems in recent times (see Modern history). The internal disputes are believed to have contributed to Labor’s failure to take over government power from the bourgeois government parties in the last three parliamentary elections.
The ideological boundaries between the two power blocks have almost become blurred over time. Both now turn mainly to the middle class, which is no longer faithful to any particular party but without whose support it is not possible to win government power.
The third strongest political force is The Greens (The Australian Greens), formed in 1992 through a merger of local green parties.
Alien Hostile One Nation (One Nation), which has not been represented in Parliament since 2010, re-entered the Senate in the 2016 election with four seats and retained two of these after the 2019 election.
The Liberal Australian Democrats (Australian Democrats) attracted big-city voters with peace, environmental and women issues during the 1980s and 1990s, but have not been represented in Parliament since 2010. The first national party for Aborigines, Your Voice (Your Voice), was formed before the 2004 elections but failed to get a mandate. In 2010, an Aboriginal was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time and in 2013 an Aboriginal woman was elected to the Senate. At a historic meeting with over 250 leaders from the Urians in May 2017, the government was invited to give the indigenous people a special representation in Parliament. However, the proposal was rejected by the government.