The purpose of these councils was simply to advise the Governor of the day and to assist him in his duties in administering the colony. No popular mandate was sought or recognised. Concurrent with the growth of democratic sentiment in the 19th century, was the development of popularly elected houses in Australia, along the lines of the British House of Commons. These houses originally had a very limited franchise, which was expanded, over time, to include all of the adult population. The Upper Houses of the newly formed states continued to limit or distort their franchise, and indeed, still do so in a variety of ways.
As this law only applied the federal parliament, Britain passed the Australia Act, which gave independence to the states as well. The High Court of Australia is now the final court in deciding constitutional matters and the final court of appeal. Due to these laws, Australia has become an independent nation. However, it is believed that we are not truly independent due to our link with the British crown. Some Australians believe that the time is right, for Australia to become a republic.
Although Australia and the US have similar structure in the separation of powers between the three arms of governance: the legislature, executive and judiciary, Australia has a limited separation of powers compared to the US. Australia and the US federal structures are informed by their Constitutions that differs in the ... ... middle of paper ... ...justified feature of the US federal political system, this remains a fundamental difference that sets the US apart from Australia. Federalism in Australia and the US differs in terms of the application. This essay initially outlined the establishment of the two federations, with differences in the application of the separation of power within the legislature and executive, aiming to emphasise differences in the theoretical and practical usage of executive power in a federal context. It then compared the appointment and executive power of the head of state, as well as the voting process and implications for the representation of minorities in two different party systems.
Examining the history of Australian Legislative powers, and reasons why Australians would want to change, is also useful when speculating on this issue. The Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 emphasized self-government in the colonies, although denying them the power to amend or repeal British law. (Enright et.al 1995, p.14) It wasn’t until Australia became a Federation with the enactment of the Australian Constitution Act 1901(U.K.) on 1 January 1901, that Australia had their own law making powers. However, these powers were still limited by the Constitution. (Waller et.al 2000, p.71) When the Statute of Winchester 1931 invalidated the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 the Commonwealth gained the power to pass their own Acts, irrespective of whether they were consistent with British Law.
The doctrine of separation of powers, the cornerstone of the Australian government since the enactment of the constitution, has both a storied and tumultuous history. The notion was first presented by Aristotle, who in his writing noted the distinct roles that a liberal government has. Developed and refined by Montesquieu and Locke, the doctrine evolved to encompass the idea that governmental power should be divided between different branches. In the 1700s, Montesquieu suggested in De l'esprit des lois that political liberty could only be found where there is no abuse of power, and that to prevent such abuses, there must be checks and balances regarding governmental power . His writings advocate the separation of powers as a form of protection against despotism and absolute power.
Sir Robert Menzies suggests, "The rights of individuals [in Australia] are as adequately protected as they are in any other country in the world" (1967). A bill of rights in Australia would provide a stable set of guidelines for both the courts and parliament to work around, but at the cost of many other aspects of our current political system. This is a case of the negatives outweighing the positives, as both sides of the argument have merit. The current constitution working with the executive, parliament and the courts provides Australia with a stable and working system that would only be endangered by further changes, such as the implementation of a bill of rights. Currently in Australia there is a balance of power between the judiciary, the parliament and the executive.
Federation is the joining of states to become one nation. The Australian government first considered federation in 1890 when premier Henry Parkes convinced other premiers to discuss federation in the Australasian Federation Convention. Australia finally federated in 1901 after many failed attempts at doing so. Australia finally federated because This essay will discuss two advantages of Australia federating and two disadvantages of Australia doing so. The advantages that will be outlined and discussed in this essay will be that federation helped Australia’s economy & federation was essential for Australia so it would not be colonised by another country due to a stronger defence force.
Aborigines and their Place In Politics For much of their history, Australia¡¦s major parties did not perceive a need to have ¡¥Aboriginal affairs¡¦ policies, but this altered in the 1960s and 1970s as the Aboriginal interest came to occupy a more prominent position. The policies of recent major governments, those being the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Coalition, consisting of the Liberal Party and National Party, have changed drastically since the Federation of Australia. The approaches throughout history of these major parties will be discussed briefly in order to gain an understanding of the foundation of each party¡¦s beliefs and platforms in regards to Aborigines. The main political issues facing Aborigines in society today will be identified, and subsequently the main political parties approach and policies will be distinguished in relation to each issue. Finally, recent policies and legislation introduced by the main political parties will be introduced and discussed.
A Constitution is a set of rules put in place to govern a country, by which the parliament, executive and judiciary must abide by in law making and administering justice. In many countries, these laws are easily changed, while in Australia, a referendum process must take place to alter the wording of the Constitution (Commonwealth of Australia, date unknown, South Australian Schools Constitutional Convention Committee 2001). Since the introduction of the Australian Constitution in January 1901, there have been sufficient proposals to alter and insert sections within the body to reflect the societal values of the day, ensuring the Constitution remains relevant to the Australian people. Although Constitutional reform can be made on a arrangement of matters, the latest protests on Indigenous recognition and racial references within the body of the Constitution has called into question the validity of racial inclusion, and whether amendments should be made to allow for recognition. This essay will focus on the necessity of these amendments and evaluate the likelihood of change through the process of referenda.
Even before federation, our country had adopted and used a Democratic system of government. Democracy has played a major role in our system of government as it has developed over the decades since it was brought to Australian shores by the English and the first democratic parliaments were created. Over time Democracy has grown stronger as this system became the foundation of our society. Democracy in our government must also have an efficient system for it to function properly otherwise the disagreements in parliament and different views on issues in Australia would tear our government apart. But how far can we go in our government before its Efficiency begins to affect our Democracy.