The Australian Government and the Political System in Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, consists of the island of Australia, the mainland of New South Wales, the surrounding islands of Queensland, Victoria, and many other minor islands. It is today the sixth-most populous country in the world and the largest independent nation by land mass in Oceania. The country is a constitutional Monarchy, and although it is a representative of the British people, it is not an absolute colony of Great Britain. Queen Elizabeth is the head of state, also known as the Governor-General, and is responsible for the budget and administration of the country. The current government has been in power since September 2021, when a Labor government was elected on a pro-business platform. This left an electable government which had a weak majority and was unable to get the passage of a confidence motion (which would have forced a change of government).
As Australia has an approaching vote on thehood of another sovereign state, the Australian Government is extremely cautious to not lose its status with the international community as a strong country and respected world power. There are many current and past governments that have tried to form a stable government, but all have failed. For this reason the Australian Government has consistently pursued a path of being highly respected, admired, and trusted. A major part of achieving this has been the establishment of the Department of Foreign Affairs, headed by the well-respected Foreign Minister, Bob Carr.
With the foreign affairs of Australia continuing to grow, more issues are coming to light. Recently, there has been significant problems between the country and its neighbors, namely Indonesia and Singapore. These two countries refused to accept the independence of the last independent Prime Minister, John Howard, a move that sparked a number of events leading to the current situation. First, after refusing to accept the principle of self-rule, the Indonesian government sent a naval vessel into the Indian Ocean to try and stop the Singaporeans from becoming independent. The Australian foreign minister, John Howard, had no choice but to send the vessels out to refortify while the talks with the Indonesian government took place.
In addition, the recent unrest in Sri Lanka is also being blamed on the international community for the lack of communication between the country’s international partners. The Sri Lankan government was responsible for opening fire on a ship carrying Tamil refugees, killing the passengers. Many blame the Australian government for this, saying that the Sri Lankan government was unable to find information on the exact location of the vessel. Furthermore, in the midst of all this, the Sri Lankan cabinet finally agreed to accept the independence of the Tamil Tigers, which is welcome news to the Australian government, particularly considering that the current government of Prime Minister John Howard is seeking to enhance closer ties with the Asian Nation.
Currently, the Australian government has a majority in both houses of the parliament, although the governing party is only in favor of a plebiscite. This plebiscite will replace proportional representation where each representative is elected based on their popular support within the community. Under this system, any single person can gain an MP by running a simple campaign and winning enough votes.
Due to the fact that seats are fairly limited in terms of population, the number of seats that the opposition has to secure in the lower house and Senate is relatively low. Moreover, the minor parties that form a part of the governing coalition have enough seats to form a stable governing board. In most cases, the balance of power in the lower house and Senate is quite evenly balanced between the major parties. These two factors contribute to the stability of the political system in Australia.