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Assignment on Proportional and Preferential Voting Mechanism in the Parliament of Australia

Number of Words : 1804

Number of References : 10


  Parliament of Australia – Background
  Preferential Voting Mechanism
  Advantages of Preferential Voting Mechanism
  Dis-advantages of Preferential Voting Mechanism
  Proportional Voting Mechanism
  Advantages of Proportional Voting Mechanism
  Dis-advantages of Proportional Voting Mechanism
  Differences between Preferential and Proportional Voting Mechanism


The Parliament of Australia began over a century ago as otherwise other parliaments of the world are much older. When we go back to history Australian Parliament was only developed as a process and concept in year 1850s. Europeans were living in Australia in 1788 however the colonies started formalizing parliaments during 1850s only (Farrell & Mcallister, 2005). <br />The Australian Constitution was drafted in the year 1890s and two principles were formalized unanimously that the Australian government would be a federal government where in there would be a union of self-governing states. People of each state would elect their state parliaments in order to exercise state responsibilities. On the other hand people of the entire nation put together would elect a national parliament in order to exercise specified national legislature. The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia would have two houses – 1) representing the people of Australia as a whole; 2) representing the people of Australia by voting by their respective colonies or states. It was also laid down that for any law to get through the parliament, consent of both houses would be required (Gavin Souter, 1988) (Parliament of Australia, 2009) (Farrell & McAllister, 2006)<br />The federation created a national parliament called the Parliament of the Commonwealth where the lower house was named the ‘House of Representatives’ and the upper house was named the ‘Senate’. It was influenced from the United States Congress which was also a feral legislature and a union of colonies to form one large state. The Senators are popularly elected through a set system of Proportional Representation and each Senator serves a term of six years minimum. A Senator therefore is conferred with special and quite significant power, even the capacity and independence to block a legislation which has been initiated by the Australian Government in the House of Representatives. This influence also came from the British Westminster as well as an American-style (Parliamentary Education Office, 2009)<br />

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