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HomeAbout ParliamentSenateResearch and EducationPlatypus and Parliament: The Australian Senate in Theory and Practice3. The electoral and party systems 3. The electoral and party systems.
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The Commonwealth Constitution does not govern in detail how members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are to be elected, nor could it dictate the number and strength of Australia’s national political parties and the dynamics of competition among them. The electoral and party systems have a profound impact on the political dynamics in Canberra, including the roles of the two houses of Parliament and the relations between them, so both are summarized here. Special attention is given to a development that has fundamentally affected the balance of power among the parties, the implementation of principles of responsible government, and the practical dynamics of politics in Parliament: the decision made in 1948 that thereafter Senators would be elected by proportional representation.
Electing Representatives and Senators
The procedures for electing Australian Representatives and Senators are considerably more complicated than the procedures for electing...
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