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The Essentials of Understanding Australia’s Political System

Part of the Australian Politics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Politics isn’t hard. It can just be a bit confusing sometimes. With so many rules and levels of government, knowing who does what can be difficult. By examining the rules of the game, you’ll be better able to understand the system and have a greater impact on Australian politics. Here are a few things you need to know about to help you along the way:

  • The rulebook: Australia is a federation, which means it has state governments as well as a national government. Both levels of government have their own areas of responsibility, outlined in the Australian Constitution.

  • The important actors: These players aren’t Hollywood stars but the starring roles of the governor-general, the prime minister and the opposition leader, and the many other roles that are integral to Australian politics. The prime minister and opposition leader are also party leaders, so the political parties are important actors, too.

  • Parliament and power: Understanding the role of parliament is good. Knowing how parliament works and what it does is better. Understanding what a Westminster parliament does is sublime!

  • The institutions: Some other powerful bodies in Australia can also impact on the political system, including the public service and the High Court. Get to know what these institutions do and arm yourself with a better understanding of the political system in action.

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