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Encyclopedia > Australian Senate
Australian Senate
Type Upper house
President Alan Ferguson, Liberal
since 14 August 2007
Members 76
Political groups Coalition (39)
ALP (28)
Green (4)
Democrat (4)
FFP (1)
Last elections 9 October 2004
Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
Web site Senate
Entrance to the Senate
Entrance to the Senate
Australia

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Australia
Image File history File links Gnome_globe_current_event. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Senate, Parliament House, Canberra, taken by myself. ... For the demesne in The Keys to the Kingdom series, see The House An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. ... The President of the Australian Senate is the presiding officer of the Australian Senate, the upper house of the Parliament of Australia. ... Alan Baird Ferguson (born 16 September 1943), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since May 1992, representing South Australia. ... This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... is the 226th day of the year (227th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... The Coalition in Australian politics refers to the grouping of two political parties that has existed in the form of a coalition agreement since 1922, with only brief breaks (e. ... ALP redirects here. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Family First Party (FFP/F1) is a political party in Australia, with policies that generally mirror socially conservative and family values. ... is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Parliament House Canberra: The main entrance and the flag mast. ... For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... Entrance doors to the Australian Senate, Parliament House, Canberra. ... Entrance doors to the Australian Senate, Parliament House, Canberra. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 777 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (788 × 608 pixel, file size: 640 KB, MIME type: image/png) poop File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ...


Federal Government The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy, a federation, and a parliamentary democracy. ...

Executive

Legislative Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1952 and 2002 The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ... This article is about the Governor-General of Australia. ... The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia, holding office on commission from the Governor-General. ... Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957), is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. ... The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government. ... Dr Brendan John Nelson (born 19 August 1958) is an Australian politician and the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Australia, as leader of the Liberal Party of Australia. ... Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard with his Cabinet in 1999 The Cabinet of Australia is the council of senior ministers, responsible to parliament. ... The Federal Executive Council is the formal body holding executive authority under the Australian Constitution. ... A legislatureis a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to ratify laws. ...

1901 - 1972 - 1974 - 1975 - 1977 - 1980 - 1983 - 1984 - 1987 - 1990 - 1993 - 1996 - 1998 - 2001 - 2004 - 2007 Type Bicameral Houses House of Representatives Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party since 16 November 2004 President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party since 14 August 2007 Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators) Political groups Liberal Party ALP National Party Country Liberal Party Greens... Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... This article deals with elections to the Australian Parliament. ... The Australian House of Representatives is elected from 150 single-member districts called Divisions. ... Federal elections for the inaugural Parliament of Australia were held in Australia on March 29 and March 30, 1901 following Federation and the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 2 December 1972. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 18 May 1974. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 13 December 1975. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 10 December 1977. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 18 October 1980. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 5 March 1983. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 1 December 1984. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 11 July 1987. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 24 March 1990. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 13 March 1993. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 2 March 1996. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 3 October 1998. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 10 November 2001. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 9 October 2004. ... The 2007 election for the federal Parliament of Australia, in which 13. ...

Judicial The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In the law, the judiciary or judicial system is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ...


State and territory governments High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ... Courtroom 1 in the High Court in Canberra. ... The states and territories of Australia make up the Commonwealth of Australia under a federal system of government. ...

Executive

Legislative Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... The Premiers of the Australian states are the heads of the executive governments in the six states of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... A legislatureis a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to ratify laws. ...

ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. -
SA - Tas. - Vic. - WA The Parliaments of the Australian states and territories are legislative bodies within the federal framework of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... The form of the Government of New South Wales is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... Queensland Government Logo The Government of Queensland is commonly known as the Queensland Government. ... The form of the Government of South Australia is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. ... Tasmanian Coat of Arms featuring two Thylacines The form of the Government of Tasmania is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. ... The form of the Government of Victoria is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1855, although it has been amended many times since then. ... The formation of the Government of Western Australia is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1890, although it has been amended many times since then. ...


Local government Australia has two tiers of subnational government: state (or territory) government and local government. ...


Political parties Political parties in Australia lists political parties in Australia. ...

Democrats - Greens - Labor Party -
Country Liberal Party - Family First Party -
Liberal Party - National Party The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... ALP redirects here. ... In Australian politics, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) is the Northern Territory equivalent to the Liberal and National parties. ... The Family First Party (FFP/F1) is a political party in Australia, with policies that generally mirror socially conservative and family values. ... This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ...


Foreign relations RG Casey House, Canberra, is the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the department responsible for the formulation and enactment of Australian foreign policy. ...


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The Senate is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia. The lower house is known as the House of Representatives. Information on politics by country is available for every country, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... For the demesne in The Keys to the Kingdom series, see The House An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Representatives Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party since 16 November 2004 President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party since 14 August 2007 Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators) Political groups Liberal Party ALP National Party Country Liberal Party Greens... A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. ... Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High...

Contents

Origins and role

The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900 established the Senate as part of the new system of dominion government in newly-federated Australia. From a comparative governmental perspective, the Australian Senate exhibits distinctive characteristics, in that unlike upper houses in other Westminster system governments, the Senate is not a vestigial body with limited legislative power, but rather it was intended to play, and does play, an active role in legislation. Rather than being modelled after the House of Lords, as the Canadian Senate was, the Australian Senate was in part modelled after the United States Senate, by giving equal representation to each state. The Constitution intended to give less populous states added voice in a Federal legislature, while also providing for the revising role of an upper house in the Westminster system. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (in full, An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia) is the primary constitutional text of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... This article is about Dominions of the British Empire and of the Commonwealth of Nations. ... The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The Senate of Canada (French: Le Sénat du Canada) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the House of Commons. ... Type Upper House President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R since January 20, 2001 President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D since January 4, 2007 Members 100 Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party Last elections November 7, 2006 Meeting place Senate Chamber United States Capitol Washington, DC United States...


Although the Prime Minister, by convention, serves as a member of the House of Representatives, other ministers may come from either house, and the two houses have almost equal legislative power. As with most upper chambers in bicameral parliaments, the Senate cannot introduce Appropriation Bills (bills that authorise government expenditure of public revenue) or bills that impose taxation, that role being reserved for the lower house. That degree of equality between the Senate and House of Representatives is in part due to the age of the Australian constitution - it was enacted before the confrontation in 1909 in Britain between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which ultimately resulted in the restrictions placed on the powers of the House of Lords by the Parliament Act - but also reflected the desire of the Constitution's authors to have the upper house act as a 'stabilising' influence on the expression of popular democracy (much as the colonial Legislative Councils functioned as at the time). The smaller states also desired strong powers for the Senate as a way of ensuring that the interests of more populous states as represented in the House of Representatives did not totally dominate the government. The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia, holding office on commission from the Governor-General. ... Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High... In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ... An appropriation bill or supply bill is a legislative motion which authorizes the government to spend money. ... The House of Commons is a component of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also includes the Sovereign and the House of Lords. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament. ... A Legislative Council in British constitutional thought is the second-to-top tier of a government led by a Governor-General, Governor or a Lieutenant-Governor, inferior to an Executive Council and equal to or superior to a Legislative Assembly. ...


In practice, however, most legislation (except for Private Member's Bills) in the Australian Parliament is initiated by the Government, which has control over the lower house. It is then passed to the Senate, which may amend the bill or refuse to pass it. In the majority of cases, voting takes place along party lines, although there are occasional conscience votes. A Private Members Bill is a proposed law introduced by a backbench member of parliament, whether from the government or the opposition side, to that legislature or parliament. ... In politics, the line or the party line is an idiom for a political party or social movements canon agenda, as well as specific ideological elements specific to the organizations partisanship. ... A conscience vote or free vote is a type of vote in a legislative body where legislators are each expected to vote according to their own personal conscience rather than according to an official line set down by their political party. ...


Where the houses disagree

There are detailed conventions and rules regarding situations in which the Senate and the House of Representatives disagree. If the Senate repeatedly refuses to pass legislation initiated in the lower house, the Government may either abandon the bill, continue to revise it, or call a double dissolution (election for both houses of Parliament) and attempt to pass the bill at a subsequent joint sitting of the two houses. This article deals with elections to the Australian Parliament. ... A joint sitting of the Australian parliament was convened in August 1974, comprising members of both the Senate and House of Representatives. ...


On 8 October 2003, the Prime Minister John Howard initiated public discussion of whether the mechanism for the resolution of deadlocks between the houses should be reformed. High levels of support for the existing mechanism, and a very low level of public interest in that discussion, resulted in the abandonment of these proposals.[1] John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian politician and the 25th Prime Minister of Australia. ...


Blocking Supply

The constitutional text denies the Senate the power to originate or amend appropriation bills, in deference to the conventions of the classical Westminster system, under which the executive government is responsible for its use of public funds to the lower house, which has the power to bring down a government by blocking its access to Supply - i.e. revenue appropriated through taxation. The arrangement as expressed in the Australian Constitution, however, still leaves the Senate with the power to reject supply bills or defer their passage - undoubtedly one of the Senate's most contentious and most powerful abilities. The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... Loss of Supply occurs where a government in a parliamentary democracy is denied a supply of treasury or exchequer funds, by whichever house or houses of parliament or head of state is constitutionally entitled to grant and deny supply. ... For the tax agency in Ireland of the same name, see Revenue Commissioners. ...


The ability to block Supply was the origin of Australia's most significant constitutional crisis, that of 1975. The Opposition used its numbers in the Senate to defer supply bills, refusing to deal with them until an election was called for both Houses of Parliament, an election which it hoped to win. The Prime Minister of the day, Gough Whitlam, contested the legitimacy of the blocking and refused to resign. The crisis brought to a head two Westminster conventions that, under the Australian constitutional system, were in conflict - firstly, that a government may continue to govern for as long as it has the support of the lower house, and secondly, that a government that no longer has access to Supply must either resign or be dismissed. The crisis was resolved in November 1975 when Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed Whitlam's government and appointed a caretaker government on condition that elections for both houses of parliament be held. This action in itself was a source of controversy and debate continues on the proper usage of the Senate's ability to block Supply and on whether such a power should even exist. A constitutional crisis is a severe breakdown in the smooth operation of government. ... The secretary of the Governor-General, David Smith, announcing the dissolution of Parliament on November 11th, 1975. ... Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. ... The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia, holding office on commission from the Governor-General. ... Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC (born 11 July 1916), known as Gough Whitlam (, pronounced Goff), is an Australian former politician and 21st Prime Minister of Australia. ... A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sir John Robert Kerr, AK, GCMG, GCVO (24 September 1914 – 24 March 1991), 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and 18th Governor-General of Australia, dismissed the Labor government of Gough Whitlam on 11 November 1975, marking the climax of one of the most significant...


The membership of the Senate

Under the Constitution, the Senate must:

  • comprise an equal number of Senators from each original state;
  • have at least six Senators per state;
  • contain a total number of Senators that is as close as possible to half the number of members of the House of Representatives; and
  • ensure any laws governing the election of Senators is non-discriminatory among states.

These conditions have periodically been the source of debate, and within these conditions, the composition and rules of the Senate have varied significantly since federation.


Voting system

The voting system for the Senate has changed twice since it was created. The original arrangement involved a first past the post block voting mechanism. This was replaced in 1919 by preferential block voting. Block voting tended to grant landslide majorities and even "wipe-outs" very easily. In 1946, the Australian Labor Party government won 33 out of the 36 Senate seats. In 1948, partially in response to this extreme situation, proportional representation became the method for electing the Senate. The First Past the Post electoral system, is a voting system for single-member districts. ... Bloc voting (or block voting) (also called Plurality-at-large) refers to a class of voting systems which can be used to elect several representatives from a single constituency. ... This article is about geological phenomenon. ... ALP redirects here. ... Proportional representation (sometimes referred to as full representation, or PR), is a category of electoral formula aiming at a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates (grouped by a certain measure) obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (usually in legislative assemblies). ...


Senate Ballot Paper

The Australian Senate voting paper under the single transferable vote system resembles this example, which shows the candidates for Tasmanian senate representation in the 2004 federal election. This STV ballot for the Australian Senate illustrates group voting tickets. ... Slogan or Nickname: Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product... Federal elections were held in Australia on 9 October 2004. ...

Senate election - Tasmania
A
[_] Liberal
B
[_] CEC
C
[_] Democrats
D
[_] Family First
E
[_] CDP
F
[_] Ind.
G
[_]
H
[_] Greens
I
[_] ALP

Ungrouped
[_] Abetz E
[_] Barnett G
[_] Parry S
[_] Larner R
[_] Watts A
[_] Onsman Y
[_] Cass S
[_] Petrusma J
[_] Bergman L
[_] Smith L
[_] Mitchell D
[_] Fracalossi M
[_] Murphy S
[_] Martin S
[_] Newman J
[_] Milne C
[_] Cassidy K
[_] Millen T
[_] O'Brien K
[_] Polley H
[_] Price D
[_] Wells N
[_] Newitt R
[_] Gargan E
[_] Ottavi D
[_] McDonald J

Electors must either: This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Family First Party is a political party in Australia. ... The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) is a minor political party in Australia. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... ALP redirects here. ... Hon Eric Abetz Eric Abetz (born 25 January 1958 in Stuttgart, Federal Republic of Germany), has been a Liberal Party member of the Australian Senate since February 1994, representing the state of Tasmania. ... Guy Barnett Guy Barnett (born 4 April 1962), has been a Liberal Party member of the Australian Senate since February 2002, representing the state of Tasmania. ... Stephen Shane Parry (born 31 October 1960), Australian politician, has been a Liberal Party member of the Australian Senate since July 2005, representing the state of Tasmania. ... Christine Milne Christine Anne Milne (b. ...

  • Vote for an individual party by writing the number "1" in a single box above the line - this means the elector wants their preferences distributed according to a party's or group's officially registered ticket.
  • Vote for all candidates by writing the numbers 1, 2, 3, through to the last number (in this example, 26) in all the individual boxes below the line.

Because each state elects 6 senators at each half-senate election, the quota for election is only 1/7th or 14.3% (1/3rd or 33.3% for territories, where only 2 senators are elected). Once a candidate has been elected with votes reaching the quota amount, any votes they receive in addition to this may be distributed to other candidates as preferences. A ticket refers to a single election choice which fills more than one political office or seat. ...


Some states may have upwards of 70 candidates on their ballot papers, and the voter must individually number every single candidate for a "below the line" vote to count. As a result the "above the line" system was implemented. Over 95% of electors vote "above the line".


The ungrouped candidates in the far right column do not have a box above the line. Therefore they can only get a primary (number 1) vote from electors who vote below the line. For this reason, some independents register as a group, either with other independents or by themselves, such as groups F and G in the above example.


Size

The size of the Senate has changed over the years. The Australian Constitution requires that the number of Senators approximate as nearly as possible to half of the number of members of the House of Representatives, and it has therefore grown periodically. The Constitution originally provided for six Senators for each state, and thus a total of 36 senators. This was increased to ten Senators per state (and a total of 60) in 1948. In 1975, the two territories, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, elected 2 Senators each for the first time, bringing the number to 64. The last expansion took place in 1984, under which the number of senators from each state increased from 10 to 12, and the entire Senate to 76.[2] The Senators from the Northern Territory also represent constituents from Australia's Indian Ocean Territories (Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands), while the Senators from the Australian Capital Territory also represent voters from the Jervis Bay Territory. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (in full, An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia) is the primary constitutional text of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... For similar terms, see Northern Territories (disambiguation) Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... The Jervis Bay Territory is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. ...


Normally, senators and members of the House of Representatives are elected at the same time, although their terms do not coincide. Slightly more than half of the Senate is contested at each general election (half of the 72 state senators, and all four of the territory senators), along with the entire House of Representatives. State senators are normally elected for fixed terms of six years, commencing on 1 July following the election, and ceasing on 30 June six years later. The terms of the four senators from the territories are not fixed, but are defined by the dates of the general elections for the House of Representatives, the period between which can vary greatly, to a maximum of three years and three months. Members of the lower house commence their terms on election day, and their terms expire the day prior to the following general election day [3]. As a result, the new Parliament will for some time comprise a new House of Representatives and a substantially old, lame-duck Senate. A lame duck is an elected official who loses political power or is no longer responsive to the electorate as a result of a term limit which keeps him from running for that particular office again, losing an election, or the elimination of the officials office, but who continues...


Following a double dissolution, all 76 senators face re-election. There have been elections at which only half the Senate was up for election. The last time this occurred was on 21 November 1970. This article deals with elections to the Australian Parliament. ...


The "Unrepresentative" House

As a body intended to provide greater representation to smaller states, the Senate (like many upper houses) is necessarily relatively unrepresentative; Tasmania, with a population of 450,000, elects the same number of Senators as New South Wales, which has a population of 6 million. On November 4, 1992, Prime Minister Paul Keating called it an "unrepresentative swill".[4] But the proportional election system within each state ensures that the Senate incorporates much more political diversity than the lower house, which is basically a two party body. Consequently, the Senate frequently functions as a house of review, intended not to match party political strength in the lower chamber but to bring in different people, in terms of geography, age and interests, who can contribute in a less politicised manner to the process of legislative enactment. Slogan or Nickname: Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product... NSW redirects here. ... is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... For other persons named Paul Keating, see Paul Keating (disambiguation). ... Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A two-party system is a form of party system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections. ... For the demesne in The Keys to the Kingdom series, see The House An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. ...


Parties in the Australian Senate

Parties which currently have representation in the Senate: This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2008. ... NSW redirects here. ... George Campbell George Campbell (born 18 February 1943), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since September 1997, representing the state of New South Wales. ... Helen Lloyd Coonan (born 29 October 1947), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1996, representing New South Wales. ... John Philip Faulkner (born 12 April 1954), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since April 1989, representing the state of New South Wales. ... Concetta Anna (Connie) Fierravanti-Wells (born 20 May 1960), Australian politician, is a member of Australian Senate for the state of New South Wales. ... Michael George Forshaw (born 11 January 1952), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of New South Wales since May 1994, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... William Daniel Heffernan (born 3 March 1943), Australian politician, has been a Liberal Party member of the Senate, representing the state of New South Wales, since September 1996. ... Stephen Patrick Hutchins (born 22 April 1956), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of New South Wales since October 1998, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... John Alexander Lindsay Sandy Macdonald (born 10 May 1954), Australian politician, has been a National Party of Australia member of the Australian Senate since July, 1993, representing the state of New South Wales. ... Fiona Joy Nash (born 6 May 1965), Australian politician, has been a National Party of Australia member of the Australian Senate since 1 July 2005, representing the state of New South Wales. ... Kerry Michelle Nettle (born 24 December 1973) is an Australian Senator for the Australian Greens in the state of New South Wales. ... Marise Ann Payne (b. ... Ursula Mary Stephens (b. ... Slogan or Nickname: Sunshine State, Smart State Motto(s): Audax at Fidelis (Bold but Faithful) Other Australian states and territories Capital Brisbane Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Quentin Bryce Premier Anna Bligh (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 28  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $158,506 (3rd... Bartlett speaks at the launch of his campaign for re-election to the Australian Senate in July 2007 Andrew John Julian Bartlett (born 4 August 1964), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Queensland since 1997, representing the Australian Democrats, of which he... Hon Ron Boswell Ronald Ron Boswell (born 9 December 1940), Australian politician, has been a National Party member of the Australian Senate since July 1982, representing Queensland. ... Sue Boyce, Australian politician, businesswoman and disability advocate, is a member of the Australian Senate for Queensland. ... George Henry Brandis, SC (born 22 June 1957), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since May 2000, representing Queensland. ... John Joseph Hogg (born 19 March 1949), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Queensland since July 1996, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... Barnaby Thomas Gerald Joyce (born 17 April 1967), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate representing the state of Queensland since July 2005. ... Joseph William Ludwig (born 21 July 1959), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Queensland since July 1999, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... Ian Douglas Macdonald (born 29 November 1945), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1990, representing Queensland. ... Jan Elizabeth McLucas (b. ... Dr Brett John Mason (born 5 March 1962), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1999, representing the state of Queensland. ... Claire Mary Moore (b. ... Russell Trood PhD is a Liberal Party Senator for the state of Queensland, Australia. ... For the song, see South Australia (song). ... Cory Bernardi (born 6 November 1969, Adelaide) is an Australian politician. ... Simon Birmingham is a senator-elect for South Australia, nominated by the Liberal Party under Section 15 of the Australian Constitution to fill the Senate seat left vacant following the death of Senator Jeannie Ferris in April 2007. ... Grant Chapman Hedley Grant Pearson Chapman (born 27 April 1949), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1987, representing South Australia. ... Alan Baird Ferguson (born 16 September 1943), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since May 1992, representing South Australia. ... Mary Jo Fisher is a South Australian Liberal politician who was chosen on June 6, 2007 to fill a vacancy in the Australian Senate left by the resignation of the Hon. ... Annette Hurley, Australian politician, is a Labor Senator-elect for South Australia. ... Linda Jean Kirk (born 24 May 1967) is an Australian politician. ... Anne McEwan (b. ... Senator Nicholas Minchin Nicholas Hugh Minchin (born 15 April 1953), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1993, representing South Australia. ... Natasha Stott Despoja Natasha Stott Despoja (born 1969) is an Australian politician. ... Penny Wong Penelope Ying-yen Penny Wong (born November 5, 1968), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since 2002, representing South Australia. ... Dana Johanna Wortley (b. ... Slogan or Nickname: Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product... Hon Eric Abetz Eric Abetz (born 25 January 1958 in Stuttgart, Federal Republic of Germany), has been a Liberal Party member of the Australian Senate since February 1994, representing the state of Tasmania. ... Guy Barnett Guy Barnett (born 4 April 1962), has been a Liberal Party member of the Australian Senate since February 2002, representing the state of Tasmania. ... For other uses, see Bob Brown (disambiguation). ... Carol Brown (born 19 July 1963), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate, representing the state of Tasmania, since 25 August 2005. ... David Christopher Bushby (born June 17, 1965), Australian politician, a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since August 2007, representing the state of Tasmania. ... Richard Mansell Colbeck (born 5 April 1958), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since 4th February 2002, representing Tasmania. ... Christine Milne Christine Anne Milne (b. ... Kerry Williams Kelso OBrien (born 19 July 1951), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Tasmania since September 1996, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... Stephen Shane Parry (born 31 October 1960), Australian politician, has been a Liberal Party member of the Australian Senate since July 2005, representing the state of Tasmania. ... Helen Polley Helen Beatrice Polley (February 9, 1957) is an Australian Labor Party Senator for the state of Tasmania, since July 1, 2005. ... Nicholas John Sherry (born 19 November 1955), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Tasmania since July 1990, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... John Odin Wentworth Watson (born 21 January 1937), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate July 1978, representing the state of Tasmania. ... VIC redirects here. ... Lynette Fay Lyn Allison (born 21 October 1946), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Victoria since July 1996. ... Senator Kim Carr Kim John Carr (born July 2, 1955) has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since April 1993, representing the state of Victoria. ... Stephen Conroy Stephen Michael Conroy (born 18 January 1963), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since September 1997, representing the state of Victoria. ... Steven Fielding (born 17 October 1960), Australian politician, is parliamentary leader of the Family First Party. ... Mitchell Peter Mitch Fifield (born 16 January 1967), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since March 2004, representing Victoria. ... Charles Roderick Rod Kemp (born 21 December 1944), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1990, representing Victoria. ... Julian McGauran Julian McGauran (born March 5, 1957), Australian politician, is a member of the Australian Senate, representing the state of Victoria. ... Gavin Mark Marshall (born 25 March 1960), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since July 2002, representing the state of Victoria. ... Kay Patterson Kay Christine Lesley Patterson (born November 21, 1944) has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since 1987, representing the state of Victoria. ... Robert Francis Ray (born 8 April 1947), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Senate since July 1981, representing the state of Victoria. ... Michael John Clyde Ronaldson (born 13 February 1954), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 2005, representing the state of Victoria. ... Judith Mary Troeth (born 3 August 1940) has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1993, representing the state of Victoria. ... Slogan or Nickname: Wildflower State or the Golden State Other Australian states and territories Capital Perth Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Ken Michael Premier Alan Carpenter (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 15  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2005-06)  - Product ($m)  $107,910 (4th)  - Product per capita  $53,134/person... Judith Anne Adams (born 11 April 1943), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 2005, representing Western Australia. ... Mark Bishop Thomas Mark Bishop (born 29 June 1954), has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since July 1996, representing the state of Western Australia. ... Mathias (Hubert Paul) Cormann (born 20 September 1970 in Belgium) is an Australian politician. ... Dr Alan Eggleston (born 30 December 1941), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1996, representing Western Australia. ... Christopher Martin Ellison (born 15 June Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 1993, representing Western Australia. ... Christopher Vaughan Evans (born 14 May 1958), Australian politician, is a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Western Australia, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... David Albert Lloyd Johnston, (born 14 April 1956) Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since July 2002, representing the state of Western Australia. ... Philip Ross Lightfoot (born August 11, 1936) has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since 1997, representing the state of Western Australia. ... Andrew James Marshall Murray (born 29 January 1947), Australian politician, has been an Australian Democrats member of the Australian Senate since July 1996, representing Western Australia. ... Senator Rachel Siewert is an Australian politician from the Australian Greens. ... Glenn Sterle (born January 3, 1960) is an Australian politician. ... Ruth Stephanie Webber (b. ... The states and territories of Australia make up the Commonwealth of Australia under a federal system of government. ... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... Gary Humphries Gary Humphries (born July 6, 1958) is a member of the Australian Senate from the Australian Capital Territory. ... Kate Alexandra Lundy (born 15 December 1967) is a member of the Australian Senate, representing the Australian Capital Territory. ... For similar terms, see Northern Territories (disambiguation) Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004... Patricia Margaret Trish Crossin (born 21 March 1956), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the Northern Territory since June 1998, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... Nigel Gregory Scullion (Born 4 May 1956), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the Northern Territory since November 2001, representing the Country Liberal Party. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Family First Party (FFP/F1) is a political party in Australia, with policies that generally mirror socially conservative and family values. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... In Australian politics, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) is the Northern Territory equivalent to the Liberal and National parties. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ...

Parties which have held Senate seats in the past include the Democratic Labor Party, Liberal Movement, One Nation and the Nuclear Disarmament Party. The Australian Democrats won no seats in the 2007 federal election, and will have no federal representation after the current senators' terms end in June 2008. The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... ALP redirects here. ... The Family First Party (FFP/F1) is a political party in Australia, with policies that generally mirror socially conservative and family values. ... This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... In Australian politics, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) is the Northern Territory equivalent to the Liberal and National parties. ... The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) is a minor political party in Australia that espouses social conservatism. ... The Liberal Movement was a minor Australian political party that flourished in the 1970s. ... One Nation is a nationalist and protectionist political group in Australia. ... The Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) is a political party in Australia. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The 2007 election for the federal Parliament of Australia, in which 13. ...


Due to the need to obtain votes state-wide, independent candidates have difficulty getting elected. The exceptions in recent times have been the Tasmanian Brian Harradine and the South Australian Nick Xenophon. Brian Harradine (born January 9, Australian politician, has been an independent member of the Australian Senate since 1975, representing the state of Tasmania. ... Hon. ...


The Australian Senate serves as a model for some politicians in Canada, particularly in the Western provinces, who wish to reform the Canadian Senate to take a more active legislative role. The Senate of Canada (French: Le Sénat du Canada) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the House of Commons. ...


See also: Australian House of Representatives, List of longest-serving members of the Australian Senate Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High... See also: List of longest-serving members of the Australian House of Representatives The first Senate was elected on 30 March 1901. ...


Latest result

[discuss] – [edit]
Summary of the 9 October 2004 Parliament of Australia election results
Parties Primary Votes House % House Seats House Votes Senate % Senate Seats Won Senate Total Seats Senate
  Liberal Party of Australia 4,741,458 40.5 74 2,109,978 17.7 13 33
  National Party of Australia 690,275 5.9 12 163,261 1.4 1 5
Liberal/National Party senate ticket (NSW and Vic) - - - 3,074,952 25.7 6 *
  Country Liberal Party 39,855 0.3 1 41,923 0.4 1 1
  Australian Labor Party 4,409,117 37.6 60 4,186,715 35.0 16 28
  Australian Greens 841,734 7.2 - 916,431 7.7 2 4
  Family First Party 235,315 2.0 - 210,567 1.8 1 1
  Australian Democrats 144,832 1.2 - 250,373 2.1 - 4
  One Nation Party 139,956 1.2 - 206,455 1.7 - -
  Christian Democratic Party 72,241 0.6 - 140,674 1.2 - -
  Other parties 108,313 0.9 - 652,320 5.5 - -
  Independents 288,206 2.4 3 - - - -
Total (turnout 94.85%) 11,715,132 100.0 150 11,953,649 100.0 40 76
Informal votes 639,851
Total votes 12,354,983
Registered voters 13,021,230
* Liberal/National senators shown under their respective parties
Sources: Australian Electoral Commission, Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Handbook

is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Representatives Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party since 16 November 2004 President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party since 14 August 2007 Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators) Political groups Liberal Party ALP National Party Country Liberal Party Greens... Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High... This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... In Australian politics, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) is the Northern Territory equivalent to the Liberal and National parties. ... ALP redirects here. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... The Family First Party (FFP/F1) is a political party in Australia, with policies that generally mirror socially conservative and family values. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... One Nation is a nationalist and protectionist political group in Australia. ... The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) is a minor political party in Australia. ...

Party composition

Historical

Year Total ALP Coalition Democrats Greens Other
1974-1975 60 29 29 2 (Townley, 1 LM)
1975-1978 64 27 35 2 (Harradine, 1 LM)
1978-1981 64 26 35 2 1 (Harradine)
1981-1983 64 27 31 5 1 (Harradine)
1983 64 30 28 5 1 (Harradine)
1984 76 34 33 7 2 (Harradine, 1 NDP)
1987-1990 76 32 34 7 3 (Harradine, Vallentine, 1 NDP)
1990-1993 76 32 34 8 1 1 (Harradine)
1993-1996 76 30 36 7 2 1 (Harradine)
1996-1999 76 28 37 7 2 2 (Harradine, Colston )
1999-2002 76 29 35 9 1 2 (Harradine, 1 One Nation)
2002-2005 76 29 35 8 2 2 (Harradine, 1 One Nation)
2005-2008 76 28 39 4 4 1 (Family First)

This table has been simplified in the following ways: ALP redirects here. ... The Coalition in Australian politics refers to the grouping of two political parties that has existed in the form of a coalition agreement since 1922, with only brief breaks (e. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... Michael Townley (born 4 November 1934) is a former Tasmanian senator. ... The Liberal Movement was a minor Australian political party that flourished in the 1970s. ... Brian Harradine (born January 9, Australian politician, has been an independent member of the Australian Senate since 1975, representing the state of Tasmania. ... The Liberal Movement was a minor Australian political party that flourished in the 1970s. ... The Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) is a political party in Australia. ... Josephine Vallentine (b. ... Dr Malcolm Arthur Colston (1938 – 2003), Australian politician, was a Senator in the Parliament of Australia representing the state of Queensland between 13 December 1975 and 30 June 1999. ... Not to be confused with the One Nation program of infrastructure works carried out from 1991 to 1996 by the Keating Labor Government. ... The Family First Party is a political party in Australia. ...

The Greens Western Australia is the state branch of the Australian Greens in Western Australia. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ...

Current

The 2007 election introduced changes in the composition of the Senate, which come into fruition on 1 July 2008. Until that date, the ALP government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will face a hostile Senate controlled by an absolute majority of Liberal/National Coalition Senators. This will be the first time since 1975 that a government in the House of Representatives will be forced into accommodation with a Senate that is controlled by the Opposition. is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) will be a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (common) era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957), is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. ...

Party 02-08 05-11 ACT & NT Incoming
Liberal Party of Australia 16 17 1 34
The Nationals 2 2 0 4
Country Liberal Party 0 0 1 1
Australian Labor Party 12 14 2 28
Australian Democrats 4 0 0 4
Australian Greens 2 2 0 4
Family First 0 1 0 1
Total 36 36 4 76

This government majority meant that, for the first time in a generation, a government did not generally have to negotiate with other political parties if it wanted to secure passage of legislation through parliament. This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... In Australian politics, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) is the Northern Territory equivalent to the Liberal and National parties. ... ALP redirects here. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... The Family First Party is a political party in Australia. ...


The Senate in practice

The work of the Senate

The Australian Senate typically sits for 50 to 60 days a year.[5] Most of those days are grouped into 'sitting fortnights' of two four-day weeks. These are in turn arranged in three periods: the autumn sittings, from February to April; the winter sittings, which commence with the delivery of the budget in the House of Representatives on the first sitting day of May and run through to June or July; and the spring sittings, which commence around August and continue until December, and which typically contain the largest number of the year's sitting days.


In addition to the work of the main chamber, the Senate also has a large number of committees which deal with matters referred to them by the Senate. These committees also conduct hearings three times a year in which the government's budget and operations are examined. These are known as estimates hearings. Traditionally dominated by scrutiny of government activities by non-government senators, they provide the opportunity for all senators to ask questions of ministers and public officials. Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ...


The senate has a regular schedule that structures its typical working week.[6]


Holding governments to account

One of the functions of the Senate, both directly and through its committees, is to scrutinise government activity. The vigour of this scrutiny has been fuelled for many years by the different party composition of the two houses. When the Howard government won control of the Senate in 2005, it sparked a debate about the effectiveness of the Senate in holding the government of the day accountable for its actions. Government members have argued that the Senate continues to be a forum of vigorous debate, and its committees continue to be active.[7] The Opposition leader in the Senate has suggested that the government has attenuated the scrutinising activities of the Senate.[8] The Australian Democrats, a minor party which has frequently played mediating and negotiating roles in the Senate, have expressed concern about a diminished role for the Senate's committees.[9] Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based...


Votes in the Senate

Senators are called upon to vote on matters before the Senate. These votes are called divisions in the case of Senate business, or ballots where the vote is to choose a Senator to fill an office of the Senate (such as President of the Australian Senate).[10] The President of the Australian Senate is the presiding officer of the Australian Senate, the upper house of the Parliament of Australia. ...


Party discipline in Australian politics is extremely tight, so divisions almost always are decided on party lines. Nevertheless, the existence of minor parties holding the balance of power in the Senate has made divisions in that chamber more important and occasionally dramatic than in the House of Representatives. Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ...


When a division is to be held, bells ring throughout the parliament building for four minutes, during which time Senators must go to the chamber. At the end of that period the doors are locked and a vote is taken, by identifying and counting senators according to the side of the chamber on which they sit (ayes to the right of the chair, noes to the left). The whole procedure takes around eight minutes. Senators with commitments that keep from the chamber may make arrangements in advance to be 'paired' with a senator of the opposite political party, so that their absence does not affect the outcome of the vote.


The senate contains an even number of Senators, so a tied vote is a real prospect (which regularly occurs when the party numbers in the chamber are finely balanced). Section 23 of the Constitution requires that in the event of a tied division, the question is resolved in the negative. The system is however different for ballots for offices such as the President. If such a ballot is tied, the Clerk of the Senate decides the outcome by the drawing of lots. In reality, conventions govern most ballots, so this situation does not arise. The Clerk of the Australian Senate is the head of the Department of the Senate which is the parliamentary department supporting the work of the Australian Senate. ...


Crossing the floor

One feature of the government having a majority in both chambers since 1 July 2005 has been an increased emphasis on internal differences between members of the government parties. This period has seen the first instances of crossing the floor by Senators since the conservative government took office in 1996. Recent cases of government members crossing the floor to vote with the Opposition have included Senator Gary Humphries on civil unions in the Australian Capital Territory, and Barnaby Joyce on voluntary student unionism. Neither of these instances resulted in the defeat of a government proposal, as in both cases Senator Steve Fielding voted with the government. A more significant potential instance of floor crossing was averted when the government withdrew its Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill, of which several government Senators had been critical, and which would have been defeated had it proceeded to the vote.[11] In politics, crossing the floor is to vote against party lines, especially where this is considered unusual or controversial. ... Gary Humphries Gary Humphries (born July 6, 1958) is a member of the Australian Senate from the Australian Capital Territory. ... Barnaby Thomas Gerald Joyce (born 17 April 1967), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate representing the state of Queensland since July 2005. ... Steven Fielding (born 17 October 1960), Australian politician, is parliamentary leader of the Family First Party. ...


See also

The President of the Australian Senate is the presiding officer of the Australian Senate, the upper house of the Parliament of Australia. ... There have been 66 women in the Australian Senate since the establishment of the Parliament of Australia. ... This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2008. ... See also: List of longest-serving members of the Australian House of Representatives The first Senate was elected on 30 March 1901. ... The Clerk of the Australian Senate is the head of the Department of the Senate which is the parliamentary department supporting the work of the Australian Senate. ... The Canberra Press Gallery (officially called the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery) is the name given to the approximately 180 journalists and their support staff, including producers, editors and camera crews, who report the workings of the Parliament of Australia. ... This article provides details on candidates preselected for the 2007 Australian federal election. ...

References

  1. ^ Consultative Group on Constitutional Change, Resolving Deadlocks: The Public Response, March 2004 http://www.dpmc.gov.au/conschange/report/docs/report.pdf
  2. ^ Department of the Senate, Senate Brief No. 1, 'Electing Australia’s Senators', retrieved August 2007
  3. ^ Section 6 of the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1973
  4. ^ Question without Notice: Loan Council Arrangements House Hansard,
  5. ^ Figures are available for each year on the Senate StatsNet http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/work/statistics/index.htm
  6. ^ Department of the Senate website, Senate weekly routine of business http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/work/routineofbus.htm
  7. ^ Senator the Hon Nick Minchin media release, 30 June 2006 http://www.financeminister.gov.au/media/2006/mr_432006.html
  8. ^ Senator Chris Evans, The tyranny of the majority (speech), 10 November 2005 http://www.chrisevans.alp.org.au/news/1105/senatespeeches10-01.php
  9. ^ Australian Democrats media release, 4 July 2006 http://www.democrats.org.au/docs/2006/PR_Senate_Attack_Accountability.pdf
  10. ^ Senate Standing Orders, numbers 7, 10, 98-105, 163
  11. ^ Prime Minister's press conference, 14 August 2006 http://www.pm.gov.au/news/interviews/Interview2073.html

Further reading

  • Stanley Bach, Platypus and Parliament: The Australian Senate in Theory and Practice, Department of the Senate, 2003.
  • Harry Evans, Odgers' Australian Senate Practice, A detailed reference work on all aspects of the Senate's powers, procedures and practices.
  • John Halligan, Robin Miller and John Power, Parliament in the Twenty-first Century: Institutional Reform and Emerging Roles, Melbourne University Pulishing, 2007.
  • John Uhr, The Senate and Proportional Representation: Public policy justifications of minority representation, Working Paper no. 69, Graduate Program in Public Policy, Australian National University, 1999.

External links

  • Official website of the Australian Senate

  Results from FactBites:
 
Australian Senate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1414 words)
From a comparative governmental perspective, the Australian Senate exhibits distinctive characteristics, in that unlike upper houses in other Westminster system governments, the Senate is not a vestigial body with limited legislative power, but rather plays and is intended to play an active role in legislation.
If the Senate repeatedly refuses to pass legislation initiated in the lower house, the Government may either abandon the bill, continue to revise it, or call a double dissolution (election for both houses of Parliament) and attempt to pass the bill at a subsequent joint sitting of the two houses.
The Australian Constitution requires that the number of Senators approximate as nearly as possible to half of the number of members of the House of Representatives, and it has therefore grown periodically.
Australian Senate - definition of Australian Senate in Encyclopedia (1342 words)
The Australian Senate is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia.
From a comparative governmental perspective, the Australian Senate exhibits almost unique characteristics, in that unlike upper houses in other Westminster system governments, the Senate is not a vestigal body with limited legislative power but rather plays and is intended to play an active role in legislation.
Significant events in the history of the Senate include its role in the downfall of the Whitlam Government during the Australian Constitutional Crisis of 1975, and the Howard Government's controversial acquisition of the support of Senator Mal Colston, thus obtaining a majority and enabling the passage of a great deal of contentious legislation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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