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Another Election? How the Voting System Works in Australia

Another Election? How the Voting System Works in Australia

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Another Election? How the Voting System Works in Australia

74 pagine
45 minuti
Apr 7, 2016


Australia is one of the few democracies in the world that has compulsory voting. Despite forcing all citizens to vote, many Australians are unsure about how the voting system works. Most have never been taught the details of the system. There is uncertainty in the general population regarding:
- What "preferential voting" means?
- What are the advantages of "preferential voting"?
- How is it different to "first past the post"?
- What is the difference between the House of Representatives and the Senate?
- How is each House voted for?
- What is the difference between a local member and a State Senator?
- How do we vote for each?
- Why are there the same number of Senators for each State, even though some States have so few people in them compared to the heavily populated ones?
- How has the voting system for the Senate changed since new laws were passed in early 2016?
- What are some of the differences between the political parties that I am being asked to vote for and choose between?

Agghh! ...

If you have wondered about any of the above questions, or if you find yourself unsure about the answers to them, then this book is for you. Jim Reiher clearly and carefully takes us through the nuts and bolts of how voting works in Australia. By the end of this small up-to-date book, you will be an informed voter who actually knows how best to use that vote you are required to cast, each election!

Apr 7, 2016

Informazioni sull'autore

Jim Reiher lives in Melbourne Australia. He has four adult children and lots of grandchildren. Jim writes both fiction and non-fiction.Regarding his fiction and the themes he loves to write about: Over his lifetime, (besides holding down "real jobs") Jim has been a clown and a magician. His clown character was the hobo "Splinter" - a bungling clown who tried to do magic and usually either failed or surprised himself. And Jim's straight magic routine was, and still is, performed for both adults or children. Whether an all adult function, or a children's party, his comical magic causes everyone to laugh and wonder. His clown/magician side comes out in the novels: "The Sunburnt Circus"; and "Broken Hill Broken Lives"; as well as "The Gospel According to Splinter"; and "The Acts of the Apostles and Splinter". His non-fiction "Confessions of a Christian Magician" is light hearted and inspires you to pursue your gifts and passions.Regarding most of his non-fiction, Jim's serious side comes out, although sometimes he writes his non-fiction with humor, too. Jim is a respected Australian Biblical scholar, with a MA in Theology with Honors, and 13 years of full time lecturing in Bible Colleges. Jim has published a number of books on topics ranging from Tarot Cards, to the Equality of Women in the Church, to how politics works in Australia. He has also written a number of commentaries on different New Testament books and letters: the Epistle of James, the Book of Acts, and most recently the Gospel of Mark.Jim enjoys a nice quiet walk in 'the middle of no where'; a good movie; a good book; playing ten-pin bowling; and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

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Another Election? How the Voting System Works in Australia - Jim Reiher

Another Election?

How the Voting System Works in Australia.


Jim Reiher

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2016 by Jim Reiher

Revised 2018

All Rights Reserved.

This e-book should not be reproduced or resold to any third party in any format.

Table of Contents

Three Levels of Government

Federal Elections

Left, Right and the Middle

I always find it kind of weird that Australia has compulsory voting but we don’t teach the population how the system works. Some Primary Schools do a unit on politics in Grade 5 or 6, and some High School teachers might do a module with a class of students doing an elective.

The fact is that we have compulsory voting. We are, in fact, one of the very few countries in the world that have compulsory voting, and we are right to be proud of that. Ironically, we don’t take the time to teach each voting citizen, how the voting system works.

Wouldn’t you like to know what we mean when we talk about preferential voting? Wouldn’t it be great to understand the differences between a Senator (a member of the Federal Upper House) and a member of the House of Representatives (someone in the Federal Lower House)? Why doesn’t Australia have ‘first past the post’ system? What is that anyway? How is our Senate elected? How is that different to the way we elect people for the House of Representatives? And why it is easier for small parties to get Senators elected, than for them to get members in the Lower House voted in?

Probably for most people the things mentioned in the last paragraph is all a bit vague.

So… let’s change all that for you…


Three levels of government in this country

There are three different levels of government in Australia. There are:

1) The Federal government (where we get our Prime Minister, and leader of the Opposition);

2) The State Governments where we get a state Premier leading the government of that state;

3) Local Councils, where we have a local mayor and a group of locally elected people to look after Council matters.

Each level of Government has its own areas of responsibility and has its own sources of income to help do what it needs to do. Sometimes more than one level of government has fingers in the same pie in different ways (eg education) but even then they will fall more under one level of government than the other (with education: the State Government looks after that, first and foremost).

The Australian Constitution is the document that describes how the Federal and State governments function, and the areas of responsibility each have.

1) The Federal government looks after the big things: international relations; war and peace; international trade; immigration; overseas aid; customs and border security; refugee policy; the army, navy and air-force; national parks; national highways; the nation’s response to climate change; Medicare; national economic policy; Centerlink and social security generally; pensions; grants to state governments for specific projects; and more. The Federal government gets money from income tax and the Goods and Services Tax (the GST), as well as borrowings, and other sources.

2) State governments look after the things that we are more affected by in a day to day sense: hospitals, schools, law and order, main roads, ports and freight; forests and logging policies; water supply; the police; the fire brigades; the ambulance service; and they have responsibility over local Councils as well. They get their revenue from their own tax sources (poker machine taxes, other gaming taxes, stamp duty, etc) as well as a grant from the Federal government each year that comes from the total GST and income tax raised.

3) Local Councils look after the things we use and touch

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