How and Why Power Is Divided in Australia

Topics: Separation of powers, Australia, Westminster system Pages: 3 (905 words) Published: May 31, 2008
How and why is power divided in Australia? Is a good and commonly asked question by looking at the Australian Constitution, and federalization it is possible to understand how power is divided within Australia. Through the ideas of the three arms of government following the Montesquieu view, the Washminster hybrid, Westminster and Washington systems of government which all influence Australia’s political system to shape it to what we know it as today. One demonstrates why power is divided in Australia. By doing this it will be easy to see and understand why it is necessary for power to be divided in Australia and how it is done to form a responsible and representative government.

Australia became an independent nation on 1st of January 1901 when the British parliament passed legislation allowing the six Australian colonies to govern their own rights as part of the commonwealth. The commonwealth was established as a Constitutional Monarchy, constitutional in that it was established with a written constitution and monarchy because the head of state is the Queen. Australia’s constitution was approved on the 9th of July 1900 and was in effect on the 1st of January 1901. Some aspects of the constitution are model on the U.S. constitution but it doesn’t include a bill of rights like theirs. The constitution institutes a federal system where the national government or commonwealth and states share power. It states that the current British monarch is also Australia’s head of state and because of the distance they may have a governor general who governs on their behalf. The head of state has powers above all levels of government and may rule over them.

During federation as mentioned before the constitution created a federal system of government. Under a federal system of government powers are divided through a bicameral parliament which consists of a monarch and two houses the senate and the House of Representatives. Further more it is split...
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