The State of Two Political Systems

Topics: Democracy, Elections, Representative democracy Pages: 6 (2030 words) Published: March 15, 2012
The State of Two Political Systems

Doing the comparison of political systems of different countries’ can be reflected in the idea that “It is in our best interest as individuals, and responsibility as citizens, to know how political systems work, and to do this we need to understand the political process that drives it”. (Singleton 2009). As citizens we may decide our form of government is the ‘accepted method’ of developing a liberal democracy. However, to gain a better understanding of our political system, we need to do a comparison of another country’s political framework with similar traits. Why do we need to do this comparison? By recognising similarities and differences in the political systems of other countries, will give an insight into the variety of ways in which this kind of political system can be structured, how it can perform, and the power relationship between state and society. And more importantly, when comparing political systems we talk about ‘the flow of power in and around governments; and another conception is power is simply the capacity to bring about intended effect” (Hague and Harrop, 2010) . However citizens disenchantment with the political systems are formed in the idea that “contemporary democracies are facing popular pressures to grant more access, increase the transparency of governance, and make government more accountable; and new forms of representation and public participation are emerging” (Yap 2010). To begin the essay, there will be a description of presidential and parliamentary governments. Secondly, discuss the electoral process and electoral turnout of both countries. Thirdly, examine political participation with the regard to minority groups and other ways of participation being the internet. The two liberal democratic countries chosen are America and Australia. The purpose of this essay is to compare the state of the two political systems and find out whether these two countries can be classified as modern democracies.

Jaensch (1991) “every nation state in the world has an executive; a person or group which is able to formulate its major policies, implement and enforce them”. Large scale democracies such America and Australia require citizens to elect representatives, have fair and frequent elections, freedom of expression, inclusive citizenship, association autonomy. In America the birth of representative government was established on republican values and emerged from the American Revolution. Direct democracy in America was established around 1910 in which a number of states had joined in and were eligible to vote. In comparison to Australia’s form of government which originated from the Westminster style of government; a legacy from the United Kingdom in which there is a lower house in parliament, a house of representatives and a senate. Australia is sometimes called a hybrid because it has copied the American system of government in which states were equally represented in parliament. The political system in America has separate divisions of powers (executive and legislature) and this is a hallmark of a presidential system. In contrast Australia has three arms of government which are, the legislature (voting new laws), the executive (enacting and upholding the law), the judiciary (legal arm is independent from other two arms), enforces law, checks the other two arms are acting within their power (Australian Government, 2010). The division of power in the Australian government is the fusion of executive and legislative branches; unlike America where the executive and legislatives are separated (Sodaro and Dean 2008). America is similar to Australia in that they both operate from a two party system. The two major parties in the America political system is the democratic and republicans. Australia has the liberals and labour as their major parties. If the representatives are not doing a good job then they can be voted out by the people....
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