The political system in Australia has borrowed its elements from the political systems of United States and Great Britain. The Liberal democracy of Australia is built around the British Westminster system and a constitutional monarchy with certain features from US Federal Structure. Australian politics operates its government by and large as a two party system with compulsory voting. At the same time, the constitutional monarchy of Australia recognizes the Queen Elizabeth II as the head of their state.
Australia is the county that pioneered the printed secret ballet system for voting in 1855 when elections in the colony of Victoria took place through this system. The government of Australia is based on democratic liberal tradition. Australians with democracy elect the members of federal parliament of the country which is a bicameral body that incorporates the elements like the fused executive and federalist senate.
The political hierarchy in Australia comprises of three levels :
The executive level is the topmost level in the political hierarchy of Australia that is headed by the monarch, who is politically represented as the Governor General of the country. The major responsibilities of Governor General include providing royal assent to legislation, issuing writs for bestowing honour & elections, appointing ambassadors, judges and ministers etc.
The monarch also serves as the commander of the defence & armed forces of the country and is also the president of federal executive council. After the Governor General the major power lies with the Prime Minister of the country who heads the government and the cabinet as the highest level government minister. In fact the Prime Minister is regarded as the most powerful political figure of the country.
The legislative level of political hierarchy of Australia deals with the creation and development of laws. The legislative branch of the country is the parliament which is also known as Federal Parliament or Commonwealth Parliament. It has been influenced by two systems that are federalism and Westminster system. The three major components of parliament are the Senate, the Monarch and the House of Representatives.
The House of representatives is a 150 members group which are elected in a democratic manner for a term of three years. In this kind of voting an instant run off system is utilized e for preferential voting. This kind of voting has originated from Australia itself.
The Australian senate comprises of 76 members which are elected on a single transferrable voting system.
The judicial level of the hierarchy deals with the judiciary and courts of the country. The High court in Australia is the supreme and topmost court in the Australian court hierarchy. It holds the power of judicial review on the laws and regulations passed by the parliaments of state and that of the country. It also possesses appellate and original jurisdiction.
Seven justices serve the high court as jury which includes six justices and one Chief Justice of the country.