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Political Involvement (200 Hr Commerce)

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James Spiridon

on 29 June 2011

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Transcript of Political Involvement (200 Hr Commerce)

There are three levels within the structure of the australian government. These include Federal, state and local. Each of these types of government are assigned roles in maintaing order and to satisfy their citizens needs and wants. Political Involvement for First Time Voters There are 900 government bodies in Australia wich are called councils.
The head of the council is called a mayor.
Local councils operate under state government legislation.
They make rules named by-laws on local issues.

Their roles and respnsibilities include:
-Town planning
-Rubbish collection
-Swimming pools
-Streets and bridges
-Libraries LOCAL STATE There are two houses in state parliament-The legislative assembly( the lower house) and the legilative council (the upper house).
The head of the state government is the premier.
The federal government has the power to review any decisions and laws made by the state government.

Their roles and responsibilities include:
-Law and order
-Roads and railways
-Environment protection
-Aboriginal welfare FEDERAL There are two houses in federal parliament-an upper house(the Senate) and a lower house(the House of Representatives).
The head of federal government is the Prime Minister.
Ministers are appointed to look after particular government portfolios. Portfolios are areas of government responsibility.
The Cabinet makes key government decisions. The Cabinet is made up of the Prime Minister and senior ministers.
The Governor-General represents the Queen as Head of State.

Their roles and responsibilities include:

-Foreign Affairs
-Social Security
-Aboriginal Welfare POLITICAL PARTIES STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT A political party is generally recognised as an organisation of like-minded people which aims to develop policies and endorse candidates to contest elections with a view to forming government. There are over thirty political parties in Australia. The main ones are the National Party of Australia, The Liberal Party of Australia, The Australian Labor Party, The Australian Greens, Family First Party and the Australian Democrats. Parties draw together people who have similar political philosophies and ideas. Before putting up a candidate to get elected into Parliament, a party needs to be registered with the Australian Electoral Commision. Not all candidates belong to a political party as some may be independents. Functions Parties draw people together who have the same political philosophies and ideas

Political parties help people who have similar interests to meet together, organise and campaign for issues which they all believe strongly about. Voters normally vote for parties who campaign about the same issues in which they believe in.

Parties select candidates to contest local, state and federal elections. This is called pre-selection.

In the parliament, political parties provide both the government and opposition.

The party or parties which wins the majority of seats in the House of Representatives forms the government. The party or parties which wins the second largest number of seats becomes the Opposition. The Labor Party of Australia forms the current government. The Liberal Party is the opposition.

Parties are an avenue for community groups to influence the decision-making process.

Many "pressure" groups have links with certain political parties. When issues arise these groups contact the parties and heavily influence their decisions and the development of policies. Labor Party Liberal Party Founded: 1891

Leader: Julia Gillard

Deputy Leader: Wayne Swan

Seats in House of Reps: 72

Seats in Senate: 32

Seats in NSW Parliament: 20 Founded: 1944

Leader: Tony Abbot

Deputy Leader: Julie Bishop

Seats in House of Reps: 44

Seats in Senate: 32

Seats in NSW Parliament: 51 VOTING Voting is a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion—often following discussions, debates, or election campaigns. In Australia, voting is compulsory.

Compulsory voting means that every eligible Australian citizen (18 years or older) is required by law to enrol and vote. If a person does not vote and is unable to provide a ’valid and sufficient’ reason, a penalty is imposed.

There are many places to cast your vote. Church halls, schools and public buildings are common polling places. How to Vote To vote for a Member of the House of Representatives, a voter is required to write the number ‘1’ in the box next to the candidate who is their first choice, and the numbers ‘2’, ‘3’ and so on against all the other candidates until all the boxes have been numbered, in order of the voter’s preference.

Ballot papers must be marked according to the rules for voting so that they do not create informal votes. Ballot papers cannot be counted if they are informal.

Polling officials at the polling place are available to assist you in completing your ballot paper. Remember, if you make a mistake on a ballot paper you may return it to the polling official who issued it to you and receive a fresh one. House Of Representatives The ballot paper is divided into two sections. Voters have a choice of two methods when voting for Senators; ‘above the line’ and ‘below the line’.

Above the line: A voter may vote for a political party or group by putting the number '1' in one box only above the black line. The rest of the ballot paper will be left blank. By casting a vote this way, voters are allowing the order of their preference to be determined by the party or group they are voting for. Senate Below the Line: A voter can choose to fill in every box below the line in the order of their preference by putting the number '1' in the box of the candidate they want as their first choice, number '2' in the box of the candidate they want as their second choice, and so on until all the boxes have been numbered. The top part of the ballot paper will be left blank. If a voter chooses to vote below the line, they must number every box below the line for their vote to count How Votes Are Counted House of Representatives A House of Representatives candidate is elected if they gain an absolute majority – more than 50% – of the formal vote.

First, all of the number '1' votes are counted for each candidate. If a candidate gets more than half the total first preference votes, that candidate will be elected.

However, if no candidate has more than half of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded. This candidate's votes are transferred to the other candidates according to the second preferences shown by voters on the ballot papers for the excluded candidate. If still no candidate has more than half the votes, the candidate who now has the fewest votes is excluded and the votes are transferred according to the next preference shown. This process continues until one candidate has more than half the total votes and is declared elected. Senate To be elected to the Senate, a candidate needs to gain a quota of the formal votes. The quota is calculated by dividing the total number of formal ballot papers by one more than the number of Senators to be elected and then adding '1' to the result.

The papers are then sorted according to which candidate has received the number '1' preference on each ballot paper. Candidates who receive the quota, or more, of these first preference votes are elected immediately.

Starting with the candidate who has the lowest number of votes, unelected candidates are excluded from the count. Their ballot papers are distributed to the remaining candidates to whom the voters have given their preferences. If any of the remaining candidates obtains a quota through this process of distribution, they are declared elected. Getting Involved Pressure Groups A pressure group can be described as an organised group that does not put up candidates for election, but seeks to influence government policy or legislation. They can also be described as ‘interest groups’, ‘lobby groups’ or ‘protest groups’. Non Goverment organisations can also be classified as pressure groups. If you have a strong belief in a particular topic then you might be interested in joining a pressure group. Examples include:

Australian Conservation Foundation
Sporting Shooters Association of Australia
Australian Medical Association
Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Australian Nursing Federation
Refugee Council of Australia
National Association of Forest Industries Town Meetings Around election time many local councils hold meetings with local citizens. Some may be public where hundreds of people are present or you can choose to have a private meeting with your local member of parliament. During these meetings you can voice your opinion on a topic of concern. You have the right to be answered by a minister or councillor about your concerns. Standing for Election If you feel you are educated and ready enough to stand for election to parliament or a local council then you have the right to do so.

You are not eligible to be a candidate for election if you:
are a member of State or Federal Parliament;
are an insolvent under administration;
are serving a prison sentence for a crime;
have been convicted of a serious local government offence within the last five years. How to Vote How Votes Are Counted
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