Australian Two Party System

The Australian Westminster model promotes a two party system that in modern history has started to undermine parliamentary democracy. This has created potential conflict between the modern representative party system and the principles of the supreme authority of parliament supporting the Westminster model of accountable government. The Australian Westminster parliamentary system consists of an upper and lower house, with the lower house forming government. The electoral system plays an important part in the selection of Australia’s parliamentary representatives. Australia’s Westminster model is a combination of the British Westminster system and America’s Washington system which is the influence Australia’s parliament is based upon. The Westminster system also known as responsible government is the implementation of a series of procedures for passing legislation in parliament.

Australia’s Westminster system is a bicameral parliament where members are elected by popular votes and others appointed (Singleton et al, 2009). It consists of an upper and lower house that are both elected representatives of the people. The lower house debate and discus legislation which they then vote on, considering that the governing party has a majority of the seats in the lower house this means that they will have the power to pass or reject the legislation moving to the upper house to be approved (Harris, 2001). The upper house (senate) is a smaller committee of parliament and acts like a review board and is capable of rejecting legislation that is passed in the lower house. The lower house must have support of the upper house in order to govern, they must also be willing to pass its budgets (Eccleston et al, 2006).

Australia’s electoral system promotes a free and equal right of every person to participate in selecting Australia’s government (Williams, 2001). The Australian public chooses from a selection of candidates nominated by their party that best represent their values,...