Every country needs a government to take care of the country’s needs and people. It is the government that represents the people of the country in a global setting. Since there is such variety in the type of people that exists in the world, there are differences in the type of governments that exist as well. Australia is no different. Australia has a federal parliamentary, constitutional monarchy.
Now, what does that mean? To make it easier to understand let’s break down the words and look at it individually. Federal or referring to a federation is basically a union of partially self-governing states that is encompassed under a central government. So each of Australia’s states is partially self-governed but there is also a central government that oversees it all. Next, the Australian government is a parliament. As you know, there are three organs of government namely,
- Legislative- Responsible for making laws.
- Executive- Responsible for enforcing laws.
- Judicial-Responsible for punishing those who break the law.
These are very rudimentary definitions and these bodies are responsible for other things as well. One of their most important secondary function is to serve as a balance of power, so no one authority can have absolute power. Back to the topic of parliament, a parliament is a type of democratic governance where the Executive branch derives its power from its ability to control the confidence of the Legislature and also be held accountable by that parliament. In simpler words, this means the parliament has these four functions.
- It has the ability to make, change or improve laws.
- It represents the people of Australia.
- It is supposed to watch the government’s moves.
- It is the place where the government is formed.
So it consists of representatives of the people who are responsible for the government’s actions and also have to cater the current laws to needs of people. That is the responsibility of the parliament.
Next, Australia is a constitutional monarchy. This means that Australia has a monarch but that they don’t hold all the power like in an absolute monarchy. Here they have power prescribed to them by a legal framework, or a constitution that was agreed upon. So the monarch is the head of the state but not the head of the government. The head of the government is a member of the parliament or one of the representatives chosen by the people. They are usually part of the opposition party in terms of bicameral parliament like the one Australia has. This means the parliament is split into two parties to maintain a balance of power and to represent the people truthfully.