What makes democracy in Australia different to other countries' democracies and ways of ruling?
Thanks for your excellent question!
Australia’s system of government is a federation, a representative democracy and a constitutional monarchy.
While heavily influenced by the British and US systems of government, Australian democracy differs from other countries in several ways:
- Australia was created peacefully when 6 British colonies voted to federate – join together – in 1901
- Australia is the only English-speaking country where voting is compulsory
- Australians vote for representatives in both the House of Representatives and the Senate
- We use preferential voting to make sure the governments we elect have the support of the majority of voters
Did you know that another key feature of our democracy—the secret ballot—was invented in Australia? In fact it used to be called the Australian ballot!
More detailed information about the Australian system of government can be found on the Parliament of Australia website.
The Australian National flag and Commonwealth Coat of Arms on top of Australian Parliament House.
Parliamentary Education Office (peo.gov.au)
This photograph shows the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and the Australian national flag on top of Australian Parliament House.
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