Who has more power, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister?

Thank you for a very interesting question.

It is not possible to say whether the Governor-General or the Prime Minister has more power as they have different powers and roles.

The Australian Constitution gives the Governor-General executive power. This means the Governor-General has been given certain powers to act on behalf of the Queen. These include giving Royal Assent to bills – proposed laws – passed by the Australian Parliament and starting the process for a federal election. While these powers are exercised by the Governor-General, in reality the Governor-General normally operates on the advice of the Prime Minister and ministers, who have day-to-day responsibility for governing Australia.

The powers of the Prime Minister come from the fact that they are the leader of the Australian Government. This means they are a member of the House of Representatives and lead the parliamentary party or coalition of parties with the support of the majority of members in the House of Representatives.

The Prime Minister has to many important roles. These include:

  • selecting members of the government to be ministers.
  • meeting with top-level ministers in Cabinet to decide government policy.
  • acting as the chief government spokesperson.
  • representing the Australian Government overseas.
  • advising the Governor-General about constitutional issues, as well as the appointment of ambassadors and justices of the High Court of Australia.
The Governor-General sits in the President of the Senate's chair in the Senate for the opening of Parliament.

The Governor-General delivers his opening of Parliament address.

DPS Auspic

The Governor-General delivers his opening of Parliament address.

The Governor-General sits in the President of the Senate's chair in the Senate for the opening of Parliament.

DPS Auspic

Description

The end of a T-shaped table is shown with a number of people in suits sitting around it. There is a raised platform with a man sitting in a large wooden chair speaking into a microphone. A man is sitting in a high backed chair to the left of the man speaking. Three people stand behind the men on chairs under a wood and metal representation of the Australian coat of arms.