Talk:Politics of Australia

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Mark Ryan's post[edit]

The Australia page needs updating, but I am not the person to do it!

Firstly, the Givernor-General of Australia is not longer Sir William Deane, but I do not know who the new guy is. I think he is the former Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane or something.

Also, the One Nation party is no longer headed by Pauline Hanson. Again, I am unsure who has taken over. - Mark Ryan

Tannin's post[edit]

Corrected a couple of things: Social welfare policies most certainly don't "mostly date to the 1980s". It's difficult to tie them to any perticular decade.

There is not "broad bipartisan support" for the US alliance. There is broad support, yes, but also a long tradition of opposition. And the UK ties go back further and are still, perhaps, deeper. Then there is the trend to see Australia as part of Asia. And so on. This stuff should go back in, but suitably modified to reflect the actual mix of support - a task I don't feel like taking on tonight. Anyone game? Tannin


Social welfare policies can be tied to the 1940s, post WW2. The CES and the current social welfare system were established in 1946, and it was at this time that responsibility for 'welfare' passed from the states to the Federal Government. Mistertim

Government deparments[edit]

What has a list of government departments got to do with the politics of Australia? They belong in an article about administration. Adam 13:27, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

(1) This is the destination page of Government of Australia where such a list probably could go; and
(2) Ministers of government administer departments, and that generates 'politics'!
Hence, I say, put it back. Peter Ellis 04:27, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There is an important distinction between government and politics which should should be maintained. If you want to write an article about the structure of government in Australia, which would be a good thing to have, then de-redirect Government of Australia, transfer the "Government" section of Politics of Australia into the new article, and put your list of departments there. Adam 04:39, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I agree I keep getting frustratrated at having nowhere to link Australian Government and similar. This term refers to parliament and the public service and is quite a different thing to Politics of Australia. In fact recently all federal government departments rebranded themselves with the Government of Australia crest, and the department name smaller underneath. Has anyone started on an article about this stuff that we can redirect appropriate things to? Maybe this is worth listing on the Australian wikipedians' notice board as an article that needs work/colaboration. Martyman 23:02, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Oh good I'm not the only one irked about this.--ZayZayEM 03:10, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This needs to be sorted out. It should not keep bunny hopping the single article back and forth. Two seperate articles definitely need to be formed. Politics covers all politics, not just federal government structure and issues.

The queen[edit]

I almost reverted this straight away when I saw it. The queen has absolutely zero to do with the Politics of Australia (apart from the fact certain politicians may voice their pro- or anti- republicanism views), and only barely has relevance to the Government of Australia (ie. in name only). I definitely don't think it should be on the Australia article either. Put it on Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy or Republicanism in Australia, or or whatever UK-related pages are deemed appropriate, but something about Australian government/politics should have the GG or the PM. I wanted to discuss this before I did it just in case I was in the minority here. -- Chuq 01:12, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The article starts off with 'Australia is a federation and a constitutional monarchy' and then the whole of the second paragraph is about the Queen. In the light of this, I think a picci of the Queen is more than appropriate. More generally, the article could do with more piccis all round. I'm just about to add one of the current PM. Perhaps we need a picci to do with the Labor party in the Political system section, say, to balance it out. jguk 01:20, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Just wanted to say the article looks a lot better with all three pictures! (Well, I don't think Johnny's face could make it look better.. but you know what I mean :) ) Maybe there is a group photo of some past PM's available that could be used to represent "the PM" so as to not offend anti-Howardists :) -- Chuq 02:02, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Average Young Liberal right here.:: OpinionPiece (talk) 05:15, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, try and find one with Whitlam and Fraser standing next to each other or shaking hands. Now that would be funny.  ;) --BenM 16:01, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Well they do a series of TV ads together - rather ironically considering this discussion as it was for the Australian Republican Movement :P -- Chuq 22:11, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Australia is an unconstitutional monarchy see www.basic for relevent documentation to prove this.This article is fraudulent and should be removed. (talk) 13:31, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Political data[edit]

What is the purpose of the Political data section in this article? Most of it is either covered in the Government section, or not relavent to an article on politics of Australia. The only part worth saving is the list of parties, which should be moved to the Political parties section. - Borofkin 01:13, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I agree. That "data" was copied from the CIA factbook in the early days of this article and is now mostly duplicated in Government of Australia. Adam 02:22, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Done. I left International organisations. Not sure what to do with it. - Borofkin 03:24, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Constitutional monarchy[edit]

Australia is a federation and a constitutional monarchy.

Shouldn't it really say:

Australia is a federation and it's government is a constitutional monarchy.


No. Adam 04:47, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Definitely not. Pandawelch (talk) 11:56, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Link suggestions[edit]

An automated Wikipedia link suggester has some possible wiki link suggestions for the Politics_of_Australia article, and they have been placed on this page for your convenience.
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article format[edit]

most politics of articles for other countries include a discussion of (or at least Main article: links) government. for better or worse, people expect a politics articles to include a discussion of government, and so the politics of article can be thought of as a "top-level" article, with more specialised material in more specific articles. with the wikipedia:summary style we can do this nicely with short summaries of the major articles in the area. please don't revert this without a discussion here on the talk page. thanks. clarkk 23:54, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is no need for articles to duplicate what is in other articles. If people want to know about the structure of Australian government, they can look in the relevant articles, to which I have provided links. This article is about Australian politics. The changes you have made create the bizarre situation that the opening paragraph of the article has nothing whatever to do with the topic of the article. It is as if the article Butterflies of South America begins with a discussion of the Theory of relativity. Adam 00:57, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
i don't think that the analogy of butterflies and relativity is apt, many of the politics of... articles include a section on the system of government, see politics of the United States and politics of the United Kingdom, since the system of government is relevant to politics. i am not trying to duplicate information, i am simply summarising it (in fact i did not write the original summaries, i was simply restoring the summaries that were already there). this is a standard way of organising articles (did you look at the summary style?), government is usually thought of as an aspect of the overall politics of a country. clarkk 02:00, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have suggested a new introductory section. Adam 02:24, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Minor Parties[edit]

I think we should remove the parties without representation in the Federal Parliament from the list of minor parties (One Nation and Fred Nile's lot). One Nation was important, but it's now irrelvant except from a historical point of view. Fred Nile's lot aren't even worth mentioning from a historical point of view, he's never got within a mile of getting in Parliament. --RaiderAspect 00:41, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

And... One nation has got itself into the senate thanks to double dissolution, the PUP rose and very quickly fell in the 42nd Parliament, Nick Xenophon has got a little party of his, and the crossbench in 2016 is just as large, if not, larger than the 2013 crossbench

But removing parties with representation - sounds like a good idea. Maybe exceptions can be if they have significantly swayed policy? Iamthinking2202 (talk) 07:12, 9 March 2017 (UTC)


The Federal Parliament operates according to the Westminster System of government, though the fact that it has an elected Senate (like the United States) rather than a House of Lords has led to Australia's federal parliamentary system being described as the "Washminster" system. (See Main article: Government of Australia).

Does the bicameral aspect make Australia like America? I thought the distinctive features of the US system was the president (an elected executive who also has non-token legislative powers), and that their cabinet cannot be from the legislature. If a bicameral system was a really big feature, then it'd mean that New Zealand (which I've heard did away with the upper house) would be miles apart from Australia. Andjam 13:17, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

It's not the bicameral aspect that defines a "Washminster" system necessarily, it's the fact that both the US and Australia have elected upper houses (as opposed to the UK). -Chairman S. 13:28, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the UK's upper house is not elected (at least not directly), but is the nature of the upper house the biggest difference between the UK and the US? Andjam 22:07, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

The hybrid nature of the Australian constitutional system derives from the fact that Australia, like the US (and unlike NZ) is a federation, and the fact that the small states demanded constitutional safeguards against big-state domination when the Constitution was being drafted. That is why we have a Senate with equal state representation (an idea borrowed from the US), grafted onto what is esentially a Westminster system. Incidentally this is not the sense in which the expression "Washminister" is usually used. It usually refers to the increasingly quasi-presidential role of the Prime Minister and the centralisation of power in the hands of the executive at the expense of both the states and the Parliament. Adam 06:47, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Adam is correct. IIRC, the US Senate wasn't even directly electable until 1909 (Senators were appointed by State parliaments prior to that), so we were well ahead of them in that respect. --cj | talk 07:28, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Correction: the date was 1913.--cj | talk 07:37, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
The first time I heard the term was during the republic debate, talking about what the system might be like. Andjam 10:23, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I should add that I disagree with the second part of Adam's statement. I've not seen or heard "Washminster" used to describe the growing "presidentialisation" (a term that is used) of Australian politics. The US states, in my opinion, retain far greater independence than our Australian states.--cj | talk 14:57, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

So, should the word be removed as inaccurately used and/or a neologism? Andjam 10:23, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with the term itself – it's quite commonly used – but the reference to it in this article is incorrect and should be either removed or corrected. Actually, I'm not sure whether it should be referred to in this article at all. Unless it is being used to discuss the dynamic between the two chambers, I don't see how it's relevant to the Politics of Australia; rather, it's more appropriate for Government of Australia. --cj | talk 14:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Article Naming Convention[edit]

Can someone please enlighten me on the correct naming convention for articles? I am looking to create some articles regarding politicians. Last time I did it, part way through my work the article was moved by someone adding "(Australian Politician)" to the end of the article name.

Is there a refernce for why this is correct? Most articles about people don't have (Profession) added to them unless there is a need for a disambiguation page.


Garrie 01:09, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I believe that you are correct. It seems pretty clear that disambiguation qualifiers are only used in case of a conflict. See Wikipedia:naming conventions (people). Like a lot of stuff on wikipedia things are done by well-intentioned people without a full understanding of the policies as they actually apply. I'd revert the change and send the person a polite note to avoid an editing war. Debate 02:24, 9 May 2006 (UTC)


I rated the article as "class=stub" despite its length, primarily as it has no overview of the relationship between federal, state and local politics. --Scott Davis Talk 13:28, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Constitutional monarchy[edit]

Why does Politics of Canada describe Canada as a constitutional monarchy, while the crown remains unmentioned in this article? Australia has a monarch, and surely the fact that its federal government exists within this context merits some mention. I'm going to mention it in the article, but if someone wants to provide some compelling reason it shouldn't be there, I'm all ears. Fishhead64 21:05, 8 August 2006 (UTC)


The content of the article covers Australian Federal Politics, not Australian Politics. Should this be moved to, "Australian Federal Politics" and be replaced with an article saying (in detail, and without flippancy), "Australia has 3 levels of government. Most of the time the whole show is between 2 big parties, and a few other chaps. Big party A is a set of raging commies who love unions, Big party B are raging capitalists who have farmers as side-licks, and the rest largely don't count, but are made up of Greenies, Rednecks and middle-of-the-road types. Also, some discussion of which party controls which Parliament". PfkaH 08:51, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

POV problems[edit]

Statements such as this "The Howard government has reversed the foreign policy of its predecessor, placing renewed emphasis on relations with Australia's traditional allies, the United States and the United Kingdom and downgrading support for the United Nations in favour of bilateralism." seem to come from a non-neutral POV.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 18:54, 8 March 2007.

It may require attribution to a reliable source, but I don't see bias issues here.--cj | talk 10:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not cited, but it's also not POV. It's truth. Timeshift 10:20, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

"During its first two terms, the government's most sweeping change was the introduction of a goods and services tax (despite a pledge by Howard as opposition leader that there would never ever be a GST under a Howard Liberal government) which also saw reductions in personal income tax and company tax." I think this statement, whilst true, glosses over the fact that Howard campaigned on the introduction of the GST in the 1998 election. As it currently reads, it seems to come from a non-neutral POV. Naedish 01:53, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Article improvement[edit]

I hope to make major additions, including eventually some referencing, to this article. This will alter it substantially, and I don't want to go off on tangents that others have already agreed not to go off on, nor do i want to duplicate other articles, so i'm happy to hear from anyone about anything i'm doing here. My approach to content is roughly 'how would i explain what is going on in political terms in this country to someone who knows NOTHING about the place. Thus the need to sketch the electoral system and other features of our arrangements and then discuss the consequences (egs. why do we have minor parties in our upper house, unlike (sort of!) Canada and the UK? Why doesn't anyone cross the floor in Australian parliaments?)This will take some doing, so pls be patient if it looks like i've kind of left a heading hanging etc - as well as of course adding, editing ruthlessly etc etc! With help maybe we can get this top-importance article to B-class one day soon hamiltonstone 13:59, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

From PM of Australia to Politics of Australia - 1904 federal Labor missing again.[edit]

Ok, the PM timeline was easy enough to fix as it was just a matter of adding another link and making the line a tad bigger. The problem with the timeline on this page is it shows more than one timeline, so it's harder simply to add a link in for 1904 federal Labor. Comments? Timeshift (talk) 23:18, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

So does anyone care enough to fix the template or should I remove it? Timeshift (talk) 17:53, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Help with Republicanism in Australia[edit]

The Republicanism in Australia page is being given a Canadian monarchist. Can someone take a look? --Dlatimer (talk) 18:52, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Is territorialism an ingrained part of your nature? --G2bambino (talk) 18:54, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Yep ^ that's the one. Please keep a look out. --Dlatimer (talk) 18:57, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. Booga booga! --G2bambino (talk) 19:22, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm a Canadian republican, mind if I say hello? Hello. GoodDay (talk) 20:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Your talk page suggests otherwise. If someone could help out with the Republicanism in Australia page, it would be appreciated --Dlatimer (talk) 03:00, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
My talk page can be misleading. As for the Australia articles? I put my trust in Gazzster. -- GoodDay (talk) 20:14, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Important notice[edit]

The government section of the "Outline of Australia" needs to be checked, corrected, and completed -- especially the subsections for the government branches.

When the country outlines were created, temporary data (that matched most of the countries but not all) was used to speed up the process. Those countries for which the temporary data does not match must be replaced with the correct information.

Please check that this country's outline is not in error.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact The Transhumanist .

Thank you.


At the national level, elections are held at least once every three years.

That is the received wisdom, and I'm not quibbling with it too much. However, it's not technically true. The last election was on 24 November 2007. The next one must be on or before 16 April 2011. That's a potential gap of 3 years 4 months and 23 days. The "three year" period refers not to the electoral cycle as such, but to the maximum length of the parliament. It's counted not from the date of the last election, but from the date of the first sitting of the parliament after that election. The parliament may run for a full three years (it's only ever happened once), then it's dissolved (or expires by "effluxion of time"), then various steps happen, and then there's an election.

Am I being extremely picky here, or can we word this in such a way that paints the true picture of what actually happens? I acknowledge that all but one parliament have been dissolved earlier than 3 years, and in practice, elections are almost always actually held at least once every three years. But they needn't be. -- JackofOz (talk) 11:43, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Yup, you're being picky :-) I think the sentence as it stands should be retained. I think where the detail to which you refer should be addressed is in Australian electoral system and Elections in Australia. Incredibly, the former article appears not to have a section on the timing of hte electoral cycle, though the issue you mention is covered (not that well) in Elections in Australia. Here's your chance! Like your work BTW. Cheers. hamiltonstone (talk) 12:35, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with JackofOz... the sentence just is not factually true. Timeshift (talk) 18:10, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. The reason I said I'm not quibbling with it "too much" is that sometimes we have to strike a balance between saying something relatively concisely that isn't 100% pedantically correct, and not misleading readers. Many well educated people assume, quite reasonably, that the next election has to be held no later than 24 November 2010, because everyone talks in terms of "going to the polls every three years", etc. People will read this article and have that perception reinforced. Will anyone's life be destroyed if the election isn't held till, say, February 2011? Not really. But then, we're an encyclopedia, and factually correct details are our life blood. I don't for a moment see it in terms of pedantry, just of getting the story straight. But at what cost to readability?
It's in the same camp as "half-Senate elections". Since the ACT and NT gained Senate representation in 1975, it has not been strictly half. The 4 territory senators face the electors whenever the House of Reps is dissolved, so with 72 from the states, a "half-Senate" election that coincides with a House of Reps election actually elects 36 + 4 = 40 senators, which is 52.63%. Prior to 1984, when the Senate was enlarged from 64 to 76, a half-Senate election elected 53.12% of the chamber. (In the unlikely case of a half-Senate election being held separately from a Reps election, the territory senators are not involved at all, and only 47.3% of senators face the electors.) Is calling it a "half-Senate election", a term that's been around since 1901, so bad? Not really. It's not strictly true any more, but putting it any other way would almost be more trouble than it's worth. I realise I'm probably arguing against my own case here. I'm happy to edit the articles you mentioned, Hamiltonstone, but my concern at the moment is with this article. I'm still on the fence about how to reword it, if I feel strongly enough to do that. I guess I was interested in getting some feedback as to what others thought, and maybe inspire some thought processes. -- JackofOz (talk) 04:02, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I discover that 12 federal elections have occurred more than 3 years after the previous one. The most recent election, 24 November 2007, was held 3 years 1 month and 15 days after the 2004 election (9 October). The 2001 election was held 3 years 1 month and 7 days after the 1998 election. And so on. That's 12 out of 41 elections, or 29 per cent. I reckon that's good ammunition for clearly distinguishing between the maximum 3-year parliamentary term and the timing of the elections. Just something to think about. -- JackofOz (talk) 04:43, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I've added a footnote. I think I'm happy now. -- JackofOz (talk) 05:45, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Copy-edit tag[edit]

MoS breaches aplenty. Prose glitches. Awkward phrases such as "Australian government Crown ministers". Needs a thorough massage. Tony (talk) 16:29, 24 June 2010 (UTC)


Richard asr (talk) 08:07, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Stupid title[edit]

Why is this article titled "Elections in Australia"??

It talks only about the Australian Federal election. Why is it not called "Australian Federal Election"??

There are probably millions of elections held in Australia every year. I would change it but I have no idea how to do a redirect for the dumb title. (talk) 12:16, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

There's one for every country. See the country hyperlinks at Elections by country. Feel free to take back your claim at any point :) Timeshift (talk) 05:59, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

RfC: current article content does not match article name[edit]

Hi! I'd like to garnish some opinions about exactly what this article is about. The name suggests an exploration of the political landscape of Australia, such as the Labor and Liberal parties, and the power of the crossbench. On the other hand, the current article content explores the system of governance in Australia, with very significant overlaps with Australian Government in terms of the branches of government. If this article is about politics, then the article probably needs to be rewritten. If this article is about governance, then it needs to be moved to an article title that better reflects this (Governance of Australia?), and likely copyedited significantly. ItsPugle (talk) 14:23, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

I had a quick look at two other countries, China and the UK. It appears this issue isn’t unique to the Australian pages as there appears to be overlap in the “Politics of ...” and “Government of ...” pages for both those countries. The UK politics page does go into more detail about the political parties than the Australian page and has a sub-section for each party. Before making changes we should be clear what the intended page should include. Nothing brilliant comes to mind regarding a title. Your term “Political landscape” might work. Or perhaps “Electoral politics of Australia”. It does seem inefficient to have this level of overlap. There is already a “list of political parties” page Which doesn’t contain much detail and each party has its own page. Burrobert (talk) 15:04, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
My thinking is this. 'Government of XYZ' in Australia and most parliamentary democracies relates to the executive branch and should refer peripherally only to the other branches and make clear that it is only about the executive government. 'Politics of XYZ' relates to an overview of the entire political system including all three branches, as well as political history, ideologies, etc. So politics is general and broad and government is very specific.--StormcrowMithrandir 03:06, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

Premiers and Chief Ministers who went Federal[edit]

I like to request that an article be created listing Premiers and Chief Ministers who went Federal, that is if there isn't one already.

There is already an article about Canadian provincial premiers who went Federal:

Frankly it is frustrating that there isn't one already for Australia, unless I am mistaken on this. (talk) 11:59, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Here is a Wikidata query of premiers who later joined the federal parliament. --Canley (talk) 01:13, 13 September 2021 (UTC)
For a more comprehensive list of people who've sat in more than one Australian legislature, see Members of multiple Australian legislatures. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:36, 13 September 2021 (UTC)

Reformat the Timeline of Australian Leaders to increase readability[edit]

I've noticed that the template extends a good amount off of the page, which is not ideal. Perhaps the timeline could be broken into two lines? I suppose that introduces its own problems.
Please reply with any thoughts; I'm not very knowledgeable in how such things should be formatted.
-- Parrotapocalypse (hello) 16:27, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

Error in timeline graphic[edit]

The timeline seems to only denote periods of time as short as one year, which is problematic. This has lead to errors, e.g. in Queensland the timeline indicates there was a new Liberal Premier between 1968 and 1969. The problem is there was a new Country premier beginning in Jan 1968 who remained in the position for several months, this was followed by a Liberal Premier who only lasted a week in the job, and was then followed by another Country Premier [1][2][3].

Even if it's not practicle to display very short premierships in the timeline I'd argue that the period 1968-1969 for Queensland should be coloured green for the Country Party. Chalk (Liberal) served 7 days exclusively in the year 1968, but Pizzey (Country) served several months exclusively in the year 1968. The Elysian Vector Fields (talk) 00:36, 3 August 2021 (UTC)