Talk:Australian Senate

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Old talk page discussion points[edit]

There is no convention that requires a government to automatically resign or call an election once supply is blocked. The 'convention' was made up in the 1970s to suit the political rhetoric of the time. In fact a government may 'hang tough' for as long as the GG allows them to do so.


Removed this:

The original arrangement was a block voting mechanism [OK, but what does that mean?]. In 1919, this was ammended to allow for preferential voting. The block voting model tended to grant landslide majorities very easily. In 1946, the Australian Labor Party government won 30 out of the 33 Senate seats. In 1948, partially in response to this extreme situation, they introduced proportional representation in the Senate.

Because it is badly written and confusing. I substituted a simpler thing, losing some meaning, but trusting that someone with expertise in this area will come along and restore the cut in such a way that it isn't self-contradictoty. Tannin 08:03 Feb 13, 2003 (UTC)

OK. I'll do some more research and re-write the description correctly. Pde

Roadrunner and Tannin edited in the following paragraph:

In contrast to Presidental systems such as that of the United States (in which the inability of the President to pass a major bill through the legislature is considered routine), the Australian parliamentary system often regards the inability of the government to pass a major bill as quite significant. Because the Senate and the House of Representatives are elected with different voting procedures, the party composition of the Senate rarely matches that of the House of Representatives. Further, in contrast to other parliamentary systems, the Australian Senate is expected to play an active legislative role.

I get the feeling that this highly comparative approach to describing the way the Senate operates is quite confusing, because the whole picture is not present:

  • Many parliaments have legislative deadlocks of various sorts; the House of Lords was able to cause them before 1911, too.
  • Party composition in upper & lower houses is different in most places
  • A major difference between Australia and the US is that almost all votes are along party lines. The ALP has a binding caucus; the Liberals (& even the Democrats) have very low tollerance for their MPs crossing the floor.
  • The US Senate does take a proactive legislative role.

I've tried to re-write the paragraph by saying how things happen in the Australian parliament, including all of the important facts. If readers want to compare this to other political systems (not just those of the US & the UK) then hopefully wikipedia can provide clear articles for other parliaments too!

Pde 23:29 Feb 13, 2003 (UTC)

Good move, Pde. It is a lot clearer now. Tannin 23:48 Feb 13, 2003 (UTC)

the infamous clash between the British House of Commons and House of Lords in 1909. Can someone explain this, or point to a page which discusses it? RickK 04:43, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

It's discussed on the House of Lords page. I've tried to clarify the text a little. -- Pde

During a double dissolution, how is it determined which members will serve half terms and which members will serve full terms? RickK 04:50, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Good question. IIRC, it's been changed (or at least debated) over the years. One system which the Liberals and elements of the ALP have supported, and may now be in place, is a system in which the first 6 senators elected in the STV process are elected for two terms. This automatically gives all the full-term seats to major parties, probably 3 each -- and means that a double dissolution is a serious threat disruption to the long term health of a smaller party like the Democrats, which often has two senators from a State. -- Pde 16:49, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I dispute the claim that the ability to block supply makes the government "accountable" to the Senate: this at the least is a point of contention rather than being authoritatively settled. Lacrimosus 23:50, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Nader, Kerry, et al. on the Australian Senate ballot?????[edit]

I'd say it looks a lot more like this. We could probably get away with putting that image (or a more contemporary equivalent, with the Greens instead of the NDP) on Wikipedia; copyright is unlikely to subsist in those images. -- pde 04:43, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have chosen names to be short, and to make some sense to non-Australian readers, hence Bush (Republican) and Kerrry (Democrat) etc.

Syd1435 06:48, 2004 Oct 7 (UTC)

  • Please don't. Just include a generic name that is not an American political figure. I don't particularly want to see American politics entering into an article about the politics of Australia. Besides which, it sort of looks like we're being ruled by Americans, and I really do object to that (no offence to Americans, but we are an independent nation even if we are still technically a monarchy). - Ta bu shi da yu 13:51, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I was going to edit it to match the Tasmanian senate paper (as it would be the smallest)? Shouldn't be a problem with using a real example should there? -- Chuq 22:03, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Done that now - could do with a better way of signifying a tick box, but is a lot easier to read than the last example. -- Chuq 01:32, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Link to Wikipedia page on US Senate (in "See also" section)[edit]

Link is appropriate as Australian Senate is partly modelled on US Senate, also it is designed to be able to be moved more towards the US system, if Australian people want it to go that way. Also, in section on the Australian Senate's origins/history, US Senate is mentioned(and link to Wikipedia article on US Senate is included in text).