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Year 10 Politics definitions
Terms in this set (45)
A form of government where people have the power to decide how they will be governed. Examples include Australia, Great Britain and the USA
A system of government where the power to make decisions is controlled by a small group of people. Eg. China - The leaders of the ruling Communist Party choose a leader and make decisions on how to govern the country.
A system of government where absolute power to govern a country is exercised by one person. Examples include Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and the Galactic Empire ruled by Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars.
The state where there is no government
A process of allowing the people to vote on an important issue, such as a proposed change to the Constitution
Freedoms entitled to all people to be treated in a particular way. For example: freedom of speech, assembly and association.
House of Representatives
One of the two houses of Parliament. It is referred to as the 'Lower House', which represents the people and currently contains 150 members.
One of the two houses of Parliament. It is referred to as the 'Upper House' and represents the states and territories. There are 76 members of this house.
A proposed law that has not yet been agreed to by both houses of parliament or received royal assent
An agreement between two or more political parties to work together.
A political party that has enough public support to win control of government. Eg Liberal and Labor parties.
A political party that has some public support but has little chance of gaining control of the government. Eg Greens.
An Independent is a member of parliament who does not belong to a political party. e.g. Andrew Wilkie or Jaquie Lambie
Two party system
A system where the vast majority of voters vote for two major parties. Eg Liberal and Labor party in Australia.
Single Member Electorate
A district that elects one member to Parliament. In Australia this is used for the House of Representatives
Multiple Member Electorate
A district that elects multiple members from the same area to Parliament. In Australia this is used for the Senate
Where a candidate wins more than half of all votes cast. (50% + 1)
Where a candidate wins more votes than any other candidate
A change to a bill (proposed law) or Act of Parliament
The document that outlines the rules by which Australia is governed, describing the powers of the Australian Parliament, the Australian Government and the High Court of Australia.
A parliament that has two houses or chambers.
A system of governance in which a king or queen is the head of state, but acts in accordance with a constitution.
The seats in parliament that are occupied by minor parties and/or Independents
The process by which eligible citizens vote for people to represent them in a parliament.
The Prime Minister and ministers who manage government departments and put into action government policy and the laws made by the Parliament.
A nation formed by the union of a number of states which give up some of their powers and responsibilities to a central government.
The party, or coalition of parties, who have the majority of members in the House of Representatives.
High Court of Australia
The highest court in Australia; it interprets and applies Australian law and decides cases about national issues, including challenges related to the Australian Constitution.
A ballot-paper that is not counted because it has not been filled in correctly.
The High Court and other federal courts that make judgements about the law.
The law-making body of a country or state.
The second largest party or coalition of parties in the House of Representatives who scrutinises the actions of the government
A system in which people vote for candidates to represent them in a parliament and make laws on their behalf.
The principle that the government should be responsible to the Parliament, to ensure that the government does not abuse its power; the government must retain the support of the majority of members in the House of Representatives to stay in power.
The signing of a bill by the Governor-General, which is the final step in making a bill into a law.
Separation of Power
The principle that the power to govern should be separated between the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary, to avoid one group having all the power, and to act as a check on the possible misuse of power.
A parliament that consists of one chamber, or house.
Head of State
The formal leader of a country or group of people organised under one government; Queen Elizabeth II is Australia's head of state.
The key group of decision-makers in executive government, consisting of the Prime Minister and top-level ministers.
An assembly of elected law-making representatives; the Australian Parliament consists of the Queen (represented by the Governor-General), the Senate and the House of Representatives.
A law, or proposed law.
Act of Parliament
A law made by a parliament.
A voting method in which a voter's choices in an election or a referendum is anonymous
The right to vote in public elections.
The idea that citizens have the right to access government documents and proceedings to allow for effective public oversight.
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