Flashcards in Test One: Structure of Aus political system Deck (37):
definition of federation
The creation of a nation by uniting previously seperate colonies/states each of which retains some power of self-government but also ceded some to the national government. Australia federated on January 1st 1901.
free trade as a reason
1- Free trade: before federation tariffs restricted trade between colonies and increased the cost of imported goods from other colonies. Federation could abolish taxes and create a single market therefore strengthening Australia’s economy.
reasons for federation
reasons against federation
money and resources
immigration as a reason
in the late 19th century many people wanted to maintain their pure British heritage in Australia. However many people were worried that the cheap non white labor would compete for white jobs. A national government could better restrict immigration. example, Queensland kanakas getting paid a lot less for jobs whites could have.
defence as a reason
before federation each colony had a small army force that were ill-equipped to defend themselves and still relied on the british to patrol their vast coastline, as they feared the attack from other asian countries particularly japan . Federation would result in a united army which could better defend the country.
money and resources
colonies such as western australia did not want to share their money and resources with the other colonies as they would receive nothing in return. (wa in gold rush)
rivalries as a reason
there were rivalries between the colonies as smaller populated colonies as they feared they would be over looked and the larger colonies would be more important and favoured.
Physical distance as a reason
development and communication was regionally centred, so links between the colonies were developing slower
the basic set of law by which a state or nation is governed. May include things such as principles, powers and processes of a political system. can be written or unwritten.
chapters of the constitution
Chapter one - the parliament
chapter two - the executive
chapter three - the judiciary
chapter four - finance and trade
chapter five - the states
chapter six - new states
chapter seven - miscellaneous
chapter eight - altering the constitution
purpose of the constitution
the constitution was a necessary step to be taken in order for australia to federate. each colony want to power and control over the country and 13 colonies wanted to make sure all the colonies did not hold power over them. For example Adelaide refused to federate if Parliament was in Melbourne but did not want to in Sydney so states it must be at least 100 miles from Sydney. another reason included that colonies were receiving revenue and did not wish to share the profit with other colonies this is why the constitution stated profits for the first 10 years of Federation would remain in the colonies.
a system of government in which the powers and responsibilities of government are divided between a national government and two or more state or regional governments. federations require written constitutions to allow for the settlement of disputes over the divisions of power.
Parts of the division of power
Exclusive power, concurrent power, residual power.
Exclusive power definition
Powers set out in the Australian Constitution about which only the government can make laws these include the power to collect customs and excise duties and make laws about the operation of the federal public service (Commonwealth power)
Concurrent power definition
A power that can be exercised by both the Commonwealth and the states. When there is conflift Commonwealth law will prevail (stated in section 109), (shared powers).
Residual power definition
The areas of lawmaking authority not granted to the Commonwealth alone or directly with the states by the Australian Constitution. The power to make laws in these areas remained under the sole authority of the state. (States get leftovers).
Exclusive power, sections in the constitution.
section 52, administration of the capital city and Commonwealth properties and to run Commonwealth public services
Section 90, power to levy customs and excise duties and grant export bounties
Section 51 through the 39 subsection covering areas such as, foreign trade, taxation, quarantine.
Concurrent powers in the constitution.
Section 51, through some of the 39 subsections, examples of these are marriage, divorce and bankruptcy, taxation.
Residual power examples in the constitution.
Not stated in the Constitution examples include criminal and civil law, public services, traffic laws and education. (Outlined in section 108 of constitution).
Reasons for the shifting balance of power
After Federation it was thought in the future state would retain significant power however this was not the case for for main reasons.
Referendums, referral of powers, Commonwealth financial power and judicial interpretation
Explain referendums influence in shifting balance of power
Referendums are a national vote that can result in the government receiving more power. Referendums are not a particularly significant reason for the shifting of power as many citizens are reluctant to hand power to the government. (8 out of 44 constitutional amendments have been agreed to). Examples – the 1967 citizenship referendum where Commonwealth gains power to legislate in relation to aborigines.
Explain how the referral of powers influenced the shifting balance of power
Under the Constitution state governments may hand over an area of authority to the Commonwealth. States may also choose not to challenge Commonwealth authority on my cooperatively enact identical legislation to the Commonwealth to create particular sets of uniform national standards. Generally states are reluctant to voluntarily transfer power to the Commonwealth and transfers of the coming less common. Example- 1947 Commonwealth took over the operation of railways in Tasmania and South Australia. Commonwealth achieved national uniform standards in corporations such as air safety and gun control.
Explain how the judicial interpretationhad an influence on the shifting balance of power
The High Court can have major effect on federal balance as it determine the constitutional validity of state and Commonwealth actions. The court judgement moves in distinct phases, so far there have been five phases.
Five distinct phases of judicial interpretation
phase one (1903–1920) – High Court adopted pro states view
Phase two (1920-1943) - pro commonwealth nationalist stance and applied British legal traditions.
Phase Three (1943-1970) - decisions were legalist and based upon ‘black letter of the law.’ Judgements favoured both states and commonwealth.
Phase Four (1970- mid1990’s)- expansionary stage. Expanded commonwealth power broad interpretations of concurrent powers. Disallowed restrictions on the political freedom of citizens.
Phase five (mid 1990’s-now) - follow precedent, precedents Clearly favour commonwealth.
Influencers on our Federal System
United States of America
What did Australia adopt from Westminster England
The responsible parliamentary government - accountability, the executive sits in the legislature.
A bicameral parliament - two houses
Government is formed in the lower house
United States of America on our federal system
Separation of powers
Constitutional court - interprets constitution
Equal number of senators from each state in the upper house
Method of division of power between states and central court.
Australia didn’t want a full British government as they had a unitary governing so they took ideas from the USA.
Canada on the federal system
Warminster System - combining american federalism and British Westminster System of government
State government had taxing power.
Switzerland on influences on our federal system
double majority, states and people to pass laws.
The three levels of the separation of powers
Legislative, executive, judiciary.
The sentence (76 seats, 12 senators from each state) and the hearse a representative (150 states). AKA the parliament, role is to pass and make legislation.
Prime Minister and cabinet, and the governor general. A.k.a. the government, role is to administer legislation and create policies and legislation
The courts and the hierarchy, role is to adjudicate on cases and apply and interpret the law
How does the separation of powers work?
It is a key concept created by baron de Montesquieu, that rejects ultimate power and prevent ps arbitrary and oppressive government. There are three individual sections that are supposed to act separately. It is a vital feature of limited government
Is the separation of powers in Australia affective
No reasons for this include,
The Prime Minister sit in the house of representative which compromises the system
The Prime Minister suggest High Court justices