Test Two : Democracy Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Test Two : Democracy Deck (37):

Definition of the rule of law

The principle that all individuals are equal before the law. It asserts that law must be based on consent, involve consistent and accepted procedures and apply to all the actions of government as well as the actions of individuals. The idea of the rule of law rejects arbitrary and absolutes power. “Rule of law, not of men”


4 features of rule of law

-law that applies to all actions of citizens, no matter status or power. The law equally binds those who make or enforce it.
-includes effective ways of holding governments and officials accountable. Needs a separation of power.
-citizens are equal before the law. Same legal rights for everyone.
-Law must be clear and understandable so people can easily comply with it.


What is the Magna Carta?

The Magna Carta was an agreement between King John of England and the Barons/the English church in 1215. It was the beginning of restricting the power of the monarchy by law, it was introduced on the sole principle that everyone including the king was subject to the law. It contains 63 clauses three of which are still a part of English law today


Rule of law in Australia

The rule of law is a legal tradition in Australian society, it requires that we have laws that are followed and enforced. The rule of law is important as in Australia it requires that out legal system and government should provide certain things. The rule of law is fundamental in maintaining a free, democratic and fair society.


What should the Australian legal system and government provide?

Should provide:
-just outcomes when a person is bought before a court.
-consistent, fair and impartial decisions about legal matters.
-protection of individuals rights, freedoms and ways to settle disputes between parties.
-Laws that are knowable, able to be followed and fit for purpose.


Democracy definition

A government run by the people directly or through elected representatives. It is the principle of equality of individual rights and opportunity. Democracy has origins from Ancient Greece where everyone was encouraged to participate in government. Demos means people Kratos means power ....peoples power.


Types of democracy



Representative democracy

Representatives are elected by the people and are entrusted to carry out the business of governance.


Constitutional democracy

In a constitutional democracy a constitution outlines who will represent the people and how.


Monitory democracy

Political scientist John Keane suggests that a new form of democracy is evolving in which government is constantly monitored in its exercise of power by a vast array of public and private agencies, commissions and regulatory mechanisms.


Direct democracy

All citizens are invited to participate in all political decisions. This type of democracy is no longer practice. In this form of democracy citizens are continuously involved in the exercise of power and decisions are made by majority rule. This no longer exists as populations have become too big and too far of a distance is to be covered to gather everybody together


What type of democracy does Australia have

Representative constitutional democracy.


Definition of a liberal democracy

A liberal democracy is organised in such a way as to define and limit power so as to define and limit government within a framework of justice.


4 elements of liberal democracy

Fat People Love Jellybeans


Power as an element

In a liberal democracy effort are made to define and limit power, checks and balances occur and a liberal democracy includes conventions of behaviour and a legal system that compliments the political system.


Freedom as an element

This means to have the capacity to choose between alternatives, to have autonomy and do what the law does not forbid. Freedom also means to have self-determination which means to have all citizens make decisions. freedom also means to have respect for political and civil liberties. Freedom of speech


Legitimacy as an element

This includes, having appropriate authority to rule and a high degree of popular support. This is demonstrated by free electorates and frequent elections. This means majority government will be able to implement their policies.


Justice as an element

This is achieved in a liberal democracy when all citizens in an environment are treated equally with accorded dignity and respect.


Key principles of an Australian Democracy

-separation of powers
-ministerial responsibility
-Responsible government
-rule of law
- parliamentary sovereignty


Core features of Australian democracy

-the Australian constitution
-composition of the federal parliament


Left wing

Reformers political ideology and emphasising broad popular involvement in decision-making and support of government intervention. This is so to create greater equality and achieve social progress


Right wing

Political view generally oppose to/cautious about social change. Morally and socially conservative believing society should preserve or restore traditional institutions. They value order, cohesion and patriotism.


Satisfaction in Aussie democracy

Satisfaction with democracy has half over the past decade and it has been 10 years since of Prime Minister has served a full term in office


Westminster chain of accountability

Public service ——> PM and Cabinet ——> parliament——> the people.


Conventions of individual ministerial responsibility (IMR)

-ministers should not mislead or lie to parliament
-ministers should not be politically or personally corrupt
-ministers should avoid conflict of interest between private actions and offical duties.


Does responsibility and accountability exist

The government has majority in the House of Representatives so ministers rarely face a successful sensure motion. If media and opposition put pressure on the ministers they may choose to resign. Only the Prime Minister can require the resignation of the member, most times members choose to tough it out. If the issue will damage reputation of the government and the Prime Minister may require a resignation.


Responsibility and accountability

Accountability is central to responsibility and representative government. Responsible government is the system of checking government, important democratic ideals. Accountability and scrutiny are permanent and ongoing features of an affective democracy. In Australia they follow a Westminster system of responsible government. Ministers in government follow unwritten conventions which make them accountable to the people. The prime minister and cabinet are elected hence they are accountable to the parliament for their decisions. These conventions make it possible for Parliament to dismiss A minister who is corrupt or incompetent.


Separation of powers

How is the stupid to between ministry courts and the parliament to define discreet and distinct roles and functions, this avoids a monopoly of power.


Ministerial responsibility

A minister is expected to exert full responsibility for decisions made by his or her department


Responsible government

Government is answerable to Parliament for its actions and departments. This is done by the separation of power


Rule of law as a key principle

All Australians are equally required to uphold the law and are subject to judicial processes


Parliamentary sovereignty

Government is required to seek approval of Parliament for many decisions. This includes to create and emend laws.


Australian constitution

A written federal constitution that provides a basic rules for the operation of the nation laid out under the three separate powers; legislature, executive and judiciary. Is separated into eight chapters and 128 sections it may be changed to ever for Brendan



Power and authority shared by federal and state parliaments. Government and courts. Australia electoral process provides for each Australian to be represented by one member



parliament across Australia, includes one federal six states and two territories representatives at each level are selected through regular frequent and popular elections. most Australian parliament are bicameral



Those employed in the administration dispensation of justice. The High Court is at the very top of the judicature in Australia, it is the final court of appeal. Functions of the High Court are to interpret and apply the law. Common law may not override an act of parliament however an act of parliament may override existing common law.


Composition of the federal parliament

The federal house of representative has single member representation – a system designed to elect major parties and support efficient government. The Senate has multi member representation, this system allows 12 senators to each state and 2 to each self-governing territory. It is designed to protect the interests of the state. Members and Senators divide their time between electorate duties and Parliamentary duties