united states and australia?

some similarities between goverments

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A Comparison of the Australian and United States Federal Legislatures


    At first glance, both Australia and the United States of America (USA) appear to have similar political systems. They are both federated nations and both have an elected House of Representatives and Senate. However, Australia is a constitutional monarchy and the USA is a republic. The parliamentary and executive aspects of Australia’s political system are derived from England, while the Australian federal design is derived from the USA, the first federal nation. This Closer Look compares the major features of both political systems and is intended for students studying the world’s political systems.

    Main points

    The similarities and differences between the two political systems can be identified by examining each nation’s:

    written constitution

    election processes and systems of representation

    appointment of the head of state

    composition of the Executive and the Legislature

    operation of the Executive and the Legislature

    party system.

    Tables 1-7: comparing and contrasting two systems

    The following series of tables compare and contrast the Australian political system with that of the USA. Each table is followed by a short list of similarities.

    1. Constitution

    Australia United States


    The Australian Constitution was drafted during five conventions in 1890, 1891, 1897 (twice) and in 1898. It was approved by popular referendum and came into force under an Act of the British (Imperial) Parliament in 1900 as the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act which gained royal assent on 9 July 1900.


    The US Constitution was written by 55 state delegates at a convention in Philadelphia in 1787. It was adopted by the convention and approved by all 13 states (nine were needed to make it effective). The Constitution was declared in effect on the day of George Washington’s inauguration—30 April 1789—also the day that Congress first met in session.

    Executive power

    The Australian Constitution vests executive power in the Queen. This power is exercised by the Australian Governor-General. By convention, the leader of the party or parties which control the House of Representatives is commissioned by the Governor-General to form a government. Ministers are either chosen by party leaders or elected by the parliamentary party (as defined by the party constitution). Portfolios are allocated by the Prime Minister.

    Executive power

    The US Constitution vests executive power in the President. The President nominates the members of his or her Cabinet and other senior executive branch officials, many of whom must be confirmed by the Senate.

    Separation of powers

    The Australian Constitution describes the separate legislative, executive and judicial arms of Australian governance.

    Australia has a limited separation of powers. The Executive comes from within the parliament—in fact the Constitution says that ministers must be members of parliament—or else become members of parliament soon after appointment. The Judiciary however, is quite separate.

    Separation of powers

    The American Constitution describes the separate legislative, executive and judicial arms of United States governance.

    It prohibits members of the House of Representatives and senators from holding an executive office. Similarly, members of the Cabinet may not be members of the Legislature.


    A proposed amendment to the Australian Constitution can only be advanced if the amendment proposal is approved by an absolute majority vote of each house of parliament. The proposal is then taken to Australian voters in a referendum.

    For the change to be agreed it must gain the support of:

    a majority of voters in a majority of states

    a majority of all voters.


    A proposed amendment to the American Constitution may begin its path if:

    two thirds of both houses of Congress support it, or

    two thirds of the state legislatures call a conv ention to consider it.

    The amendment is passed if it is ratified by three-quarters of the state legislatures or by conventions in three-quarters of the states.

    (In fact conventions have never been used, so in effect, the amendment needs to be passed by Congress and by three-quarters of the state legislatures.)

    Some constitutional similarities are that both systems:

    use a written constitution

    are federations

    were created by a number of sovereign states handing over some of their power to a central government.

    2. Elections

    Australia United States


    Elections for the Australian Parliament are held at least every three years or earlier if requested by the Prime Minister of Australia. Frequency

    Elections for the American Congress are held every two years. They are fixed term elections, being held every second November—always in an even numbered year.

    House terms

    House of Representatives members are elected for three year terms. House terms

    House of Representatives members are elected for two year fixed terms.

    Senate terms

    Senators are elected for fixed terms of six years. It is usual that at each election for the House of Representatives, half the Senate is re-elected. Senate terms begin on the first day in July following an election.

    Senate terms

    Senators are elected for six year fixed terms. At each election for the House of Representatives, one third of the Senate seeks re-election.

    Organisation of elections

    Elections for the Australian Parliament are conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 provides for a standardised procedure across the nation.

    Organisation of elections

    Elections for the American Congress are organised by each of the 50 states. Although there are variations from state to state, voting arrangements are, in effect, the same across the country. Variations between the states tend to be in the detail e.g. prisoners may vote in some states but not in others.


    Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens for state and federal elections. Preferential voting is used for House elections and proportional representation for Senate elections. Members are elected from single-member electorates at the same time as six senators are elected (in a half Senate election) from each state and two from each territory.


    Voting is not compulsory for Americans. Elections for both houses use the simple majority or ‘first past the post’ system. Representatives are elected from single-member districts. As in Australia, Senators are elected in a state-wide election by all the voters in a state.

    Some election similarities are that both systems:

    elect members in the House of Representatives to represent particular electorates or districts

    elect one person per electorate or district

    organise electorates so that relatively equal numbers of voters are achieved in electorates that sit within a state or territory.

    elect senators to represent states

    elect a uniform number of senators per state, regardless of the size or population of the state; that is 12 senators for each of six Australian states (two senators for both federal territories) and two senators for each of 50 American states.


    3. Head of state

    Australia United States


    The Queen is the Head of State of the United Kingdom and the Head of State of 16 former British colonies including Australia. The Governor-General is the Queen’s representative and carries out all the position’s functions.


    The President is the Head of State in the United States.


    The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The appointment is at the Queen’s pleasure and is usually for five years, although the term can be extended. Appointment

    The President is elected for four years by a vote of the citizens of the United States.


    The monarch is a hereditary position within the British royal family. The monarch cannot be removed, though he or she may abdicate as Edward VIII did in 1936. Removing

    The President can be removed if he or she is impeached (charged with treason or a serious criminal offence) by the House of Representatives and convicted by a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate.


    A referendum to change the Constitution to make Australia a republic (and therefore to change our head of state) was defeated in 1999. Reform

    There is no agenda to reform this aspect of the American political system.

    There are no significant head of state similarities.

    4. Executive government

    Australia United States


    The Australian executive government consists of the Prime Minister and ministers meeting as the Cabinet. Each minister is an elected member of parliament.


    The American executive government consists of the President, who is advised and assisted by the secretaries of the Cabinet.


    The Prime Minister selects ministers who are then commissioned by the Governor-General. Ministers lose their appointment if the Governor-General withdraws their commission. This can occur on the advice of the Prime Minister or if the minister fails to retain his or her seat in parliament in a federal election. Appointment

    The President selects and removes department secretaries. The Senate must confirm the appointment of each secretary and many other senior executive branch officials.


    Ministers are responsible to the Parliament. They must answer to the Parliament for the running of their department and the legislation they introduce. Responsibility

    Secretaries are responsible to the President. They must answer to the President for the running of their department. Secretaries are also accountable to both houses of Congress (though not formally so) and may be called on to explain t

  • Renee
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    United States

  • 2HOT4U
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Bart vs. Australia is a good reference point.

  • 1 decade ago

    Australia and USA, both are British Colonies.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your grammar -s-u-c-k--s!!!

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