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Contrast Between the Uk and Australia Essay

  • Submitted by: leduy97
  • on April 4, 2014
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 791 words

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Below is an essay on "Contrast Between the Uk and Australia" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The current Australian federal election is attracting more attention than usual among the British political classes. In 2011, in the United Kingdom, there is a referendum concerned whether to replace the present voting system with the alternative vote method, prompting much renewed discussion about voting systems and a greater look at the Australian experience (Lundberg, 2011, p. 2). In any comparison between countries it is important to remember that the wider political system can have an impact. The UK has several significant features that can encourage different voting patterns.
      Elections for the Australian Parliament are held at least every three years or earlier if requested by the Prime Minister of Australia. Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens for state and federal elections. The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 states “It shall be the duty of every elector to vote at each election” (cited in Evans, 2006, p. 4). As voting is compulsory, electors are given a number of ways to cast their vote at an election, including postal voting, pre-poll voting, absent voting, voting at Australian overseas missions and voting at mobile teams at hospitals and nursing homes and in remote localities, as well as ordinary voting at a polling place in their electorate. Preferential voting (known in the UK as the “Alternative Vote” or “AV”) 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 (Farrell & McAllister, 2003, p. 8). In contrast, voting is not compulsory but voluntary in the UK (Evans, 2006, p. 7). It means allowing for the possibility of abstention, every citizen need not vote. Elections use the single member plurality or ‘First Past The Post’ (FPTP) voting system. The system is also known as the 'winner-takes-all' system, in which the candidate with the...

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