Choosing Governments in the Westminster System

The question of how governments are chosen is a crucial issue arising from the Dismissal of the Whitlam government.

The Australian Constitution sets out the way in which our political system operates. It consists of 128 sections.

Australia is a Federal system: we have a National Government (can also be called Federal, Commonwealth or Australian) and six state Governments, plus two territory governments. [Read more…]

Whitlam Responds To Fraser’s Decision To Block Supply: Parliamentary Democracy Is Under Challenge

Gough Whitlam responded within hours to Malcolm Fraser’s announcement that the coalition parties would block Supply, describing it as a threat to parliamentary democracy.

Whitlam

Whitlam spoke in an Address to the Nation on ABC television.

He said: “I state again the basic rule of our parliamentary system: Governments are made and unmade in the House of Representatives – in the people’s House. The Senate cannot, does not, and must never determine who the Government shall be.

“That principle has been upheld since federation. It has never been broken or challenged except during this Government’s life. It has been scrupulously observed on at least twenty occasions since federation when the Opposition had the numbers in the Senate to reject Supply. [Read more…]