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Aug 15 2009

Politics Comparison UK-Aus


A Comparison of Politics between Australia and the United Kingdom

Australia has a very similar system of government to that of Britain, as it is actually based on the Westminster system itself, even down to the official opening of Parliament each year by the Queens representative.

However, one major difference that people will find is the amount of government in Australia, for example:

In the UK, for a long time there has been one Parliament with 2 Houses of parliament.

Australia, with a population only one third of the UK,  has 15 Houses of Parliament, that is two for each State, except Queensland who abolished the upper house in 1922. (source)

A question recently caught my attention…

  • How many politicians are there in Australia?
  • The answer is:  809

In the UK there are 646 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

That 809 elected State and Federal politicians in Australia is made up of:

226 in the two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament.

    The House of Representatives with 150 elected representatives.
    The Senate (the upper house) has 76 elected senators.

17 in the single house of the Australian Capital Territory  Parliament

    The Assembly with 17 elected representatives.

135 in the two houses of the New South Wales State Parliament

    The Assembly with 93 elected representatives.
    The Legislative Council (the upper house) has 42 elected senators.

25 in the single house of the Northern Territory Parliament

    The Assembly with 25 elected representatives.

85 in the single house of the Queensland State Parliament

    The House of Representatives with 85 elected representatives.

58 in the two houses of the South Australian State Parliament

    The House of Representatives with 47 elected representatives.
    The Senate (the upper house) has 11 elected senators.

40 in the two houses of the Tasmanian State Parliament

    The House of Assembly with 25 elected representatives.
    The Legislative Council (the upper house) has 15 elected members.

128 in the two houses of the Victorian State Parliament

    The House of Representatives with 88 elected representatives.
    The Senate (the upper house) has 40 elected senators.

95 in the two houses of the West Australian State Parliament

    The House of Representatives with 59 elected representatives.
    The Senate (the upper house) has 36 elected senators.

There are also many more elected Councillors for each local council within Australia.

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4 comments

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  1. Sam G

    Many of the details in this post are plain wrong.

    Just for starters, Queensland has 89 not 85. No state calls their upper house a ‘Senate’ or their lower house a ‘House of Representatives’.

    1. ABCDiamond

      Thank you for that, Queensland changed to 89 electorates in four zones in 1985. And the lower house (even though there is only one now, is called the Legislative Assembly, unlike the Commonwealth Parliament which uses the “House of Representatives” for the lower house.

  2. Doug Conn

    Thanks for the information which I found very useful. However, you did not mention the 800 odd that sit in the House of Lords. Including this number would give a more complete comparison.

    1. ABCDiamond

      I forget them 🙂 I do remember talk about getting rid of them at one stage.

      From http://www.parliament.uk/business/lords/
      Members of the House of Lords are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister
      Currently, there are about 825 members of the House of Lords. The majority (about 700) are life peers

      A proposal from the Reform Draft Bill for 2015?
      http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm80/8077/8077.pdf

      A reformed House of Lords of 300 members – wholly or mainly elected in line with the Coalition Agreement. The draft Bill provides for 240 elected and 60 appointed members, as well as 12 Bishops sitting as ex-officio members. We will consider a wholly elected chamber if that option is supported as the draft Bill is scrutinised.
      There are 789 members of the (excluding Members who are on leave of absence) but the average daily attendance in the 2009-2010 session was only 388 members.

      House of Lords Members would receive a salary and allowances.
      The current status is: Members of the House of Lords, who are not paid a salary, may claim a daily allowance of £300 (or may elect to claim a reduced daily allowance of £150) per sitting day – but only if they attend a sitting of the House and/or committee proceedings.

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