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List of political parties in Australia

From Academic Kids

Political parties in Australia lists political parties in Australia.

Australia has a mild two-party system, which means that there are two dominant political parties or coalitions, and it's difficult for independants or other parties to gain seats. However, preferential voting makes things easier for parties not part of the duopoly than in most other English speaking countries, including the US.

Contents

Significant political parties (and their federal leaders)

Two political groups dominate the Australian political spectrum.

One is a conservative group of parties that are presently in coalition at the federal level and in some states, but compete in others. The main party in this group is the Liberal Party, a centre-right neo-liberal group. It is joined by the The Nationals, a party that represents rural interests - especially primary industry. The third member is the Country Liberal Party, which is the sole representative of both parties in the Northern Territory. Collectively, these parties are known as The Coalition.

The other is the Australian Labor Party (ALP), a centre-left party founded by the trade unions.

Historically, support for either the Coalition or the Labor Party was often viewed as being based around class, with the middle class supporting the Coalition and the working class supporting Labor. In more recent times, this has been a less important factor because the 1970s and 1980s saw Labor gain a significant bloc of middle class support and the Coalition gain a significant bloc of working class support.

Less significant parties include the Australian Greens, a left wing and environmentalist party; the Australian Democrats, a party of middle-class centrists; One Nation, a populist anti-immigration and protectionist party; and the Family First Party, a party appealing to socially conservative Christians. The proportional representation system allows these parties to win seats in the Senate, but they have usually been unable to win seats in the House of Representatives (the Greens won a House seat at a 2002 by-election, but lost it in 2004).

Minor parties

None of these parties currently hold seats in Federal Parliament, although some have held them in the past and some hold seats in the various state Parliaments.

Defunct parties

Notes

  1. The Australian Greens do not formally have a leader. Brown is the party's senior elected official and is treated by the media and public as its leader.
  2. One Nation has largely disintegrated. Senator Len Harris is its only federal parliamentary reprentative, but does not appear to be formally its leader. Founder, Pauline Hanson, herself ran for the federal Senate as an independent candidate in the 2004 election. Harris' Senate term expires in June 2005 and he did not win reelection.

See also

Other parties on the Internet

Template:Australian political parties

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