Australia has a new Deputy Prime Minister

Conservative Michael McCormack succeeds Barnaby Joyce, who has had to resign because of an extramarital affair with his former press officer, who is expecting a child from him.

Australia's new Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was appointed to the post on February 26.

A conservative Australian from a rural area, former author of anti-gay statements, was appointed Monday, February 26 Deputy Prime Minister to replace Barnaby Joyce, swept away by a controversy over his extramarital affair with a former collaborator.

Michael McCormack, 53, was elected by the National Party, forming minority of conservative coalition in power to take the head of the party and become number two in the government. “We are the party of small business and farmers and we want to make sure it continues to be ,  McCormack told reporters after the vote.

Mr. McCormack is not as well known as Barnaby Joyce, who gained international notoriety by threatening to euthanize the dogs of US star Johnny Depp who entered Australia illegally . But it is considered a safe bet after the scandal that caused tensions between the NP and the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, ultimately forcing Mr. Joyce to resign.

Forbidden relationships

It was in turmoil since early February, the date of the revelation of his relationship with a collaborator of almost twenty years his youngest, who is now waiting for his child. He had, moreover, been accused of having contravened the government’s rules by appointing his companion in a ministerial cabinet.

Mr. Turnbull had violently attacked his deputy and decreed the prohibition of sexual relations between the ministers and their collaborators. Mr. Joyce had lambasted in return Mr. Turnbull’s “inappropriate” and “useless” comments . He initially refused to resign , but his position became untenable with information on sexual harassment charges, the origin of which is unknown. Mr. Joyce denies these accusations with force.

The Prime Minister has welcomed the appointment of Mr. McCormack. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 in the rural riding of Riverina, New South Wales. More than twenty years ago, he wrote in an editorial that homosexual relations were “sordid” . But in August, during a national consultation on same-sex marriage, he “apologized wholeheartedly for his words of the time . ” He had also voted in Parliament for the legalization of marriage for all .



Australian Government: The Essentials to Know

Je propose today to enlighten you on the formation, composition and role of the Australian government . Indeed, living or traveling in a country is also understanding how it works at the political and administrative level, the way it is governed.

The origins of the Australian government

The birth of a federation

Aefore 1901, Australia was made up of six distinct and independent British colonies . Within its borders, each colony had its own constitution and its own laws concerning defense, immigration, commerce, transportation, and so on.

For several reasons (simplification of trade and transport between colonies, better defense, need for national identity, etc.), the settlers wanted to unite and thus form a single Australian nation .

On January 1, 1901 , the colonies thus united in a federation of states , namely the same independent nation called the Commonwealth of Australia .

The birth of a government

THEe Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 is the legal document that stipulates the basic rules of the Australian government . It created the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia , consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as the High Court of Australia , which has the power to enforce and interpret the laws of Australia.

Australian Government

The Australian Constitution can only be changed by a special vote called a referendum . In a referendum, it takes a double majority for the Australian Constitution to be amended.

The composition of the government

THEAustralian’s what we call a constitutional monarchy , that is to say, a country in which the Head of State is not a President but a sovereign who must act according to the Constitution .

Modeled on the British system, it is also a parliamentary democracy and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister .

  • The head of state

The Australian head of state is the Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II . In Australia, the Queen does not have a daily role in government. It appoints the Governor General as representative in Australia , on the advice of the Australian Prime Minister.

  • The Prime Minister

He is the one who really holds the power and heads the Australian government .

  • Governor General

He is the representative of the Head of State , therefore of the Queen, in Australia. He is responsible for signing all bills passed by the Australian Parliament of Law (Royal Assent), the regulation of signs, performing ceremonial duties, approving the appointment of the Australian Government and its ministers, judges federal and other public servants.

The Governor General also has special powers called “reserve powers” that can only be used in specific circumstances.

  • The governor

There is one in each state / territory . He represents the Queen and his role is similar to that of the Governor General.

  • The ministers

They are members of Parliament . Each minister is responsible for one or more government departments.

The federal Parliament of Australia consists of two chambers : the Senate consists of 76 senators and the House of Representatives consists of 150 deputies.

Australian Government
Senate Chamber in Canberra Parliament

The separation of powers

THEpower of the Australian Government is divided into three branches  :

  • The legislative power (Federal Parliament) has the role of creating and modifying laws.
  • The role of the executive (ministers and governor general) is to put the laws into practice.
  • The role of the judiciary (courts and judges) is to interpret and apply the law. Courts and judges are independent of parliament and the government.

These powers are enshrined in the Australian Constitution.

The state government

Cach territory has its own constitution and its own parliament . The territorial governments are based in their respective capitals.

The Head of Government of the Australian State is the Prime Minister and the Head of Territorial Government is the Chief Minister .

The territorial governments function in the same way as the Australian government. In each of them, a Governor General represents the Queen of Australia.

As with the Australian government, people are voting to elect a representative for their region. These representatives therefore become members of the Parliament of the territory concerned.