Monthly Archives: June 2014


Decipher: The Balance of Power in the Senate

You may have heard news reports referring to the Balance of Power in the Senate. This is an important factor in the legislative process, one that can determine whether or not a Bill is passed at all.

In essence, the balance of power in the Senate is the control held by minor parties or independents who can, by cooperating with the governing party, ensure the government has a majority in the Senate. Alternatively, they can cooperate with the Opposition to block government bills in the Senate.

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Decipher: Ministers, portfolios and the Cabinet

In the news, you will often hear politicians referred to as the “Minister for Defence” or the “Minister for Education.” These titles refer to government members who have been assigned portfolios, which means that they are in charge of a certain area of policy.

We have discussed the legislative aspect of Australian government. Ministers, portfolios and the Cabinet all fall under the executive branch.

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