On 21 March 2016 the Prime Minister wrote to the Governor-General to ask the Governor-General to prorogue Parliament on Friday 15 April and summon Parliament to sit again on Monday 18 April 2016. This Flagpost examines what proroguing means for the operation of the Parliament and the possible implications for the Senate’s consideration of certain Bills. Read more...
This FlagPost shows the notional two-party preferred swings needed for electoral divisions to change hands at the next House of Representatives election. Redistributions of federal electoral boundaries have occurred in the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales since the 2013 election.
In order to achieve fair democratic representation, the Australian Constitution states “the number of members chosen in the several States should be in proportion to the respective numbers of their people”. Each state’s population changes constantly, and therefore the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) must regularly ensure that each state and territory has their fair share (entitlement) of members in the House of Representatives. Read more...
Further to the current Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 that seeks to reform above the line voting for the Senate by introducing optional preferential voting, the Government has recently proposed amendments which would implement optional preferential voting below the line, with voters being asked to allocate at least 12 preferences. The details of these amendments and what they would mean for voters are discussed in this Flagpost. The Parliamentary Library has prepared a Bills Digest on the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 as introduced. Read more...
This year will be an important year for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). Laos is among Asia’s smallest and poorest nations, but is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies. In January, the communist Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), from which the country’s secretive ruling elite is drawn, completed its tenth party congress and chose Mr Bounnhang Vorachit, 78, as its new leader. Read more...
Tuesday 8 March is International Women’s Day, a day that has now been commemorated for over 100 years in recognition of women’s economic, social and cultural achievements. International Women’s Day was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1975 during International Women’s Year. It arose from early North American and European labour, suffrage and peace movements, and was first celebrated informally in Australia in the 1920s.
Originally marked with rallies to promote greater economic and social participation of women through fundamental reforms, the United Nations (UN) organisation for gender equality, UN Women, has noted that:
Internation... Read more...
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