Australian Labor Party (ALP)1.History of the party: The Australian Labor Party (ALP) was formed in 1891 and is AustraliaÃÂs oldest political party. It became a federal party after AustraliaÃÂs Federation in 1901. Before this, there were separate Labor parties throughout the colonies of Australia, and these were sponsored by the trade unions. AustraliaÃÂs first Labor Government took office in 1899 in Queensland which lasted for a week. Although the first Labor parties were influenced by trade unions, they were not confined to union membership interests. The early ALP sought support from farmers, small businessmen, non-union employees and other white-collar workers. It was represents a broad range of social and economic interests.
In 1901, 16 Labor members were elected to the House of Representatives and eight to the Senate. They met and agreed to form a federal Labor party with the first leader being Chris Watson. The party was small but were more coherent and organised than the other parties: Free Traders and the Protectionists.
AustraliaÃÂs first federal Labor Government was in May 1904 with Chris Watson being the Prime Minister. It was lasted for three months.
In the elections of 1910, Labor won a majority in both of the Houses and was then able to change and introduce many advances such as the Commonwealth Bank, a maternity allowance, and the Australian Navy. This Government was defeated in 1913 but won a double dissolution in 1914 where Andrew Fisher was re-elected as the Prime Minister.
The First World War created many difficulties in the Labor party, and state Labor governments did not satisfy all their union constituencies. During the later years of the war, many members left for the Opposition and formed a Nationalist Government. The weakened party was lead by Frank Tudor who replaced Billy Hughes, then by Matthew Charlton who were solid trade unionists which were unpopular compared to the Nationalist Party leaders. The ALP won the election of 1929 and James Scullin became the Prime Minister. The Great Depression was difficult for Labor and members left to form the United Australia Party, and ALP lost the 1931 election. John Curtin was the next Labor Prime Minister in 1935 who rebuilt the party. John Curtin died in office and was succeeded by Ben Chifley who continued the reforms. The party lost the 1949 election and stayed out of government for 23 years. The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) split from the ALP and some trade unions which were affiliated with the ALP were run by members of the Communist Party.
Under Gough WhitlamÃÂs leadership, the party recovered in the late 1960s and the Labor Government made many advances until 1975 where many controversies sprung up surrounding the party. Labor returned in 1983 with Bob Hawke who restored economic and employment growth. In 1991, Paul Keating replaced Bob Hawke as Prime Minister but was defeated in 1996. 2007 saw Kevin Rudd become the next Labor Prime Minister.
2.Current leader of the party: Kevin Rudd3.Philosophy of the party: The Labor party believes in the ÃÂtruest measure of a good society is the care it provides for those most in need and the opportunity it provides for every person to realise his or her full potentialÃÂ. Their ÃÂcommitment to a strong economy is therefore matched by its commitment to justice, fairness and equity for allÃÂ. The ALP believes that all human are equal and deserve the same dignity, respect, and chance to reach their potential. They are committed to protecting and supporting the disadvantages, oppressed and struggling as the ÃÂLabor tradition has always been to reach out, embrace, protect and support those in needÃÂ. The party supports a just and tolerant society which protects the rights and freedoms of all Australians. The Labor party is committed to protecting and advancing the rights of working people to join trade unions. The party also believes that all rights come with responsibilities to behave honestly, humanely and fairly. The ALP believes that every person has the basic right to a say in every decision affecting their life and that the best chance of a better future has its foundations in co-operation.
4.Sources of support (mainly financial): Many trade unions support the Australian Labor Party financially so their views can be expressed in Government. The party also receives donations from the general public.
5.Record of party in Government: The Australian Labor Party has been in government since the Australian Federation in 1901. The party has been in Government during 1904, 1908-1909, 1910-13, 1914-15, 1915-1916, 1929-1932, 1914-1945, 1945-1949, 1972-1975, 1983-1991, 1991-1996, 2007-present.
6.Major achievements of the party: Major achievements of the ALP include founding the Commonwealth Bank, introduction of a maternity allowance, establishment of the Australian Navy, taking over the issue of bank notes, introduced a per capita system of payments to the state governments, post-war reconstruction of Australia, enterprise bargaining in industries, financial support for low-income working families, establishment of Medicare, establishment of the Prices and Incomes Accord, reform of the taxation system, education and training policies, reconciliation with Indigenous Australians, development of National Agenda for Women.
7.Notable persons (past or present) associated with the party: Chris Watson, Andrew Fisher, Billy Hughes, James Scullin, John Curtin, Ben Chifley, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, and Kevin Rudd.
8.Where party is headed in the future: The party wishes to build a strong economy, engage with the global economy, invest in the education of the future, foster competitive and innovative Australian industries, build a stronger defense force for the nation, create policies that support working families, combat climate change and build a sustainable environment for the future, improve the public health system, fostering quality care for all Australians, reform the government, ensure community security and access to justice, respect human rights and a fair go for all, strengthening AustraliaÃÂs global image, strengthening regional communities, supporting AustraliaÃÂs arts, culture and heritage.
9.Stance of the party with regard to economy, social welfare, defence, overseas relations, environment and employment relations: The Labor party highly regards the need for sustained economic prosperity as they find it will help Australian families live fulfilled lives. They feel that achieving this prosperity requires solving long-term problems, mainly to boost education and skills. Unemployment is regarded as ÃÂunacceptableÃÂ and the party will strive for full employment. More money in the Annual Budget has been allocated for pensioners, and more than a million dollars have been spent to remove social welfare fraud. The ALP is providing over two billion dollars from the Annual Budget towards Defence and plan to build new strategic security assessments for the Australian Defence Force by 2030. The party wishes to strengthen ties with America and neighboring countries. The Labor party has put money aside in the Annual Budget for ways to tackle climate change, such as the Director of National Parks, Green Loans Program, and Maintaining AustraliaÃÂs Presence in Antarctica although have terminated funds towards environmentally good projects such as the Low Emissions Technology and Abatement, Local Greenhouse Action, and Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program. The party has dedicated a large amount of money in the Annual Budget to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, especially towards education as the party believes that it will solve employment relations issues.
Australian Liberal Party1.History of the party: The Liberal Party of Australia was founded in 1944 after a meeting held by Robert Menzies who at the time was the Leader of the Opposition (United Australia Party). He had already served time as the Prime Minister but believed that the non-Labor parties should have a strong united force which was an alternative for the public. The group of eighty men and women believed that Australians should have greater personal freedom and choice than what the Labor party offered. On the 16th of October 1944, the Liberal Party formed uniting many political organisations. They grew quickly and Robert Menzies became the Prime Minister again before retiring.
2.Current leader of the party: Malcolm Turnbull3.Philosophy of the party: The Liberal Party of Australia believes in the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples and they work towards a lean government that minimises interference in daily lives and maximises individual and private sector initiative. The party believe in a government nurtures and encourages its citizens through incentive, rather than putting limits on people through taxes. They believe in basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy and in a just and humane society in which the importance of the family and the role of law is maintained. The party believe that there should be equal opportunity for everyone and that wealth should be encouraged for it provides good living, health, education and social justice. They believe that the government should not compete with and efficient private sector and that businesses and individuals are the true creators of wealth and employment, not the government. The party believe that we must preserve AustraliaÃÂs natural beauty and the environment for the future generations. The party believe that Australia has a role of maintaining world peace and democracy through alliances with other free nations. The Liberal party believes ÃÂin individual freedom and free enterpriseÃÂ.
4.Sources of support (mainly financial): Since its formation, the Liberal Party of Australia has been funded largely by donations from the general public.
5.Record of party in Government: The Liberal Party of Australia has been in government since 1944 and has been in Government during 1944-1966, 1966-1967, 1968-1971, 1971-1972, 1975-1983, 1995-2007.
6.Major achievements of the party: Achievements of the Liberal Party include the introduction of the Medical Benefits Scheme, various international alliances, introduction of Home for Aged Scheme, introduction of the National Health Scheme, the introduction of Department of Education and Science, increased grants with Aboriginals, establishment of the Aboriginal Affairs Office and Council for Aboriginal Affairs, developments with immigrants and industrial areas, establishment of Multicultural Affairs, began SYETP, many housing advancements and developments, higher living standards.
7.Notable persons (past or present) associated with the party: Robert Menzies, Harold Holt, John Gorton, William McMahon, Malcolm Fraser, and John Howard.
8.Where party is headed in the future: The party plan to come back into power by the next election, but will concentrate on criticizing the ALP governmentÃÂs actions.
9.Stance of the party with regard to economy, social welfare, defence, overseas relations, environment, and employment relations: The Liberal party believe that an economy based on private property, free enterprise and competitive market will be successful and that the government should not provide services which can easily be produced by private sectors. They believe that pensioners deserve more than they are given and that unemployment is just a phase. The party believes that Australia must be able to maintain a strong and capable defence force with many alliances. The party intends to strengthen relationships and alliances with the United States and countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The Liberal party believe that AustraliaÃÂs environment should be preserved and passed on to future generations. The party believes that creating opportunities for Australians involve economic policies which generate employment and give incentives for employers to employ.
Australian Greens1.History of the party: The Australian Greens are a fusion of different state and territory parties which began through Australian environment movements in the 1970s and 1980s. The formation of the United Tasmania Group in 1972 was the first ÃÂgreen partyÃÂ in the world, and many more rose. The 1980s resulted in the election of AustraliaÃÂs first green Member of Parliament. Green parties in Queensland and New South Wales were formed in 1984 and the NSW Greens stood as candidates in the 1984 state election. That year Jo Vallentine was elected to the Senate for Western Australia and she left the Nuclear Disarmament Party to form her own group which later merged with other groups to form the WA Greens. More Green members were elected to parliament and the group formed an alliance with other called The Green Independents. They supported the Australian Labor Party until 1992. In 1992 a national Green political party was formed. In 2002, Michael Organ became the first Greens member of the House of Representatives. Bob Brown is the leader of the Australian Greens.
2.Current leader of the party: Bob Brown3.Philosophy of the party: The philosophy of the Australian Greens can be summarised by ÃÂPeace and non-violence, grassroots democracy, social and economic justice, ecological sustainabilityÃÂ. Their vision is for a fair, independent and sustainable Australia.
4.Sources of support (mainly financial): The Australian Greens receives financial support from interest groups and public donations. They state that they do not accept donations from ÃÂunethical big businessesÃÂ.
5.Record of party in Government: The Australian Greens were founded in 1992 and has been in government since.
6.Major achievements of the party: The Australian Greens have raised awareness about the environment, climate change, and what the public can contribute to the environment.
7.Notable persons (past or present) associated with the party: Jo Vallentine, Bob Brown, Gerry Bates, Michael Organ8.Where party is headed in the future: The GreensÃÂ ÃÂvision of the future is based on the four interconnecting pillars of social justice, economic and ecological sustainability, peace and nonviolence, and participatory democracyÃÂ and this is what the Greens aim for Australia. They envision Australia to be fair, independent and sustainable.
9.The Australian Greens believe that the Australian economy can get stronger every year and that the industries which have a higher contribution to the GDP should be made important. They also believe that an economy will be a failure if it does not take in the costs of climate change and greenhouse gases. The party believe that the ALP should not have spent the assigned amount of money in the Annual Budget on Defence, and claim that it should have been utilised to send on people and the threat of climate change. The party wish for an independent Australia with relations with the rest of the world. They believe that we should concentrate on creating relationships with other countries and fight global poverty. The Australian Greens put importance for protecting the environment as their origins were of environmentally-friendly campaigns. They believe that environment problems should be dealt with first as it is ÃÂessential for the wellbeing of all life on EarthÃÂ. The Australian Greens feel that employment is an issue and that the current Labour Government should erase what the previous Liberal Government did (mainly Work Choices and related legislations).
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