Policies and Beliefs of major Australian Political Parties

Essay by sadj89High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2004

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In recent times and up until today, Australia's government has contained a number of politically influential parties. Parties of this nature include the Greens, the Australian Labour party, the Nationals, the Democrats and the Liberals.

Firstly, discussion of the Liberal party seems relevant due to the current Senate and House of Representative ownership. The Liberal party was founded in 1944 by Robert Menzies, the leader of the then 'Australian United Party'. The name Liberal was chosen deliberately for its associations with progressive nineteenth century free enterprise and social equality. The following year, in 1945, Liberal membership had swelled to an amazing 40,000 members. The Liberals Party had then also become Australia's most successful postwar party; it was elected to Government for 23 years from 1949 to 1972, and for another term of more than seven years from 1975 to 1983. Currently, the Liberal party is in power, and residing as Prime Minister is John Howard, who has been leading Australia for a streak of more than 10 years.

The Liberal party is very right-wing, and believes in '...saving money and [is] a government that nurtures and encourages its citizens through incentive, rather than putting limits on people through the punishing disincentives of burdensome taxes and the stifling structures of Labor's corporate state and bureaucratic red tape...'. The Liberal party is one of Australia's major parties and will continue to prosper for many years.

Secondly, the Australian Labour Party is the Liberal party's immediate opposition and the two have been battling constantly for rule for over 50 years. The ALP was the world's first successful Labor party, first forming a minority national government in May, 1904, and forming its first majority government in 1910. Labor became a Federal Party when the former colonies of Australia federated in 1901. The party...