— Officially: Commonwealth of Australia.
— Seat of government: Canberra.
— Status: Democratic.
— Structure: Parliament comprises a House of Representatives, elected by ranked vote in geographical constituencies, which chooses the prime minister, and a Senate, with twelve members in each province (state) and two in each territory, elected through ranked, transferrable vote.
— Governing parties: Australian Labor Party (since 2022).
— Heads of government: Anthony Albanese, prime minister (since 2022).
— Other parliamentary parties: Liberal Party, led by Peter Dutton; National Party, led by David Littleproud; Liberal National Party; Australian Greens, led by Adam Bandt; Katter’s Australian Party; Centre Alliance.
— Assessment: Largest remaining problem is racial relations, both with aboriginals and with immigrants. Under the conservative Liberal-National government led by John Howard (1996-2007), the state began taking a strong integrationist and interventionist stance, leading an intervention force to Solomon Islands, proposing a regional police force, and placing the head of the Pacific Forum. The Labor Party was elected in 2007 in a landslide under Kevin Rudd (2007-10, 2013). His election, and the choice of republicans as governor general (Quentin Bryce) and leader of the opposition (Malcolm Turnbull), were boosts to the republican movement. Turnbull was replaced opposition leader in 2009 (by Tony Abbott) over climate-change legislation that he favored. Rudd was then replaced in 2010, by Julia Gillard (2010-3), shortly before an expected election. The 2010 election provided a close result; Labor was able to win the support of the sole Green MP and several independents to form a government; it also relied on the support of the large Green bloc in the Senate. Gillard was replaced herself, by Rudd, before the 2013 election, which the Liberal-National coalition won decisively. Abbott (2013-5) became prime minister, but was replaced by Turnbull (2015-8). The Liberal-National coalition won a minimal majority of seats in 2013. Turnbull was challenged for leadership in 2018, and stood down after MPs indicated a desire for a new leader, with Scott Morrison (2018-22) replacing him. In 2019, the Liberal-National coalition secured another slim majority, picking up one seat. The ALP then won its own bare majority of seats in the 2022 election.
— FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 9.22 (6), full democracy.
— Updated: 2022 July 17.