Differences between the Constitution of the U.S.A and Australia
The Constitution of the United States of America and that of Australia have considerable differences. The reason why these constitutions are different is basically, because these are two different countries whose people have different needs and as much as there are international standards that each country has to meet for the welfare of her people, the constitutions have to be made in a way that addresses the needs of the people of that particular country. The constitution should strive to ensure justice and fairness and to protect the people while also preserving the cultures of the people as well as their human rights. These are achieved in different methods depending on the history of a people and the needs that they have.
Despite the notable differences between the United States and Australia, there are a few similarities that are evident from the constitutions of the two countries, first and most important is the fact that both the constitutions and the political systems are founded on the ideology of political equality, of majority rule and basically in democracy which includes protection of the minority rights, which has seen to there being put in place rules that are meant to ensure that minority rights are protected. Both the Australian and the US systems of government are based on federalism, both countries have senates with different numbers of senators, and in both political systems the senators serve a term of six years. Both systems also have an independent judiciary, hence the strong laws governing separation of powers in both countries.
Federalism in the USA
Federalism is the system of government that is practiced in the United States. This system of government was settled upon because of the fact that the United States is composed of different States, which were formally different countries. It therefore became important to take into consideration the needs of the different states and to protect and respect the state governments in the making of the federal government. Federalism is therefore taken to entail the relationship between the federal government and the various states that make up the country. The states in the United States were taken to be powerful till the end of the Civil War, when with the coming together of the states, there was a shift of power from the state governments to the federal government. There has been a steady progress in federalism in the United States what started as dual federalism has evolved through state centered federalism to new federalism.
Australia is composed of six colonies, which confederated on the 1st of January 1901 to form the common wealth of Australia. The need to have a federal government arose after the six former colonies merged together to form Australia.
Separation of Powers Australia
The doctrine of separation of powers has led to three different institutions in the government of Australia namely the legislature that makes laws, the executive, which enforces the laws and the judiciary, which interprets laws. The doctrine of separation of powers function to ensure that the different arms of government are allows autonomy in their operations so as to ensure that they perform their functions properly without influence from any other arm of government. Separation of powers is evident even from the arrangement of the chapters of the country’s constitution with the first three chapters headed differently as, “The Parliament”, “The Executive Government”, and “The Judicature”.
Separation of powers in the USA
It is believed to be a doctrine that originated from the work of Montesquieu, in which he pushed for a government with three different branches. The doctrine is meant to ensure that each arm of government can check on the powers of the other arms.
Parliamentary sovereignty in the United States
Parliamentary sovereignty in the United States is not a doctrine that has been completelyadopted. There doctrine of separation of powers has been used to ensure that there are almost equal powers in the different arms of government, this cannot be absolute, however, because the legislature as the arm that makes laws can be taken to be the most powerful arm of government. The power of the legislature is however checked by the other arms of government and in particular the judiciary.
Parliamentary Sovereignty in Australia
In Australia it is governed strictly by the federal constitution. The parliament is given the powers to make laws; these powers are, however, limited by the federal constitution and in particular Article 128.
Both the governments in the United States and Australia practice bicameralism; this is a system of governance where the legislature is composed of two houses. This type of governance is common in countries that practice federalism. In the United States, the need for bicameralism arose after the attainment of independence. This is because the union forming the United States was made up of different countries with different forms of governments and they were not eager to completely discard their form of governance and to adopt a completely different form.
Bicameralism in the Australia ensures that parliament is divided into the Upper House and the House of Representatives. These different houses in parliament are meant to ensure that there are checks for the law makers and that the needs of the citizen are put first.
Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights in the United States is a name that is commonly used to describe the first ten amendments to the constitution of the United States. The Bill of Rights is meant to cement human rights in the country and to ensure that these rights are placed above any other matter in the country. The Bill of Rights states specific rights and to which extent they can be limited. The Bill of Rights was at first only applied to the federal government, later on, however, through the Fourteenth Amendment, it was applied by the states.
In Australia, there is no federal Bill of Rights, there are, however different documents and legislations that have ensured that human rights are protected. These include, Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011
The Head of State in the United States is the president while in Australia; the government is headed by the president and the Prime Minister.
The role of the prime minister/ president
The President in the United States has specific roles, among these are:
- Chief of State
- Chief Executive
- Chief Diplomat
- Chief Legislator
- Chief of Party
- Chief Guardian of the Economy
Who created the constitution and why that is important?
The constitution in the US was made by the founding fathers. Through the years, the constitution has been amended to satisfy the needs that have arose with the growth of the country. The Constitution in Australia on the other hand was written in the 1890’s after a number of constitutional conventions. It was finally passed in 1900 as an Act and was adopted fully in 1901. The constitution is the main legislative document in any country and as such is of great importance. It states the rights of the citizen, the duties of officials and also the relationships among different classes of people and governmental bodies. It is the supreme law in any country.