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What is Democracy

The term democracy is derived from ancient Greek and means 'rule by the people'. In a democracy, the people have the right to have a say in how they are governed and what laws are passed. There are two types of democracy - 'direct democracy' and 'representative democracy'. Direct democracy existed in Athens in Ancient Greece, where all eligible citizens could vote on every issue. Representative democracy exists in modern societies where it is not practical for all citizens to vote on every issue. Instead, citizens vote in elections to choose people to represent them and make decisions on their behalf.

What is a Constitutional Democracy - A constitution is the framework of government and the rules about how it is governed. Australia is a constitutional democracy and government consists of more than just a written document. It is a democratic political system where people are an integral part of the decision making process through elections.

What is Democracy.pdf



A federation is a system of government with two levels that share governing responsibility between a single national authority and several state (or regional) authorities. The national level of governance looks after national concerns such as currency, defence and taxation while the state level looks after state concerns such as the provision of health, road and education services.



The Three Arms of Government

Our system of government is organised into three arms and these are known as:
(i)    the legislative arm - democratically elected representatives debating new laws
(ii)   the executive arm - responsible for enacting and upholding the laws passed in the parliament
(iii)  the judicial arm - independent of the legislative and executive, it interprets Australian law and ensures that laws do not go beyond their constitutional power.

The Three Arms of Government.pdf  


Interesting information:

Commonwealth of Australia Constitution.pdf

Western Australian Constitution.pdf

Foundation of the Constitution Centre.pdf - Paper by Dr Harry Phillips

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.