The Federal Election was called by Kevin Rudd on Sunday 4th August 2013 after he visited the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. On Monday 5th August the announcement of dissolving parliament and officially beginning the election period, was delivered by the Governor-General. The writs of election were afterwards issued by Quentin Bryce and the state governors. The date for the election is set to be 7th September 2013 (Polling places open at 8am and close at 6pm).
Conduct of Election
The government body responsible for the conduct of the election is the Australian Electoral Commission, established in 1902. The Australian Electoral Commission is made up of a chairman, which is a Magistrate or a retired Magistrate of the Federal Court, the Electoral Commissioner and a non-judicial member, which is usually the Australian Statistician. The Australian Electoral Commission has a National Office located in Canberra and State Offices located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The Australian Electoral Commission’s major responsibilities are to run federal elections and maintain the Commonwealth electoral roll. The electoral roll/electoral register is a list of all who have registered to vote in a certain area. The roll assists with the process of voting and can be used to select people for jury duty. The Australian Electoral Commission keeps the electoral roll for all of Australia and it is used by the state and territory Electoral Commissions to start and help with their elections. The Australian Electoral Commission must ensure Election Rolls are always up to date to run the elections. Along with keeping the Electoral roll in order they are in charge of organising, directing and supervising federal elections and polls and follow up any people who have failed to make a vote. The Australian Electoral Commission also supervises state government and local government elections in each state and territory; and is responsible for seat limits in parliament.
The number of members of parliament to be elected is technically 150 as there are 150 seats available in The Lower House. It is also known as The House of Representatives which is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; the Senate being the upper house. Which political party is in power will rely on the party that has the majority number of seats in the chamber. 2010’s election period (43rd Federal Election) was the first election since 1940 where neither party had the majority and it resulted in a hung parliament. When this occurs they have the option that one or both main parties can seek to become a coalition government with smaller third parties, or a minority government. If all these option do not work there will be dissolution of parliament and a new election may be the last resort. Despite the name The Lower House generally has more power due to restrictions against The Upper House; they are able to overrule The Upper House in some ways. They also have complete control over the budget and financial/economic laws. One of the most important things that The Lower is capable of is having the authority to vote a motion of no confidence against the government.
A motion of no confidence is a statement or vote which states that a person in power is no longer deemed fit to hold the position of being the Prime Minister. This may be based on the person falling short in respect, failing to carry out duties, or making choices that other members believe are damaging to the government.
To be nominated you must be qualified, meaning you are:
An Australian citizen
A voter entitled to vote at the election or a person capable to become such a voter.
If you are qualified you can nominate to stand as a candidate the day after the writs is issued and from the day nominations close. The official publications of candidates will be announced the day after the close of nominations, those