Leader of the Opposition (Australia)
In Australian Federal Politics the Leader of the Opposition is a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives. The Leader of the Opposition is usually the leader of the party which has the most seats but is not part of the Government. In Parliament the Leader of the Opposition sits on the left-hand side of the table in the centre, in front of the Opposition and opposite the Prime Minister. The Opposition Leader is elected by the Opposition Party. A new Opposition Leader may be elected if the person in the position dies, resigns or is challenged for the leadership.
The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. It is based on the the British Westminster model. The term Opposition has a specific meaning in the parliamentary system. Its formal title is Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. This is an important part of the Westminster system. The Opposition directs its criticism at the Government and attempts to defeat and replace the Government. The Opposition is therefore the 'Government in waiting' and it is a formal part of the parliamentary system, just as is the Government. It is in opposition to the Government, but not to the Crown, hence the term 'Loyal Opposition'.
The current Leader of the Opposition is Tony Abbott. He challenged and defeated Malcolm Turnbull for leadership of the Liberal Party on 1 December 2009. This was the 5th year in a row in which there had been a change in Opposition leadership. The Liberal Party has been in opposition since losing the 2007 election to the Labor Party, which had formed the opposition since 1996. As of 2012, there have been 32 Opposition Leaders. Of these, 17 have served terms as Prime Minister.
Related pages [change]
- Jaensch, Dean (1997). The Politics of Australia. Melbourne: MacMillan Education Australia. pp. 100. ISBN 0-7329-4128-8.
- Abbott wins three-way fight for the Liberal leadership, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 2009.
- "Details of Australian election results in the Australian Government and politics database". The University of Western Australia. http://elections.uwa.edu.au/listelections.lasso. Retrieved 2006-04-28.
- "A House for the nation". Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.houseforthenation.gov.au/explore/ahn03_p9.html. Retrieved 2007-12-14.