Thursday, April 10, 2003

What Westminster System?

Wednesday, 9 April 2003

A visit to Amax sent me off a-googling to see what I could dredge up about the Westminster system. What got me started was this statement:

this country has been governed as a federation of states generally following the Westminister system since 1901, with all of the advantages and disadvantages of that system of government.

A quick visit to the House of Lords Home Page and a perusal of the historic material there confirmed a suspicion I've had for a while: Australia's system of government predates the current British version of the "Westminster system" by a few years. Our system of Federal Government dates from 1901: the current British Constitution, in its present form, dates from 1911, when [Parliament passed] The Parliament Act which removed the right of the House of Lords to reject legislation. If you're wondering why the House of Lords passed the bill which removed its powers, the answer is simple: the then Liberal government of Lloyd George threatened to stack the house with new Liberal Lords if the bill wasn't passed.


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