Does There need to be an Upper House (senate) in the Australian parliament?

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Does There need to be an Upper House (senate) in the Australian parliament? by Mind Map: Does There need to be an Upper House (senate) in the Australian parliament?

1. Definition

1.1. A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament. There have been many such bodies in history, since senate means the assembly of the eldest and wiser members of the society and ruling class. Two of the first official senates were the Spartan Gerousia (Γερουσία) and the Roman Senate.

2. Votes in the senate

2.1. Senators are called upon to vote on matters before the Senate. These votes are called divisions in the case of Senate business, or ballots where the vote is to choose a senator to fill an office of the Senate (such as President of the Australian Senate).[16] Party discipline in Australian politics is extremely tight, so divisions almost always are decided on party lines. Nevertheless, the existence of minor parties holding the balance of power in the Senate has made divisions in that chamber more important and occasionally more dramatic than in the House of Representatives. When a division is to be held, bells ring throughout the parliament building for four minutes, during which time senators must go to the chamber. At the end of that period the doors are locked and a vote is taken, by identifying and counting senators according to the side of the chamber on which they sit (ayes to the right of the chair, noes to the left). The whole procedure takes around eight minutes. Senators with commitments that keep them from the chamber may make arrangements in advance to be 'paired' with a senator of the opposite political party, so that their absence does not affect the outcome of the vote. The senate contains an even number of senators, so a tied vote is a real prospect (which regularly occurs when the party numbers in the chamber are finely balanced). Section 23 of the Constitution requires that in the event of a tied division, the question is resolved in the negative. The system is however different for ballots for offices such as the President. If such a ballot is tied, the Clerk of the Senate decides the outcome by the drawing of lots. In reality, conventions govern most ballots, so this situation does not arise.

3. Terms of Senate

3.1. Members of the House representative are elected for three years, or until the Governor-General dissolves the House. Again, Senates are different. Senators are elected for six years. Their terms are fixed. They begin on 1st July and run to 30 June six years later. The terms of senators also rotate or are staggered. This means that half the Senators stand, for election every three years, while the other half remain in office.

4. Overview

4.1. Many countries currently have an assembly named a senate, composed of senators who may be elected, appointed, have inherited the title, or gained membership by other methods, depending on the country. Modern senates typically serve to provide a chamber of "sober second thought" to consider legislation passed by a lower house, whose members are usually elected