Australia, a Lesson in Democracy, by Kitty Flanagan, with the Prime Minister. Australia enjoys three levels or tiers of government: Federal, also known as Commonwealth; State, also known as unnecessary; and Local, also known as thieving Municipal councils. The Federal parliament operates on a bicameral system, bicameral meaning two-humped camel — not really, I just made that up, just checking Ms. Gillard was paying attention. There is the Senate called the Upper House the House of Representatives called the Lower House every person from every house sits in Parliament House rudely shouting at each other much like in that movie Animal House
. There are 76 animals — sorry, Senators — in the Upper House, and 150 in the Lower House. Each state gets 12 Upper House peeps, territories get 2; in the Lower House it's divided according to the population of each state, except for Tasmania which gets 5 even though it doesn't have the population to warrant that number but 5 is the minimum, unless you're a territory in which case you get 2 each, am I right Prime Minister? Yeah I am! Seriously, I cannot believe kids can't remember all that, it's so simple! Oh hang on, I forgot to explain how Australia elects the big cheese, the person with the top job, the boss of everyone. Well we don't! But if you're half-German half-English born in the United Kingdom and prepared to marry your own cousin
, then you might be in with a shot my friend! That's it, I'm done! See you next week! Carrie Bickmore:
Did you learn anything there? PM Julia Gillard:
That it doesn't sound any better if you say it really quickly.
The 7PM Project
To an outsider, Australian politics is a hilarious freak show. To an Australian, Australian politics is a depressing freak show.