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Australian Political Parties Alp, Liberals, Greens

2716 words - 11 pages

Australian Labor Party (ALP)1.History of the party: The Australian Labor Party (ALP) was formed in 1891 and is Australia’s oldest political party. It became a federal party after Australia’s Federation in 1901. Before this, there were separate Labor parties throughout the colonies of Australia, and these were sponsored by the trade unions. Australia’s first Labor Government took office in 1899 in Queensland which lasted for a week. Although the first Labor parties were influenced by trade unions, they were not confined to union membership interests. The early ALP sought support from farmers, small businessmen, non-union employees and other white-collar workers. It was represents a broad range of social and economic interests.In 1901, 16 Labor members were elected to the House of Representatives and eight to the Senate. They met and agreed to form a federal Labor party with the first leader being Chris Watson. The party was small but were more coherent and organised than the other parties: Free Traders and the Protectionists. Australia’s first federal Labor Government was in May 1904 with Chris Watson being the Prime Minister. It was lasted for three months.In the elections of 1910, Labor won a majority in both of the Houses and was then able to change and introduce many advances such as the Commonwealth Bank, a maternity allowance, and the Australian Navy. This Government was defeated in 1913 but won a double dissolution in 1914 where Andrew Fisher was re-elected as the Prime Minister.The First World War created many difficulties in the Labor party, and state Labor governments did not satisfy all their union constituencies. During the later years of the war, many members left for the Opposition and formed a Nationalist Government. The weakened party was lead by Frank Tudor who replaced Billy Hughes, then by Matthew Charlton who were solid trade unionists which were unpopular compared to the Nationalist Party leaders. The ALP won the election of 1929 and James Scullin became the Prime Minister. The Great Depression was difficult for Labor and members left to form the United Australia Party, and ALP lost the 1931 election. John Curtin was the next Labor Prime Minister in 1935 who rebuilt the party. John Curtin died in office and was succeeded by Ben Chifley who continued the reforms. The party lost the 1949 election and stayed out of government for 23 years. The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) split from the ALP and some trade unions which were affiliated with the ALP were run by members of the Communist Party.Under Gough Whitlam’s leadership, the party recovered in the late 1960s and the Labor Government made many advances until 1975 where many controversies sprung up surrounding the party. Labor returned in 1983 with Bob Hawke who restored economic and employment growth. In 1991, Paul Keating replaced Bob Hawke as Prime Minister but was defeated in 1996. 2007 saw Kevin Rudd become the next Labor Prime Minister.2.Current...

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