Concept

Electoral systems of the Australian states and territories

Summary
Electoral systems of the Australian states and territories are broadly similar to the electoral system used in federal elections in Australia. When the Australian colonies were granted responsible government in the 19th century, the constitutions of each colony introduced bicameral parliaments, each of which was based on the contemporaneous version of the Westminster system. In these parliaments, a lower house (often known as the legislative assembly) was composed of multiple single-member, geographical constituencies. Suffrage was extended only to adult males, with some states including a property criterion. In Queensland and Western Australia the vote was specifically denied to people of indigenous Australian descent. Despite these forms of discrimination, the electorates of Australian lower houses were, paradoxically, socially broader than those existing in most other countries at the time. However, in each colony an upper house (usually known as the legislative council) continued
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