Australia’s Government and their Reaction to the US Election


Australia is both a representative democracy and a constitutional monarchy.  They have a Parliament with the Queen (or her representative), the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Under the Parliament is the Ministry.  The Prime Minister is an elected official.  Under the the Prime Minister is the Cabinet, Ministers, and Parliamentary Secretaries.  Much like America, there are three arms of government: the legislature (Parliament), the executive (Australian Government), and the judiciary.

Australia has six states, which make up three Territories.  Each Territory has their own three branches of government, just at a smaller scale.

Australia is an ally and partner of the United States.  Australia has fought with the United States in every major conflict since World War I.  The alliance maintains peace in the Asia-Pacific region and works to keep the Pacific Ocean open for trade and safe.  The US is a major foreign investor, importing precious metals, agricultural products, and medical supplies from Australia and exporting machinery, vehicles, and aircrafts to Australia.

Australia, much like the rest of the world, was shocked when Donald Trump won the US presidency just a few short days ago.  Markets through the world took a nose-dive on Wednesday afternoon, including Australia’s.  Trump has mentioned looking into removing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a partnership that lowers the tariffs between America and China.  With the removal of this, a major disruption in the world’s trade community would ensue.  However, Trump has never mentioned the removal of the alliance with Australia; rather, he has approved of it.  Rather than criticize the election results, Australia has chosen a reassuring route due to the security the Trump administration brings to the Australian alliance.

Major concerns Australia has expressed with the Trump presidency is threat of another war.  With a major war, America would not directly help Australia and vice-versa.  Australia has relied on America as a source of national security.  With the threat of a war, America would be more concerned on its own security than Australia’s.  Therefore, there is a concern for Australia’s national security.  Another concern is climate change.  Even though Trump could not easily or quickly pull America’s environmental agreements, he could eventually.  With the death of the Great Barrier Reef intimate and the expansion of the desert landscape, there is major concern for the climate.

Australia and America have similar governments, one reason that they have such a strong alliance.  While Donald Trump winning the presidential race shocked the world, Australia is a country that is, in general, pleased with the results.  Even though there are concerns over security and the environment, Trump seems confident in the alliance with Australia and, therefore, the government has been reassuring rather than critical.

Erin Daugherty is a senior pursing a degree in Equine Science and Management with minors in Business and Agricultural Economics.  She studied abroad the summer of 2015 in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia with the “Equine Down Under” program.  Erin witnessed and studied the Australian equestrian community and hopes to use some of their innovations to improve America’s equine industry.