Political movements and alliances have played an important part in shaping Australian democracy in the 20th century. In the 19th century, individuals elected to colonial parliaments tended to act according to their personal principles or more directly in the interests of their local constituents. This changed after Federation, when loyalty to a political party emerged as more important than personal principles.
Political parties aligned according to shared political ideologies, and a two-party system soon emerged that was to dominate Australian politics throughout the twentieth century. Some argue that the two-party system has resulted in a stable democracy characterised by peaceful elections and changes of government. Others see it as a threat to freedom of political belief and representation.
Image Courtesy of National Library of Australia
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