One of the most important ways that individuals can influence governmental decision-making is through voting in parliamentary elections. In a representative democracy such as Australia, voting gives people the power to affect how their country is governed by electing those who will represent their interests in parliament.
While the right to vote was one of the principles of democratic reform demanded by the British Chartists, it was initially limited in colonial Australia to a select group of men who held property of a certain value. The list of those eligible to vote was gradually expanded but, universal suffrage, the right of all adult men and women to vote was not achieved nationally until 1963 when Indigenous Australians were granted the right to vote at federal elections.
Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia
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Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
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Old Parliament House is an Executive Agency within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.