By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney

Syed Atiq ul Hassan

In Australia, provincial elections are held every four years. Provinces announce their own election schedules. Election dates are set by the current Premier of the State. As for the election schedule, the ruling party and the opposition are on equal footing. In fact, the opposition may request an early election from the Premier given the current political climate. However, it depends on the Premier’s discretion. Victoria held elections on Saturday, November 26. Victoria’s largest city is Melbourne. The Labor Party has ruled Victoria under the leadership of Premier Daniel Andrew for the last 8 years. The Labor Party won with a clear majority once again, and Daniel Andrew will remain prime minister for the next four years. Daniel makes history by being the longest-serving Premier of the state.

Currently, the federal government is led by the Labor Party, and Anthony Albanese is the Prime Minister. However, the federal government’s

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrew

ruling party does not influence elections in that state. This is the beauty of Australian democracy. The Liberal Party has held power in Victoria for the last two terms, despite Daniel Andrews, who has always been very tough on Liberals in the federal government, having been in power for two terms in the federal government.

It was Daniel Andrew’s third term as Premier of Victoria. There was a massive campaign against Andrew’s government during the Coronavirus pandemic by the opposition, yet he resisted his policy of continuous lockdown.

As part of Daniel Andrew’s efforts to protect citizens over businesses in Victoria, a strict lockdown was implemented. Although the lockdown was relaxed in New South and other provinces and businesses were opened occasionally, Andrew remained adamant that the lockdown would not be lifted until the Coronavirus outbreak was over. This decision adversely affected Victoria’s business. Businesses such as restaurants, shops, etc., were unable to withstand the lockdown and closed. Despite public pressure, Daniel Andrews insisted that their business was not more important than the lives of the citizens.

It demonstrated that Daniel Andrew’s government was affected by the lockdown in Victoria for more than two years. There were public interviews during the lockdown in which people spoke against the Premier and gave examples of other provinces where the lockdown was relaxed.

During the upcoming elections, political commentators predicted that Daniel Andrew would not get a majority vote and that the Labor Party government in Victoria would come to an end. During and after the Coronavirus, Daniel Andrew brought such incentives for the public and businesses that all citizens continued to receive money during the lockdown, and the provincial government and more businesses compensated people whose jobs had been terminated by an additional fortnight. A continuous compensation program was also in place to deal with the loss of businesses.

This was the 60th election for the Victoria Parliament. There are 88 seats in the Provincial Parliament of Victoria, while 40 seats are in the Upper House, which is also called the Senate in other countries. Among the coalition parties, the Liberal Party won 16 seats, the National Party won 9 seats, and the remaining seats were won by independent candidates. The Liberal Party won a clear majority with 52 seats in the Parliament.

The Provincial Election Commission is responsible for holding elections in the province. Each province in Australia has its own election commission, while the Federal Election Commission conducts national elections.

(The writer is the editor, of Tribune International, his email is shassan@tribune-intl.com )

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