Australian House of Representatives
The Australian House of Representatives often called the "House of Reps" is one of the houses in the Parliament of Australia along with the Australian Senate. It is very similar to the United States House of Representatives in the sense that it is the lower house and has more MPs (members of parliament) that the Senate. Just like the Australian Senate it is located in the Nations capital Canberra
Voting on bills
Bills are generally introduced by the Government into the House and this is followed by debating the bill and then having a vote on it. As one party (or a Coalition) has to hold an absolute majority in this house to form government a bill can easily be passed by the government as long as most members vote for it.
Unlike the Australian Senate the House of Representatives does not use proportional representation but instead preferential voting for 150 electorates or seats. To make it more fair the electorates are all roughly the same size in population (90,000) although some electorates are slightly lower or slightly higher and some rural electorates are very large to have the same amount of electors. There are 83 members from the Australian Labor Party, 55 from the Liberal Party, 9 from the National Party (together they have 64 members as they form a coalition) and 3 independents. The party (or coalition of parties) that holds the majority of MPs in the House of Representatives forms the Federal Government. Since December 2007 this has been the ALP, with a majority of 16 seats.
Re-election and terms
Members of Parliament are re-elected at each federal election which is usually held every 3 years.