Views #310 | Intermediate 4

Voting in Australia

Aaron talks about how people vote for their government in Australia.

Todd: So, Aaron, how does the government work in Australia?

Aaron: The government in Australia is very simple. We have two major parties. The Liberal Party and the Labor Party, and the people decide who the Prime Minister is. You chose a politician to be in your area, and the party with the most areas won get the Prime Minister, and we know who the Prime Minister will be before we vote, so we're voting for the Prime Minister. It's very simple.

Todd: And who is the Prime Minister right now?

Aaron: The Prime Minister right now is John Howard, but in November this year there's an election and he might lose his place.

Todd: Is he more conservative or liberal?

Aaron: He's, liberal is conservative in Australia.

Todd: Ah, it's back, it's the other way around.

Aaron: Yeah. Liberal is the conservative party and he's very liberal.

Todd:OK. Interesting. How long has he been in office?

Aaron: He's been in office now for about 10 years. He's won three elections and this will be his fourth election. In Australia there's now limit to how long you can stay. I know in the states it's two terms for the president. In Australia you can take as many years as you want. The longest serving Prime Minister went for 15 years.

Todd:You think Howard will break the record?

Aaron: I think he's going to retire. He's sixty seven now. So he's talking about retiring. So I think he's going to retire after he wins the next election.

Todd:Now, you're in Japan. Will you be able to vote for your election in Australia?

Aaron: Yeah, I'll be able to vote. I can vote in an absentee vote we call it, where as I can post a vote home, so that's no problem.

Todd:Yeah, same for us.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!


We have two major parties. The Liberal Party and the Labor Party.

In this case, a 'party' refers to a political group.

Notice the following:

  1. The election was very close, both parties campaigned very hard for votes.
  2. I would like to be the leader of a political party.

lose his place

In November this year there's an election and he might lose his place.

To 'lose your place' means that you will no longer have your previous position. We can also used this phrase to talk about a position that you have in a particular order, such as a line.

Notice the following:

  1. I don't want to leave the line, I might lose my place.
  2. I have dropped my book and I think I have lost my place.

other way around

It's the other way around.

The 'other way around' means that something needs to be in the opposite order to be correct. The situation is currently the reverse of what it should be.

Notice the following:

  1. You have your shirt on backwards, it should be the other way around.
  2. Hold it the other way around so that I can read it.

in office

How long has he been in office?

When used like this 'to be 'in office' means to hold a position in politics.

Notice the following:

  1. The MP has been in office for over 4 years.
  2. I never thought he would get to be in office.

break the record

You think Howard will break the record?

When you 'break the record' it means you do something better or longer than it has ever been done before.

Notice the following:

  1. She broke the record for the 100 meter sprint.
  2. If the athlete finishes in less than 2 seconds he will break the record for the fastest ever lap.


Answer the following questions about the interview.


Vocabulary Quiz
party • place • other way
in office • record
  1. If they win one more game, this team with break the for greatest number of wins.
  2. I really have to go to the bathroom, but I don't want to lose my .
  3. It is hard to believe that he has already been for 7 years.
  4. I didn't start the fight. It was the around.
  5. Which do you support?