"Can the government or opposition kick people off their team?"

Thanks for your interesting question, Antonio.

The short answer is yes; the government or opposition can kick—or expel—someone from their team but this is uncommon.

Generally, people join a political party because they share the values, priorities and goals of that party. If the person is then elected as a member of parliament for that party, there is an expectation they will work together with other party members to achieve the party’s goal.

However, sometimes a senator or member may strongly disagree with a decision their party makes, and speak and vote against their party. Voting against your party is called crossing the floor. It is unusual for someone to do this because party loyalty and discipline is strong in Australia. Crossing the floor doesn't always result in expulsion but could make the member unpopular with their teammates!

Each political party has its own rules about membership which may allow for expulsion. If a senator or member is expelled from their party, they don’t cease to be a member of parliament because they have been elected to the Senate or House of Representatives. The person would become an independent—without a party—or they could apply to join another political party or begin a new party of their own!

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