"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.

In the Australian Parliament, the government is the political party or coalition of parties that has the support of a majority of members in the House of Representatives, while the opposition is the next biggest political party or coalition of parties.

Generally, someone joins a political party because they share the values, priorities and policies of that party. If the person is then elected as a member of parliament, there is an expectation they will work together with other members of their team to achieve the party’s agenda.

However, sometimes a member or senator may strongly disagree with a decision their party makes and speak and vote against their team. Voting against your team is called ‘crossing the floor’. It is unusual for someone to do this because party loyalty and discipline is high in Australia. Crossing the floor won’t necessarily 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 member or senator 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!

diagram to help explain Can the government or opposition kick people off their team?