"What are some of the differences between the Senate and the House of Representatives?"

Thanks for this really interesting question, Blake.

While they have many similarities, there are also quite a few differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate. Here are some, but certainly not all, of the contrasts.

One of the biggest differences is that the House of Representatives is the ‘house of government’—determining which political party or coalition of parties will govern Australia. The Senate functions more as a ‘house of review’—providing a check on the work of the House of Representatives.  

By tradition, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer are members of the House of Representatives. The Prime Minister leads the government and the Treasurer sits in the House of Representatives as appropriation bills—those related to spending money—can only originate in that House.

Colour is another difference—green for the furnishings and architectural details of the House of Representatives, and red for the Senate.

Each house also has a different symbol. In the Senate, it is the Black Rod, while in the House of Representatives it is the Mace.

As well, the Chair of each house has a different title. In the House of Representatives the Chair is known as the Speaker, while in the Senate the Chair is called the President. Both are equal in status and together are the Presiding Officers of the Parliament.

 

diagram to help explain What are some of the differences between the Senate and the House of Representatives?