"Why can’t we vote on policies instead of parties during an election?"

Australia is a representative democracy, which means that at federal elections voters choose candidates to represent them in the Australian Parliament. To choose the best person to represent them, voters can learn about all the candidates and their plan of action on various issues—their policies. Voters might visit their candidates’ websites, contact candidates and compare different candidates’ policies.

Australians can also contact members of parliament at any time about issues which they think are important. If they have a view about a particular subject, such as health, education or the environment, they can contact the minister responsible for that area. The Parliament House website has the contact details for all members of parliament.

diagram to help explain Why can’t we vote on policies instead of parties during an election?