Participation in the democratic process


2 lessons

Syllabus Outcomes:

5.2 analyses the rights and responsibilities of individuals in a range of consumer, financial, business, legal and employment contexts

5.4 analyses key factors affecting commercial and legal decisions

5.7 researches and assesses commercial and legal information using a variety of sources

Students learn about:

right to vote

methods of voting

- first past the post

- preferential

- optional preferential

- proportional

Students Learn to:

- identify which individuals have the right to vote

investigate how an election is conducted

outline the range of voting methods

Indicators of learning – By the end of this lesson students will be able to...

- Identify criteria for those eligible to vote

- Explain the process of election for the House of Representative and the Senate

- Hold a mock vote illustrating how the preferential system works


- Student participation during class discussion

- Students completed work

- Student participation during voting simulation

Lesson Plan

5 mins – Introduction

25 mins – Internet research activity

25 mins – Class voting exercise

10 mins – Class discussion

15 mins – Gillard’s rise article

Text Page

Pg 228 - 229

Glossary of Terms:

Define the following in your glossary of terms in the back of your workbook:external image voting.jpg

- preferential system

- proportional representation


If you are of or over the age of 18, an Australian citizen and have lived at your current address for more than a month, you are legally obligated to vote. This lesson we will examine the process of voting in Australia.

Internet Research Activity:

Open and complete the document below by using the Australian Electoral Commission website.

Class Voting Exercise:

Conduct a class vote on what can best be done to improve the school. Use the counting method for deciding the seats in the House of Representatives. Count the votes, including preferences to decide who wins.

a) Select the five students will need to present their policies to the class

b) The names of these students will be placed on a ballot paper (the order in which they will appear on the ballot paper will be decided by placing their names into a container and drawing them out)

c) Two class members will count and scrutinise the votes and decide if any student received an absolute majority

Class Discussion:

As a class discuss the topic - ‘Voting in Australian elections should not be compulsory.’

Double Dissolution:

Click here to open a link to the AEC's double dissolution fact sheet, read the information and give a breif outline of a double dissolution of parliament in your workbook.

Understanding Gillard’s Rise:

Read the Leading Edge article ‘Understanding Gillard’s Rise’ and discuss the issues that arise with regards to the democratic process.