Australia is currently a constitutional monarchy. Which means in effect that we have a monarch and a constitution, though neither of them do much for us as things stand.
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is also Queen of Australia.
She does nothing that affects the daily lives of Australians.
Whether she remains Queen of Australia will be soon a matter for the people as we move inexorably toward a republic.
The flag features the Union Flag in one corner (until we can remove it after the Republic) and the constellation of the Southern Cross, plus a seven pointed "commonwealth" star, each of the points representing a state or territory).
One day soon we will have a flag that truly represents our nation and not just one small part of our history.
We have a democracy in Australia, everybody over 18, not in gaol for a serious offence, and below the age of 70 is required to vote.
Voting is compulsory.
This enables us to have clear mandates for government policy.
There are three levels of government.
Local - which administers at a city or borough level.
State and territories - which governs the six states and two territories.
Federal - Which, amongst other things, levies most taxes and looks after matters better coordinated at a federal level.
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