Following up on my earlier installment, I have put another two or three minutes of exhaustive research into this subject in order to round out the course of instruction.
Although Australia is a parliamentary democracy, the Prime Minister is only the head of government; the head of state is the British monarch (currently Elizabeth the Second, who was named after a famous cruise ship). This arrangement stems from Australia's membership in the "British Commonwealth", an organization of independent countries that were formerly British colonies ("commonwealth" is a term that refers to the tendency of those countries to treat private wealth as if it were the property of the state).
The issue of monarchy has generated controversy in recent years, as there are those who have argued that the Governor-General – the Queen’s representative – is actually the head of state. This matter is yet to be fully resolved; however, it is anticipated that the Queen and the Governor-General will eventually settle the argument through the legal procedure known as “trial by combat”, a sort of duel in which two combatants would traditionally don armor and wallop each other with swords or maces until they ultimately wound up looking like a couple of aluminum garbage cans that had been handled for six months by unionized trash haulers. Over time, trial by combat has been substantially watered down, so that in this instance it will most likely feature a cucumber-sandwich-eating contest.
There is a movement in Australia to do away with the constitutional monarchy, led by Republicans; however, like their American counterparts, they are largely marginalized and ineffectual. Nonetheless, it has been noted that every time Queen Elizabeth gets a head cold, the fortunes of the Republicans begin to look up (this is known as the "Prince Charles" phenomenon).
There is also a “Green Party" which is best known for using insulation to burn down private residences. Contrary to the party’s hopes, this policy has not led to increased support for its platform.
An interesting sidebar to a discussion of the Australian political system is the country's efforts to lead the way in developing an official information technology program; Australia even operates a blog known as Tim Blair (this is probably either some kind of acronym, or perhaps the name of a well-known figure in Australian history; unfortunately I don’t have time right now to look it up).