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Convenor's Column
The Advantages of Constitutional Monarchy Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 01 August 2004

During the referendum campaign, I was asked to a debate at an inner city venue in Sydney.When I observed that the world's most advanced and most civilised countries tended to be constitutional monarchies, I was ridiculed, with loud guffaws.

 I then began, slowly, to list those countries, which gradually quietened down the cafe latte set. And as we report every year, the UN agrees. The UN Human Development Index shows this year after year after year. But what is also overlooked is that new countries can also benefit from this wonderful institution. While Iraq was a constitutional monarchy, elections were genuinely contested , the press was relatively free, and life was secure.

 So I was delighted to read Radek Sikorski's piece in The Spectator (31/7/04) in which he writes that itis wonderful to see the old king back. His presence in Kabul, he says is a lucky portent-constitutional monarchy would be far and away the most suitable form of governmentfor Afghanistan's conservative , ethnically divided society where the monarch alone can be a symbol of national unity.

Sikorski is right-think of Belgium or Spain.

 
Senate Inquiry hears Sir David Smith Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 01 August 2004


 
The Senate Republic  Committee did  meet in Canberra as
we announced.

They allocated half an hour to Sir David Smith who has made three
submissions to the Committee. Sir David's submission on the Head of State is
essential reading, and if the Committee does not present a strong rebuttal (that
is intellectually strong-anyone can write a polemic) , any recommendation by the
Committee for constitutional change based on the need for an Australian Head of
State will be built on quicksand.


The submissions, and when posted,the transcript, can be accessed at
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/legcon_ctte/republic03/index.htm.


The hearing was reported in the Daily Telegraph , 30 July, 2005

 
Republican constiutional law professor warns of dangers in Latham model Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 01 August 2004

The constitutional upset which would result if we grafted an elected presidency on to our Constitution was the subject of an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review  of 27 July, 2004 by Professor Greg Craven, who is an authority on constitutional law and a leading conservative republican.

The comment was entitled " Fix Is On For The People's Republic "

He began:" Putting aside the theory that Hitler is 115 and living in Argentina, it is hard to combine a public suicide and a major confidence trick. But Mark Latham and a hardy band of Australian republicans are doing their best"

He says conservative republicans will never support direct election.They believe that the resulting two-headed government would destroy the Constitution. They-both Labor and Liberal -will unite with the monarchists in opposing any referendum.

This is precisely the point Malcolm McKerras made in his recent address to an ACM lunch in Sydney, under the theme, "The Queen's Inevitable Victory".

 In the meantime John Paul's letter to the Wentworth Courier, 28 August, 2004 points out that Kim Beazley may well have been thinking along similar lines when he told the 1998 Convention that any republican model would "to some extent rebalance the political process in this country...Any process that changes the appointment and removal procedure...produces a subtle rebalancing..." .

 There could not of course be a greater change than moving to having a Head of State with a mandate bigger than anyone in Parliament ,even the PM! The point is that Mr Beazley's comments applied also to the convention model rejected in 1999!

 As they say,when it ain't broke ,don't fix it.

In the meantime, President Chirac publicly reprimanded his Minister of Finance,and reported rival for the presidency at the next elections, Nicholas Sarkovsky, giving him political advice on TV.

 Not what our present Head of State would even think of doing, fortunately! Ours is above politics

 
Newsletters Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 01 August 2004

We have just seen the latest copy of this excellent magazine of the Greek Royalist Association. The Chairman, George Bougias, gave a marvellous account of the history of the Greek and other monarchies at our last National Conference. One of the features of the magazine is a summary of some of ACM's recent Hot News . Congratulations to George who is speaking at a conference of the Monarchist Alliance in Melbourne on 28 and 29 August. George can be contacted on www.greekroyalfamily.org 

In the meantime the ACM July August newletter is hot off the presses, and it is superb. This isue is a broadsheet, which is the format preferred by the Canadian Monarchist League. The team, editor Diana Melleuish, Betty Hart Ben Caldwell, Phoung Van and of course the ubiquitous Kerry jones derserve to be congratulated. I did my bit by spotting the front page photo in the Courier Mail of The Queen and Prince Phillip receiving the Governor-General and Mrs Jeffery.

It was the title that excited me most-HEAD OF STATE MEETS MONARCH

This sums up, succinctly , the constitutional position 

 
The Glorious Revolution of 1688-still relevant? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 01 August 2004



For the second time I have been invited to address a function of the loyal Orange Lodge., once in Melbourne ,recently in Sydney. And each time, I have been attacked by Srephen Mayne, who edits and owns the  electronic newsletter Crikey.com. As I told Alex Mitchell of the Sun Herald, ACM is non- partisan and non-sectarian. Both of our Executive Directors have been Catholics.

In researching my paper for the event, which was to be on the glorious Revolution of 1688 and its relevance to Australia, I was reminded  that King William's Blue Guards were Catholic and carried a papal banner into battle.

 The Pope and William were allies and there were Catholics and Protestants on both sides of the Battle of the Boyne.

 The Glorious Revolution was of paricular importance to us. For example , the independence of the judiciary, and thus the separation of powers in Britain-and therefore the US and Australia dates from the Act of Settlement of 1701. We tend to think of the Act of Settlement more because it cemented the Hanoverian succession- today I suspect that the clause guarenteeing the judges tenure is more important.

Before I close I must mention the Toowoomba Branch , which goes from strength to strength. John Brett has just sent me details of the marvellous schools competition they run each year. Congratulations to all!And on that point,once more,

Until next time.
David Flint



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The sinister side of creeping republicanism. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 23 July 2004


Some people say symbolism is unimportant-that it didn't matter if they change the oaths and remove the portrait of The Queen? There may well be a sinister side to this.

 On 20 July, Maralyn Parker revealed in Sydney's Daily Telegraph that the Code of Conduct for public school teachers in New South Wales actually instructs them that they serve the government of the day!

Read more...
 
Constitutional monarchies lead -again Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 15 July 2004

The UN has just released its latest Human Development Index.

The five countries which lead the Index are all very close in the UN's assessments. They are Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and The Netherlands.

They all have one thing in common. They are all constitutional monarchies. A co-incidence? Not at all. Constitutional monarchies dominate the top end of the Index every year.

Needless to say, they are not to be found among those who are at the other end. 

 Until next time,

David Flint

 
Senate inquiry must answer ACM's 10 questions Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 01 July 2004


On 30 March ACM put ten crucial questions to the Senate Committee inquiring into an Australian republic.

ACM l looks forward to the Committee's answers.

To read the ACM submission, click on Media Releases on this site, then click on the Release for April 13, 2004, entitled Senate Republic Hearing.

At the foot of that Release, click on ACM Senate Submission.

To read the transcript of Mrs Kerry Jones and Professor David Flint's appearance before the Committee, go to

http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/committee/57541.pdf

The relevant part begins at page 68. To read other transcipts,go to the same site,and open 57542.pdf

Until next time,

David Flint

 
Not a rubber stamp! Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 30 June 2004

It is surprising that the constitutional role of the Crown has been largely ignored in the republican debate.

This extends beyond the reserve powers. Even where the representative of the Crown is expected to act on advice, it is well established that he or she may, in appropriate cases, wish to be assured that what is being proposed is within power, that is, that it is legal.

In addition, if the exercise of the power is, as is often the case, subject to the fulfilment of a condition, that condition has been fulfilled. In addition it has been long accepted the Crown has certain rights- the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn. According to reports from London, The Queen has increased the number of meetings with leading civil servants “ for fear of being kept in the dark”.

Read more...
 
A nanny republic? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 16 June 2004

We have just heard the word republic used in a debate about a matter unrelated to the Constitution.

During the referendum campaign,the ARM actually proposed that the word republic not be used in the question! This suggests that the word has unpleasant connotations. More recently Bob Carr has argued that the words Commonwealth and Governor-General be retained.So why should we change the Constitution?

 

Read more...
 
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