Australian Republic Constitution
Australian Flag News Get Involved! Events Resources
Main Menu
ACM Home
About ACM
ACM News
Anthems
Afghan Court Martial
Book Reviews
The Commonwealth
Contact ACM
Convenor's Column
Constitutional Monarchies and Republics Compared
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Cost of Republicanism to the Taxpayer
Crowned Republic
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Event News
Federalism and the Mining Tax
Fiji
Flag: Keep The Flag
Governor of New South Wales
Head of State
Keating-Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
Knights & Dames
Latest News and Opinions
Links
Mate for a Head of State
Media and monarchy
Nile Inquiry
Opinion Polling
Orthodoxy and Monarchy
People's Republic?
Plebiscites
Prince Andrew
Prince Charles
Prince Harry
Prince Philip
Prince William & Catherine
Prince William In Australia
Prince William: The Early Years
Racist Republic?
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Resources
Return the Governor
Royal Commissions
Royal Finances
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
The Succession
2020 Summit
Join our Mailing List
See our selection of videos from across the world:-
ACM Videos
AussieCrownTV - ACM's own TV channel:
Aussie Crown TV
Follow ACM on Facebook:
Facebook
Self Funded Monarchy
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Finances
Royal Finances
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Head of State
Prince Philip
Prince Philip
Special Caribbean Report: Crown & Commonwealth

      Crown

The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth
Prince Harry
Prince Harry
Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew
Knights & Dames
Knights & Dames
The King's Speech: read the book, see the film.

The King's Speech

Watch the 2010 Neville Bonner Oration: Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott
Nile Inquiry
Royal Commissions
Royal Commissions
Opinion Polls

 

Plebiscites
Plebiscites
2020 Summit
2020 Summit
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Afghan Court Martial
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Mate for a Head of State
Mate for a Head of State
Racist Republic?
Racist Republic
A People's Republic?
A People's republic?
Keating Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
The Keating Turnbull Republic
Crowned Republic
Crowned Republic
Polls
Republicans' Best Asset?
Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Convenor's Column arrow Republican dreams

Republican dreams Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 03 August 2008

Image

 

In our piece on the next Chief Justice of Australia,  the Hon. Robert French, ( “With the utmost respect,Your Honour,” 31 July, 2008)  we should have credited  His Honour with  distancing himself from a particular  sleight of hand the republicans attempted in 1999.  

In the Sir Ronald Wilson lecture of 8 May, 2008, “Dreams of a new republic ,” he refers to the plan to make the federal entity republican, while keeping the states constitutional monarchies.

It wasn’t as though the republicans wanted to retain the Australian Crown, our oldest  institution, central to the federal constiutional system, and  providing leadership above politics.  

No. It was nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to make it easier to get the referendum through by minimising objections from the states.

As one republican descibed it, this  would have been a "constitutional monstrosity."   In other words, a mess.

Had this ploy been successful it would have involved chopping up our indivisible Australian Crown into seven entities, and perhaps opening the door to secession, if any state were so inclined.

In fact one of the Premiers had warned of precisely this eventuality at the 1998 Convention.

It could have ended what the preamble to the Constitution Act describes as our “indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown”

 

In his speech Justice French said:” It would be a bizarre dichotomy indeed to have a Republican nation with one or more of its States operating under a monarchical constitution.”

 

That is good -  so far.



...illegal and unconstitutional acts to go unchecked in this republic?



But then Justice French  makes an extraordinary suggestion. This is that in a republic the Governor of a State  be appointed by the Premier.  (He gives the  Parliament of the State as an alternative).

Presumably this would mean the Premier could remove the Governor.

In 1932 the Premier,  Jack Lang,  cleared all the bank accounts of the State government and hid the cash to avoid the impact of a federal law found valid by the High Court.

The  Governor, Sir Philip Game, demanded that he reverse this. When Lang did not, the Governor withdrew his commission.

Just  imagine what would have happened it the Premier had had this power.  

Would he have used it to remove the check and balance against the illegal exercise of power?

 

Image





.... relying on that Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.....



Justice French  says he supports the idea of “ some form of preliminary plebiscite as proposed in the 20/20 Summit and a sensible political consensus reached to give effect to their wishes, then it is likely that agreements will be made which would ensure a republican system throughout the Commonwealth.”

 

We can only assume that His Honour is not aware of that the selection process for the Summit governance panel resulted in a gerrymander of which Robert Mugabe would have been envious. 

That is how they secured a vote of 98:1 in favour of a vague undefined republic.

We assume that he is also not aware that the process was so mismanaged that republican Professor Robert Manne likened it to a Mad Hatter’s ( Tea) Party.

 

Image

We also assume that His Honour is unaware  that the principal conclusion of the Summit on a republic  was so erroneous it made the Summit a laughing stock.

And we also assume His Honour does not know that the recommendation for a plebiscite was only surreptitiously slipped into  the Summit record ten days later.

 

It is likely that any plebiscite will be designed by spin doctors to ensure maximum support and to paper over the longstanding and well known irreconcilable differences between republicans.

We are surprised then that the process has already attracted such unqualified judicial endorsement.


We are also surprised to read that His Honour thinks there is any chance of a   “sensible political compromise”  emerging merely because of what will be and is intended to be a fraudulent exercise.

 

Surely His Honour knows that the only reason for the plebiscite is because the republicans expect that if they approached the issue honestly, that is with  a referendum, it would be defeated.


The republicans are proposing a fraud to dupe the public.  We predict that if it is tried it will be exposed as such.

Even now polling indicates such a plebiscite would be defeated - and that is before the people have heard the contrary arguments. 

 

....dreaming of a new republic....

  

For those of you who wonder what is new in the republic which haunts His Honour's slumber, he explains that it is not the republican debate which is new.

It is the vision which is new.

"But beyond the dreams we need a clear vision of the values which we want to inform a Republican Constitution and the essential elements to give effect to them," he explains.

 “In this lecture I wish to identify some key values and elements for which I think we should look.  There will undoubtedly be, in this audience and the wider community, a variety of visions.

"It is important however, that we continue the debate about the basic values and essential elements to try to forge some kind of consensus to drive the change which is inevitable." 

Why do you need to drive something which is inevitable? If it is inevitable why not just wait for it?

His Honour seems to accept that after the landslide rejection of the politicians’ republic in 1999, only a model in which the president is elected by the people has any chance of being approved.

He admits this is likely to result in instability with the president becoming a political competitor of the prime minister.

So he canvasses contrivances to stop this. One suggestion is to a quasi judicial constitutional council to control him.

You sense it immediately. The dream will turn into a nightmare.

His Honour also recommends the constitutional recognition of the Aboriginal people.

Whether or not that will do much good, it will certainly enrich a goodly number of lawyers.

He also argues that popular sovereignty be given legally effective recognition in the Constitution.

 Is this a call for citizen rights, such as the right to initiate referendums, and recall representatives, and dare I suggest judges?

If it doesn’t, are these to be meaningless words?  Or is this the new vision?

“As a people,” His Honour concludes, “we can afford to set our goals high in moving to a Republican Constitution.

“Those high goals would recognise the convergence of our many histories, and ensure that popular sovereignty is given legally effective recognition in the Constitution, recognise and make provision for the indigenous people of Australia.

“They would dispense with the power of the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws discriminating between people on the grounds of race and provide a mechanism for choosing the Head of State those accords with democratic principle and popular sovereignty.

“These are the dreams of a new Republic. It is not beyond our wit to bring them to reality.”

    

  

 

 
< Prev   Next >
ROYAL VISIT 2014

Image

The Book Depository
Image
Image
Prince William: The Early Years
Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Constitutional Monarchies & Republics Compared

Image


Defend the Constitution and Flag
Australian Election Watch

10th Anniversary Neville Bonner Oration

11th Anniversary and Appeal

Crowned Republic 

   Keep The Australian Flag
Return the Governor to Government House
The Succession
The Succession
The Governor of New South Wales
Governor of New South Wales
Fiji
Fijian soldier
Media and Monarchy
Media and Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Events
October 2017 November 2017
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Week 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Week 41 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Week 42 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Week 43 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Week 44 29 30 31
Latest ACM News: -