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 Anthems arrow Constitutional Essays arrow "Ladies & Gentlemen, The President..." Part 4

"Ladies & Gentlemen, The President..." Part 4 Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 20 August 1999
The great British economist, Lord Keynes, was once told that something was inevitable. He replied, "The inevitable doesn't happen. What happens is the unexpected."


We are told Australians now want a republic. As someone said recently, you wouldn't buy a pair of socks based on an opinion poll. One taken in Britain recently shows about 10% more people claim to have voted Labor than actually did! One scientist drafted a question so that an overwhelming majority wanted the government to ban water! And opinion polls are just not a good guide to the way Australians vote in constitutional referendums. When four apparently innocuous questions were announced for the 1988 referendums, opinion polls registered very high approval. But none of the fournone-were passed in any state. Most attracted less than 35% support! And of the forty-two referendums proposed since Federation, only eight have passed.

Notwithstanding the opinion polls, and the small fortune poured into persuading them to become republicans, Australians are just not interested in constitutional change. Give them a chance and they'd love to vote on punishment for criminals, or on the building at Circular Quay, or on politicians' pay and conditions. And they admit they don't know much about our constitutions. Perhaps it's because of the education system. In my day we certainly learned-in primary school-how the political system worked. Perhaps Australians also don't know much because they feel they don't need to. just as you don't pull apart a car that works superbly, we shouldn't tamper with our constitutions which work so well. Better than most. If you go to that old cabinet room in Macquarie Street or to State Parliament, you realise that within a few decades of being a penal colony, we were an advanced, self-governing, and democratic state and have remained so since. In our two hundred years, France has known sixteen major constitutional changes -three monarchies, two empires, five republics, a fascist dictatorship and a brief benevolent one!


The minimalist proposal will effectively turn Australia into seven republics, each like France. The Presidents' powers will be eerily similar. To reduce their powers, you'd have to turn our seven constitutions inside out. And how can we control them? How long did it take to remove Richard Nixon? And the political system was paralysed for well over a year.


If we are going to give these enormous powers to our politician Presidents, we, the people, should elect them. There shouldn't be a shady deal among the politicians so that only one candidate goes to Parliament. Australians are sure to say that this is not on. They don't want a Kirribilli House agreement known only to the Head of the ACTU and by business. Let's at least keep Australia a democracy.


But do we really want more politicians? Don't we already have enough? And shouldn't we leave alone the one part of the constitutions that works well?


(Note: These papers were prepared in the context of the first version of the Keating-Turnbull republic 1993-1998. This model was superseded by the second version which was unveiled in the last days of the 1998 Constitutional Convention.)

 
< 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
April 2014 May 2014
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Week 14 1 2 3 4 5
Week 15 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Week 16 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Week 17 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Week 18 27 28 29 30