The Australian editorialises for a republic
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 10 June 2001

Just after the announcement of the appointment of the new Governor-General, The Australian’s editorial returned to the question of a republic.

I responded with this letter;

"Sir,

I hope you will allow the following  response from Australians for Constitutional Monarchy to the very strong editorial in the 28-29 April edition.

You are right to editorialise (28-29 April) that we neither chose the new Governor-General nor indeed our Sovereign in the sense of electing them. But in 1999 Australians did indicate their overwhelming preference for our existing constitutional system. And this was against a strong campaign overwhelmingly supported and argued by our nation's rich new establishment.

 It is clear from the history of referenda that the Australian people will not allow any tinkering around with the constitution.

They are right in this, witness tinkering with the reserve powers in Sweden, and with the electoral system in New Zealand.

The point is that if Australians decide at some time to move to a republic - I stress if - they want two things. First, they choose the President and secondly the President have real powers - and not just in a crisis. How this would work with the Westminster system is anybody's guess. In that situation, the American system seems attractive - if you like wall-to-wall politicians, that is not only in the executive legislature but also in the judiciary. There is no leadership beyond politics in their system and the nation is consumed with adversary politics. That may seem very democratic, but there is an unanswered question about the US constitution. Why, unlike ours, has it never been successfully exported?

Yours etc,

 David Flint "

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