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The Forum > Article Comments > Evisceration of reserve powers causes chaos on PNG > Comments

Evisceration of reserve powers causes chaos on PNG : Comments

By David Flint, published 20/12/2011

A botched constitution is the reason that PNG appears to be in crisis.

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One expected David Flint to seek to capitalise on the PNG crisis to argue that Australia 's head of state must continue to be either an 85 year foreign woman in a big hat , muttering recycled cliches , or her 30 odd year old silvertail grandson , masquerading periodically in military uniform .

What happened in PNG is no precedent for Australia . Tribalism , multiplicity of languages , ancient customs [ the "big man " system , buying votes with cartons of beer , and the like ] are precisely the cause of the instability in PNG .

PNG retains Imperial honours , unlike Australia , so that one would have thought that this , and their presumed reverence for the Great White Queen , would result in a model Westminster parliament , but that is not so .

It is sad that monarchists cannot trust Australians to choose their head of state . Deep down , they do not really see Australians as being equal to English aristocrats .

Monarchists trust an hereditary foreign aristocrat to appoint and dismiss an elected parliamentarian as Prime Minister , but they will not trust a president appointed by Australians to do the same thing .
Posted by jaylex, Tuesday, 20 December 2011 9:28:54 AM
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It is sad that jaylex and his ilk seem unable to understand the issues that concern monarchists, and that as a result both sides talk past each other and nothing ever changes.

Can't he understand how comforting it is that the Prime Minister holds office during the pleasure of Her Majesty's representative, and that Her Majesty cannot be dismissed by any politician, only by the people at a referendum?

Can't he also understand how much people value the ethics test embedded in Section 42 of the Constitution, which requires members of Parliament, before taking their seats, to swear or affirm that they will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty. The effect of this clause is that people can make a judgment, when committed republicans swear or affirm, as to whether they are being true, honest and sincere, or whether they are lying in their teeth?

If only ONE republican politician announced that they would not take up their seat because they could not swear allegiance to the Queen, the status of politicians would rise enormously.

Can't he understand how elated people feel when a Referendum is proposed by all major parties (such as the one for simultaneous elections in 1977) and then it is rejected by the people?

Now that the politicians have voted themselves a huge pay increase, people can reflect on how necessary it is, remembering that the only justification for paying politicians is to enable a poor man to sit in Parliament, and that it logically follows that the salary of a politician should be the salary of a poor man.

God Save the Queen !
Posted by plerdsus, Tuesday, 20 December 2011 12:05:23 PM
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Re; Plerdsus' "God Save the Queen"

And what about Democracy?

Perhaps God, in his majestic equality, can save the one and the other.

But if he does so, God has me lost.

I, poor mortal, canít be a Democrat and a Monarchist at the same time.
Posted by skeptic, Tuesday, 20 December 2011 9:00:19 PM
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What an absolute off with the pixies rant Plerdsus.

just a correction on fact.

"and that Her Majesty cannot be dismissed by any politician, only by the people at a referendum."

Her majesty's representatives which Herr Flint claims is OUR head of state can be dismissed by the Prime Minister. The GG acts on the advice of the PM, a convention john kerr chose to flout in 1975.
Posted by shal, Wednesday, 21 December 2011 8:57:56 AM
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Dear Shal,

It is such a pity that educational standards have declined so much that people are ignorant of the basic provisions of the Constitution. You will find that Section 2 provides that the Governor-General is appointed by the Queen, not the Prime Minister, and that the Governor-General holds office during the Queen's pleasure. It is true that the Queen may receive advice on this matter from the Prime Minister, and that in most normal times she would act on that advice, but she is not legally obliged to do so. This closely parallels the situation of the G-G and the PM, in that in extraordinary situations the PM may be dismissed by the GG.

Skeptic's comment also fails to understand how our monarchical constitution can be democratic. It is true that the GG can appoint anyone to be PM, but the problem then is that that person would be unable to obtain supply, which is the cornerstone of the whole Westminster system. As the only person who can usually provide the GG with supply is the one commanding a majority in the Reps, that is whom the GG will appoint. There was an exception in 1975 when Fraser could provide supply, and not Whitlam. The whole democratic point of 1975 is that there had to be an immediate election, which allowed the people to settle the issue.

If all this is too hard to understand I would suggest that both of you repair to the nearest primary school and ask to repeat grades 1 to 6.
Posted by plerdsus, Thursday, 22 December 2011 9:52:32 AM
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Plerdsus,
skeptic understands that the pover can be either in the soverign's sceptre or in the citizen vote.
Posted by skeptic, Friday, 23 December 2011 8:19:53 PM
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