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The Forum > Article Comments > Republican resurrection? > Comments

Republican resurrection? : Comments

By Chris Golis, published 14/5/2013

How will Australians respond to the Australian Republican Movement's (ARM) recent plans?

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Chris Golis is right to have limited confidence in the ARMís strategy. It ignores the real issue.

Becoming a republic involves hiring a new head of state. Any business hiring a staff member decides firstly what role it wants the staff member to perform. The ARM by-passes this essential step, as if the role will somehow be the same as the Queenís.

This shows the ARM for what they really are - alternative monarchists. If you simply transfer the powers of the Crown to a local head of state, you have a temporary substitute monarch.

At present, Crown powers are never exercised by the Crown. They are manipulated by local politicians who cannot achieve their aims democratically. A contemporary example - in the present Parliament, it would be possible for legislation to pass without Labor support. But the Labor Government could then advise the Governor-General not to assent to the law; effectively vetoing the majority decision. The ARM would transfer this power of veto to a president. But why should the power exist?

Chris, there is a coherent republican proposal where all the fine details have been worked out. See www.advancingdemocracy.info. Advancing Democracy is based on democratic principle. It changes the role of our head of state. We donít need an alternative Queen. We need a Governor-General of Parliament, to preside over debates and make Parliament work. Give the head of state a real job.
Posted by Philip Howell, Tuesday, 14 May 2013 9:16:09 AM
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The Queen of a country that treats her Christians and her heritage as poorly as Britain is probably no longer the right choice as Australian head of state.
Posted by progressive pat, Tuesday, 14 May 2013 9:45:25 AM
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@Phillip Howell I had a quick look and unfortunately I disagree with your argument. My views are best summed up in a previous OLO article.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7503

Under the Westminster system you effectively elect a government for 3 years and they have carte blanche. There are two constraints, whether they will be re-elected and whether they perform so badly that a disinterested referee, the Queen/Governor General decides that for the sake of the country it needs another election (the reserve powers).

Having grown up in the USA I prefer the Westminster system.
Posted by EQ, Tuesday, 14 May 2013 10:08:04 AM
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Much of what has been posted in this thread has merit, certainly Queen Lizzie has by her demonstrated disinterest has abdicated her responsibility to the people of Australia. Likewise, governors / governors-general have for many years been simply convenient tools of the bloodsucking parasites. Transforming Australia into a presidential republic 'could' potentially (at least in theory) solve many of the present issues with non-existent accountability, however there is the very real risk that any of the present crop of bloodsucking parasites would attempt to turn the transition into merely another power-grab. Thats exactly what occurred with the previous referendum and its certain to be the case next time.

Make no mistake, I have no time or respect for the present con-job which entails expenditure of millions or dollars for utterly useless oxygen-bandit figureheads. Having an el presidente' who actually takes an active interest in the operation of parliament would undoubtedly be a very good thing. Consider the following however. Firstly, our present crop of bloodsucking parasites are largely failed lawyers adept in twisting words. Secondly, their lips can be observed moving whenever they utter anything. Quite obviously we can't have any confidence in ANYTHING produced by these bottom-dwellers regardless what colour brochures they distribute.

Suggested solution, since we can't rely on the 'honorable' members to be anything like remotely 'honorable' (the terms ;politician' & 'honorable' being mutually exclusive), any discussion & implementation of an Australian republic must be left exclusively to the sheeple. In particular, politicians / lawyers / magistrates / judges / bureaucrazies / members of 'the establishment' / public company directors / friends and / or family members of the aforementioned must be absolutely prohibited from taking any part whatsoever.
Posted by praxidice, Tuesday, 14 May 2013 10:11:08 AM
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Whenever pollies want to distract the sheeple they trot out a red herring. This herring has been trotted out so often that it is getting a bit smelly.
The acid test for this is"
Which would you sooner have, the Queen or GW Bush at the head person.
IMHO there is no comparison at all and you would have to be brain dead to prefer Dubya.
More to the point if we are going to change the way we are governed, would be to bring in referendums, so we had genuine democratic input.
Posted by Robert LePage, Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:09:34 PM
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Regardless of whether our future president is elected by the people or appointed by Parliament, he or she will owe his or her position to the political establishment. That has worked brilliantly in the US, hasn't it? The problem is that our political and economic systems are both very good at bringing sociopaths to the top. (We are unlikely to ever be allowed citizen initiated referenda as a countervailing force.) Introducing an element of chance, however, increases the odds of getting someone with a bit of power or influence into the system who isn't a sociopath. A hereditary monarchy can do this nicely. I recall one of my friends telling me that he would rather be ruled by Prince Charles than the current lot of politicians. "He may have some strange ideas, but at least the Prince means well."

Perhaps we should do as Norway did in 1905 and set up our own Australian monarchy with the powers of the current Governor General and hopefully free licence to embarrass our politicians, if that is possible. Whatever family we picked would be Australian in a generation or two, dealing with the concern of the enthusiasts for a republic that the head of state should be Australian.
Posted by Divergence, Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:14:57 PM
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