• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Australia's Gillard backs republic after Queen's death

kaya'08

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
6,363
Reaction score
1,318
Location
British Turk
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Australia should become a republic when Queen Elizabeth II dies, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said just days ahead of a general election.

Welsh-born Ms Gillard said the Queen's death would be an "appropriate point" for Australia to move away from having a British monarch as head of state.

Australians voted against becoming a republic in a 1999 referendum, but the issue continues to be divisive.
Continue reading the main story
Australia Election

Ms Gillard's main opponent, Tony Abbott, is a staunch monarchist.
Up until now the question of an Australian republic has hardly featured in this election campaign.

BBC News - Australia's Gillard backs republic after Queen's death
 

spud_meister

Veni, vidi, dormivi!
Dungeon Master
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
36,117
Reaction score
21,520
Location
Didjabringabeeralong
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
for once i agree with Abbott, our system works under the monarchy, the Queen never uses her powers, our Governors and the Governor-General have never interfered when it wasn't warranted, it lets us have a pretty picture on the back of our coins, and, as they say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
 

Jetboogieman

Somewhere in Babylon
Dungeon Master
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
30,809
Reaction score
34,031
Location
Somewhere in Babylon...
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
for once i agree with Abbott, our system works under the monarchy, the Queen never uses her powers, our Governors and the Governor-General have never interfered when it wasn't warranted, it lets us have a pretty picture on the back of our coins, and, as they say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
I feel the same way about Canada.
 

Harry Guerrilla

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
28,955
Reaction score
12,423
Location
Not affiliated with other libertarians.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
for once i agree with Abbott, our system works under the monarchy, the Queen never uses her powers, our Governors and the Governor-General have never interfered when it wasn't warranted, it lets us have a pretty picture on the back of our coins, and, as they say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Seriously though, what can the Queen really do?
No one would have to listen to her and it wouldn't be a big deal.
 

kaya'08

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
6,363
Reaction score
1,318
Location
British Turk
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Do they have to listen to her and/or does she have anything to back it up (police or military)?
Nope. lol. Its a symbolic procedure. The Prime Minister would ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament before the elections, and then she agree's to do so. Parliament is dissolved, and the election campaign begins. Under law, Parliament has to be dissolved, and nobody has that power apart from the Queen to do that. In that sense, she is needed, but it wouldn't take many amendments to the law to make her completely useless. In-fact, im not even sure she can refuse when asked, just like by law the Prime Minister has to be sworn in by the Queen in order to actually become Prime Minister. Has she ever refused to accept a Prime Minister? No. But if she ever does, it would get very interesting.

The government needs to make her look like she does something, at the very least, although like many Britons people are happy she is there regardless.

Actually, in the Europe thread, i remember an incident of British MP's calling on the Queen to dissolve parliament because Labour was incompetent and the country was in a deep recession. Maybe it is possible for her to do that. I will ask fellow British posters and find out.
 
Last edited:

spud_meister

Veni, vidi, dormivi!
Dungeon Master
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
36,117
Reaction score
21,520
Location
Didjabringabeeralong
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
Do they have to listen to her and/or does she have anything to back it up (police or military)?
everything she does, she does through the Governor-General, and at the behest of the Prime Minister, and the only time it was used outside of the election process was in 1975
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
I too agree that our constitutional monarchy works very well, and much better than any prospective republic.

Funny how the republican movement is almost entirely made up of people who have only a cursory familiarity with the constitution and the Australian federal system of government. Little do they know that making Australia a fully-fledged republic would be so hard, expensive, and politically unnecessary, that it is not worth bothering about.

And in response to the above questions about the powers of the Sovereign, the Governor-General does actually have constitutionally-codified powers in Australia, unlike in England where the Queen does not. By convention these are supposed to be used only on the advice of the Prime Minister, but the Whitlam Dismissal of 1975 was the first and only example of a Governor-General acting without advice in accordance with his 'reserve powers'.
 

bowerbird

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
1,431
Reaction score
563
Location
australia
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
for once i agree with Abbott, our system works under the monarchy, the Queen never uses her powers, our Governors and the Governor-General have never interfered when it wasn't warranted, it lets us have a pretty picture on the back of our coins, and, as they say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Dear Gods and Little Fishes - has the sacking of Whitlam been forgotten already?
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
The Whitlam Dismissal is a good example of how well the system works in times of crisis.

Essentially, the exercise of the Governor-General's so-called 'reserve powers' without ministerial advice under s 3 of the Constitution were perfectly reasonable, given that the obstinacy of the Whitlam government had already led to the previous violation of Parliamentary conventions. If the conventions were not going to be followed, then all bets were off. The most obvious, and constitutionally correct, way to resolve the deadlock was to act as Kerr did. If there was any doubt as to the legitimacy of his actions, then it was nullified by the landslide result of the subsequent election, meaning that the AUstralian public had more or less endorsed the procedure.
 

Daedong

New member
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
South Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Monarchy sucks in principle, The concept of putting someone on a pedestal even if it is only a figure head is fundamentally flawed.

If you think its good enough to put Ms Windsor Mountbatten up there on a pedestal why won't you put me there?
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Monarchy sucks in principle, The concept of putting someone on a pedestal even if it is only a figure head is fundamentally flawed.

If you think its good enough to put Ms Windsor Mountbatten up there on a pedestal why won't you put me there?
Ok well an absolute statement must be tested with absolute logic.

Meaning that perhaps you also believe that any figure who has been 'put up on a pedestal' is inherently undeserving.

So I assume that list would include such individuals as the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, University Chancellors, the UN Secretary-General, distinguished war veterans, or maybe even your boss at work?
 

Orion

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,083
Reaction score
3,918
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Do they have to listen to her and/or does she have anything to back it up (police or military)?
Canada is a Parliamentary Democracy and a Constitutional Monarchy in one. The Governor General serves as the Queen incarnate when she is not present, and the Queen is constantly apprised of internal politics through the GG. When Canadians vote for a Prime Minister, the Queen must swear him in otherwise he cannot begin office. It's ceremonial and she has never refused, but legally she could. She could also dissolve Parliament if has become defunct, and although she has never done it, I am kind of glad such a power exists. If our Parliament ever became crazy and stopped doing its job, she could clean the slate and start anew, or call a new election.

Her power is very real even though it has been relegated to symbolism.
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Canada is a Parliamentary Democracy and a Constitutional Monarchy in one. The Governor General serves as the Queen incarnate when she is not present, and the Queen is constantly apprised of internal politics through the GG. When Canadians vote for a Prime Minister, the Queen must swear him in otherwise he cannot begin office. It's ceremonial and she has never refused, but legally she could. She could also dissolve Parliament if has become defunct, and although she has never done it, I am kind of glad such a power exists. If our Parliament ever became crazy and stopped doing its job, she could clean the slate and start anew, or call a new election.
That is the brilliance of the constitutional monarchy. The Australian Constitution for instance relies on a combination of black letter word and constitutional convention adopted from our English Westminsterial origins to entrench this system of 'inter-executive responsibility'. The long and short of it is that the Governor-General can dismiss a Prime Minister in times when convention is not followed or there is some other abuse of executive power, while the Governor-General themselves can also be dismissed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister following the normal convention. Basically, if either GG or PM breaks convention in any major way, the other will hold them to account.

Of course, these arrangements are more theoretical than practical and only one half has been tested, in the 1975 crisis when the GG acted outside of the Prime Minister's advice to dismiss them. But the fact is that they exist, and they provide a useful safeguard.

This is one of a list of reasons why British/Canadian/Australian conventions of responsible government are superior to the US's Congressional System.
 

Al Battani

New member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
20
Reaction score
12
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
As has been mentioned, the main executive powers of the Queen are vested in the Governor-General. In addition to being able to dissolve Parliament (which does not have to be at the request of the Prime Minister, a la Whitlam), the Governor-General is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and administers oaths/affirmations of office on behalf of the Queen.

Importantly, the Governor-General also has the power to deny assent to any legislation and return it to the Parliament with any proposed amendments that they see fit. I can't recall an instance where this has happened but it is an important power.

The Governor-General is also responsible for appointing Justices of the High Court and is the only one empowered to remove them from office.

If we were to become a republic, these powers would have to be distributed elsewhere. Who becomes Commander-in-Chief? Who signs legislation in to effect? Do we grant the Prime Minister the power of veto as is the case with the U.S. President? Who decides the make up of the High Court and who is granted the power to remove them from office?

These are all important questions which would have to be answered satisfactorily before we could become a republic.
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
As has been mentioned, the main executive powers of the Queen are vested in the Governor-General. In addition to being able to dissolve Parliament (which does not have to be at the request of the Prime Minister, a la Whitlam), the Governor-General is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and administers oaths/affirmations of office on behalf of the Queen.

Importantly, the Governor-General also has the power to deny assent to any legislation and return it to the Parliament with any proposed amendments that they see fit. I can't recall an instance where this has happened but it is an important power.

The Governor-General is also responsible for appointing Justices of the High Court and is the only one empowered to remove them from office.

If we were to become a republic, these powers would have to be distributed elsewhere. Who becomes Commander-in-Chief? Who signs legislation in to effect? Do we grant the Prime Minister the power of veto as is the case with the U.S. President? Who decides the make up of the High Court and who is granted the power to remove them from office?

These are all important questions which would have to be answered satisfactorily before we could become a republic.
You are right, except that High Court justices can be removed by a majority vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
As has been mentioned, the main executive powers of the Queen are vested in the Governor-General. In addition to being able to dissolve Parliament (which does not have to be at the request of the Prime Minister, a la Whitlam), the Governor-General is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and administers oaths/affirmations of office on behalf of the Queen.

Importantly, the Governor-General also has the power to deny assent to any legislation and return it to the Parliament with any proposed amendments that they see fit. I can't recall an instance where this has happened but it is an important power.

The Governor-General is also responsible for appointing Justices of the High Court and is the only one empowered to remove them from office.

If we were to become a republic, these powers would have to be distributed elsewhere. Who becomes Commander-in-Chief? Who signs legislation in to effect? Do we grant the Prime Minister the power of veto as is the case with the U.S. President? Who decides the make up of the High Court and who is granted the power to remove them from office?

These are all important questions which would have to be answered satisfactorily before we could become a republic.
You are right, except that High Court justices can be removed by a majority vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
 
Top Bottom