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It is surprising then how little it is understood and studied, particularly by those who propose the  removal of the Australian Crown.

The Australian Crown is not an historical curiosity, nor a jumble of separate and unrelated offices.

The powers of the Australian Crown are exercised by the Sovereign ( The Queen) , the Governor-General  and the Governors in accordance with established customs, often called conventions.

All of this means that the Australian Crown ensures through the Sovereign, the Governor-General and the Governors that the nation enjoys  leadership beyond politics.

Proposals for change involve turning our crowned republic into some sort of politicians’ republic.

This would involve elections every three or four years to choose sixteen additional politicians each with their own political agenda.

Or it would involve the appointment of functionaries by the politicians.

Under the model proposed in 1999 – unique in the world - the president would be instantly dismissible by the prime minister, without notice, without the requirement to give any reasons and without any appeal which could result in reinstatement.

The president would have been completely under the control of th eprime minister. Monarchists said that "this would be the only republic ever known where it would have been easier for the prime minister to sack the president than his driver."

Treating the vice regal offices as unrelated is as wrong  as seeing an iceberg as only its visible tip.

This approach is analogous to dividing the tip of that iceberg into seven pieces and then saying each is unrelated not only to the others, but also to the vast part of the iceberg under the waves which is being ignored.

Whether we like it or not, the Crown remains the nation’s oldest institution, above politics, central to its constitutional system, and with the High Court, the only institution which straddles the component parts of the Commonwealth, State and the Federal, and looking outwards through the personal union of the sixteen Crowns and across the Commonwealth of Nations.

It was under the Crown that the nation was founded; it was under the Crown that responsible government was granted, it was under the Crown that the nation federated and it was under the Crown that Australia attained its full and complete independence.

So before we talk about its removal, we have to understand what it is.

 

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