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After Prime Minister Keating’s response to the report of the  Republican Advisory Committee, a model for an Australian Republic emerged, the first Keating -Turnbull republic.

APPOINTING THE PRESIDENT

The first Keating–Turnbull model has met with both practical and ideological criticism. Despite strong electoral support for popular election, the Keating government advocated parliamentary appointment and dismissal. Clerk of the Senate Harry Evans has argued against this method of appointment on principle:

Most people, not being intellectuals, are able to detect the massive contradiction at the heart of the elite orthodoxy: the monarchy must go partly because it is undemocratic, but the people must not be allowed to choose the replacement, because they would stupidly make the wrong choice. (News Weekly, 29 July 1997)

Bill Hayden, a former governor-general, warns of the practical effect of election by special parliamentary majority:

Those who believe a president elected by both Houses of Parliament would attract nominations from the 'best people in the community', need to be reminded of the adversarial structure of our political system. The hectoring style of so many Senate Committee hearings is illustrative of the sort of grinding and very personal inquisition to which a nominee could be subjected. The process here would make the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of the USA Senate, such as in the cases of Dinks and Hill, look like a suburban manse morning tea party. The prospect of such an experience would discourage all but the stout-hearted. (Hayden, 548-549)

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