Aug 16, 2009

Long Live the Republic of Australia!

Simon J. Green All of my Facebook friends: how many of you want to see a Republic installed in our country? That is, to elect the President of Australia, from nominees elected by the people, not a party?

August 12 at 2:59pm · ·
Bill Irving
Bill Irving
I would. Though I wouldn't especially care if the president was installed by the party in power like the GG. Who gives a crap? A republic is a republic is a republic.
August 12 at 3:02pm · Delete
Jay Ray
Jay Ray
A constitutional republic would be ideal.
August 12 at 3:05pm · Delete
Simon J. Green
Simon J. Green
Bill: I'd say the problem with the party deciding the nominee for President is that that's what we do right now with the PM. I think one of the greatest possibilities in an Australian republic is that we can elect presidents who aim to exceed the mediocre, who seek to reach truly stupendous, world-worthy feats and push this country to greater heights. Allowing the party to choose their leader means they choose who's best for their party first, the country second. Allowing the people to choose means that nominees really need to prove who they are, what they intend to do and what they think and feel about the nation.
August 12 at 3:13pm · Delete
Jay Ray
Jay Ray
Democracy in the form of Canada and Australia is a sort of "Tyranny by Majority".
August 12 at 3:14pm · Delete
Simon J. Green
Simon J. Green
Canada: how do you mean?
August 12 at 3:23pm · Delete
Bill Irving
Bill Irving
I guess cos it's a mostly ceremonial position anyway you're probably right. It'd be fun to have someone rad being our public figurehed. But then people's definitions of rad would differ: Steve Waugh Vs Eddie Maguire Vs Julie from Masterchef.
August 12 at 3:25pm · Delete
Jay Ray
Jay Ray
Canada and Australia have similar political system. In theory the USA has certain rights that cannot be denied, no matter what. But in Australia and Canada those rights can be denied of it's voted on, in theory
August 12 at 3:25pm · Delete
Jay Ray
Jay Ray
A republics power is derived from it's charter and a democracy's is derived from the majority
August 12 at 3:30pm · Delete
Simon J. Green
Simon J. Green
Hence advocating a Constitutional Republic, rather than our current representative democracy, wherein "There is no necessity that individual liberties are respected in a representative democracy." Our current Australian constitution curtails abuse of power by our politicians, but doesn't allow for them to have to meet individual, even majority wishes.
Bill: That's the groovy thing about us getting a proper, Constitutional Republic - the true leader of our country,t he head of state, would no loner be just a figurehead. They would actually be running the country and have the final say on all matters, tempered by the rest of the government. So someone like Steve Waugh wouldn't even bother running for election, because the responsibility is too great. And even if he did, and the public voted him in, we'd learn from our mistakes and grow. He'd be the shitty President that lead us to elect the great one after him.
The other cool thing about such a republic would be the sheer amount of time and rigour nominees would have to endure. Look how long the presidential trail is in the states. All that time means those who aren't worthy are quickly weeded out and cut from the process. It also means more of us people get interested in the actual practice of politics, because we need to know more and are shown more about the people who might be our Prez.
August 12 at 3:44pm · Delete
Sean Fabri
Sean Fabri
Of course I would.
August 12 at 6:01pm · Delete
Cheryl Turner
Cheryl Turner
Do you know the cost to the tax payer it would be to change everything (money, stationery, emblems etc.) Is it worth the cost?????? What's more they would want to change our flag and I will never agree to that.
August 12 at 6:04pm · Delete
Marion Vx
Marion Vx
"All that time means those who aren't worthy are quickly weeded out and cut from the process." Pity you have to be ultra-rich and born into privilege to get that far. Ooooh well.
August 12 at 6:39pm · Delete
Kris Wilson
Kris Wilson
What do I care? I don't vote as it is! I love being an immigrant....
August 12 at 7:11pm · Delete
Lisa Purnell
Lisa Purnell
It's not necessarily true that you have to be born privileged to be a successful politician. Look at the US: Reagan, Obama and Nixon were all raised by middle-classed families; Bill Clinton's mother was a nurse and his grandparents owned a grocery store. Our own K. Rudd was raised on a dairy farm. By and large - and certainly compared to many nations - we live in a meritocracy. Hard work, education, determination and, yes, knowing the right people, all have a role in political success. Wealth is a by-product of the work necessary to become a viable and legitimate candidate (i.e. being a Congressman or MP) - and that's a whole other issue - but privilege isn't always a factor. And even when it is, the privileged often (not in the case of George W. Bush, obviously) have other stuff going for them.

That said, the long Presidential races in the U.S cost truckloads of money and waste a lot of time with empty rhetoric and propaganda, so I'm not really on board with that system, Simo.
August 12 at 7:29pm · Delete
Marion Vx
Marion Vx
'Middle class families' = case in point? They all come from bourgeois and petty bourgeois families. Rudd is one of the richest people in parliament (but I'll concede that here you don't need as much money and influence as in the US); I believe a sizable portion of this wealth is thanks to his wife. The latter goes for Obama too.

I don't think ... Read Morewealth is a by-product of the path to becoming a politician so much as being born into some amount of wealth is to start you off. Being a woman certainly doesn't help you rise within either of our two main parties (this deserves a whole new textbox, really.. but if you want a source, check out something by Marian Sawer).

Sure the privileged may have other stuff for them, but basically that opportunity is not there for many people.

Hehe, sorry for spamming your status with a fragmented rant. xD
August 12 at 7:37pm · Delete
Lisa Purnell
Lisa Purnell
Poor Simon. Spammed.



I don't agree that being born into a middle-class family automatically equates with being born into privilege. Maybe we have different definitions of privilege.



Sure, being wealthy is an inherent advantage in our society - I just didn't want to disregard that notion that an exceptional, intelligent and tenacious person can ... Read Moremake their way to political success from a lower-to-middle class background without privilege or pre-existing wealth. That's all! Many have done it before, and many will do it again. :)
August 12 at 8:18pm · Delete
Jay Ray
Jay Ray
You wouldn't be willing to change the flag? Why?
August 12 at 10:29pm · Delete
Robert Wiggett
Robert Wiggett
a long long time ago we had a republic, then some dude totally went dark side and started trying to destroy the republic with some robots and then samuel jackson tried to ruin his shit but some snot nosed douchebag screwed that up then the republic gave rise to an empire and then there was a rebellion, seems to have settled down now.
August 12 at 11:11pm · Delete
Cheryl Turner
Cheryl Turner
Being an "Old Fart" there are things I think could change with becoming a republic such as accountability of the pollies but to me there are some things that I question, as I said earlier do we need the cost of changing everything and will it change things that much? As to the flag, you cannot change our heritage and part of our history is the fact... Read More that we come from the "poms" thereby we have the union jack, we live under the southern cross and that is displayed but most of all as a very very strong patriot I think of all the people that have died fighting for the Australian flag (those people that have died over in Papua New Guinea in the plane crash had gone there to walk the Trak that so many of our people died in such horrible conditions died fighting under our flag and did so proudly.) What would you change it too?
Thu at 5:50am · Delete
Simon J. Green
Simon J. Green
This is an awesome discussion.

I understand your point on the flag my dear Aunt, and the best thing that comes from that is your passion and patriotism (I wish more Aussies gave a crap like you do). I have an Australian flag hanging up in my office at home. But, and I might be wrong, the passion you have isn't actually for a flag made of cloth and stitch, but for what the flag represents, the symbol of our nation. Same with the great men and women who fought wars so that I'm not talking Japanese right now: they weren't fighting for a flag, they were fighting for their nation, and perhaps for their Queen, which the flag represents - and THERE'S the rub. There are two distinct elements of the Australian character: our heritage and our modern way, both intertwined. They always will be. But what I think our country is ready for is to remember where we come from fondly and to move on to our next step. How long do we hold onto the Monarchy and the Queen when they actually play such a tiny role in the Australia of today? It's kind of harsh, but put it this way: if you fought for your country, you're awesome. If you fought for the Queen, then live in England. Now, I don't actually MEAN that, but do you see my point? The Queen is no longer the embodiment of Australia - she plays no active role in our Governing and when she does, it'... Read Mores at the behest of a Governor General. Why can't we transplant our love of country to a new flag, to represent the Australia we've become, rather than the Australia we once were? The new flag would be a symbol of a country that has grown admirably, without massive turmoil and who became an independent nation not through bloodshed, but through peaceful, democratic vote. Sure, the transition would be painful, but large transition always is. I'll let someone else discuss the cost.
Thu at 11:58am · Delete


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