The history of Australian Republicanism has been dominated by two major strands of thinking. The minimalists who believe that Australia is a republic in all but name, and consequently only needs a change in the Head of State to be complete. The monarchists fall into this group. The other strands seeks to establish Australian identity through the independence of a republic. Neither forms are evolutionary, and are in essence still playing catch up to the enlightenment.
Australia's existing governmental institutions, despite their fallibility, are relatively representative of a liberal democracy and increased independence at the constitutional, defence and foreign policy level would increase Australian national identity; however both camps are at odds with the reality of an innovative and vibrant society who is capable of achieving far more than government would ever allow them.
A republic must liberate the people from the very government which retards their progress and drains their vitality.
Prosperity is more than just economic; it is the complete society, achieving in an unabridged manner to the absolute maximum of their capabilities, desires and aspirations. When individuals in a society pursue their personal interests and goals in an egilatarian society, the value of that society is greater than the sum of its parts.
Discriminative government and statist government openly legislates against minorities and in essence acts as a retardant on society. Hampering it, causing individuals to falter under their weight of arbitrary government and hence, stopping the maximum output of a society being reached.
The current political system in Australia is, and has been, an active retardant against society - directly warring against the people in culture, discriminating against minorities, excluding minorities from the political process, kidnapping children, basing legislation on racism, indefinitely imprisoning individuals. Australian Federal Government - since its inception - has been a violent, malignant, divisive and tyrannous presence in Australian society.
It is from this knowledge that constitutional, institutional and political change for a Republic must be based.
When William Wentworth attempted to foist his ill-fated "bunyip aristocracy" NSW Constitution on a disbelieving public he based his philosophy on the British political form of King-Lords-Commons. This had no basis in the 1840's, it has no currency today. A modern form of government, that is compatible with today's beliefs, must be based on rights-people-representatives.
This division of powers will include the normal separation of powers between Executive, Legislative and Judicial; as well as the addition of a Fourth Estate - the Ratifiers. These are a statistical group of the voting population that are chosen through sortition to vote on each bill that passes from the Legislative to the Executive. They represent the people component.
The constitution will consist of two components;
The Inviolable component contains the explicit rights that protect an individual from arbitrary rule. The Procedural component defines the processes of government for the Executive, Ratifier, Legislative and Judicial.
Due to the imperfect nature of parliamentary system, the formal powers of the Executive is embedded in the Legislative arm of government. The Executive power is through necessity shared between the Governor-General and the Prime Minister. In an evolutionary constitution both positions will need to be explicitly mentioned with their responsibilities and powers explicitly laid out so that they don't tread on each other toes, nor fight over the greater control of power.
will be mentioned in the constitution as being the Governor-General and Prime Minister.
will be term limited to 2136 days after taking office.
will after retirement be ineligible for any position in government again.
will be popularly elected from a universal franchise.
office will have elections that are fixed to occur every 1068 days.
will be the Australian Head of State.
is the Australian people's representative for the inviolable section of the constitution.
can veto any legislation that contravenes the inviolable section of the constitution.
cannot write any legislation.
cannot write any money or supply bills.
cannot appoint any member of the Judicial.
cannot create any executive cabinet positions.
cannot maintain an executive cabinet.
cannot veto any Prime Ministerial choices for the cabinet.
cannot veto any judicial appointments.
if unable to complete their term, will be replaced by a State Governor chosen by sortition.
If the Governor-General fails to defend the rights of the people as espoused in the inviolable section of the constitution by vetoing legislation that contravenes it, then the Governor-General can be deemed to be corrupt. The Constitution will provide the process whereby the people can petition the Governor-General directly to face an interrogation panel chosen by sortition from the people to defend the Governor-General's voting record.
The people can also petition the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to review the Governor-General's veto record. If ICAC deems that the Governor-General has not vetoed legislation that is in direct contravention of the explicit language in the Inviolable Section, then ICAC can either recommend dismissal, or the limiting of the Governor-General to one term. A dismissal recommendation must be voted on by the Ratifiers to be passed.
The Prime Minister;
will be a Member of Parliament (MP).
will be the head of the Executive Cabinet.
will advise the Governor-General of the Cabinet positions, portfolios and which members of the House of Representatives will be responsible for them.
Since the Prime Minister as head of the Executive Cabinet is the most powerful position in the Australian Government, Parliamentary Question time is not considered sufficient. The Prime Minister must periodically (at least every month) face a panel of interrogators drawn from the people by sortition to answer any questions deemed necessary.
The Australian Parliament will maintain its bicameral structure; with a Senate and House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is where the Executive Cabinet will be embedded and Senators are ineligible to be in the Executive Cabinet. The role of the Senate is as a house of review for the House of Representatives, allowing Senators to hold cabinet and portfolio positions pollutes this purpose.
will have half its number elected every 1068 days.
will have a term of 2136 days.
will have its members elected by state, with each state having one Senator per 200,000 members of the state's population.
will choose the Senate Speaker either by a 65% vote in the Senate based on consensus, or by sortition if the consensus fails.
can request the House of Representatives amend legislation.
cannot draft legislation, nor add legislation to existing bills under Senate consideration.
once passing legislation will give the legislation to the Senate Speaker, who will open the legislation to the Ratification Process via the Independent Ratification Commission.
once determining the outcome of the Ratification vote, will then pass the legislation to the Governor-General, via the Senate Speaker to be signed into law.
will perform committee functions, enabling Senators to audit the operations of the Governor-General, Executive Cabinet and House of Representatives and Independent Commissions.
The Senate apart from its duties as a house of review, will also have the implied duty of acting as the government's fiscal, ethical and democratic conscience.
who is unable to complete their term, will have their position replaced by a member of the State Upper House, chosen by sortition, from the state the Senator was elected in.
will be term limited to serving a maximum of 8544 days in the Senate. They will then be ineligible for any position in the Executive, Legislative or Judicial from that day henceforth.
Since the Senate represents the state rather than the people directly, Senators will be required to face Question Time from state legislative bodies as well as an Open Panel of voters chosen by sortition.
The House of Representatives;
will consist of publicly elected representatives who represent similar sized electorates as defined by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
A House Representative;
who is unable to complete their term, will have their position replaced by a member of the State Assembly, chosen by sortition, from the state the Senator was elected in.
will be term limited to serving a maximum of 8544 days in the House of Representatives. They will then be ineligible for any position in the Executive, Legislative or Judicial from that day henceforth.
The judicial arm of government requires a great deal of specialist knowledge and needs to be apolitical as it represents the rule of law, rather than populism or fashionable thinking. For this purpose the judicial members will get generational tenure.
will have its members chosen by sortition. The Senate, House, Ratifiers and the states will each offer one candidate for any vacant judicial position to the ICS. From this pool, sortition, overseen by the ICS, will decide who is placed.
will be granted tenure for a maximum period of 8554 days. Anyone reaching the end of their tenure will be ineligible for the Federal Judicial from that point onwards.
The Judicial will also fall under the watchdog eye of ICAC. For the instance of the Ratifiers offering a candidate, a list of suitable candidates to the public will be chosen and then from this list, a single candidate will be nominated by a group of ratifiers chosen by sortition. This will be the people's choice. In the case of nominees for a judicial vacancy, a name cannot appear twice.
One of the major issues in modern Australian politics is the level of alienation and distance that the people feel from government. Adding the Ratifiers as the fourth arm of government will inextricably entwine the wisdom of the people into the process for the furtherment of the polity.
The Ratifiers consist of voting age eligible people under the jurisdiction of the government. They are chosen by sortition through the ICS from bill to bill, need to need and circumstance to circumstance in a similar manner to jurists.
will have its members chosen by sortition.
will consist of at least 1% of the population to vote on a bill or a judicial nominee.
will not be allowed to excuse themselves from the process, however an abstinence will be counted as no.
will require a greater than 50% no vote on a bill to send it back to the Senate.
This is the first step in the people asserting their genuine voice into politics, eventually the system will devolve until full, complete and perfect political authority for all decisions is within the people.
Some of the most useful and important institutions in Australian politics have been the independent commissions. Unfortunately as they are statutory, politics constantly attempt to dismantle them as they see them as an impediment to their power. For this reason the independent commissions need constitutional and ratification protection. The initial constitutionally protected commissions will be;
Australian Electoral Commission
Independent Commission Against Corruption
Independent Commission for Sortition
Independent Commission for Freedom of Information
Australian Audit Commission
These commissions will have a constitutional basis for existence that protects them from being a part of a ministers portfolio. The commissions will be responsible to Senate committees. Appointments for significant positions in these commissions will be determined through sortition in the same manner as the Judicial appointments with a pool of candidates gathered from the Senate, House, States and Ratifiers.
The Independent Commission for Sortition will oversee the choice of Ratifiers and the collection of their votes. It will also develop new technologies in order to ensure that ratification is accessible to all how fall under the jurisdiction of the government. All sortitionist technologies will remain the property of the public.
The Independent Commission for Freedom of Information will be a group outside of government that will determine the information that will be opened to the public. It will also handled redaction to ensure that as much of government as possible remains in the public space. The goal will be to make all government entirely occupy the public space.
The Australian Audit Commission will conduct auditing of the Governments books and operations. It will also be responsible for enabling spontaneous and self-organizing groups of citizens to audit government and have their audits filed with the AAC.
An attribute of Australian Federal Government has been the encroachment on. and coveting the states responsibilities. The establishment of a Constitutional Republic will be necessary to re-establish a genuine federalist process, rejuvenating and saving the current political system from entropy and collapse of all government to Canberra.
The federal government will be explicitly limited to areas of national significance, for instance defence, trade, civil aviation and customs. Areas such as education and health, over which the federal government has no genuine authority will be handed back to the states. The federal government will also be denied the ability to tax for other governments. It will only be able to raise revenue for itself.
For the purposes of the constitution there will be no differentiation between the states and the territories. For those, such as the ACT and NT which are self-governing now, they will have the same authority in federation as the states. Territories which are not large enough to be represented at the federal level, such as Norfolk Island and Christmas Island will be represented at the State level.
Another prohibition on government will be that the federal government cannot maintain a police force. Any policing assets the federal government requires will have to be requested from the states.
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.