British Royal Family

 
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
... the British Royal Family come more or less for free... (except to the British taxpayer)

Any alternative must cost Australia more, and I for one don't want to pay for a president, his official residences and travel. I don't believe that it wouldn't cost a lot more than the Governor General, and I think that the sort of candidate we would get might not be as good as our Governor Generals have been (more or less).

Peter
M636C
Hanging on to the English Monarchy isn’t free. Obviously, we foot the bill whenever a royal drops by. I seem to recall $15m pa mentioned for us having their services available.

Those who typically oppose any social change including our de-pommification like to cite cost as a reason to do nothing. When Chuckie becomes the new landlord the price of rebadging Australia for him will probably run into the hundreds of millions.

It’s a shame so many who domicile in this ancient land place more faith in a foreign unelected head of state than someone born and breed here selected by their compatriots. Makes the dual citizenship issue a bit of a joke really.

God save the …  
TheLoadedDog™™

Assuming it’s a Christian God, JC wasn’t keen on Emperors, Kings or Queens. Surprised

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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Assuming it’s a Christian God, JC wasn’t keen on Emperors, Kings or Queens
"Groundrelay"
As my former wife was wont to ask, "Which brand of God are you talking about?"
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
If you walked into the Australian situation from off the street you'd ask the question, "what the f_k are you guys trying to run? A Monarchy or Republic?" because right now we are neither.

We are not a real Monarchy because our head of state is a figure head. No actual power, no control so in effect the British Monarch is not the head of our govt, we just pretend it is.

We are not a Republic because we have a figure head Monarchy and an unelected effectual President.

Most other countries would think we are weird because the "heads" on our money is a foreign National and our Head of State can never be an Australian, almost like we cannot decide which one of us will be our Head of State, so lets outsource it.  

I love the Monarchy's supporters. She does a great job. Well tell me, what job does she actually do? Is it the wave, dress well, cutting of the ribbon, her Christmas speech? At least in the UK the Royal family is out and about in the public frequently doing all this and making people smile. In Australia it happens once every 2-4 years.

Some talk of tradition? Well tradition from when? Before 1788, 1788, 1888, 1901, 1988????? The country has been evolving into a separate nation from the first settlement.

If we were one of the UK's islands like Falklands, Pitcarin etc. The status quo would make sense as they are dependent on UK for money and military, but we are not.

What is it we are actually holding on too in not forming a Republic?
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
So what type of republic do we need?
Someone who is elected.   Which means another politician.   The ones we have at the moment are nothing to write home about.  And the people we need won't do it because of all the expense and hassles of going through the voting process.  They will be up against some numpty put up by the current political parties with all their money.
Someone selected by the politicians. This is what we have at the moment, the Governor General.  Some good, some not so good.  So all the expense of changing to a republic would be for ...
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
So all the expense of changing to a republic would be for ...
Donald
Leave it as it is. It's not the most pressing issue anyway and change for the sake of change risks unbalancing the whole thing and next thing we become Argentina or Chile.

I can't think of anything worse than altering the balance of power potentially towards an American-style system where someone elected by the public - it would only be a matter of time before the elected President starts throwing their 'mandate' around. Even worse if they're appointed by the parliament; we'd end up with some ex-politician with an agenda. Keeping the role mostly ceremonial (with the rare exception of Kerr/Whitlam) keeps the politics out of that job.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
So what type of republic do we need?
Someone who is elected.   Which means another politician.   The ones we have at the moment are nothing to write home about.  And the people we need won't do it because of all the expense and hassles of going through the voting process.  They will be up against some numpty put up by the current political parties with all their money.
Someone selected by the politicians. This is what we have at the moment, the Governor General.  Some good, some not so good.  So all the expense of changing to a republic would be for ...
Donald
Agree and this is the problem with the Republic side is that lack of agreement on how to elect the President.has politics

The simplest way is to just change the name from GG to President  and form a Republic.

A national vote its own issues but done by most countries. How to get selected becomes what do you want???

What I don't want is a American or French style where the President has politics. For me they should sit in the background, Head the Military which is used as the tool to force the govt to follow the constitution and the parliamentary process. The PM cannot order the military to do anything, only request, ie go OS. The Presidential candidate is nominated and Seconded by members of either House and either voted by joint sitting in a series of elections through a Removal process to the final two, OR the nominees are voted by the People for a fixed term. I would also say a Presidential Candidate must also be not a member of a political party for at least one term prior or during term in office and limited to 2 terms in office.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Find a form of government somewhere in the world that actually works well and use that as a model. Good luck with that...
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
So all the expense of changing to a republic would be for ...
Leave it as it is. It's not the most pressing issue anyway......

I can't think of anything worse than altering the balance of power potentially towards an American-style system where someone elected by the public - it would only be a matter of time before the elected President starts throwing their 'mandate' around. Even worse if they're appointed by the parliament; we'd end up with some ex-politician with an agenda. Keeping the role mostly ceremonial (with the rare exception of Kerr/Whitlam) keeps the politics out of that job.
don_dunstan
Don, if you haven't heard the effectual head of state is appointed by the PM, a member of Parliament. So what we have is an employee appointing his own boss.

Is it the most pressing issue? Probably not, but so is alot of things? However it has been a hot topic for over 40 years that I know and I suspect will continue to be so and hence its clearly an important topic for many and hence will never go away and hence needs to be dealt with, not hiding behind along list of outdated excuses.

Yes I also hate the American system and French.

The last referendum on the matter was a plan to fail. The simple question should have been.

Do you support Australia becoming a Republic? or words to this effect.

If the answer is No. Issue is dead and buried, we asked and people said no. Time to move on.

If the answer is Yes, form a committee to look at various models over a 6mth window and then present 2 or 3 for a Referendum or some public process to reduce to 1.

Then, send this final model to a Referendum. If the answer is no, case closed.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
When people ask me what I think of the subject, I usually say that I'm a "Governor Generalist".

What that means is that I like the current system where the Governor General is a an ex high court judge or similarly distinguished person who is totally non partisan and above politics.

As our effective head of state, the Governor General's job is to be an informed but neutral umpire on behalf of the people and step in if bonehead politicians make a hash of things, but to otherwise remain completely removed from politics.

Now if we had a president appointed by parliament, we would either get a washed up political hack that the party in government owe a favour to, or a celebrity who was utterly unqualified for the job like a sports person or the type of person they make Australian of the year.

If the president was elected, it would be even worse, as it is pretty certain that the job would be politicised which is not what we want for someone who has to be an intelligent but neutral arbiter, removed from party politics.

So while the current position of having a Governor General isn't perfect, I reckon it's vastly better than any possible presidential system.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
When people ask me what I think of the subject, I usually say that I'm a "Governor Generalist".

What that means is that I like the current system where the Governor General is a an ex high court judge or similarly distinguished person who is totally non partisan and above politics.

As our effective head of state, the Governor General's job is to be an informed but neutral umpire on behalf of the people and step in if bonehead politicians make a hash of things, but to otherwise remain completely removed from politics.

Now if we had a president appointed by parliament, we would either get a washed up political hack that the party in government owe a favour to, or a celebrity who was utterly unqualified for the job like a sports person or the type of person they make Australian of the year.

If the president was elected, it would be even worse, as it is pretty certain that the job would be politicised which is not what we want for someone who has to be an intelligent but neutral arbiter, removed from party politics.

So while the current position of having a Governor General isn't perfect, I reckon it's vastly better than any possible presidential system.
Bogong
Absolutely agree Bogong.

As you say the current system may not be perfect but it is a hell of a lot better than the vague alternatives proposed so far.

Unfortunately there have been some dodgy GG appointments for political purposes (Bill Hayden and Paul Hasluck) and feminist reasons (Quentin Bryce) but none seems to have done much harm or much good either which is probably for the good.

The system is not broken and therefore does not need fixing especially as it is yet another diversion from the real problems facing Australia which the politicians seem totally disinterested in or incapable of fixing.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I also agree with the GG system.

No system is perfect, but I shudder to think of us having elections for the position of President, where the theme is, "May the richest person win". The US of A has just amply demonstrated what a bog-up that is.

Hayden and Hasluck were appointed, "for services rendered", but in fact neither was a problem - Hayden because he recognised the stupidity of his position and kept his head down, and Hasluck who was applauded by both sides for his even-handedness.

I think it ain't broke so it doesn't need fixing. The die-hard Republicans are fighting for a cause, but I don't know whether they're sure about exactly what pattern of leader they want.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The last referendum on the matter was a plan to fail. The simple question should have been.

Do you support Australia becoming a Republic? or words to this effect.
RTT_Rules
Howard sabotaged it but I think the public mood has changed since then anyway and its possible that it would be defeated with an even larger margin. The problem with trying to get the public to agree with these things is that (as with Brexit) there's always a possibility that the public won't vote in the manner in which you want them to; but I agree with you that essentially I think the issue was addressed in the late nineties and we should move on to saying 'no' to other things like gay marriage and Aboriginal nation-hood.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
. . .we should move on to saying 'no' to other things like gay marriage and Aboriginal nation-hood.
"don_dunstan"
What a caring person you are. Are you scared that gay marriage may become compulsory?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I thought he was just clumsily making an oblique reference to 'no' being the standard result of a referendum in Australia - 36 of the 44 questions so far.

There were a couple of inaccuracies in his post though:
1. Howard didn't hobble the republican camp at the last referendum, he stood aside and allowed the Constitutional Convention process to play out in full, complete with equal funding for both sides in the referendum despite being firmly in the 'no' camp. If that's as deep as the republican camp want to analyse it then they deserve to lose a second time.
2. There's no way the Greens will let a bill for a plebiscite on gay marriage happen, because they are afraid they will get drowned out by a silent majority.
3. The next referendum is more likely to be on amending Section 44 to allow dual citizens into the Commonwealth Parliament because politicians will be more interested in helping themselves become real Australians than allowing the same to our first people. I expect that one to go down by a considerable margin in every state but get an irrelevant consolation victory of a thumping majority in the ACT.
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
I find so much of this discussion amusing.  
First a disclaimer. I was born in Australia and moved permanently to New Zealand in 2010 at age 65. Last year I became a New Zealand citizen so I am a dual citizen and possess 2 passports. I have been called a traitor several times (most recently from my fellow passenger flying from Fairbanks to Anchorage in Alaska)  and I am not sure they were all joking. I, however, always laugh. I only use my Aussie passport for my 2 trips per year to Sydney to see family and friends. I told a Danish couple I met (also in Alaska) that I might use it visiting Denmark as back in 2010 the customs official as I boarded an overnight ferry to the UK smiled and said "Ah Princess Mary". I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of times I have received smiles with my NZ passport even from usually dour US customs officials and others in the line have commented on the lovely looking passport with the silver fern on black.

I was proud to swear my allegiance to the Queen which is not now needed for a new Aussie. While there are republicans in NZ, it is not mentioned in the news very often and, after the failure of the flag referendum last year, I doubt it will be put on the agenda in the near future even by a Labour/Green government. I actually voted (by postal referendum as usual) for a change mainly because of the confusion between my 2 countries.
Referendums and local council elections are postal, we also vote for hospital boards and regional councils at the same time so I am glad I can do it at home. There are of course no state elections. The General Election (on September 23) needs attendance at a polling booth but I only need to make 2 ticks. One for my local electorate member (I personally would prefer that to be preferential) and one for my choice of party. It is very quick and painless.
I was given the right to vote (it is not compulsory to vote but is compulsory to register) after I had lived here for 12 months. I lost the right to vote in Australia because I had left for 6 years. Now that I am a Kiwi citizen I will be able to vote as long as I return to NZ once every 3 years (as stated I usually visit Australia twice each year).
Although I am a dual citizen I can now stand for election (the last thing on my mind) but could not renew my Aussie passport as a member.

There is a lot of heat at the moment leading up to the election but most of the time the members of parliament get on with running the country. The government and opposition parties will often go into committee to discuss a bill so that a modified version can be passed. Of course, this does not always happen but it is nothing like the continual fighting between and within parties we see in Australia. The form of voting means that it is almost impossible for one party to govern alone. The Maori party supports the present National Party on confidence and supply bills but not always on other bills.

Same sex marriage was overwhelmingly passed by the members of parliament in a free vote for all parties on a private member's bill. The Prime Minister at the time voted for but the Deputy, who is now PM, voted against. He (a staunch Catholic) has now stated he believes he was wrong at the time. As far as the public was concerned it was only in the news for a few weeks, most of my friends (mainly 60 and over) said why not. One advantage for NZ has been increased tourism  as same sex marriages are carried out here for Aussies.
Although it was not a factor for my move, it is another reason for me, being a gay man, to be proud to be a Kiwi. I feel I am a 2nd class citizen when I go to Australia. The thought of the debate leading up to a plebiscite fills me with horror. I grew up in the 50's and 60's as a school teacher in fear of being found out as I was vilified in the press. I do not want that for young gay men today. I lost a number of friends to suicide.

There are many problems for Maoris but things are a lot better for them than for Aborigines.

It is not all sweetness and light, non life threatening health procedures are more expensive and few my age have health insurance. I paid $5000 for eye cataract surgery last year, my sister in Australia paid a few hundred. However everyone over 65 gets a full age pension (taxed), my Centrelink pension is paid to the NZ government but due to the assets test, it is not much more than half what they give me.  All income is taxed from the first $ and there is 15% GST on everything.


New Zealand is 2 hours ahead in time but years ahead in social/political development.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Damn shame we have people here looking for any excuse to retain a Brit as Australia’s head of state Razz

Simple fix would have it as a symbolic HOS position (as supposedly the existing arrangement is). A panel of candidates, one nominee put forward by each state parliament the HOS and deputy then selected by 2/3’s of both houses and the position having a fixed tenure of 12 years. Probably a good opportunity to overhaul state governors as well.

For the No Idea lot, perhaps give Mary an Aussie crown. She’s a legit royal, trained up in the role and a Hors’tarlian to boot! Start our own entitled monarchic dynasty.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
The Referendum was carefully stage managed by John Howard to ensure it would fail. As a master politician, he carefully ensured that a majority of the Government appointed delegates were pro Monarchy whilst those publicly elected were pretty much a 50/50 split. So he had a majority of delegates before the thing started.

As an aside, I worked in the UK for a couple of years, and the locals I spoke to were generally quite bemused about Australia hanging on to the Royals. In the 21st century there is no justification for a medieval system where one family inherits rank purely on the basis of birth.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The simplest way is to just change the name from GG to President  and form a Republic.
RTT_Rules

Unfortunately, there already is a "president", the "president of the Senate" to be precise. Every mention of this other president in the constitution has to be changed to "president of the Senate" to make it clear which president you are talking about.

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