Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sorry, now for the Republic

Kevin Rudd said sorry today, on behalf of all Australians.

It was moving. Went very well, I was impressed.

Now it's time to address the other big issue in Australia - we should be a republic.

Last time we had a referendum we didn't get to vote properly, I think we should get another go at it.


Alastair said...

Agree, although I'm wondering whether the apology might have more long-term significance than a republic referendum.

(Oooh, you have OpenID authentication! Trying it out...)

Alan Yates said...

The question is really what kind of Republic we want. That was my main problem with the 1999 referendum, there was no choice in the structure; only the parliamentary elected option was offered.

I do rather like the idea of better separation of the executive from the legislature, but the US model isn't really what I'd want either.

If the executive was elected by the Fourth Branch the reality would probably become a popularity contest for the Presidency rather than a truly non-partisan executive. Neither seems all that much better than the relatively benign situation we have now with the monarch virtually never exercising its executive powers.

A single person as an executive with excessive powers is a very dangerous thing, the current situation in the US is a good example. So I guess I'd prefer that the executive is at least a little reined in by the other branches.

In that respect a two-thirds majority elected President from the legislature might have a better chance of being functionally useful. The "soul of the state" features of a President would be diminished by anything other than public election I suspect. But that greatly depends on the competency of the public to elect a good candidate rather than some imperial nut case.

Peter B Marks said...

Did OpenID work?

I'm not too concerned about what type of republic we have. To me, the important thing is that the person who performs the basically symbolic role of head of state should be Australian.

If we must have a referendum then simply ask if we should become a republic and leave all the details out of it.

I'd even be happy if the government decided to become a republic when the current queen's rein ends.

petermarksasia said...

This is a test from an OpenID authenticated user name.

huntc said...

Hey looks like I was the first to use OpenID on your blog with my previous posting!

On the republic, yes I agree basically. The way the question was structured the last time, we didn't really have a great choice. Basically Mr. Howard didn't want to go the way of being a republic so IMHO he fixed the question.

Peter B Marks said...

Yep, looks like OpenID is with us and it seems like a good thing.

I was able to use my AIM name as an OpenID authenticated name - I wonder how secure it really is?