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Australia’s Constitutional Journey

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7 thoughts on “Australia’s Constitutional Journey

  1. The following question was asked on the Quora website and I replied as follows

    How are the heads of the state and the head of the government elected in your country?

    The Australian Head of State is the British Monarch and that role is filled on a hereditary basis. There is no Head of Government written in the 19th century British Act to form the Commonwealth of Australia, which is the Act that the politicians and lawyers assume as Australia’s Constitution. The British Act has never been presented to one single voter in Australia for their approval or acceptance.

    The politicians and lawyers basically ignore the British Act in terms of the way the Government is described in Clause 9 of the Act. Instead, they use a modified version of the English Westminster system of Government. The British Act gives full and total dictatorial power to the Monarch’s appointed representative in Australia. The position is titled, Governor-General, and as happened in 1976, the then Governor General, Sir John Kerr, used Section 5 of Clause 9 of the Act to dismiss the House of Representatives, “by proclamation or otherwise”. The House of Representatives is the larger House of the Parliament and generally includes the majority political party that forms the elected Government. It is the Governor General who selects and appoints, according to the British Act, the Ministers to control the bureaucratic Departments that represent the Government.

    As there is no such body as a political party described in the British Act and no provision for a political party to form a Government, fundamentally, the way Australia is governed is unconstitutional. In practice, the majority political party in the House of Representatives choose one of their elected members to take up the unconstitutional and undefined position of Prime Minister. The PM is then considered to be the Head of Government, and according to the unwritten conventions of the Westminster system, is supposed to be superior to the Governor General. Sir John Kerr put paid to that myth when he decided to actually read the British Act, an exercise that, probably, not one elected Member of Parliament has ever bothered to do.

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  2. Book Offers
    APRIL 30, 2018
    The purpose of writing these three books is educational. The hope is to make people aware of the flaws and disregard associated with the 19th century British Act that is still, to this day, Australia’s Primary Law. The latest book is the culmination of an ongoing project started in 1998 and it offers a foundation for a modern political and governmental system that is less corruptible by money and one that makes our elected representatives more accountable to the people.

    This third book is the product of a great amount of research and acknowledgment of the political experience displayed by our politicians over the past century. The book presents a draft for a new and proper people’s Constitution for an independent Australia. A draft that takes in the flaws and discrepancies in the British Act and suggests some practical alternatives that will benefit the Australian people.

    Copies of these books are available in an eBook format or as a PDF version to anyone interested. Please contact the author at grahamlp@protonmail.com

  3. With respect to the upcoming ANZAC Day ceremonies, here is a speech that ought to be said, but will never be heard.
    The ANZAC Speech
    ‘It’s an Australian tradition that we’re told what to do, but not why we’re expected to do these things. Today, I want to ask why and how we might more honestly honour the ANZAC sacrifice. Have we ever questioned if their sacrifice was in vain or not? How can we tell?
    Is our token assembly today what they’d want? Or is there something else? Is there something they wanted so badly that they were prepared to die for it?
    Nobody is prepared to die just to be honoured in a yearly speechfest. If the ANZAC diggers died for something noble, what was it?
    One of the last of the remaining ANZACs from the Great War, Ted Smout, told us that war achieves nothing. It is waste on a grand scale. His efforts, and those of his fellow diggers, he said, served no purpose. They died for nothing.
    Our British masters regarded our troops as cannon fodder for the least winnable battles of that war. Our army suffered more deaths, and more hospitalisation for wounds, illness and injury than any of the armies of Britain, Germany, France, Canada, or the United States. More than half those Australian soldiers who survived were discharged medically unfit. Of those not discharged that way, sixty percent applied for pension help after their return. That means four out of five surviving servicemen were damaged or disabled in some way.
    Despite all of that, Britain didn’t want us at the table during the Versailles Peace Conference. In their eyes, we’d served our purpose and we could go home and be done with it. We were, after all, just a colony, not a nation in our own right.
    That’s why I put that question to every true Australian who cares about what befell these men, what did they die for?
    When a government they chose by their vote … sends off such a massive contingent of its finest sons … like Ted Smout … to a war in which they’ll find they died for nothing … his own words and his colleagues, not mine … they have grounds for a revolt at home—a revolution no less violent and bloody than the war these men were ordered to engage in without knowing why; without knowing the truth behind it, without knowing who planned it and why. Who are we to believe? The soldier who bore the dreadful cost of the butchery … or the butchers who directed it? Those who watched from a safe distance at home, gaining secret advantage from the misery and suffering of the combatants while denying them the independence and national sovereignty they’d won for all Australians?
    It’s too late to tell Ted Smout, and all of his comrades, they were wrong; that they did indeed die for something noble. That something was our Nationhood. Our independent nation status in the eyes of the world community. But it was a prize their masters at home didn’t care enough about to enshrine in our history. The acid test for us here today is this: are we willing to die for what they won for us by their sacrifice?
    The test of what we value isn’t conducted by merely gathering to say a few fine words then whooping it up.
    It was Montgomery who said the most able General of that war, was John Monash. Monash said of his men that they had the greatest spirit of all; a spirt that’s part of our Australian nature. It flowered again at Kokoda, where small forces defeated large out of sheer grit, determination, and spirit. Monash would beseech us not to stow that spirit away, but use it in the defence of Australia. We need it every day of our lives … fighting our own battles here at home. We need it more today than in that war. The dead we honour still want what their sacrifice achieved… but lost in the stillbirth of an independent Australian nation. Until we recognise that, there’s no point kidding ourselves we honour our war dead with empty rituals like this.
    At that infamous Peace Conference in Versailles, on the 28th of June, 1919, our Prime Minister, Billy Hughes, fought the British king and his Prime Minister, and won on the behalf of our war dead, independence and sovereignty for Australia as a nation. He fought for an end to the British Act that formed the Commonwealth of Australia as a colony of Great Britain. That, Ted Smout and your brave comrades, is something worth fighting for! On his return to Australia, Hughes’ efforts to make the necessary new Constitution for a free Australia were blocked in the Parliament. A Parliament led by that arch Anglophile, the Australian-born Viscount, Stanley Bruce, a man his critics said, was more English than the English. He replaced the brave Hughes as Prime Minister to lead the most treasonous federal government in our shameful history. Hughes was forced to withdraw the independence Bill from Parliament, thus condemning us to our servile status as a British colony. Hughes said: ‘our soldiers had earned that national status for us, and our parliamentarians threw it all away. They threw away the freedoms countries historically go to war to secure for themselves. Is that what we celebrate today—our failure to match the valour our war dead showed on the field of battle? Or is it to paper over the disgrace we bear in peacetime defeat? Looking down on us today, their hearts are filled with shame for us all. Why, they ask, did we choose to abandon our egalitarian values they lived and died for? Only then can we show them—not tell them, but show them, by proper action—that they didn’t die for nothing. We can remember our war dead by remembering the politicians who betrayed this nation in the decades after that Great War. All those politicians who revered their imperial Royal tyrants as their masters. The politicians who made us their obedient servants and willing victims. We can go on ignoring the century-old plight of those we say we honour today … or we can, at this eleventh hour, show moral and physical courage that has been sorely lacking in our leaders. Let us ask ourselves: are we, the people, up to it?
    That question, and our answer to it, is all this sacred day was ever about—all it can ever be about.

  4. Since the posts below, I have had two further books published that deal with Australia’s Constitutional position, The second book was the result of a request to explain the current British Act in a straight forward and clear manner, in the form of a series of lessons, originally for teaching at High School level.
    Eventually, those lessons were revised for the benefit of a wider audience and published in a book titled, “The Australian Constitution as it is Actually Written”.
    This second book resulted in a request to set out what I considered might be a reasonable draft of a Constitution that could serve as a foundation for constructive dialogue and the generation of ideas for improvement.
    That challenge has led to the publishing of this third book, “Where to, Australia?”
    This third book is relatively unique in the annuls of constitutional literature, as it develops a complete draft Constitution with the aim that it can be read and understood by any person with a reasonable level of education.
    No one needs a law degree to read and understand this Constitution. It is fundamentally the correlation of hundreds of submissions from ordinary people located all around Australia.
    This book comes in two parts. The first part is an explanation of the reasoning and purpose behind each Chapter of the draft Constitution. This first part is interspersed with typical colloquial dialogue between two people, questioning and clarifying various points raised in each Chapter, The second part of the book is the full draft Constitution, aimed as creating a starting point for open discussion and improvement. Hopefully, this might arrive at the point where the draft could become acceptable for presenting to the Australian people for their approval.
    Each of these books are available free in either eBook versions or as a PDF version.
    Anyone interested in obtaining copies can contact the author at guggzie@gmail.com

  5. AUSTRALIA DAY – COLONIAL OCCUPATION

    Australia Day does commemorate the founding of the colony of Australia, which in truth, was based on the occupation by a foreign force. After the country was split up into several colonies, they eventually decided to come together as the Federated Colony of Australia under a UK law passed in Britain in 1900. This Act is divided into 9 parts in which one part is titled, the Constitution.
    As of 2012, the Colony of Australia still uses this Act of the British Parliament as their Constitution, which puts us in breach of the United Nations Charter Articles 2.1,2.4, 102 and 103, which prohibit an “independent” member from using the laws of any other member nation.
    So, in a strict legal sense, as long as Australia continues to use the law of a ‘foreign’ country as their Constitution; no matter what anyone may say, think or wish, Australia cannot be an independent, sovereign nation, but must remain a colony of Britain.
    The late Professor G. Clements, Eminent UK QC and emeritus Professor in Law at Cambridge University clearly understood the true legal position of the Australian Constitution when he remarked,
    ‘The continued usage of the Australian Constitution Act (UK) by the Australian Governments and the judiciary is a confidence trick of monstrous proportions played upon the Australian people with the intent of maintaining power. It remains an Act of the United Kingdom.
    After joining the League of Nations in 1919, Australia became a sovereign nation. It had no further legal power to use, alter or otherwise tamper with another nation’s legislation. Authority over the Australian Constitution Act lies not with the Australian government nor with the Australian people, it rests solely with the UK. Only they have the authority to repeal this legislation …’

    Graham Paterson Says:
    January 26, 2014
    It is totally untrue that the Australian Constitution is a democratic document as democracy wasn’t remotely part of the process. It was only through the persistence of Dr, John Quick that a few selected people, those with property, but certainly not any women, got to have a vote at all. Both the colonies of Queensland and Western Australia refused to allow a vote at the first referendum, but Queensland did take part in the second one after the first was defeated.
    In addition, those few selected voters, some who were entitled to multiple votes, were only asked if they wanted federation, the acceptance of the constitutional draft was assumed as very few people ever got to read the draft, or were allowed to comment on it.
    In fact, several proposals for involvement of the people got shot down in flames as being ultra- democratic.
    On the other hand, your statement about the Constitution being the most important document in everyone’s life is correct. It is a document designed and written by lawyers cum politicians, to perpetuate the Westminster system of the colonial era, where the government is the sole source of political power to make the laws that control the people.
    As for your comment about Referendums, there has only been 19 referendums in the past 100 years, and every one of them have been initiated by the Government – not one has been allowed to be initiated by the people, who rightfully, should be the “owners” of the Constitution. In the course of the 19 referendums, the government has tried to slip in an additional 25 amendments, often unrelated to the primary amendment, but the commonsense of the people has seen all but 8 of these 44 amendments for what they really are – a grab for more power by the Federal Government.
    Actually, it is quite a shame that we celebrate Australia Day as it really represents a land grab by the British to create a new colony. It would be an even greater travesty of the truth to celebrate a Constitution Day in honour of a purely colonial document that is still the law of a foreign country.
    What Australian’s must eventually do is for the people to write their own truly Australian Constitution and divorce ourselves from all political and legal ties to the UK. Only then can we claim to be a truly sovereign and independent nation.

  6. The Australian Constitution is a farce!
    It is supposed to be the primary law of the colony, or Dominion, as the Brits decided to rename us. Whatever Australia is, one thing it is not – and that is a sovereign and Independent nation.
    We are all “doms” in the KingDOM of Britain – all subservient subjects of the British Crown, and if that isn’t enough, our politicians, and the High Court of Australia, have been trying to hide the true status of Australia for the past 90 years.
    They have been passing laws since 1942 trying to make Australia look Independent. That was the Westminster Act, but when that didn’t work, they tried the Australia Act in 1986.
    Neither of these Acts are legal because, both Acts significantly change the pseudo Constitution, and both Acts had to be approved through a Referendum before they could become legitimate. Of course, that was never done, because the politicians knew neither Act would survive, hence both Acts are ultra vires – or of no account.
    When I speak of the “pseudo” Constitution, which is currently in use in Australia, it is not the draft Constitution that was put to the few selected people in 1899 and passed at the referendum. Britain demanded, and obtained, some 70 amendments to the draft before they would put it to the British Parliament. This amended Constitution was never resubmitted to the eligible voters in Australia before it was passed in the British Parliament and subsequently proclaimed in Australia on the 9th July 1900.

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