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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - Section 128 Amendment
    proposals have to be initiated by the federal politicians and this is in itself a reason why so many proposals have been knocked back by the citizens This proposal has been developed by the Foundation of National Renewal in Queensland and is fully supported by Republic Now Chapter VIII ALTERATION of the CONSTITUTION 128 This Constitution shall not be altered except in the following manner By the People Any elector or group of electors eligible to vote for the election of the House of Representatives may initiate a proposal to change this Constitution by submitting a Petition to the Governor General The Petition shall include the proposed alteration of this Constitution On receipt of such a Petition signed by not less than one per cent of the electors qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives and verified by the Electoral Commissioner the Governor General shall within three months submit the proposal to referendum Note These bits in bold are the changes we seek The remainder is as it currently appears in our 1901 Constitution By the Parliament A proposed law by the Parliament for the alteration thereof must be passed by an absolute majority of each House of the Parliament and not less than two nor more than six months after its passage through both Houses the proposed law shall be submitted in each State and Territory to the electors qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives But if either House passes any such proposed law by an absolute majority and the other House rejects or fails to pass it or passes it with any amendment to which the first mentioned House will not agree and if after an interval of three months the first mentioned House in the same or the next session again passes the proposed law by an absolute majority with or without any amendment which has been made or agreed to by the other House and such other House rejects or fails to pass it or passes it with any amendment to which the first mentioned House will not agree the Governor General may submit the proposed law as last proposed by the first mentioned House and either with or without any amendments subsequently agreed to by both Houses to the electors in each State and Territory qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives When a proposed law is submitted to the electors the vote shall be taken in such manner as the Parliament prescribes But until the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives becomes uniform throughout the Commonwealth only one half the electors voting for and against the proposed law shall be counted in any State in which adult suffrage prevails And if in a majority of the States a majority of the electors voting approve the proposed law and if a majority of all the electors voting also approve the proposed law it shall be presented

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/section-128-amendment/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - Cartoons Republic only
    only Local Government Role Proportional Representation A new Paradigm Options to renew Australia s 1901 Constitution Top BLOG Republic related issues Republic Now What we stand for How about OUR Republic Recent Media Releases Republics and their Presidents ARTICLE Minimalism no longer an option eNewsletter Republic Now Links and Resources Section 128 Amendment Cartoons Republic only Local Government Role Proportional Representation A new Paradigm Options to renew Australia s 1901 Constitution Australia Reconstructed Bold steps to improve voter representation and the political landscape http www amazon com dp B00QI9A4NU Inexpensive Amazon eBook Beyond Federation Options to renew Australia s 1901 Constitution A new book has been published eBook and Paperback Application form for membership Application form Application form for Republic Now Association Inc Prince Wlliam in Australia February 2010 A good sort from the other side of the world Alan Moir in the SMH Still in the Colonial Mode Nicholson in the Australian 7th February 1998 It didn t have legs though John Howard blocking the road Moir SMH 1997 Nicholson in the Australian 12th October 1998 a lost cause Nicholson in the Australian The Real Republicans and Constitutional Monarchists voting against 1st November 1999 Phil Cleary and Judy Moran

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/cartoons-republic-only/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - Local Government Role
    when it should have been Allan s paper provides evidence that the position local government finds itself in is fast approaching a major crisis and that this seems to be a pre requisite for action With action is meant according to Allan a revamp of federal and state funding Strengthening Local Government Allan also makes important comments on the under sized nature of local government claiming that the relative capacity of local government in Australia to address local needs is much smaller than most people think Citizens appear to believe that local government constitutes about 10 to 30 of the Australian public sector However in reality local government accounts for only about 6 of general government outlays and 3 of taxes in Australia In 2006 local government expenditure as a share of GDP was only 2 3 compared with 15 1 in Japan 12 9 in the UK 12 7 in the European Union and 8 5 in the USA Dexia 2006 Dr Mark Drummond of Beyond Federation quoted by Allan who has done very extensive research on this topic see Drummond 2002 p 44 for example found that in 2000 local government s share of outlays was then 6 4 in comparison to Other classic federations 17 7 to 26 2 Other type of federations 12 4 to 33 Devolved unitary systems 26 1 to 74 2 Centralised unitary systems 10 4 to 25 5 Drummond also found that the average residency size of local governments units or the lowest tier of government in other countries is generally much smaller than in Australia To the question Should our Councils be bigger Allan responds that people who argue for that are misinformed He claims there is in fact little evidence in Australia or elsewhere that smaller local government units necessarily suffer diseconomies of scale Where small scale is a handicap it can often be overcome using shared services centres or outsourcing functions to specialist providers An exception here is small Councils under 8000 in rural areas Allan concludes his paper by with references to surveys of 2008 which clearly indicate that a a significant majority of people want changes made to the federal system b a majority want state Governments to disappear c a majority want most decisions to be made at the lowest level of Government Still also a large minority wanted three levels of government From these observations one can draw some pertinent conclusions There is huge scope and ambition to strengthen local government amongst the public financially and in terms of powers and functions Secondly forms of regional administration to assist clusters of local government as is done now by ROCs are appreciated by the public The principle of subsidiarity decentralisation of decision making in governance to the lowest level possible is also appreciated Amalgamation of Councils in the main has little support Allan also examines research about the comparatively moderate attractiveness of regions for citizens While several theorists favour many more regions than the existing six states only 9 want more states the pull of the big cities is still considerable Allan demonstrates that the quality of life in many metropolitan suburbs is regarded as higher than in most regional centres Research based on quality of life criteria found that of the top 25 top communities nationally 20 are in major cities Obviously to turn that around requires a major shift in public policy orientation Rather than thinking How are we going to accommodate the big growth expected in the metropoles a big city oriented perspective a more progressive view would be What can we do to make regional Australia more attractive to more citizens The crisis is here in fact a massive imbalance in the expenditure of resources between metropoles and regions Neither major party has a credible public policy to address this issue As with so many other issues the short electoral cycle and the concentration of voters in the metropolitan electoral districts have created a vicious circle Thus far neither major party has been able provide a circuit breaker even though the health reforms by the Rudd Government may be a first step This is one further reason why the electoral system based on single district constituencies and the preferential variant introduced in 1919 reinforced by compulsory voting 1924 have to be challenged by reformist newcomer It has been argued by some that Australia is lacking a sufficient number of regional centres cores that would justify the creation of several regional governments e g by David Bofinger Beyond Federation a few years ago now 2002 Bofinger also recognised the growing problems of the metropoles and the poor distribution of the population The table below includes a population distribution of Australia s settlements compiled by Bofinger using 1996 Census data Population Range of Settlements Total Population of Settlements Percentage Share of Total Population Less than 5K 3 663K 20 5 5K to 10K 634K 3 5 10K to 29K 692K 3 9 20K to 40K 888K 5 0 40K t0 80K 617K 3 4 80K to 160K 537K 3 0 160K to 320K 1 030K 5 8 320K to 640K 323K 1 8 640K to 1 28K 2 075K 11 6 1 28M to 2 56M 1 291K 7 2 2 56M to 5 12M 6 142K 34 3 Australian total 17 892K 100 Bofinger concludes that the relative paucity of medium sized towns from which we might hope to draw our regional cores is striking And the natural consequence is the Max Bradley complaint that regions would be made up of too many small towns with no common interests see also Bradley 2003 A very comprehensive breakdown of the population of cities and towns in Australia was done by Dr Mark Drummond in his 2007 Ph D Thesis In Appendix 2D he outlined the number of towns that might be described as medium sized towns based on the 2001 census The Census category Other urban 1 000 to 100 000 was counted as

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/local-government-role/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - Proportional Representation: A new Paradigm
    and new ideas gaining representation in the House of Representatives lower houses generally Voters pin their hopes on the ore diverse Senate where they may have some success In practice this creates a false image of adequate diverse representation f The single member district system has definitely not been in the interest of furthering women representation Although improving at long last this is still at a low level in Australia Compared with PR systems the single member district systems have been biased in favour of men The Scandinavian countries demonstrate the positive effect of PR for women in particular g The single member district system is also biased against NESB candidates and Indigenous people There are now a high percentage of citizens in Australia of NESB I and II origin These groups even after more than half a century are severely under represented in all Australian Parliaments What a waste not to have these people in the Parliaments h Finally there is another very detrimental drawback often not realised or mentioned The two party dominance has thwarted many efforts to amend the Constitution now an archaic and inflexible document Proposals for constitutional and other referendums initiated exclusively by politicians in Australia need the support of the major parties and their campaigns to be accepted by the voters so as to have a chance to be passed in terms of Section 128 Unless this bi partisan support is secured the proposals are doomed from the start The last time this was demonstrated clearly was in 1988 when the four sensible proposals put after two years of diligent work by the Australian Constitutional Commission were all lost once the Liberal Party decided to reject them all Open Party List system vs Hare Clark This section briefly compares the Open Party List System of Proportional Representation PR with the Hare Clark method and will argue that the former is to be preferred to achieve effective indirect democratic representation in a complex society like Australia The attitude of the major parties against proportional representation is based solely on self interest This could change if voters begin to express support for it better still demand it In any case major party opposition should not deter us from examining and advocating as to what is best for Australia To the contrary The time is overdue for the Australian people to realise that unless they themselves revolt against the status quo as far as voting systems is concerned at least no meaningful paradigm change will happen That is not only detrimental to the future composition of parliaments but it also means that any serious constitutional change will remain virtually impossible The Australian constitution is an archaic dysfunctional and stagnant set of rules Just 8 of 44 amendment referendums have passed For the last 33 years nothing has changed at all The key to constitutional change is electoral reform with the express aim to defuse the two party dominance followed by an inclusive strategy to review possibly to

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/proportional-representation/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BEYOND FEDERATION
    very readable text written by several authors with a diversity of backgrounds Increasingly Australians sense that there are serious problems with Australia s system of governance but few are prepared to their finger on it or publish radical solutions This book breaks away from the avoidance strategy of piecemeal tinkering with structures that are outmoded Piecemeal tinkering hasn t really worked for half a century but the faults have been camouflaged by redeeming factors and strategies The authors of this book say enough is enough the foundations are crumbling so let s built a new house altogether These constitutional changes sought particularly concern he dysfunctional federation of Australian states dating back to 1901 Furthermore much of the Constitution was a political bargain that made sense at the time but can now only be described as archaic We need a Constitution that reflects the society it is meant to serve is flexible and owned by the Australian people The book largely grew out of the conferences they held since 2001 13 hopefully forerunners of major public debates to come This is not a typically academic book It is written deliberately to appeal to an interested and concerned public who are rightly asking Why do we have these political problems today It seeks answers and remedies to address them Australia has been struggling with a dominant two party system in which the one party can best be described as a mostly conservative Labor Party and the other as an often reactionary conservative party The mildly redeeming factors in this costly often nonsensical adversarial system are a more diverse Senate although elected by an outmoded and perverted variety of proportional representation and a judiciary that has thankfully generally enjoys respect of the population We ask how representative are our Parliaments really Should the

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/beyond-federation/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - Application form
    change Even the Republic has been placed on the backburner in spite of obvious support for a Republic with a popularly elected President The need for a governance reform party is very obvious Australia s federal system is dysfunctional The state governments are superfluous The fiscal imbalance between federal and state governments is staggering already and growing Local government everywhere is suffering as the most grossly under funded level The archaic inflexible constitution needs to be entirely rewritten This is not something that can be done overnight of course A strategic plan is required that should be introduced with extensive involvement by the public so that at the end of the process the Australian public owns the new Republican constitution Can such a major change be expected from either of the major parties There is no sign of that whatever To the contrary Republic Now is committed to The creation of an independent Australian Republic with a directly President with symbolic functions and powers without any further delay Governance changes resulting in the replacement of federation by a two level structure of governance national and local with regional administrations indirectly elected forming a third mezzanine level a reversal in concentration of executive power in two major parties Governance change aimed at decentralising Australia decongesting the metropolitan cities and providing excellent regional opportunities Replacing the dominant single member electoral district system with proportional representation open party list system a simple inexpensive democratic system Introducing the Separation of Powers principle in Governance This means that the executive legislature and judiciary shall be strictly separate as is the case in all parliamentary systems of Governance with the exception of the Westminster system Developing a new Constitution for Australia within five years To that end a New Constitution Council of ten persons will be

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/application-form/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - Application form for Republic Now! Association Inc
    Constitution Top BLOG Republic related issues Republic Now What we stand for How about OUR Republic Recent Media Releases Republics and their Presidents ARTICLE Minimalism no longer an option eNewsletter Republic Now Links and Resources Section 128 Amendment Cartoons Republic only Local Government Role Proportional Representation A new Paradigm Options to renew Australia s 1901 Constitution Australia Reconstructed Bold steps to improve voter representation and the political landscape http www

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/application-form-for-republic/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues - Peter FitzSimons to lead Australian Republic Movement  
    supporters they may have to wait until a change of monarch to achieve success Mr FitzSimons a Fairfax Media columnist who is married to the Nine Network s Today host Lisa Wilkinson will throw his weight behind the push and identified Prime Minister Tony Abbott as the last political obstacle to a republic I do believe that the Prime Minister will be in all likelihood our last monarchist Prime Minister Mr FitzSimons told The Australian Financial Review Whatever happens from this point should it be Labor or should it be another Liberal in all likelihood there will soon be bipartisan support in the federal leadership I don t know if Tony Abbott is going to be there for 10 days 10 months or 10 years but there will come a time in the next political cycle will there be bipartisan support for a republic he said The ARM has also appointed media and policy expert Tim Mayfield as their new national director and seeking to fill an executive officer position Commentary by Republic Now Can FitzSimons break Australia s vicious circles This could be an excellent appointment as Peter FitzSimons is a Can Do type of person The fact that he is not a constitutional lawyer may well be an advantage However he has declared himself a Minimalist Minimalism has thus far been a failure of the ARM If he said that this would just be a first step toward maximalist solutions and governance reforms in Australia that would be welcomed by a growing section of the voters Australia is caught in the vicious circle of adversarial politics This is the primary cause of a wider vicious circle which includes the endless unproductive debate about the federation and the archaic Constitution Any attempt to bring about reforms and break out of these vicious circles need to include a prior acceptance that these three are intertwined and require a total package approach The absence of this approach to date results in fruitless attempts of partial reforms which then results in the continuation of the vicious circles failure to break any of them It is truly amazing that this is not understood in Australia Reformers don t get further than the piecemeal tinkering in one department When accepting the comprehensive package approach there is a strategic order to address the issue effectively Start with the adversarial nature of politics which has reached toxic proportions in Australia and turned the electorate off as never before a very unhealthy situation in any democracy surely Not surprisingly the young are not at all impressed with this kind of democracy any more It has become a meaningless ritual They have turned away from voting The solution here is the introduction of proportional representation creating a much greater diversity in our parliaments This would result in coalition governments requiring the search for common ground of several parties rather than adversity between two major parties The major parties are adverse to PR so this will have to be

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/2015/7/26/peter-fitzsimons-to-lead-australian-republic-movement.html (2016-04-27)
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