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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues - April 2015: Revival in interest in Australian Republic
    Below two examples are presented their URLs stated and the main activities described Also Republic Now refers to the Facebook site of Beyond Federation a group that advocates the replacement of the federal structure and the rewriting of the Australian Constitution This ties up with Republic Now s position that a Minimalist Republic may be a first step toward to a Maximalist Republic The Facebook page of Beyond Federation is www facebook com beyondfederation No doubt the arrival of Human Rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson in Australia author of Dreaming too loud 2012 and The Statute of Liberty 2009 will add thrust to the revival movement 1 http www thecourier com au story 3041367 republican debate to be reignited LABOR for an Australian Republic Group LFAR is holding a debate at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka this weekend The national event titled the Australian Democracy Debate Competition A Republican Vision for Australia will be held on Saturday at 1pm 2n May LFAR said it wanted to reignite the republic campaign with an Australian head of state In a statement LFAR said Australia is a modern democratic nation with an ancient and continuous indigenous culture and it is time we complete our journey of becoming a fully independent nation We as Australians must disenthrall ourselves and think anew and act anew and create our own Republic of Australia with our own Australian head of state Thank you for voting Yes 90 83 No 7 08 Not sure 0 Don t care 2 08 Guest speakers on the day will be Gellibrand MP Tim Watts Joshua Funder and Damien Kingsbury There will be two debates with the first involving eight guest speakers outlining their republican visions or models for Australia while the second will feature people reviewing a set of 19

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/2015/4/28/april-2015-revival-in-interest-in-australian-republic.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues - Electoral system revolution? About time!
    system The most undemocratic outcome of the 2013 federal election is that this country is now ruled by the hard right faction of the Coalition ideologically busily engaged in turning the clock back in many very critical public policy areas That faction does not reflect more than 35 of the voters Why then did the Coalition win the election Because the voters had to choose for either the one or the other major party and both had real problems They had to vote for the one package or the other for the one leader or the other But that choice is just far too limited The opinion polls tell us next to nothing about that kind reality Our major parties refuse to introduce real system reforms as they believe that the existing system benefits them grossly However that does not take away from the plain truth that the party list systems are inherently more democratic simple cost effective result in diverse representation and most importantly produce a non adversarial political culture In 2009 there was what was presented by the ALP as a major inquiry into electoral reform However in reality it was just concerned with correcting measures about funding disclosures introduced under the Howard Government Indeed the terms of reference clearly avoided system reform So where will the push for change come from One would have thought from the Greens but alas although some Greens are well aware of the need for change in this respect and it is in fact in their platform they just don t seem to be able to get going on this issue We can forget about the political science academics if they are familiar with other systems at all because very few of them are activists Most engage in studies and research that deal with issues within the existing system not with the problems of the systems themselves Perhaps some political journalists would have woken up to the gross inadequacies of Australia s electoral systems A few probably have but will they write about it Rarely but if per chance they are so inclined their editors may not be interested for whatever reason Or they don t understand themselves how it could and should be changed one of these issues that remain in the too hard basket Anthony Green who seems to have a monopoly on electoral commentary shies away from innovation as well Wake up Australia The adversarial two party system has become a major problem It has also been hi jacked by corrupt influences it pretends that there are only two sides of politics a view rarely questioned by the media or scholar But this situation has basically also stopped updating the Constitution for decades already so that it is one additional reason why we have a frozen Constitution What is the system that would be a major improvement Here it comes P R always based on multiple member electoral districts has great advantages but the type used in Australia The

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/2014/5/15/electoral-system-revolution-about-time.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues - Governor General supports Australia becoming a Republic
    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 Electoral system revolution About time Main Australia Reconstructed Bold steps to improve voter representation and the political landscape Sunday Dec 08 2013 Governor General supports Australia becoming a Republic Sunday December 8 2013 at 3 53 PM THE Queen s representative in Australia has reignited the republic debate by being the first serving Governor General to publicly call for an Australian Head of State Quentin Bryce who will retire in March also supported gay marriage in a landmark speech urging greater respect and care for all Australians Delivering her final ABC Boyer Lecture in Sydney Ms Bryce said her vision was for a country where people are free to love and marry whom they choose and where perhaps my friends one day one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation s first Head of State Greens leader Christine Milne congratulated Ms Bryce for strong advocacy of marriage equality a republic and an ethic of care Real leadership Former Liberal Party Minister Amanda Vanstone now an ABC commentator criticised the Governor General for speaking her mind on a political issue Prime Minister Tony Abbott who led the campaign against a republic in 1999 is expected to soon announce Ms Bryce s replacement The current Prime Minister is still a Monarchist The PM and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten both declined to comment The lack of reformist zeal on constitutional issues by the ALP is simply deplorable The Greens are the real Opposition Party on such matters Klaas Woldring Post a Comment Share Article View Printer Friendly Version Email Article to Friend Reader Comments There are no

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/2013/12/8/governor-general-supports-australia-becoming-a-republic.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues - Australia Reconstructed: Bold steps to improve voter representation and the political landscape
    below at a maximum price of AUS 10 If you don t have a Kindle you can obtain the pdf file and read it on your computer The Book was published 5th September just before the Australian Federal election Here is the Introduction to the book INTRODUCTION This book is a plea for system change in Australia referring to the various systems that underpin and shape governance As the 2013 federal election approaches the many flaws in the system of government in Australia are again evident However they do not themselves form the focus of the election debate During the last years the tone and quality of the parliamentary debate has become the focus of attention though Most people don t like the combative style that is on display on a daily basis when Parliament is in session Voters have turned away from this spectacle and politics generally especially the young Letter writers have condemned it in droves Journalists have tried to describe and understand it Only rarely are the pertinent questions asked Why is it so and What can be done about it The Hung Parliament of the last three years has added a new dimension to the system The need for the ALP government to make partnership agreements with the only Green MHR and three Independents has delivered benefits However now the major parties have insisted on governing in their own right again Would it not be better to move forward to meaningful reforms The main thesis of this small eBook is that the need for much greater diversity democracy fairness and cooperation between parties in the Parliament is not served by a continuation of the current two party system Hence the reader will find strong advocacy here for an electoral system that would provide for the achievement of such objectives and much wider participation In addition there are reflections on the costly federal system and the Australian Constitution an archaic document that can hardly be amended given several barriers in the way of its evolutionary amendment and development It is suggested that the federation should be replaced with a more appropriate decentralised system of government in which the national and local government levels are paramount The Constitution should be rewritten entirely and a new draft be put to the people in one package after a series of consultative plebiscites URLs of eBook publishers http www amazon com dp B00EUSGN3G http www kobobooks com ebook australia reconstructed book NkET686PbE srNYdNHfhow page1 html https itunes apple com au book isbn9780987570192 August 2013 Klaas Woldring Post a Comment 3 References Share Article View Printer Friendly Version Email Article to Friend References 3 References allow you to track sources for this article as well as articles that were written in response to this article Response weight loss pills at weight loss pills on Sat May 31 2014 at 3 30 Republic now information and discussion BLOG Republic related issues Australia Reconstructed Bold steps to improve voter representation and the political landscape

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/2013/10/23/australia-reconstructed-bold-steps-to-improve-voter-represen.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues
    system is based on two adversarial parties as if there are only two sides of politics Concurrence between these parties on anything is hard to achieve The failed constitutional referendums in 1988 demonstrated this abundantly The advocacy that local government should be recognised in the constitution was seen by the federalists as the thin end of the wedge to centralise power in Canberra The first failure to do anything about this was in 1974 when Whitlam proposed a referendum to ease the restrictive nature of the section 128 procedure c The single member electoral district system that grossly favours the major parties in that it makes it virtually impossible for smaller parties and Independents to get a foothold in the House of Representatives The C W electoral acts of 1918 and 1924 cemented this system in place The general realisation of this problem is hardly understood by the people rarely given attention by scholars and in the media Electoral system reform in particular the introduction of proportional representation would end this situation Only the Greens have P R in their platform The best form of P R is the Open Party List system NOT the Hare Clark system used here for the Senate the ACT and some upper state houses This involves a lot of preferencing and horse trading that the public rightly distrusts and again rightly finds cumbersome The adversarial party system is largely result of this electoral system It ensures that proposals for constitutional amendment need the support of both major parties to be carried Given the other difficulties this means that very very few proposals are carried As a result the inclination even amongst the politicians to present amendment initiatives hardly exists No proposals have been made since 1977 34 years ago Plainly a ridiculous situation given the archaic nature of the Constitution Unless the party system is changed through electoral system reform it is likely that the totally ineffectual piecemeal tinkering with the Constitution will continue Surely this is an appalling prospect This is what you MUST address surely 2 RESPONSES TO THE OPTIONS PROPOSED IN THE DISCUSSION PAPER There is mention of four ideas to be considered There is also the realisation expressed that local government is a state concern is not mentioned in the Constitution itself and is treated by the High Court naturally in that fashion This is another major reason that the replacement of federation favoured strongly by Republic Now must have priority There is an end to the capacity of a nation to circumvent the Federal Constitution and an end to High Court judges sensibly interpreting clauses written in the late 1890s and guess what the founding fathers might have meant Thus the boosting of local government is in itself a major reason why the Constitution has to be REWRITTEN There are of course NUMEROUS other reasons and I would imagine that the entire expert panel is in fact aware of this Yes Symbolic Recognition nobody could object to that and it may assist the High Court in a small way in borderline cases As to Financial Recognition in practice the most important aspect under the present circumstances for local government we would support expanding Section 96 as much as possible Option 2 listed there is the better one in our view weakening the power of states over local government As to Democratic Recognition Option 1 is favoured by Republic Now as it would enhance the democratic nature of local government and weaken state government further A case could be made to retain the state power to sack a council for corrupt government in the interim period before abolishing the states altogether The final aspect Recognition through Federation while almost a contradiction in terms naturally is to be supported under the current restrictive circumstances It was most deplorable that the Rudd Government opted for cooperative federalism instead of the replacement of federation This had failed in the past Amazingly the opportunity with seven ALP Governments in place was passed up It was not even of the agenda of the Australia 2020 Summit but the delegates brought it up themselves as an important issue However is incorrect to say that Australia has three levels of government even though there are certainly areas of cooperation between federal state and local government in practice some of them of dubious constitutional validity Local government is a second level of state government constitutionally and unless that changes the restrictions of federation will continue to bedevil local government Your paper makes mention of several forms of cooperation that have already been declared invalid constitutionally by the High Court Nevertheless the steps proposed in your paper deserve support Inclusion of measures suggested there to be included in a Referendum or Plebiscite proposals should be pursued If passed but knocked back by a High Court decision subsequently it can only result in further pressure to rewrite the constitution altogether 3 ATTACHMENT OF A PAGE OF THE REPUBLIC NOW WEBSITE This is the page that deals with local government and our Association s view of it It goes further than the above but you have asked for additional input beyond your terms of reference Republic Now supporters are MAXIMALIST republicans in that they see the need for much wider reform than merely the replacement of the Head of State We are trying to answer the essential question What kind of Republic That is really the more important issue which has been avoided by the major parties as well as the Australian Republican Movement Indeed it is one reason why the ARM has failed to inspire the public sufficiently We recommend that our website be studied by your panel There are many aspects that would need to be dealt with in a Strategic Plan for constitutional change and a process to go with it The Government has no such detailed Plan We must be looking towards other organisations and or minor parties such as the Greens and possibly others to present

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/?currentPage=2 (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues
    of federalism has changed dramatically since 1900 and even more since WWII with many well informed voices arguing that Australia needs a new government structure This was even anticipated by prime minister Alfred Deakin in 1902 and more fully explained in 1942 by Law Professor Gordon Greenwood Donald Horne in 1977 again made a well argued plea after the constitutional debacle of 1975 that Australia had to rewrite its entire Constitution The federal government now receives some 82 per cent of consolidated revenue and has major responsibilities in many crucial public policy areas A new structure should increase effective decentralisation rather than concentrate more power in Canberra Many community groups and local government associations have already discussed this It requires a sensible transitional process to dismantle the six states and strengthen local government and regional auxiliary structures Different models are available but require much more articulation by scholars and the media and of course political action by major parties Neither of them have a strategic plan of action or plan for a popular decision process by means of intermediate plebiscites and subsequent referendums After a strategic process of appropriate consultation the existing Constitution can be replaced with one new package even via the existing Section 128 Instead of continuing to waste time on adversarial point scoring over minor issues our representatives should embark on long overdue action Avoidance escapism and procrastination need to be replaced by political will and action Australians need a living document a Constitution that is meaningful to the citizens of today and owned by them Yes we can and yes we should and yes we must Klaas Woldring 3 Comments 26 References Share Article Friday Sep 17 2010 Rewrite the Australian Constitution Friday September 17 2010 at 11 35 AM In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald 11 09 10 an extract of a new book about the Australian Constitution book by Williams and Hume was published As interested Australians would know the record of amending that Constitution is very bad indeed These constitutional lawyers demonstrate that again Professor Williams in particular has written quite regularly about the problem Most constitutional referendums are distrusted by voters Not only do the people need a say in initiating referendums they need a new Constitution If the mood for reform persists in the ALP Green agreement the leadership would do well to re read the 1977 Penguin paperback Change the Rule s in which the late Donald Horne made a strong plea for a new democratic Constitution and UNSW academic Elaine Thompson for a new electoral system However for 33 years nothing has changed Horne compared the constitutional situation here with that in Sweden The Swedes do have a new constitution 1974 whereas most Australians seem to imagine that it is beyond their power even to change their present constitution significantly let alone get a new one Horne saw the then already deplorable situation as having the potential for catastrophic consequences That these have not eventuated as yet may well be Australia s sheer luck and or be due to the capacity of politicians administrators and High Court judges to work ingeniously around a stagnant archaic and dysfunctional Constitution How much longer can Australia afford to push its luck we may well ask Apart from the problems with Section 128 a major barrier is that Australia has a dominant two party adversarial system The initiative for constitutional amendment lies solely with the major party politicians Moreover both parties have to agree on a aproposal a very rare occurrence as otherwise a referendum won t get up Therefore the preliminary remedy would seem to be the introduction of proportional representation so that we get a multi party system and a cooperative political culture followed by a new flexible constitutional package However this is not to say that the Greens and the Independents could not use their balance of power position in the current Parliament to push for a broad ranging Constitutional Review Such a Committee should comprise reformist individuals who have a good understanding of constitutions and political systems elsewhere in the world well beyond the English speaking countries and certainly not limited to constitutional lawyers Such a Committee could even draft a new Constitution with much greater flexibility than the current one ready for further amendment to be put to the vote in one go in terms of Section 128 as a comprehensive amendment to the current Constitution Such a Constitution could incorporate a Republic form of state as well OR prepare the groundwork for a transition to a Republic Part of the arguments of some conservatives resisting a Republican structure is that the Minimalist approach to the Republic does NOT provide for significant constitutional improvements This is fair comment What is your view Klaas Woldring Klaas Woldring Post a Comment Share Article Tuesday Aug 24 2010 Why don t we have electronic voting Tuesday August 24 2010 at 9 08 PM Email to Australian Electoral Commission Dear Commissioners 23rd August 2010 I am frustrated by the waste of paper carton for ballot boxes and other resources in our current voting process On top of that it does not give an instant result Why is it not possible that people can go to a secure website to cast a vote via the Internet I am sure there will be enough computer software digital savvy people around to make this possible I can for instance make some suggestions here while I am just an ordinary Internet computer user The AEC can allocate to registered citizens of Australia a Logon ID and a password To register for this like any other secure site such as Banking CentreLink etc people need to register secret question and answers Then on top of that to register their email address per person only one address allowed to go the actual voting page to place a vote To prevent multiple vote casting on the web page the identity is registered so this person cannot

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/?currentPage=3 (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues
    with the system they have got One wonders if these professionals can provide any hard evidence for these views While opinion polls rarely if ever have asked the people what voting system they would prefer my view is that the people are now very dissatisfied with the two party system The adversarialism is experienced as increasingly counter productive and often childish Moreover voters do want meaningful choices The choice that they have now in reality is between tweedledee and tweedledum Compulsory voting has made this even more dictatorial Voters basically have to vote for either the one or the other major party The widespread disenchantment is indirectly reflected in the very low public esteem of politicians Opinion polls have certainly demonstrated that It is hard to believe that Twomey and Green apparently don t see a connection Green s argument that the more representative and active Senate in recent years elected on the basis of proportional representation since 1949 is adequate compensation for the disenchantment with the House of representatives is disingenuous to say the least Certainly the time has come to poll the voters specifically on this issue and ask the appropriate questions Obviously major parties will not commission such polls but the Internet does provide the opportunity now And this Blog provides an opportunity as well The Stevenson article appears to have been prompted by the recent conundrum in the UK which first generated an editorial on electoral reform SMH 13th May The editor recommended that the new British PM Cameron would do wise to opt for the preferential voting system used for the Australian House of Representatives instead of proportional representation My letter in reply SMH 14th May pointed out that this was very bad advice as the effect of the introduction of preferential voting in Australia in 1919 has been that minor parties and Independent candidates were virtually ruled out from representation in Parliament after that The apparent acceptance of Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg to have a referendum on this issue could well result in the death warrant of his party if preferential voting was approved Furthermore the editor s suggestion that PR would lead to political instability has been disproven by the positive record of 21 out 28 European countries including Ireland that use P R The bias of the Australian political establishment is quite obvious However the national interest is not at all assisted by this conservatism Your comments are invited Klaas Woldring Convenor Republic Now Klaas Woldring Post a Comment 3 References Share Article Sunday May 02 2010 Two party system blocks ETS why not accept the Greens proposal Sunday May 2 2010 at 3 45 PM It should be very obvious now that it is Australia s archaic two party system that has blocked progress on climate change policy Australia s dominant electoral system which is largely responsible for this situation often stands in the way of important national solutions Our national legislature lacks the flexibility to achieve workable majorities to

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/?currentPage=4 (2016-04-27)
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  • Republic-now: information and discussion - BLOG: Republic & related issues
    implementation plans as a former Health Minister he is well placed indeed to do just that The art of competent politicians now is to anticipate this and have proper implementation plans in place for transition towards well worked out alternatives in Health Education and all the rest to follow The hasty roof insulation may well have presented the otherwise pretty cautious Rudd Government with a valuable lesson Implementation must be done properly and cannot be left to those who know little about what they are supposed to do At last this is where COAG could contribute something of real value if re directed and staffed properly Some re direction Cooperation to END federalism instead of cooperative federalism And what about those many who have long argued for alternatives but were steadfastly ignored Clearly Mr Rudd may well have his knickers in a knot here as shying initially away from overriding the states and investing much energy into the COAG exercise an ADVISORY body hardly active under the Howard Government now a growing bureaucracy he now has to turn around the Queen Mary Yes he can but no half measures Mr Rudd The writing has very long been on the wall for the states indeed ever since the centralisation of income tax powers in 1942 It was even predicted as early as 1901 when Alfred Deakin the second PM predicted that the Commonwealth would increase in stature in financial dominance and in the determination of of national priorities Many intermediate steps have already been taken by twisting creatively interpreting sorry the Federal Constitution Hawke stopped the Franklin below Gordon Dam by using the external affairs power Howard took over the states industrial relations powers by calling on the corporation power Hasn t the time come to re write constitution altogether What are YOUR views on these possibilities Editor Klaas Woldring 3 Comments Share Article Tuesday Mar 09 2010 Draft National Curriculum History Tuesday March 9 2010 at 2 28 PM It is very important for Australia to have a national curriculum especially for History where state differences are apparently quite significant I have read through the 29 pages and done part of the survey Unless one is a professional historian and or high school teacher it is difficult to comment on all that is presented however I do believe some areas could be much improved 1 There is little about political history the constitution the political system and the problems with it This has long been a very very weak area of high school curriculums Given that the Republic is still to be established please use this opportunity to provide relevant information 2 There is little coverage of the extensive exploits of Dutch VOC seafarers in the 17th and 18 the century starting in 1606 in the Cape York Peninsula and of several French scientists visiting in that period By 1644 Abel Tasman had sighted and or mapped some 75 of the Australian coastline while James Cook arrived in 1770 Surely

    Original URL path: http://www.republicnow.org/blog-republic-and-other/?currentPage=5 (2016-04-27)
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