Honorary President

Senate Submission


 The Amendments 
 20 References
 Section 126
 Section 59
 Section 60
 Section 61
 Section 2
 Section 4
 The States
 All Amendments

 The Election 
 Why Elect
 Electoral Law

 The Two Roles
 Costs v Benefits
 Free Speech

 Other Issues 
 One Royal Link
 Honorary Vice Pres
 Spectrum of Powers
 More Questions


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Honorary President


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© 2004 David Latimer

Key Advantages of the Model

  • Head of State directly elected by the people
  • Institutionally independent Head of State in a non-political role
  • The title Honorary President immediately coveys the ceremonial nature of position and the sense of honour bestowed. It is unlikely that citizens will wrongly conclude that the Honorary President is given executive powers
  • Discretionary and non-ceremonial powers are codified. The limits to the powers of the Honorary President are reinforced throughout the constitution
  • The Head of State is no longer a personification for executive government, so they are not outside the law
  • Honorary President can speak freely, that is, as per a normal citizen
  • Nomination of former Governors and Governors-General ensures highly distinguished and experienced candidates for election to Head of State
  • Nomination by public petition gives any Australian the chance to be elected as Head of State, yet number of names on the ballot paper remains small
  • Co-ordination with general election and use of postal voting reduces the cost of the Honorary President election for the taxpayer
  • Public information campaign ensures positive election conduct, reduces financial disincentives for candidates or need for political assistance
  • Structure of election, backed up by legal prohibitions, limits the interest and influence of political parties
  • Dismissal procedures are fair
  • Only twenty amendments required to the constitution. Of these only six sections are significantly altered or replaced. One outdated section removed
  • Number of amendments is equal to number of sections referring to the Queen
  • Could be less wordy than the 1997 Senate Casual Vacancies Amendment.
  • The framework and hierarchical structure of the system (including states) remains substantively the same.
  • Unified Federal System is maintained at the state and federal level
  • The States are not forced to devise alternative methods of appointing their Governor or of making the transition to a republican system
  • No State is left remaining as a constitutional monarchy
  • Transitional arrangements are straightforward, especially for the States.
  • Conventions between Governor General and Prime Minister do not need to be codified, referenced, saved or otherwise established under law
  • Conventions remain not justiciable
  • Reserve powers remain available to the Governor General
  • Continuous membership of the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Singular link to Queen can remain via reference to the Commonwealth of Nations to soften the change for citizens who admire the monarchy, are nostalgic about heritage or are in organisations with royal association.
  • Referendum question would be uncontroversial
  • Next: The Amendments Twenty References to the Queen