Honorary President

Senate Submission


 The Amendments 
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 Section 126
 Section 59
 Section 60
 Section 61
 Section 2
 Section 4
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© 2004 David Latimer

Electing the Honorary President

Low Political Interest

The Honorary President is not a President in the usual understanding of the word. Under the constitution, they have a different role from that of a Parliamentarian. They are not meant to achieve political outcomes. They should have no policy agenda. It should be irrelevant if they are progressive or conservative in their personal outlook.

The Office of Honorary President is not a political prize and offers no political power. The fundamental assumption of this model is that there is no political advantage for major political parties to contest or involve themselves in the election of the Honorary President.

There will be an interest by each state that its governor achieves a satisfactory result. As the number of major political parties is smaller than the number of states, a major party will be unable to unite behind a single candidate with both its federal and state apparatus. It is also likely that that the political interests of all major parties within each state would be best served by bi-partisan support of the official state candidate the former governor.

There however will be an interest by petitioners in promoting their candidate. There could be minor party support for these candidates as they may imagine the Office could be a platform for their agenda, however candidates with truly broad community support and a chance of winning, will assess that association with minor parties is disadvantageous and under sub-section 60(iii) legally risky.

In consequence, elections for the Honorary President will unfold entirely differently from the political contests at the federal, state and local government level.

Without the resources of the major parties and no policies to promote, candidates will rely upon their existing public profile and any system of public information established by the government. Such a system could ensure that former governors do not need to establish their own campaign.

It is envisaged that the election could be conducted like a plebiscite. The Electoral Commission would produce a booklet with the name, history and experience of each candidate. A television program and website could be commissioned to the same effect.

A satisfactory public information campaign with limits and protocols on other advertising would provide a level playing field for electors to make an informed choice for their Honorary President.

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