Honorary President

Senate Submission


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

The Amendments

Twenty References to the Queen

"In one hundred years, there have only ever been 13 separate amendments to our Constitution. The proposed model will require 69 changes in one hit"
Reason 4 The case for voting NO, 1999 Referendum

In the Australian Constitution, the Queen is mentioned in 20 of its 128 sections. The minimum number of amendments required to change to a republic must necessarily be 20.

The Honorary President Republican Model changes exactly 20 sections. By this measure, the model must be regarded as the most minimalist of those to-date considered. Furthermore a new model with less constitutional change is now inconceivable.

In fact, the total number of words of the constitution will increase by about the same amount as in 1997, when the Senate Casual Vacancies Amendment was adopted. This means these Republican Amendments could be, depending on the choice of words, the second greatest change to our constitution.

The good news is not simply that the punch will be taken away from one persuasive line for rejecting adoption of a republic, indeed, although it will be difficult to frame an argument quite as pithy as Reason 4, there is no avoiding the fact that establishing a republic is a serious constitutional change. The good news is that, of the twenty sections, there are just six sections that will substantively change. The rest are basic word changes, a mere consequence of the idea that the Queen will no longer be there, plus the removal of section 74 which has been ineffectual since the 1983 passing of the Australia Act.

The six essential sections are:

In total these sections amount to one and a half pages of text. Each section is appropriate within the context of the whole constitution, with sections 59, 60 and 61 belonging under Chapter II Executive Government which is then divided into two parts The Honorary President and The Federal Executive Council. This is done not just for the benefit of the reader, but also to distinguish them as two separate institutions of executive government.

Detour: All Draft Amendments

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