Overview <!IMG SRC="bluedot.gif" WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=10 alt=""> Title Introduction Framework Origins Advantages The Amendments <!IMG SRC="bluedot.gif" WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=10 alt=""> 20 References Section 126 Section 59 Section 60 Section 61 Section 2 Section 4 The States All Amendments The Election <!IMG SRC="bluedot.gif" WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=10 alt=""> Why Elect Apolitical Electoral Law Timing Independence <!IMG SRC="bluedot.gif" WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=10 alt=""> Introduction The Two Roles Costs v Benefits Free Speech Other Issues <!IMG SRC="bluedot.gif" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=10 alt=""> Referendum One Royal Link Honorary Vice Pres Spectrum of Powers Questions More Questions Conclusion
Twenty References to the Queen
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.