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

The Amendments

Section 4

Powers of Governor General

The final section to discuss of the six changing extensively is an explanation of the role of the Governor General consistent with the principles and mechanisms previously established and those we rely upon in our present system of government. The provision continues the powers of the Governor General with respect to the Federal Parliament, found in the existing section 2, but additionally makes the Governor General a representative of the Honorary President in reflection of the existing section 61.

The section is drafted as follows:

4 Powers of the Governor General

The Governor General shall be the representative of the Honorary President in the Parliament of the Commonwealth and may exercise in the Parliament, subject to this constitution, the powers and functions of the Presidency. During any vacancy of office, period of incapacity or absence from the Commonwealth of the Governor-General, the provisions of this constitution relating to the Governor-General shall recursively extend and apply to the longest-serving State Governor.

The new clause replaces the existing section 4, provisions relating to Governor General. The appointment of an administrator is codified as per the convention that the longest-serving available State Governor shall become the acting Governor-General. The relationship between the Governor-General and State Governor becomes equivalent to that between a Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The circumstances are defined so that no declaration is required for the assumption of power. Importantly, no intervention by the Honorary President is required. The rule is recursive, so the availability of the State Governor is defined by the same circumstances of vacancy, absence and incapacity. [Note: s.4 modified by D.Latimer on 7-Mar-2005]

The powers of the Governor General in the section intersect with powers granted at the end of section 60. The difference is merely contextual; section 60 applying to executive powers granted by the constitution and the laws; section 4 applying to all powers of the Presidency with respect to the Parliament, which would include the Reserve Powers.

Combined, the only powers not granted are those external to the Parliament and not granted elsewhere in the constitution or law. To access these powers the Governor General could rely either on precedent or delegation from the Honorary President.

The interesting definition of section 4 is the Governor General as representative of the Honorary President. This echoes the existing section 61, which says power is exercisable by the Governor General as the Queen’s representative. The new definition is more strongly put and designed to keep the Honorary President out of the Parliament even though section 1 states ‘Federal Parliament shall consist of the Presidency, a Senate and a House of Representatives.’

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