Honorary President

Senate Submission


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

Electing the Honorary President

Why Elect the Honorary President

The connection between Australian citizens and the Honorary President will be of a nature both symbolic and social – symbolic, so to execute the constitutional and ceremonial responsibilities as Head of State and social, as the President will be an Australian ambassador-at-large, a role model, the patron of organisations, for some occasions a cheerleader, on others a mourner and councillor.

The Honorary President’s ability to command the respect and support of the Australian community will be magnified by the democratic nature of their office.

Symbolically, the President will be the representative of the sovereignty of the Australian people. That representation will be legitimised by the endorsement at the ballot box.

Socially the same is true. When a citizen participates in the choice, a connection to the institution of the Presidency automatically exists. The more citizens with this connection, the greater the social value of the President.

The Australian community will have a tremendous stake in the Honorary President, and as a result of being elected, far more than they do in the Governor General.

The people will have the opportunity to see that all worthy Australians are considered for the office of Honorary President utilising the mechanism under public petition provision of sub-sub-section 60(ii)(c). This means that merit is of over-riding importance and having the right connections or background is inconsequential. Public participation here will also expand the diversity of nominations and raise the selection standards.

The parliaments of Australia, state and federal, have a similar opportunity to confirm that their past choices in appointing worthy people to the position of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Governor General, can provide experienced candidates for election to this apolitical position.

Empirically, there is ample evidence that Australians do aspire to be involved in the selection of their Head of State. We should be comforted as this personal desire to contribute and participate in national institutions, such as the Head of State, is a healthy expression of our democratic society.

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