Scary stuff.


No. That’s the point. The referendum we had would have got it done. Any yes/no type question would not have any actual effect, and to make Constitutional changes would require another that set out specific changes to specific sections of the Constitution.


yeah sorry for sidetracking things. The point I was trying to make, was then when people voted “yes” to Brexit, they voted for all sorts of different things, so it is difficult to know what kind of Brexit people really want. In hindsight, that was allowed to happen because the question was a yes/no thing. I should have researched what the question was for the republic because I remembered it incorrectly.

All of the people currently stalling the thing in Parliament, are doing so for different reasons. Some for selfish personal political gain, but others for genuine concerns. It’s a shame that preferential voting in Parliament isn’t a thing because that might be the only way a clear view of “What Parliament wants” might be found.

They might make progress by ruling out scenarios one-by-one until they see what they have left.


Really, no one cared.


Clearly, I mean, there wasn’t even a topic on it on Blitz until Jun 2016.


So it seems May is still basically throwing the whole thing back to Europe and saying which do you want - a “deal” with the no-fixed-end Customs Union requirement removed, or a “no deal” hard break?

It really is an impossible situation for both sides. If the EU cave in on the ‘backstop’ then they abandon one of their members (Ireland) needs and wants. If the UK accept the ‘backstop’ then NI operates potentially forever under a different economic system to the rest of the country, forcing an effective border in the Irish Sea between parts of it’s own nation. Or the entire UK stays in a Customs Union with the EU, which won’t fly because in some ways it’s no longer a Brexit at all.

This’ll be interesting. Stand by for a hard Brexit . And then a hard a customs border in Ireland again. Which is in breach of the Belfast Agreement. And which Ireland couldn’t renegotiate even if they wanted to, without being in breach of their own EU common market obligations. Ireland too are in a catch-22 position through no doing of their own.

Or London accepts that they’ll have to do customs checks to “import” goods into a part of their own Kingdom - at risk of being in perpetuity - in order to not then be in breach of their own agreement with Ireland.

If I’m understanding things correctly, it seems to me that you can’t have a full, true Brexit and ALSO have an intact Belfast Agreement? But no one on any side seem willing to outright admit that?

Yeah, great. Like I said, from a long way away, it all seems impossible.


I disagree. The same sex referendum just said do you want same sex marriage. It didn’t ask what constitutional changes were required to make the change.

The republic referendum was designed to get a No result, so Howard & Abbott could say the majority of Australia don’t want a republic, when the truth was the majority of Australia does want a republic. It just couldn’t agree with which republic model is the best.


The SSM vote wasn’t a referendum, as no constitutional change was required.


As Dingus said, the marriage vote was not a referendum, it was a plebiscite, ie a glorified opinion poll. Gay marriage was not prohibited by the Constitution; it was in the Marriage Act, which is an ordinary Act of Parliament that can be changed by the Parliament at any time. The plebiscite was a solution to a purely political problem, not a constitutional problem. It provided an excuse for a large majority of MPs to vote to remove the barriers in the Marriage Act.

Becoming a republic requires changes to the Constitution, and those changes can only be made by a referendum that sets out exactly what those changes are. The form put up by John Howard was the simplest possible form and would have left the political system exactly as it is, with the exception that the Head of State would have been called a President rather than a Governor General, and would be appointed by a two-thirds majority of MPs rather than by the Queen.


So 2 things:
Do you really believe that the majority of Australians want a republic? I personally reckon that at least 70% do, much more than SSM.
Why didn’t we have a 2 question referendum, based on firstly do you want Australia to be a republic & secondly do you want A, B or C as the preferred model (& if you answered No initially, don’t bother answering the 2nd part of the referendum).
The clever part of Howard’s referendum is they knew the Australian public didn’t trust pollies enough to choose a President , so that put the kibosh on the whole thing, it was doomed from the start. Whereas leave the name as GG who opens bridges & buildings & no one gives a shitt who that is. And that is all a President should be, someone who opens bridges & buildings, a figurehead.


Yes I think they probably do, although I also think that most of the majority haven’t thought about what the republic would look like, and that those who have thought about it are probably fairly evenly divided between those who want the President elected directly by voters, and those who want the President appointed by a consensus (⅔ majority or ¾ majority) of MPs. Personally, FWIW, I would be in favour of a republic with the President appointed by parliamentary consensus, but completely opposed to having an elected president.

I’m a lawyer but not a constitutional expert, but I doubt that your “Choose A, B or C” proposal would be possible under the constitution. I think it’s necessary to make a single proposal to which voters can say Yes or No.

I know the received wisdom among most republicans is that Howard set the referendum up to fail. I don’t believe that’s true at all: he put before voters the only sensible proposal that had any chance of getting up — and was the proposal put forward by the republican push. I also think he was probably sensible enough to see that it would fail — as would a proposal for direct election (which would also have had to be far more complex).

Those who think a directly elected president would keep politics out of the question just need to as themselves this. Who stands for elections. Do eminent scientists (Sir Gustav Nossal), academics (Zelman Cowan) or High Court judges (William Deane) stand for elections? Or do politicians stand for elections?


Don’t forget journalistic hacks with delusions of grandeur and retired sportspeople missing the limelight…


The problem with that is you need the status quo option. For example, if there is any chance of a directly elected president - I’m voting for the monarchy and the status quo. But I was happy to vote for Howard’s proposal.

I see a directly elected president as an incredibly costly, dangerous proposal likely to bring instability to the current system.


I’m the opposite. I’d rather a directly elected as a principle, but either way I’d like absolute, clearly defined powers and how it would work set out before I vote to change anything.

But we’re drifting from Brexit so let’s keep the discussion in context of the thread topic.


I am not sure most give a flying fark about a Republic.

The question I always is how does being a Republic make us healthier, wealthier and better off.


TBH I think the Australian Republican movement tracks based entirely on public perception of the British monarchy at that particular point in time. So it was at its height when everyone hated the Queen & Charles etc over Diana, but now all that seems to have been forgotten so there’s not all that much urgency about it anywhere I can see.

I’m nominally republican, but if I was elected PM tomorrow it’d be approximately nine millionth on my list of priorities. But of course this might change if Charles got crowned king and suddenly started issuing royal proclamations promoting homeopathy or whatever weirdness it is he’s into these days.


Going back to Brexit, Teresa May is looking very tired.

The one who makes me sick is Corbyn. He won’t try and find a solution unless May “takes a no-deal Brexit off the table”.

And just how is she supposed to do that??? No deal is what happens if there’s no broadly supported other option, and there isn’t.


The only true role a head of state should have is a ‘break glass in case of emergency.’
If a sitting government is getting a bit dictatory then there should be a check on that.
In my opinion.
I don’t believe a popularly elected ‘President’ is good for this country, and in any case I’d call them the ‘Secretary of the Constitution’ to stop them getting a big head.

I do find it stupid that our head of state is the first born son of a taxpayer funded foreign regency, but not as stupid as I once did.
I can live with it.
I can understand the young ‘uns not being as keen.


Mr Shelton, Corbin is not PM. He has no power at all to do anything.

And why should he fix May’s farkups, he will have enough to fix if and when he wins an election


Taking a no-deal brexit off the table isn’t that difficult. First step would to be to pass a bill that said if a deal hadn’t passed parliament by March 28, the implementation of article 50 would be pushed back for three months (or whatever is allowed). This isn’t completely ‘off the table’, but it’s a step in that direction and shows that the govt is willing to talk.

That bill’d pass parliament easily. Labor and a large chunk of the conservatives would vote for it, plus all the scottish nationalists etc.

A govt that had the strength to take on its own extremists would ramp that up by passing a bill (with labor etc support) that after the above extension, if a deal STILL hadn’t passed parliament, there’d either be a referendum on a crashing no-deal brexit vs staying in, or else if a deal didn’t materialise by the new deadline they’d just revoke article 50 straight up.