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  #101  
Old 09.06.2012, 00:01
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Re: Patriotism

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I'm glad you are happy under a monarchy, since you don't have a choice in the matter

I guess we have to agree to disagree. To me, it all comes down to impositions, I just don't like them. Of course, you can find impositions in every day life, but when it's something so big as to who rules my country, it makes me cringe inside.

You can argue that they have very limited political power, so it wouldn't affect me so much. But then, what's the purpose of the morarchy?

Yes, I heard all arguments, pro and con. Just let me be against.
3 points for consideration :

A) there ARE Republicans in Britain. People who ARE opposed to the Monarchy
B) republican top administrations are not free of charge either, and state presidents often stay in former royal palace
C) the Royalty in Britain (palaces, parades, souvenirs) is big business in Britain. I admit, you could replace Elisabeth Sachsen-Koburg-Gotha by Elisabeth Smith and it would not really matter

I in fact only was shocked on my fist visit to London to see that the British Prime Minister governed in a building which in Switzerland would have been transferred to the service for asylum seekers or a social institution like the one of Pfarrer Sieber

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Everyone is patriotic, to certain degree..If Havel had a giant party like this, I would have gone and cheered. He was a different symbol, but still. I wonder where have our royalty gone, cherish yours, ours were probably executed at some point.
Well, that man was unique ! But imagine he had become King Vaclav I of the Czech Kingdom, followed by Vaclav II and Vaclav III etc !
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  #102  
Old 09.06.2012, 12:47
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Re: Patriotism

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You're welcome! It's about the only contribution your post deserved, you clearly don't know what you are talking about. Also being in the commonwealth doesn't make you a Brit, and therefore gives you no right to condemn our Queen & Royal family.
But hey, that's just my opinion.
That's a great post -- one I'll remember for a long time for its comedic value.

Fail on several counts. Firstly, you are apparently unaware that "your" Queen is also Queen of a dwindling number of members of the Commonwealth of Nations (with varying degrees of acceptance by the citizens of those countries). Unfortunately, and in direct opposition to the desires of a majority of the Australian population, Australia is one of those nations.

Secondly, you clearly have no idea what citzenships I hold.

Thirdly, at no time did I condemn "your" Queen and Royal Family. I criticised the waste of taxpayers' funds allocated to them and questioned their relevance, especially (but not limited to) countries outside the UK, in the 21st century, and I continue to question it.
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  #103  
Old 09.06.2012, 12:57
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Re: Patriotism

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That's a great post -- one I'll remember for a long time for its comedic value.

Fail on several counts. Firstly, you are apparently unaware that "your" Queen is also Queen of a dwindling number of members of the Commonwealth of Nations (with varying degrees of acceptance by the citizens of those countries). Unfortunately, and in direct opposition to the desires of a majority of the Australian population, Australia is one of those nations.

Secondly, you clearly have no idea what citzenships I hold.

Thirdly, at no time did I condemn "your" Queen and Royal Family. I criticised the waste of taxpayers' funds allocated to them and questioned their relevance, especially (but not limited to) countries outside the UK, in the 21st century, and I continue to question it.

Interesting. Not least as I for some reasons simply assumed you were British !

More interesting to me was that I spoke with an Australian on visit here about the monarchy/republic vote in Australia just two months before. And the man told me that it was in reality not so much about monarchy and republic but about Great Britain and the USA. That the pro-Americans would vote for the Republic but the pro-Brits, even if being Republicans, would vote in favour of the monarchy. Studying reports in Swiss and British media gave me the impression that he was right .....
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  #104  
Old 09.06.2012, 13:01
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Re: Patriotism

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Interesting. Not least as I for some reasons simply assumed you were British !

More interesting to me was that I spoke with an Australian on visit here about the monarchy/republic vote in Australia just two months before. And the man told me that it was in reality not so much about monarchy and republic but about Great Britain and the USA. That the pro-Americans would vote for the Republic but the pro-Brits, even if being Republicans, would vote in favour of the monarchy. Studying reports in Swiss and British media gave me the impression that he was right .....
I think that's a little simplistic. Without access to any polls or other broadly-gathered information, and based purely on my own gut feel, I'd say there were way more "pro-UK" people in Australia than "pro-US" (if there's a need, or even if it's possible, to split people one way or the other). Yet, for most of the last 30 years or more, most polls indicate that Australians would prefer a republic to a constitutional monarchy.
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  #105  
Old 09.06.2012, 13:19
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Re: Patriotism

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That's a great post -- one I'll remember for a long time for its comedic value.

Fail on several counts. Firstly, you are apparently unaware that "your" Queen is also Queen of a dwindling number of members of the Commonwealth of Nations (with varying degrees of acceptance by the citizens of those countries). Unfortunately, and in direct opposition to the desires of a majority of the Australian population, Australia is one of those nations.

Secondly, you clearly have no idea what citzenships I hold.

Thirdly, at no time did I condemn "your" Queen and Royal Family. I criticised the waste of taxpayers' funds allocated to them and questioned their relevance, especially (but not limited to) countries outside the UK, in the 21st century, and I continue to question it.
Yes, I do realise she is the Queen of the Commonwealth, which is why I metioned the Commonwealth, the reason I am not including the commonwealth is that the comments here are relating to her, her family and the Royal estates and palaces, which are in Britain, and tourism etc to Britain.

As to what citizenships you hold, you are correct I do not know, I just went on your profile stating you as Australian, so yes you are correct, I do not know, as for all I know your profile could be totally false and inaccurate. Please accept my apology to being presumptuous enough to believe what I read.

On your last point, again please accept my apology for the use of the word condemn, I got carried away, sorry.
But, the cost to the British Tax payer is nothing compared to the value they bring into the country, Also, when making that statement/criticism, did you realise that the cost to each taxpayer over a year, is actually less than an average cup of coffee. Do you also realise that the Queen pays tax on her income. All in all she is worth every penny.

Another point, if we rid our selves of the monarchy, how much do you think a republican government would cost the taxpayer, yet they would have no monetry value to the country.

Our opinions obviously differ greatly, and as opinions, everyone is entittled to their own, mine on this subject will never change.
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Old 09.06.2012, 14:05
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Re: Patriotism

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Yes, I do realise she is the Queen of the Commonwealth, which is why I metioned the Commonwealth, the reason I am not including the commonwealth is that the comments here are relating to her, her family and the Royal estates and palaces, which are in Britain, and tourism etc to Britain.

As to what citizenships you hold, you are correct I do not know, I just went on your profile stating you as Australian, so yes you are correct, I do not know, as for all I know your profile could be totally false and inaccurate. Please accept my apology to being presumptuous enough to believe what I read.

On your last point, again please accept my apology for the use of the word condemn, I got carried away, sorry.
But, the cost to the British Tax payer is nothing compared to the value they bring into the country, Also, when making that statement/criticism, did you realise that the cost to each taxpayer over a year, is actually less than an average cup of coffee. Do you also realise that the Queen pays tax on her income. All in all she is worth every penny.

Another point, if we rid our selves of the monarchy, how much do you think a republican government would cost the taxpayer, yet they would have no monetry value to the country.

Our opinions obviously differ greatly, and as opinions, everyone is entittled to their own, mine on this subject will never change.
Absolutely, we have the right to our own opinions. However, I generally base mine on facts, so I'll point out inaccuracies when I see them, such as the following:

Betsy is not the Queen of the Commonwealth. She holds the symbolic position of Head of the Commonwealth (which comprises 54 nations, two of which were never British colonies). She is the monarch of only 16 of those nations. Once again, I question the relevance of Elizabeth II to, say, Rwanda, or the Seychelles, and her qualifications to provide leadership to the 54 nations. She simply inherited the job. I wonder if she has ever been to Rwanda, or Mozambique, or Cameroon. Purely and simply, she is not relevant to the Commonwealth countries.

Your other comments have already been debated at length, but in short, the public budget for the Royal Family is immense. Working out the cost per head of population is a distractor. If the Queen were to sit on Oxford Street with a dog and a begging bowl, I'd be interested to see how many British citizens would stop to throw the price of a cup of coffee into her bowl. I would argue that that same small amount per capita would do far more good in the broken NHS, for example. I also restate my comment that tourists come to Britain to see the evidence (past and present) of royalty, not the people themselves.

The Queen now pays some tax on her vast income.. However, she is exempt from inheritance tax on most assets, unlike everyone else in the UK, and she has paid income tax for less time than I have -- she only started paying taxes in 1993. Bear in mind that this income largely derives from property that her predecessors acquired by force from their subjects, then retained by force. Putting that aside, why should she get a special deal on inheritance tax?

In most countries around the world, the irrelevance of an overprivileged royal family was recognised decades or centuries ago. In some cases, those royal families had to be forced out by popular revolt, while in others, the royal families evolved and recognised that they could not continue to act unilaterally, without regard to public opinion. One day, the British royal family may follow suit. For their own sake, I hope so.

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  #107  
Old 09.06.2012, 14:39
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Re: Patriotism

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Absolutely, we have the right to our own opinions. However, I generally base mine on facts, so I'll point out inaccuracies when I see them, such as the following:

Betsy is not the Queen of the Commonwealth. She holds the symbolic position of Head of the Commonwealth (which comprises 54 nations, two of which were never British colonies). She is the monarch of only 16 of those nations. Once again, I question the relevance of Elizabeth II to, say, Rwanda, or the Seychelles, and her qualifications to provide leadership to the 54 nations. She simply inherited the job. I wonder if she has ever been to Rwanda, or Mozambique, or Cameroon. Purely and simple, she is not relevant to the Commonwealth countries.

Your other comments have already been debated at length, but in short, the public budget for the Royal Family is immense. Working out the cost per head of population is a distractor. If the Queen were to sit on Oxford Street with a dog and a begging bowl, I'd be interested to see how many British citizens would stop to throw the price of a cup of coffee into her bowl. I would argue that that same small amount per capita would do far more good in the broken NHS, for example. I also restate my comment that tourists come to Britain to see the evidence (past and present) of royalty, not the people themselves.

The Queen now pays some tax on her vast income.. However, she is exempt from inheritance tax on most assets, unlike everyone else in the UK, and she has paid income tax for less time than I have -- she only started paying taxes in 1993. Bear in mind that this income largely derives from property that her predecessors acquired by force from their subjects, then retained by force. Putting that aside, why should she get a special deal on inheritance tax?

In most countries around the world, the irrelevance of an overprivileged royal family was recognised decades or centuries ago. In some cases, those royal families had to be forced out by popular revolt, while in others, the royal families evolved and recognised that they could not continue to act unilaterally, without regard to public opinion. One day, the British royal family may follow suit. For their own sake, I hope so.
Ok as you base your posts on facts (i`d love to know where you got the fact from that the Royal Family are often on holday in the caribbean), here are some facts for you.

` In modern times, the profits surrendered from the Crown Estate have exceeded the Civil List and Grants-in-Aid.[2] For example, the Crown Estate produced £200 million for the Treasury in the financial year 2007–8, whereas reported parliamentary funding for the monarch was £40 million during the same period.[9]`

`From 2013, the Civil List and Grants-in-Aid will be replaced by a single Sovereign Grant, which will be 15% of the surplus generated by the Crown Estate`

`Prince Charles not only covers personal staff costs for himself, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry, he also takes account of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. He pays for the
running of his Scottish home, Birkhall, and his Highgrove estate, which every year attracts thousands of visitors, who are encouraged to donate to the Prince’s charities, which raise more than £100 million each year`

`Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are busy proving their worth to the nation. The royal wedding not only generated income for Britain (the tourism industry expects an estimated £4 billion lift over the next 10 years), the couple have helped create a new generation of visitors keen to explore the country’s royal history. The Duchess’ endorsement of British designers, at her wedding and on official engagements, is worth millions to the British fashion industry`

`Crown Estate, which manages the Queen’s property portfolio, announced a record annual profit of £230.9 million. The monarch receives a fixed payment, while the rest goes to the Treasury.`



There are many more FACTS like these about the value of the Queen and Royal Family to Britain.
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  #108  
Old 09.06.2012, 15:40
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Re: Patriotism

just one other question... what is the on going cost of security per president AFTER they finished their term? After all.. I may be wrong but aren't they all still called Presidents after their term?

One Queen over say 16 years.... is security for one queen. 4 presidents over the same period is nearly 4 times the security cost.

Please do correct me if I am wrong.

Also... as someone who lives in Windsor.. I frequently see the Queen out and about. In fact I held her up as I was walking my dog up her driveway to the castle. There were no horns beeping, no security officials pushing me out the way.. just patience as they waited for me to notice and get out the way. And as she passed.. she simply smiled and waved.

I don't envisage an experience like that with many Heads of State.

I should also add that rarely do I go into Windsor town centre due to the fact that the town is crammed full of tourists during the summer to see the pomp and ceremony, the castle and to see if the Queens flag is up in the hope that they catch a glimpse of her.

Her land is put to use to beautify the area and generate income. Virginia Gardens is an awesome example. Perhaps you should also consider the Crown Estate.. used for investments such as Green energy, and other developments. http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/windsor/. All of this is obviously taxed.

Lastly... to address some other point I saw within this thread. Let me direct you to organisations such as the Princes Trust... providing programs to help youths make a life for themselves.. rather than to simply accept the crappy hand that they have been dealt.

Hope this info gives some naysayers a little more insight into the other benefits of having our Monarchy.

Cheers

Raucous
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  #109  
Old 09.06.2012, 17:14
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Re: Patriotism

I hope many other people took the opportunity to travel back to the UK to enjoy the weekend's atmosphere. Street Parties, flags in every window and Classic FM playing a rather lovely choice of music.

We may be mocked for our love of a monarch, but at the end of the day, it's simply culture.
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Old 12.06.2012, 13:44
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Speak to tourists in Britain -- they love the pomp and ceremony more than we do.
So true. Have you been to the changing of the guard? The number of tourists is quite amazing.

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I hope many other people took the opportunity to travel back to the UK to enjoy the weekend's atmosphere. Street Parties, flags in every window and Classic FM playing a rather lovely choice of music.

You missed out the RAIN. Lots and lots of RAIN

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Old 12.06.2012, 13:47
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Re: Patriotism

you should see the streets outside Windsor castle between 10:45am and 11:30am every day. There is always a crowd there to watch it.
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  #112  
Old 12.06.2012, 23:04
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Re: Patriotism

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I think that's a little simplistic. Without access to any polls or other broadly-gathered information, and based purely on my own gut feel, I'd say there were way more "pro-UK" people in Australia than "pro-US" (if there's a need, or even if it's possible, to split people one way or the other). Yet, for most of the last 30 years or more, most polls indicate that Australians would prefer a republic to a constitutional monarchy.
But as far as I remember there was a public vote about the topic in Australia which the Republicans LOST .... just found the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral...ferendum,_1999
and so it is self-evident that a majority of Australians support the constitutional monarchy
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Old 12.06.2012, 23:27
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Re: Patriotism

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But as far as I remember there was a public vote about the topic in Australia which the Republicans LOST .... just found the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral...ferendum,_1999
and so it is self-evident that a majority of Australians support the constitutional monarchy
As an Australian in favour of a republic and someone who voted to maintain the status quo monarchy in 1999 I can tell you that the republican system put forward by politicians didn't sit well with me or many other Australians. Its not that most Australians want to keep the monarchy just didn't like the politicians electing a president.

Its not a pro US or pro UK debate. The Queen of England and the whole royal family is just irrelevant to Australia.
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Old 12.06.2012, 23:36
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Re: Patriotism

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But as far as I remember there was a public vote about the topic in Australia which the Republicans LOST .... just found the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral...ferendum,_1999
and so it is self-evident that a majority of Australians support the constitutional monarchy
There was a vote and the result had next to nothing to do with trusting a monarchy or a republic. The real reason the vote failed was a total distrust in the referendum and how it was phrased so people would rather the known then agree to something that included all sorts of unexplained powers to some unknown person. The same issue is likely to happen on most future attempts I suspect.

To the majority of the public they would prefer to cut the ties to an non relevant link but at the same time they aren't going to elect some fool that has unfettered powers
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Old 13.06.2012, 00:21
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Re: Patriotism

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But as far as I remember there was a public vote about the topic in Australia which the Republicans LOST .... just found the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral...ferendum,_1999
and so it is self-evident that a majority of Australians support the constitutional monarchy
I just logged on to see your comment above, Wolli -- it needs a response but the two posters, above, have said exactly what I wanted to say, and very eloquently. The key point is, don't assume that because a majority of voters rejected the proposal, they favoured the alternative -- it's much more complex than that and, as stated, the alternative (a republic with a shadily-appointed president) was deliberately presented by the conservative government of the day (headed by the monarchy-supporting John Howard) as an unpalatable alternative to the status quo. In short, the Australian government didn't want the referendum, but bowed to public pressure, then proposed an alternative to constitutional monarchy that was bound to lose right from the beginning.

Incidentally, one of the great things about Australia's system of plebiscites (and in fact all governmental elections) is the country's mandatory voting laws (you can be fined for not voting). Whenever the people vote, at least you know that the result is genuinely the wish of the majority of the population that is eligible to vote. Unfortunately, in this case, the vote wasn't about whether Australia should become a republic -- that was clearly the wish of the people, according to polls -- but whether the voters approved of the shady process of appointing a president, should the country become a republic.
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  #116  
Old 13.06.2012, 00:31
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Re: Patriotism

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As an Australian in favour of a republic and someone who voted to maintain the status quo monarchy in 1999 I can tell you that the republican system put forward by politicians didn't sit well with me or many other Australians. Its not that most Australians want to keep the monarchy just didn't like the politicians electing a president.

Its not a pro US or pro UK debate. The Queen of England and the whole royal family is just irrelevant to Australia.
Now, the German Federal President is elected by the parliament, as the real major political power is with the Federal Chancellor. Wasn't it the idea that the actual power in Australia would stay with the Prime Minister, with the President rather having a ceremonial function ?

What people want is of lesser relevance, fact is that a majority of Australians in 99 voted to retain the monarchy
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Old 13.06.2012, 00:35
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Re: Patriotism

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I just logged on to see your comment above, Wolli -- it needs a response but the two posters, above, have said exactly what I wanted to say, and very eloquently. The key point is, don't assume that because a majority of voters rejected the proposal, they favoured the alternative -- it's much more complex than that and, as stated, the alternative (a republic with a shadily-appointed president) was deliberately presented by the conservative government of the day (headed by the monarchy-supporting John Howard) as an unpalatable alternative to the status quo. In short, the Australian government didn't want the referendum, but bowed to public pressure, then proposed an alternative to constitutional monarchy that was bound to lose right from the beginning.

Incidentally, one of the great things about Australia's system of plebiscites (and in fact all governmental elections) is the country's mandatory voting laws (you can be fined for not voting). Whenever the people vote, at least you know that the result is genuinely the wish of the majority of the population that is eligible to vote. Unfortunately, in this case, the vote wasn't about whether Australia should become a republic -- that was clearly the wish of the people, according to polls -- but whether the voters approved of the shady process of appointing a president, should the country become a republic.
Alright. So the question also to you : What exactly would have been the role of that Australian president ? The ceremonial head-of-state as in Germany an Austria ? Or an almighty "Président-de-la-République" as in France or the USA with vast executive powers ?
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Old 13.06.2012, 00:41
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Now, the German Federal President is elected by the parliament, as the real major political power is with the Federal Chancellor. Wasn't it the idea that the actual power in Australia would stay with the Prime Minister, with the President rather having a ceremonial function ?

What people want is of lesser relevance, fact is that a majority of Australians in 99 voted to retain the monarchy
No, a majority of Australians did not vote to retain the monarchy. They voted not to adopt the alternative that was proposed. There's a big difference.

The referendum question asked whether Australians wanted "to alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament". Since, under the then- (and still-) current constitution, the Queen (represented by the Governor-General) had rather more than just ceremonial power (the Governor-General had dismissed the Whitlam government less than 25 years earlier), replacing her with a president would have given that president the same executive powers. That's not what the Australian people wanted.

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Alright. So the question also to you : What exactly would have been the role of that Australian president ? The ceremonial head-of-state as in Germany an Austria ? Or an almighty "Président-de-la-République" as in France or the USA with vast executive powers ?
Something in between -- as I explained above. The president would have had the same powers as the present-day Governor-General, including broad executive powers, but would generally be expected not to wield them. Yeah, sounds odd, I agree ...

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  #119  
Old 13.06.2012, 03:00
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Re: Patriotism

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No, a majority of Australians did not vote to retain the monarchy. They voted not to adopt the alternative that was proposed. There's a big difference.

The referendum question asked whether Australians wanted "to alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament". Since, under the then- (and still-) current constitution, the Queen (represented by the Governor-General) had rather more than just ceremonial power (the Governor-General had dismissed the Whitlam government less than 25 years earlier), replacing her with a president would have given that president the same executive powers. That's not what the Australian people wanted.


Something in between -- as I explained above. The president would have had the same powers as the present-day Governor-General, including broad executive powers, but would generally be expected not to wield them. Yeah, sounds odd, I agree ...
Let me admit to be very astonished, as this means that QEII has more power in Australia than in the United Kingdom. A British monarch to dismiss a British government is rather unthinkable. And "executive powers" is exactly what the queen does not have in the U.K. . THIS is why I compare her political position with those of the Federal Presidents of Germany and Austria, maybe the "morally" influential but powerless State President of the Italian Republic (Giorgio Napolitano).
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Old 13.06.2012, 07:21
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Re: Patriotism

Just to add a small clarification to the already clear discussion that the referendum to change was rigged.

In Australia a majority of voters does not mean 50.1% it is defined in the constitution as a majority of voters in a majority of states. Meaning that it is possible with somewhere around a 25% NO vote coming from small population states to reject a referendum. So it is pretty easy for the sitting government unless they screw up to rig a referendum to ensure it doesn't get voted in. In deed only about 8 referendums in history of Australia have ever succeeded.

Points out how the irrelevant Queen still ensures they keep a link regardless of what the people want.
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