It’s time for Australians to elect the head of state


Australia’s recent developments are highly skeptical of the current political system’s ability to promote accountability. In addition, now that the former “Vaccine Commander” and the former “Chief Health Advisor” have been appointed Governor of Western Australia and Governor of Queensland, respectively, I wonder how accountable they are.

It’s no wonder why so many Australians are becoming more and more cynical about how to operate Congress, MPs, and the Westminster system. This is a very important crisis. Because what we see is that power is so concentrated in the hands of a small number of people regarding legislation and administration.

The current parliamentary system may have worked well in the past, but now it needs terrible rework.

Not only is it no longer functioning, it makes it very easy for a few politicians to gain enormous amounts of power and rule society.

Therefore, the key question facing Australia is whether it should maintain the existing system of parliamentary sovereignty, or a better, more democratic model that is most likely to embody better accountability and legitimacy. Should be created.

for example, according to To Campbell Sharman, a respected professor of political science at the University of Western Australia

“Australia has a head of state with low political legitimacy, but the tradition of British monarchy has given all power to Australia. The low legitimacy is due to the general public’s choice. Partly due to not being involved. “

There is no doubt that the ongoing decline in liberty in Australia is partly due to the lack of separation of powers.

Epoch Times Photo
The front door of the Federal Parliament in Canberra, Australia, April 1, 2022. (Daniel Ten / The Epoch Times)

To this effect, Brian Tamanaha, a professor of law at the University of Washington comment Why the Separation of Powers of the State Is Separated More Tightly:

“When government power is divided into separate compartments (usually legislative, executive, judicial), freedom is strengthened. This division of power prevents the accumulation of total power in a single institution and internally. Government promotes freedom by establishing a competitive form of interdependence. “

The Westminster system is a government system originally developed in the United Kingdom. It is used or was once used by the local councils of most former British Empire colonies, including Australia.

This system is often in contrast to the presidential model that began in the United States. In this model, there is at least a stricter or appropriate separation of powers between the executive branch and the legislative body.

The delegation of large-scale administrative powers by legislators is certainly inconsistent with the classic characteristics of the separation of powers. However, under the system adopted in Australia, there is no actual separation of powers and the administration is now fully controlled by members of parliament (MP), especially the prime minister and ministers of the cabinet.

These MPs acquire vast powers to control the Department of State and other government agencies, as well as police functions, military power, and the power to carry out diplomacy.

Of course, the Queen is still the head of state, and she appoints the governor as her “representative.” In reality, the appointment of such a de facto head of state is the only power that the Queen exercises personally, but by convention this is always done on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The governor-general is willing to be appointed, and the Queen can be dismissed at any time on the advice of the Prime Minister, and by convention the governor-general must follow that advice.

The treaty developed forces the governor to exercise his vast administrative powers on the advice of the prime minister. This is also Summons, blames and dissolves Parliament, recommends bills to Parliament, orders double dissolution, convenes joint sessions, agrees to legislation, appoints members of the Executive Council, and serves as Supreme Commander. , And submit a constitutional amendment to the referendum.

The same model is used in each Australian state. Although the Queen is Chief Executive, her authority is ultimately exercised by the governor elected (and controlled) by the Prime Minister.

Epoch Times Photo
Queensland Premier Anastasia Parasek makes a speaking gesture at a press conference in Brisbane, Australia, on October 3, 2021. (DanPeled / Getty Images)

Of course, one of the powers that the governor-general (and the governor) can theoretically exercise independently of advice is the power to ban legislation. However, this power has been redundant since at least 1926, when the treaty was enacted that the power to deny the bill should not be used.

As I got it Gabriel Moens, one of Australia’s leading professors of the Constitution, said: This section is one of the non-functional sections of the Constitution. “

Democracy is a form of government based on the principle of popular sovereignty, in which all power is exercised by people or those chosen by them. Also, since the Constitution of Australia was originally approved by a referendum and can only be amended by a referendum, the country has already been established on the principle of popular sovereignty.

according to In our constitutional system, we told Sir Anthony Mason, former Chief Justice of Australia, that “ultimate sovereignty lies with the Australian people.”

In this sense, by giving administrative authority to democratically elected heads of state, reforms to strengthen popular sovereignty could be successfully carried out.

Curiously, this election of the head of state would be in perfect agreement with the Old English Constitution. During the Anglo-Saxon era, as legal scholar AA Preece correctly points out, “the succession to the throne has a selective element, and the coronation still has its mark.”

But nothing will happen unless the citizens of this great country begin to seek true reform. Unfortunately, due to the sustainability of our parliamentary sovereignty system, many of my fellow Australians do not care about the undue danger of overpowering the political oligarchs.

according to Andrew Murray, a former Senator of Western Australia from 1996 to 2008, said: It describes people who deliberately vote for measures that empower the government and its leaders. “

Martin Webb, an emeritus professor at the University of Western Australia, states that one of the plausible explanations for this authoritarian culture is: Democracy creates an authoritarian constitutional culture that is only a means to secure and exercise the power of a long-dead governor in the same dictatorial way. By exchanging one governing class for another, there is no doubt that the new class retains its power, sponsorship and privileges with the same tenacity as the old money class. “(((pdf).

At its best, the Australian Head of State election represents the victory of the general public over those who despise them and who want to rule them with fear, manipulation, and unrestrained power. This reform will have the principles of popular sovereignty and the truth clarified in the Bakery Hill Charter as the underlying stones. declaration In Ballarat, 1854: “People are the only legitimate source of all political power.”

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

August Zimmermann


August Zimmermann is a professor and director of legal affairs at the Sheridan Institute for Higher Education in Perth. He was also President of the Western Australia (WA) Law Theory Association and was a member of the WA’s Law Amendment Committee from 2012 to 2017. Zimmermann is an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, COVID-19 Restriction and Mandatory Vaccination — Legal Perspective (Connor Court).