A new poll shows nearly two-thirds of Australians want an Australian head of state. A new republic model, however, would require compromise to succeed.
Had Peter Dutton won the 2018 leadership ballot and become prime minister, the governor-general may have had some tricky legal arguments on his hands.
The Constitution says that the governor-general can only act to fill a vacancy in the prime ministership if there is one - but in this case, some complex questions would have arisen.
Scott Morrison has been returned as prime minister, but we don’t yet know if the Coalition will get to the 77 seats it needs to form majority government (minus the speaker).
We now wait for the final count of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate - and in the meantime, government continues.
With the Morrison government now in minority, it is possible a bill for the transfer of asylum seekers from Nauru could pass against the government’s wishes.
There has been recent speculation that governments could advise royal assent not be granted if bills are passed against their wishes. Here’s why this is very unlikely to happen.
Shorten’s message is that Labor is ready for office.
The government is worried about a conference which is a highly managed affair where divisions are being contained and participants have their eyes firmly on the prize of Labor winning power next year.
He will be regarded as a safe and uncontroversial choice, although some critics will say the government should have looked beyond former military ranks.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison timed his news conference in Canberra with the governor-general designate to coincide with Bill Shorten’s opening address at the ALP national conference in Adelaide.
A proposed model for an Australian republic encourages active citizenship while preserving the non-partisan, ceremonial role of the head of state.
This model for an Australian republic aims to ensure the process of a choosing a head of state is democratic, but also that the dignity of the office is maintained.
Australia’s Constitution vests executive power in the Queen and says that that power is exercised ‘on her behalf’ by the governor-general.
Many of the questions that would arise if Australia wants to become a republic have been successfully tackled elsewhere.
Labor says it will move a motion in the Senate this week for a message to be sent to the Governor-General, requesting he dismiss Dyson Heydon as royal commissioner.
Given the Governor-General usually acts on the advice of the government and its ministers, an address from the Senate on Dyson Heydon is unlikely to have any effect.
Major General Michael Jeffery, Chairman of Soils for Life.
AAP Image/Alan Porritt
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