Talk:Constitutional history of Australia

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Similarities to Canada not reflected[edit]

Australia, in its constitutional history does have equivalents to most of these Canadian constitutional changes but the primary nor history page reflects this.

Changes in Canada's Constitutional Framework as found in Constitution of Canada

  • Act of Settlement (1701)
  • Treaty of Paris (1763)
  • Royal Proclamation (1763)
  • Quebec Act (1774)
  • Constitution Act (1791)
  • Act of Union (1840)
  • Constitution Act (1867)
  • British North America Acts (1867-1975)
  • Statute of Westminster (1931)
  • Succession to the Throne Act (1937)
  • Letters Patent (1947)
  • Canada Act (1982)
  • Constitution Act (1982)
Their are similarities, of course. One could remark that the Constitution Act 1986 is parrallel to the Constitution Act 1982, and the Act of Union 1840 might bear some resemblance to Federation in 1901. But Australia's constitutional history is quite independent to that of Canada. What value would making such comparisons have?Gazzster (talk) 01:49, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

English Monarchy[edit] aside from putting your real name are you going to put a portion on what would happen if the monarchy ended in the UK? i somehow doubt we would stayt a monarchy in that event.

-- Paul Melville Austin

I suspect that may be me - as I didn't provide a name at all (I let it all default, as per usual and like the other fellow). But I never gave a false name.

No, of course not, for the following reasons:-

- it's highly speculative, i.e. it cannot simply be inferred from existing structures;

- it belongs under a wider heading to do with wider commonwealth and constitutional issues; and

- the wider question includes not only whether Australia would "become" a republic but also whether it would cease to have a viable constitutional system and would go through a period of transition (after all, when Brazil went republican it promptly started the usual unstable Latin American pattern).

For what it's worth, we do have some examples of what happened overseas when European events changed things in a number of "mother" countries: the French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War period. That actually produced an independent Brazilian monarchy, after a generation. But the analogy is too loose to draw much from. It does seem remotely possible that we would get a break up, since that is what happened to former Spanish possessions. PML.

Of course nothing lasts forever and that most likely will include the monarchy - i just hope the transition you mentioned won't be too painfull. As to the Republican movement - the split between parliamentary and direct-election republicans could have been crucial in the result of the referendum or it could have been a culmination of alot of things as you said in the article.

--- Paul Melville Austin


In a moment I'm going to replace the existing last para with a longer, more detailed thing. I'm not happy with it, (a) as it leaves out several things that ought to be included (I confess to having been very bored by the whole thing, and have forgotten most of it already, bar the glorious fun of watching Phil Cleary and Brownyn Bishop participate in a debate on the same side), and (b) because I don't think it is very balanced as it stands. I'm going to post it anyway because, unless I miss my guess, it will stimulate a few people to complete it.

BTW, it may be appropriate to move it to another page somewhere. Tannin 14:48 Jan 6, 2003 (UTC)


I've added in a couple of changes;

  • mentioned the impact of the Royal Titles Act in changing the monarch from being monarch in Australia to monarch of Australia. It is of fundamental importance yet for some reason few people seem to cop on to the constitutional significance;
  • NPOVed some of the language. Terms with different judgmental meanings were used when writing about the yes or no side in the referendum. Why was Hawke and Frasier an unlikely alliance but alliances on the no side an extra-ordinary spectacle? NPOV should mean a same weighting of language for both. Wasn't the Frasier/Hawke an equally extraordinary spectacle? Or the conservative/radical left link up an unlikely alliance? I've used unlikely alliance for both sides. Equally, calling Howard an unashamed royalist implies there is something to be ashamed about in being one, or that that was the 'widely' held view. It is not Wiki's role to suggest that. I've changed that to a more neutral term. JTD 23:42 Jan 19, 2003 (UTC)

This article has clearly improved because of your changes, JTD. I applaud all of them bar two, and oddly enough, they are the very two you mention above. Where, for example, you replaced the clumsy the ARM worked to abolish with the better sought to abolish ("worked" was a word I was unhappy with in the first place), these two you mention were carefully chosen and deliberate.

  • Wasn't the Frasier/Hawke an equally extraordinary spectacle? No! Not even close. Fraser and Hawke, despite being on opposite sides of the Liberal/Labour divide, are both from the political centre. They are both very much a part of the Canberra mainstream, and seeing them together was unusual, but hardly extraordinary. Bishop, on the other hand, was from the conservative hard right of the Liberal Party, a much more controversial figure than Fraser or Hawke. Fraser and Hawke wear business suits and look much like any other politician: Bishop wears clothes so conservative that cartoonists and comic impersonators have a field day with them, and has views to match. But if Bishop was just about as far right as you can get and yet still belong to the Liberal Party, Cleary was so far to the green and left side that he didn't belong to the ALP - indeed, he took Bob Hawke's old seat, a traditional blue ribbon working class inner-city Labor seat, standing as an independant against the Labour candidate. Cleary was an ex-footballer who talked with a rough accent, dressed like a labourer, had a beard and long unruly hair, and swore on radio from time to time. If you could have picked just one federal politician who stood against everything Cleary stood for, then you might have considered Peter Reth for a minute, but you would almost certainly have chosen Bishop. As opposite as it's possible to get. Trust me, it was an "extraordinary spectacle" seeing those two share a podium. (Many press people commented on this at the time, of course.) Fraser and Hawke together was "interesting" or "novel", Bishop and Cleary was "extraordinary".
  • "Unashamed royalist" as a description of Howard is appropriate. Many Royalists were rather ashamed of their view, or at least seen that way (and no doubt still are). Republicans tend to simply state their view, but royalists usually state it in a qualified way: for example, "Well, I'm as patriotic an Australian as the next man, but ..." It seems to me that these grounds are sufficient to reinstate the original phrase. But perhaps I should cite my source for it in any case: John Howard himself. He used that word repeatedly and deliberately to describe himself. I daresay he still does.

I'll adjust the entry shortly.

(Please note that these are the only issues I take with your edit JTD, which I otherwise see as a valuable addition.) Tannin

"Many Royalists were rather ashamed of their view, or at least seen that way" - no, it was a media misrepresentation thing. Knowing that the media wanted to make it tightly focussed on the "royalist" thing, and not about the whole broad church approach that brought in real anti-republic objections as well as pro-monarchy ones, a lot of monarchists didn't want to have that emphasised and put out of context by a media with an agenda. When we (I'm not ashamed!) did that, it was playing a dead bat. The media fell back on a second line: claim there was something the monarchists wanted to hide, something to be ashamed of, e.g. "why won't they mention the Queen?". The only "shame" in all this is something cooked up as an explanation by a media that could not see any other motive for playing a dead bat. PML.


Rename Constitutional history of Australia? --Jiang

I have removed the reference to head of state, which is not defined and is a matter of varied opinion. The Queen neither possesses nor exercises any significant powers and her only remaining role is to appoint the Governor-General, which she does on the sole advice of the Australian Prime Minister. Skyring 06:11, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Eureka Stockade[edit]

I don't know why the Eureka Stockade is mentioned in this article. South Australia has full male franchise for their colonial parliament before the Eureka incident even took place.

Blocking of supply?[edit]

I have a problem with this:
Can the Senate refuse supply or refuse to discuss supply?
This was implied to be an "unanswered question." I tend to disagree. I think it is pretty obvious that the Senate CAN do that if they so desire. Where they should or not is another issue entirely, but they are well within their powers to say "no." Of course, the party in control of the senate would probably get lynched in today's political atmosphere, but that's a different story. I tentatively suggest we rephrase the question... maybe "should" the senate refuse supply? Although that's a bit iffy...
I also added a couple of headings to the discussion page to make it easier to read - I got very confused reading through it :D Hope that's alright. GreenGopher 03:40, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I would agree with the rephrase. I don't think there's much doubt the Senate is able to refuse supply, or delay voting on supply. --Robert Merkel 06:33, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Individual authors?[edit]

Can any one please inform me and perhaps add to this article who the individual authors of the Australian Constitution are? (Thank you in advance.)~ 07:40, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


I suck —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Too many questions[edit]

the crisis in 1975 section asks qestions but does not give specific answers,

how could it be fixed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:11, 17 September 2010 (UTC)