GIANT REFERENDUM

I have never before in my 86 years encountered an era in which so many Australians are utterly disenchanted with, or distrusting of, politics.

This means that there exists a once in a lifetime opportunity to make huge changes in the way Australia is governed.

Voters have given up trying to find the right leader. They clearly do not think that such a person exists at this time. So, their only hope lies in changing the rules under which Parliament operates.

This can clearly be achieved if the largest referendum in the history of Australia can be held on the day of the next Federal Election which is currently likely to happen in late 2018 or early 2019.

As I see it, there are six important constitutional changes that should be presented and adopted.

Let me set them out.

(1) Indigenous Recognition. This vital matter can be delayed no longer. It should have been handled by the Founding Fathers in 1901, but it was too hot a political issue for them to handle at a time when White Australia was a deep religious belief. It is no longer that and we need to have an emphatic Preamble to the Constitution that clearly acknowledges the 65000 years of human occupation that responsibly cared for our continent before Europeans arrived.

(2) Republic. It is time to vote to remove all mention of the British Crown from our Constitution without actually using the words Republic or President. We can decide to remain the Commonwealth of Australia which has a Governor General as Head of State who is elected by a direct vote of the people and who is in no way responsible to Britain.

(3) Senators. We must vote to remove the section of the Constitution that says that the number of Senators must be 50% of the number of Members of the House of Representatives. We need only 5 Senators per State and one per Territory. This means 32 in all. We should remember that the Americans have only two per State.

(4) Powers of Senators. The Founding Fathers never ever intended that the Senate should have the power to deny money supply to a Government. This happened illegally in 1975 when the Senate denied this to Whitlam. Nor did the Founding Fathers give the Senate power to vote down a Budget. It was to be an Upper House that defended State Rights, nothing else. We should now vote to give the Senate power to refer any piece of legislation back to the House of Representatives for review on up to three occasions, but not defeat it.

(5) Corruption. The Constitution must be amended to establish a Corruption Commission which is responsible to the Governor General only, not Parliament, giving him or her the power to refer any evidence of corruption to the Courts of the nation for prosecution. This will stop political interference in covering up crime.

(6) Political Parties. Currently, the Constitution does not mention them. Approval for their establishment must be in the hands of the Governor General and the Constitution must state that no member of Parliament can be expelled from a Party because he or she decides to vote against any piece of legislation that the Party advocates.

I hold the view that all of these six crucial items will easily be approved in one giant referendum because voters simply want to take their revenge on the political establishment for their years of negligent government. They will embrace reforms that make common sense and will improve the practice of democracy in Australia.

I could suggest the inclusion of other issues in the Referendum such as the important matter of a new Flag, but this will naturally happen at some point following a vote to remove all mention of the British Crown from our Constitution.

Another can be the removal of Local Governments by asking each State to create new States within their boundaries. Each of the current capital cities would become a State (a bit like Singapore). Then, Rural regions would be made States, such as North Queensland, Darling Downs, Riverina, Kimberley etc. In fact, 50 in total, with all government services being provided by States, not the Commonwealth, which would concentrate on national matters. This will get rid of one level of government, decentralise Australia, stunt the growth of our oversized Capitals and save an enormous amount of money.

I could mention also the matter of getting rid of preferential voting as I don’t believe that anyone should vote unless their concern for Australia motivates them to do so.

But, its time to stop talking and take action on the key issues.

Lets just do it. NOW.

Yours at large

EVERALD COMPTON

If you would like to buy my book THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES, please go to my website everaldcompton.com and click on the book title or go to the website of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and click on Shop. It costs 20 dollars, plus postage.

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11 Responses to GIANT REFERENDUM

  1. Terry Bowring says:

    Everald I have often been impressed with the Danish government It has multiple parties that allow groups of 2-3 to amalgamate their views within an election. Sounds a bit overburdened but results are recognised as effective within population that has a international record of high level of economic and living satisfaction .Could be worthy of further investigation

  2. Col Clifford says:

    Hi Everald,

    Would you be available to talk to Graham on Monday at 10.15am for a pre-record?

    Col Clifford
    Producer

    Southern Cross Austereo
    T 07-4637-5111
    E Col.Clifford@sca.com.au
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  3. Carlo Bongarzoni says:

    Everald – I agree with your intro premise of course –who couldn’t. But there we differ. You of all people would surely know that a Referendum that has more than one or at most two items will never fly. But in any case two of your items seem less than promising. Firstly we have no need of indigenous mention in the Constitution. All that would do is create even more reasons for them to claim even more rights and money than they do now. Our first peoples would not survive without our money and that’s nothing to do with we the settlers. It is all about their lack of pride, aspiration, dependency, sub-standard mores and behaviour within families and communities – and all of those failings despite ‘earning” more government money per head than any other group in our Society. Of course there are thankfully notable exceptions some of whom are proud Australians and outstanding icons for their people. But nowhere near enough! Of course in some respects with regard to our first peoples we have similar issues to Canada and New Zealand.

    On the question of reducing 1 level of government you have clearly changed Everald. It’s my belief that you’ve now espoused the wrong case. Your erstwhile cause was eliminating State Government. Most people would agree with that premise. A factor that is so important is that most of us ordinary people are crying out for government that understands and manages local community environments and issues and recognises us as their customers. No State Govt would ever do that! For all the reasons that you so rightly aroused support for your quest and rationale to rid us of State Govts most people would still back that move. Today what I’m espousing here would be labelled by you and many in the Establishment as Popularism. But Everald it is no such thing! Those of us so labelled are only concerned with regaining our “belongingness’, our belief that those who govern govern for us, and therefore listen and act accordingly. Pretty simple really – we’re only trying to fulfil what democracy means for us. Lately I’ve been reading and thinking about how best to achieve more fundamental democracy. That may mean eliminating political parties as they now are; and overcoming the failure of the universal vote and so on.

    Of course I realise I am an idealist but I’ve also learned to be realistic and to question rather than believe what I hear, read and see. Lastly Everald thank you as always for stimulating debate because without such (and today there is too little of it) we have no chance of our civilisation productively progressing. Cheers carlo

    Carlo Bongarzoni

    Carlo Bongarzoni Associates P/L

    9 Russell Street

    Clontarf NSW 2093

    T/F 9948 8975; 0410 335 523

    bongarzoni@optusnet.com.au

  4. KEVIN KINGSWELL says:

    Everald, I believe that you have raised enormously significant issues and would strongly urge that in our over-governed nation the middle level of government be dissolved by the end of the second cycle of federal government—assuming an election next year—four years after that —say, 2023.

    Apart from the obvious savings, the plain fact is that Local Government has often become politicised, a trend I believe will continue.

    As Regional Australia is apparently being neglected by State Governments why not rely on Canberra to overcome …’the tyranny of distance’…,by using more satellite-based communications–rather than using more vulnerable in-ground cables ?

    Finally I would urge the creation of a FUTURISTS’ COUNCIL, OF 50, REPRESENTING ALL AGES, ALL AND NO- FAITHS AND ALL AND NO- POLITICS, FROM 9 T0 109 YEARS, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE NEXT FEDERAL ELECTION, SERVING FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS, WITH ELIGIBILITY TO SERVE ONE MORE TERM.

    With the mandate to plan the destiny of this country for the next FIVE CYCLES OF (SET) FOUR YEARS—I.e.. the next 20 years: 2019-2039.
    Meeting TWICE A YEAR FOR A ‘WEEK’ OF FIVE DAYS, IN SCHOOL HOLIDAYS (!)

    And served by a dedicated Secretariat—a component of, say, the Parliamentary Library—WITH THE CLEARLY DELINEATED POWERS, AKIN TO THE SENATE ESTIMATES’ COMMITTEES, TO SUMMON RELEVANT MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT TO ATTEND AND TO PRESENT SYNOPSES OF THEIR WORK AND DREAMS
    FOLLOWED BY Q&A SESSIONS.

    AN ALL-AGE, ALL- NATION ‘COMING TOGETHER’. (An indigenous word for this ?)

    My conviction remains that THE ASPIRATIONS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH, AND GRAND- AND GREAT GRANDPARENTS DESERVE TO BE HEARD—aiming to replace the ‘C-WORD’ CORRUPTION, WITH ANOTHER ‘C-WORD’ —COMPASSION.

    Our Nation, even just considering the threat of Climate Change, just does not have the time to risk going on with the same, entrenched attitudes —to borrow the title of the Canadian movement— ‘CHILD HONOURING’ has come of age. (Please Google.)

    AND THEN OUR YOUNG WOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLEAD FOR THE ‘LEARNING HEALTH’ (my term), necessary to maximise their educational opportunities.

    With due respect to the current Federal Treasurer , THIS WOULD BE A FAR MORE APPROPRIATE WAY OF COMMEMORATING THE VISIT OF CAPTAIN JAMES COOK— THE SUGGESTED AU$50m, PROVIDING A ‘LIVING MONUMENT’, OVER THE SUGGESTED 20 YEAR PERIOD—AWARDEES BEING GIVEN “CAPTAIN JAMES COOK SCHOLARSHIPS”—with some obligation to journal their observations and beliefs, for publication.

    Kevin C. KIngswell
    (Continuing 50 + years in teaching)
    MARYBOROUGH QLD.

  5. John Webb says:

    You say…..I have never before in my 86 years encountered an era in which so many Australians are utterly disenchanted with, or distrusting of, politics.
    I say……I have never in my 77 years encountered an era in which so many Australians have so little respect for each other, and law and order. e.g. The Victorian Police Force producing 250,000 dummy breathalyser tests. What else is there?

  6. constitutionalreform says:

    Hi Everald

    May I suggest a re-read of the “The First Draft of a Constitution for the Sovereign Nation of Australia” (of which you have a copy).

    Most of what you advocate in your latest would be achieved by adoption of the measures contained therein and (I suggest) would be better achieved.

    In particular I recommend re-examining Part 3 -Governance. Under the provisions included there, political parties would “die on the vine” and would be gone forever leaving the long-suffering public to be governed by genuine representatives of communities.

    Regards

    Charles Mollison

  7. Brian Peat says:

    Hi forget about Republic and Indigenous Recognition

    Brian

  8. Derek Browning says:

    I like your thinking, however I see one problem. If the population vote for a Governor General, that person would have power similar to a President. In that case we may have to look at an American style of Government. Their Senators seem to hold more power than Congressmen.

  9. Charles P says:

    Very good suggestions, Everald, I would disagree with you on two and add another one:
    – keep the Senate, it is currently the only organ that keeps ever-more insane politicians in check;
    – abolish state governments, not local ones;
    – and add one, that is to remove the requirement for politicians to be Australian citizens only.

  10. Terry Bowring says:

    Everald I will get back to you on this one but the concept of a different style of government is interesting

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