Thursday, 26 April 2012

Do a little sidestep!

Have created a little furore TWICE in the local press in the last ten days. First because  I dared to suggest that the Government should be asking why some simple Government services appear to be flailing, and whether staff cuts were a good idea. Those of you who follow me will know I have blogged this (here)
Yee hah! More than two weeks after I requested a copy of certificate from Births Deaths and Marriages it has finally arrived. But not before Mr McCormick of Bridgewater berated the whole Public Service for being lazy so and so's and the Registrar had to defend them in The Advertiser.
Then I dared to suggest that the lovely Governor-General Quentin Brice, who I think is an excellent GG, was not our Head of State (she is the Queen's viceroy!)

As convenient and curious as it is for people such as Lindsay Dent to trot out the furphy that we have an Australian head of state, the Constitution would seem to say otherwise.  The preamble says, the Queen may appoint a Governor General (section 3) and then in Chapter 1
A Governor‑General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen's pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him.(sic)
Seems pretty clear to me who is our head of state and who is her representative

and was promptly smacked down not once but twice, and this latest by none other than the suave David Flint who assured me that my plain reading of the constitution was wrong!
Well he's a lawyer and I'm not so that's likely to be the case.
But this all begs the question about why, if the GG is actually our Head of State, that we should still be a monarchy.
So I wrote:
Constitutional Monarchist David Flint assures us that my plain reading of the Constitution that the Governor General is the Queens’s viceroy is incorrect. And indeed that the GG is our Head of State.
What then is the point and purpose of the monarch?
I have no objection to a defacto President, elected by the people or appointed by the Parliament,  being called a Governor General.
I do have objection to the system of monarchy, constitutional or otherwise, which perpetuates elitism based on heredity. Monarchy allows individuals to sit at the top of the tree, symbolically or otherwise, not by virtue of merit but by accident of birth. An injustice and an anachronism in the 21st century.
We should also remember that as things stand we are locked into a non-Australian monarch now for the next four generations: Elizabeth, Charles, William and baby!

All that aside let's have a bit of a laugh.
I think it's great that we can have this to and fro. 
And I love the sidetsep that our politicians and leaders long as we see it as essentially humorous
Charles Durning gives us a hoot in "The Best Little Whorehouse..."
I would pay a thousand bucks to sing this song about political sidestepping in local musical theatre. Which is just so fantastic (see here and here  Gondoliers and Into the Woods about to happen respectively)

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