Pat Condell speaks about DEMOCRACY

Marty_d

Well-Known Member
#21
Lots.
Who signs Bills into law? Who swears in the govt? Who puts the brakes on stupidity?
Have a look at the other side of those questions. For the first two, who does it now? A nominal representative of a foreign ruler, appointed by the government of the day. Replace them with a senior public servant.
For the third, that didn't work so well in 1975.
 
#22
The magna carta is a bill of rights only and has largely been repealed/replaced by more modern notions of human rights...

Under UK law, parliament is supreme and can make what laws it likes when it likes and to cover any territory it likes (so, for example, a UK citizen who intentionally kills someone in, say Thailand, will be liable for Murder in the UK... In theory, the UK parliament can make it illegal to drive on the left hand side of the road in Australia - of course, no one in Australia will have it enforced, but the border guards can nab you as you enter the UK and if you are proved to have driven on the left hand side of the road in Australia, you are going to get done for it..

Now, given parliament is supreme and can make whatever law it likes, it is effectively free from the checks and controls of a constitution - where the the judiciary can stop a government or parliament excerising power been beyond their lawful ability to do so. The Queen may refuse to give royal assent - but this is hardly a true constitutional control.
 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#23
Thanks Jerry. I'm no fan of anybody In all this, but IF the" Status Quo" in matters of a constitutional Nature where the RULES are changing with a not very predictable final outcome can be altered by 1/2 plus one it's going to provide a lot of instability potentially, always.
. In Australia it has to be carried in ALL states which is why most referendums fail. It's generally considered IF there's NOT bipartisan agreement in the government It NEVER will succeed. There's usually significant debate around anything contentious. There's also a lot of "corrupting" of the way it's "advertised" with deliberate confusion being spread and an In Famous ex PM saying "IF you don't understand it don't vote for it" which sounds quite reasonable IF you don't take into account how it "the lack of understanding" was arrived at, being Deliberately orchestrated, all along.... Nev
 

Yenn

Well-Known Member
#24
Our present system doesn't really work. It is supposed to have a governor General and state Governors to sign int law the acts of parliament and we assume that the GG or governor would not sign anything that was not appropriate.
We had a governor in Qld who signed into law the amalgamation of local governments, when it was clearly done on a lie by the State Premier. The premier stated she would continue discussions about amalgamation and anyway there had to be a referendum. She then did away with the need for a referendum, called an election and the first thing she did when re elected, was to amalgamate the local governments. the State Governor was happy to sign that in. The State governor then went on to become GG. What a good thing that no PM decided to pull a fast one on her as she would never have had the nouse to see it.
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#25
what about That crazy Joh Bjelke Petersen's law, that a family of four or more have to walk on either side of the street or get fined.
spacesailor
 
#26
@spacesailor - The magna carta is a bill of rights only and has largely been repealed/replaced by more modern notions of human rights...

Under UK law, parliament is supreme and can make what laws it likes when it likes and to cover any territory it likes (so, for example, a UK citizen who intentionally kills someone in, say Thailand, will be liable for Murder in the UK... In theory, the UK parliament can make it illegal to drive on the left hand side of the road in Australia - of course, no one in Australia will have it enforced, but the border guards can nab you as you enter the UK and if you are proved to have driven on the left hand side of the road in Australia, you are going to get done for it..

Now, given parliament is supreme and can make whatever law it likes, it is effectively free from the checks and controls of a constitution - where the the judiciary can stop a government or parliament excerising power been beyond their lawful ability to do so. The Queen may refuse to give royal assent - but this is hardly a true constitutional control in todays day and age as she has a weekly Wednesday meeting with the PM to discuss matters of state and basically, she vents her disagreement in these meetings, but the PM's will reigns..

@facthunter.. The constitution of Australia has been referred to as the "Frozen" constitution - I recall it form my constitutional studies, but can't immediately find a reference on the intern-splodge - so happily will stand corrected. Regardless, I have to correct you slightly - the requirement for a binding referendum to passing Australia is a two-fold test - the majority of the [voting] population have to affirm it and the maj gritty of the states' voting populations have to acceded to it.. so 4/6 (in my day, I assume 4/7 now) - not a voting majority of all states: Referendums in Australia - Wikipedia. The point is somewhat moot, though, as there are very few referendums that succeed.

My point is that I m not sure the withdrawal from the EU is technically a matter of constitutional law.. There are arguments for and against - equally valid. The fact that, despite the EU's law making is restricted to the four pillars (for example, crime, elections, etc are not within the EU's remit), their law making powers have such a profound effect on life in a constituent state, that it has to be considered a contender as a constitutional change.

But... and there is always a but...

Firstly you can't imply or import the vastly superior philosophies of constitutional law of Australia into the UK - it simply doesn't exist. Otherwise, there is a real chance the Maastricht treaty would not have succeeded as it would have been put to the vote in the UK and it would have easily failed. The Maastricht Treaty took the notion of the EU from a simple (in contrast of what it is today) trade agreement to a political unification. Come to think of it, my point about the Irish referendums was about this very treaty.. Why? Because it meant a fundamental shift in the state/EU relationship and, despite what you want to call it, established the foundations of the US of Eu. The ramifications have been high and of constitutional proportions. Come to think about it, I am sure that this was the Irish referendum I spoke about and many other European countries required a positive referendum result before the council members could vote it. But the UK council member casted his vote in the affirmative without such a public endorsement. Maybe cabinet assented - maybe even parliament did - I wasn't around here at the time (I think I was living in Brisbane at the time). By the way, one of his famous quotes that no doubt would impress Pat Condell: "Only in Britain could it be thought a defect to be too clever by half. The probability is that too many people are too stupid by three-quarters."

The point is, and unfortunately it wasn't tested in the Gina Miller judicial review - which was about the use of the royal prerogative, is that, from a British view of law, it may not be a constitutional issue - it is clearly a delegation of law making - possibly in the same way law is made by government departments called delegated legislation. The UK parliament has, through the European Communities Act 1972, authorised law making in matters relating to the trade pact it is in, to the supranational entity that is the EU. The EU Act can be repealed by the UK at any time and that is it. My contention is that there is no change in the UK sovereign powers of machine of the state itself (yes there is change to the administrative operation of the state, but that is not constitutional. Does Australia need a referendum to enter into or withdraw from a international trade or other pact? Not reall, yet almost all international trade deals/pacts have come form of surrendering of national control over dispute resolution and detailed rule making.

@Yenn.. I am not sure of the facts of the amalgamation of local councils (when I lived in Brisbane back in the early 90s, I thought all of Brisbane had only one council). However, the GG's role is not to refuse anything the elected chamber passes, even if the GG thinks it is not right - their role is to validate that the passing of laws does not exceed the government's legal authority to do so and of course ensure the operation of the constitution. It would be a very brave (somewhat fool-hardy?) GG that would not sign into law a bill passed by the elected houses/chambers. I am not sure such an amalgamation of local authorities requires a referendum in QLD, but surely, if it did and there was enough outrage, a case could be brought against the government in the QLD Supreme Court or the High Court of Australia to challenge it, anyway?
 
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willedoo

Well-Known Member
#27
Our present system doesn't really work. It is supposed to have a governor General and state Governors to sign int law the acts of parliament and we assume that the GG or governor would not sign anything that was not appropriate.
We had a governor in Qld who signed into law the amalgamation of local governments, when it was clearly done on a lie by the State Premier. The premier stated she would continue discussions about amalgamation and anyway there had to be a referendum. She then did away with the need for a referendum, called an election and the first thing she did when re elected, was to amalgamate the local governments. the State Governor was happy to sign that in. The State governor then went on to become GG. What a good thing that no PM decided to pull a fast one on her as she would never have had the nouse to see it.
Bill's mother in law.
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#28
what about That crazy Joh Bjelke Petersen's law, that a family of four or more have to walk on either side of the street or get fined.
spacesailor
spacesailor, I don't remember that law, but there may well have been one like that.

Queensland had a law introduced well after Joh's time that was very similar. A gathering of three or more people could be told to move on or risk arrest. I can't remember who introduced it; either Beattie's Labor government or the Borbidge National Party government. Beattie's Labor government introduced the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act which had some good in it, but generally was a lot harsher than any laws Joh's government had. It stripped away a lot of citizen's rights that existed with previous governments, including the Bjelke Petersen government. A lot of nasty stuff has happened since he left government in 1987 but it doesn't make it big in the media. Joh only had to blink and it was national news. He was the politician that people outside Queensland loved to hate and it sold newspapers.

I'm not defending the man, just saying that there's generally a lot stricter laws now than when he was in power.
 
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spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#29
If not for that "anti congregating law" I would have made my home at Tiara north of Brizzy.
Really cheap housing & a government grant that was almost the asking price of a house in the wop-wops.
spacesailor
 

coljones

Well-Known Member
#30
The Republican referendum that Howard put up was destined to fail. One sticking point was that a lot of the population wanted a popularly elected leader to deliver an all powerful Trump like presidency.

Howard told us it was a minimalist proposal, ie: just scrub out GG & Queen and write in President. Unfortunately, Howard was having a bob each way. He didn't want a Republic, but if the referendum passed, he wanted to shift more power to the PM. At the time I had a copy of the constitution, so was able to cross check the proposed changes that they mailed out. On a few of them, the wording Governor General was replaced with Prime Minister, not President as we were told.

Probably the worst one was the power of the Prime Minister to sack the President. He could do this without providing reason to Parliament, who had a set time in which to approve or not approve the PM's call. But here's the kicker: even if the Parliament didn't ratify the President's sacking, the Prime Minister was under no legal requirement to reinstate the sacked President. In other words, the PM could unilaterally get rid of any President without providing reason. Howard was a tricky little chap.

That's not compatible with a popularly elected President, but the problem with popular election is that the President then has a political mandate and we're in that US style of semi dictatorship posing as democracy. It's quite interesting looking at polls taken among young people about democracy. I think it's getting towards a majority of them think we don't need democracy.
It was cruelled by the way Howard conducted it and because the direct election people got into bed with the monarchists to kill it off. The direct election peoples attitude was "our way or the highway" - I think they taught Dutton, Kelly, Abbott, Christiansen et al how to dummy spit when they don't get their own way.
 
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