Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tim Fischer for Elected Constitutional Monarch!

Well, you can hardly expect a monarchist like me to say "Tim Fischer for President", can you?

By now, all regular guests at this table will be familiar with "The Schütz Model for a Elective Australian Constitutional Monarchy" (if not, take a moment to look at the side bar on the right towards the bottom of the page). I know that most people have taken my suggestion as a kind of amateurish joke, but seriously the more I think about it, the more I think it could work - especially because it would ensure a truly worthy candidate for the position.

There have, over the years, been some silly suggestions for the "First Australian President" (eg. Dick Smith!). But Tim Fischer has been in town just recently, and having the opportunity to catch up with him once again has reminded me what a really great Australian statesman he is.

It was good to hear from Tim what's been going on in Rome and the rest of the world. I have the impression that to appoint someone as Ambassador to the Holy See is, in effect, to appoint them as Ambassador to the rest of the World. Tim certainly has a lot of interests in a lot of areas, from his well known love of trains, to his great interest in the little kingdom of Bhutan, to his very very serious dedication to the preservation and protection of the world's food resources.

For a bloke who came up through the Australian political ranks, the most wonderful thing about Tim is that he is a really genuine decent and friendly fellow. It is obvious that he went into politics for the sole reason that he likes people, and wants to make a positive impact on the world.

Recently I heard someone say that "You can change the world", and I thought to myself, rather cynically, "Yeah, just not very much", but I reckon Tim has done his fair share to make a difference.

If we ever found ourselves in a world where - contrary to Monty Python and in line with my constitutional model - you got to "vote for kings", I would vote for Tim. In the mean time, maybe he could be considered for our next GG.


At Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:03:00 pm , Anonymous The young fogey said...

I think I understand Aussie (and Canadian) republicanism - why not keep the British parliamentary system but rename the governor-general, who's now a local anyway, the president and stop pretending to be under the Queen? Like India and some other countries did. But the conservative in me doesn't like it. If it ain't broke, and an anti-PC streak (don't rewrite history: Oz, NZ and Canada are mostly British; stand proud). And without the Queen, Canadians would be Americans really.

At Saturday, August 14, 2010 6:54:00 pm , Anonymous Keith Romeyn said...

I live in up state New York for over twenty years. To be honest, I all-ways thought it was under the French,Not the British! And to be honest, American's should take a really good look at Canada's health insurance policy. It's a hole lot better then the one that president Obama is trying to sell the American people. Obama's policy is going to cost American's more money in the long run! The cost of a policy is going to sky-rocket out of control, like they have in the past twenty years! Once his policy passes, the price will rise, and the coverage will drop! I believe that this is a VERY IMPORTANT issue, But let's get real about it. The DAMN-O-CRAPS, promised us health care the same as they have. Remember that? And theirs is FREE! Remember back when Al Gore was running for president,he was pushing FREE HEALTH CARE, the same with JOHN KERRY. So, whats this crap, you get arrested if you don't have health insurance?! I'll put it this way,we the people of America,(the land of the free) ha-ha,have a very dangerous problem in our country! It's called THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION INVASION! Does anyone realize, that they already have FREE HEALTH CARE?! And is anyone aware, that this problem has caused the price of health care to sky-rocket out of control?Let's get right to the point,#1 our wages of our jobs are dropping,#2our benefit packages are disappearing, #3there are not enough jobs for LEGAL AMERICANS! Obama,wants immigration reform, Americans, that's just another word for AMNESTY! AND FELLOW AMERICANS, WE CAN'T AFFORD THAT! Look back in history, President REGAN, he gave amnesty to a couple hundred thousand(so the numbers said) and look at the mess we have today!Can we really a-ford this again? I see amnesty as a disaster! I see higher unemployment numbers for LEGAL AMERICANS, NO BENEFIT PACKAGES,LOWER PAY,LONGER WORK HOURS,HIGHER TAXES,AND FORGET THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT MONEY! LEGAL AMERICANS ARE GOING TO GET SCREWED! Were going to be paying out the yah-hoo,all because the DAM-O-CRAPS want the votes! They see this as a chance to gain great control! Not around this house!Hard working AMERICANS have taken a very hard hit in the last ten years! It's time we stand our ground,and say,"NO MORE" Stand up and PROTECT ARIZONA'S IMMIGRATION LAW, tell all on capital, WE AS A NATION, CAN'T A-FORD THIS DIRECTION THAT THEIR LEADING US TO! PROPER REPRESENTATION IS DOING WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT! WHAT WE HAVE BEEN GETTING IS MIS-REPRESENTATION! AND FELLOW AMERICANS,THAT'S NOT THE WAY THIS COUNTRY IS TO BE RUN! the heck with PARTY-CONTROL! All the seats on capital hill have been BOUGHT! AND believe me, CANADA will never follow the direction America is going! They have a lot more pride in their country then that!So, I ask you,AMNESTY?,OR DEPORTATION! The 14th amendment was to protect slave owners. Slaves were forced to come to America! Illegal Mexicans, they came here,AND BROKE THE LAW! Sorry about you're luck ! If the mom&dad are illegal, so is the BABY!
READ IT AND WEEP!And President Obama,You took an oath to up hold and protect the AMERICAN PEOPLE,AND OUR WAY OF LIFE! LOOK VERY CLOSELY, THERE HAS BEEN AN INVASION IN AMERICA!an invasion not of you're fault! But, lets do the right thing, DEPORTATION IS THE RIGHT WAY! America looses any other way! and if the President of Mexico doesn't like that?! Then make Mexico a state! Look at all those VOTES FOR THE DAMN-O-CRAP PARTY! AMERICA,LOVE IT OR,LEAVE IT!

At Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:13:00 pm , Anonymous Pax said...

He has my vote!

At Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:53:00 pm , Anonymous Schütz said...

Amen to all you say about Tim, Tony. But you miss my point about the "Elected Monarch". The idea was actually suggested to my mind by the system in the old "Holy Roman Empire" where a number of princes in the Empire were deemed "Electors" and had the power of conferring the role of emperor on a new candidate when the old one passed on (although in the historical case of the HRE, it did end up fundamentally hereditary).

I detest the notion of popular election for precisely the reasons you point out ("Once a head of state earns their place by popular election, everything changes"). By making the Council of Governors the "electors" for the resident monarch (keeping in mind that the system we currently have for appointing Governors also keeps them at relative arms length from popular politics) we keep the system for choosing our resident monarch at even one more remove from popular politics.

Elective Monarchy isn't an oxymoron. A monarch is a head of state. Nothing in the rule books says that monarchy should be hereditary. Nor anything in the rule books that say that in "elections" every citizen has to be involved. I prefer "monarch" as a title rather than "president" because it makes the point that the Head of State is NOT a political choice. Life tenure is another plank in this plan.

At Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:00:00 am , Anonymous Peter said...

"‘It ain’t broke …’ can also be a recipe for not trying to improve anything, YF. If we sat around waiting for things and systems to break, we’d soon stagnate."

Oh I don't know. I'd say the more accurate phrase would be "Its broke, but don't fix it, it could get worse!" Aussies have been pretty good at watching state governments progressively break everything and *still* voting them back in. Presumably because the opposition failed to present a credible alternative, but still...

At Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:09:00 am , Anonymous The young fogey said...

Thanks. I knew that Australians don't want to overhaul their system to have a strong American-style president and want to keep the British system of a strong head of government (the prime minister, the head of the winning party, not somebody directly elected to office) and weak head of state (like the Queen now) but didn't know until you told me that Australia seems to have strong states' rights. The states sound almost like separate countries/dominions in theory, answering directly to the Queen not the governor-general.

Still, to give the republicans their due, it seem to me other countries formerly British-ruled that kept the parliamentary system but went republican - India, Ireland, Israel - have managed. (Same idea: the presidency is largely honorary; Israel offered theirs to Einstein.) So an Australian president would fit the bill... but the states of course don't want to give up their clout and are probably right.

At Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:11:00 am , Anonymous The young fogey said...

P.S. Correction: Still, to give the republicans their due, it seems to me...

At Monday, August 16, 2010 5:26:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

The continent of Australia was settled by British colonialists and established a number of quite independant "colonies". Thus when Australia became a federated commonwealth, the the states maintained this independance from the national system. In fact our Federal Senate was supposed to be "the State's voice" in the national assembly, and, as the upper house, give the endorsement of the States for anything that happened nationally. It doesn't actually function like that any more, but the idea is still there. I don't know if India, Ireland and Israel are comparable in this sense.


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