More Stable, More Flexible

“Is a President Boris potentially more dangerous than a Prime Minister Boris?” Surely the answer is self-evident?

The cover blurb of Dennis Altman’s book begins, “An avowed republican investigates the unexpected durability and potential benefits of constitutional monarchies.” So it seemed only reasonable that an avowed constitutional monarchist should review how the debate has been furthered.

This review appears in the latest Quadrant.
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As a guide to constitutional monarchy, this book is comprehensive, clear, and very fair. In a refreshing contrast to too many modern academics, Altman’s investigation simply presents facts shorn of bias. At only 160 pages, it is also concise and digestible. In fact, it is well worth the read to anyone interested in why more than forty (about 22 per cent) of the world’s nation-states remain monarchies or constitutional monarchies, and why Altman believes most of them will remain so.

All monarchs still being human beings, he can, and obviously does, identify monarchs who have been prize idiots or behaved irresponsibly or even corruptly. The best recent examples include the King of Thailand (who is raising “self-indulgent” to heights hardly seen since Marie Antoinette), and the recently abdicated King of Spain.

Still, Altman then notes that “supporters of the Thai system point to the situation in neighbouring countries—Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar—as evidence that, whatever its defects, their system is superior”. Fellow constitutional monarchy Malaysia appears the only neighbour doing well, which might be why Cambodia is attempting to revive its own monarchy after the experience of their Khmer Rouge republic.

Post-Franco Spain is an even less convincing sample of failure. “During his almost forty-year reign, Juan Carlos eased the transition from autocracy to democracy, and went from being a national hero to a disgraced exile.” Yet Altman has to acknowledge that King Carlos not only personally blocked military coups, and made Spain a moderately stable democracy; but also had the sense to abdicate in favour of his son when that seemed the right thing to do. With the excesses of “republican” leaders, ranging from Xi to Putin to Erdogan to Trump on our front pages every day, Altman struggles to make a convincing argument against monarchy with such examples.

Indeed, every sample of human fallibility he quotes simply re-emphasises that a President Trump or Biden (or Corbyn or Rudd or Turnbull), is a much more frightening prospect than a King Carlos or a Prime Minister Whitlam. These examples underline the safeguards offered by constitutional monarchy to the ever expanding number of people who distrust elected politicians.

The main complaint might be that Altman’s book is too short. It could have pursued a number of very promising leads, such as why a number of states in the last century have either re-established, or simply created from scratch, monarchies or constitutional monarchies. The failure to do so is a bit perplexing given his detailed descriptions of how almost all of those states are progressing far better than their republican neighbours.

Although a number of monarchies have been deposed by their own governments or by military coups or invaders, Altman notes that the vast majority of referendums to abolish monarchies over the last two centuries have been comprehensively defeated, including Australia’s 1999 referendum. (He missed the most interesting, the French voting to re-establish a monarchy in the 1870s after two republics led to two Napoleons. The Third Republic was a disaster too. If De Gaulle’s son had been interested in politics, would they have needed a Fourth, or a Fifth?)

In post-war Europe and Asia for instance, the Danish, Belgian and Thai monarchs shook off occupation; the Norwegian and Dutch monarchs just went home; Japan was “allowed” to keep its monarchy; and Greece voted to restore the monarchy (which was then deposed by military coup in 1973). Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia had theirs deposed by the communists, and Italy’s 1946 plebiscite “chose” republicanism. Which of these countries have done better as a result?

Peter O’Brien: The annual burning of Sir John Kerr

Did the probable falsification of the plebiscite result by the American occupying forces in Italy lead to a more successful Italian state? Compared to, say, Japan and Denmark? Sixty-six Italian governments in seventy years might suggest not. (Perhaps the most powerful commentary on the Italian plebiscite is in Lampedusa’s beautiful post-war historical novel The Leopard, where an 1860s Sicilian rages at how his ballot was simply discarded when he dared to oppose the “unanimous vote” zeitgeist.)

Did trying to impose a completely unsuitable democratic republic on tribal Afghanistan (or Iraq), lead to a more stable or successful state? (Had the various tribal and religious leaders been transformed into a House of Lords, and allowed to elect their own limited-powers constitutional monarch, in addition to a democratic house, would we be witnessing the current chaos in the news?)

While obviously valuing “state stability”, and noting it is usually much better in monarchies, Altman doesn’t actually analyse why that is so. It’s not just the quoted samples in Europe and Asia. How about obvious comparisons like the proto-constitutional monarchies of Jordan and Morocco versus their neighbouring republics like Syria, Lebanon and Egypt?

Machiavelli explained political stability centuries ago in The Discourses, where he pointed out that of the three main types of government—monarchical (inheritance), oligarchical (interest groups) and democratic (“licentiousness”)—democracy has by far the shortest perspective. Or, as Sir Humphrey Appleby put it, “Diplomacy is about surviving to the next century—politics is about surviving until Friday afternoon.”

Machiavelli concluded that only the stability of combining the different focuses all three types into one system, makes it possible to get long-term stability, with any two elements hopefully eventually preventing a disastrous takeover by the third. This is how constitutional monarchies have evolved, ever since the “democratic” Commons and the “oligarchic” Lords began experimenting with the process by combining to execute an “autocratic” Charles I. Inevitably, within a few years the remnants of the Commons were forced to combine with the Lords and a renewed monarchy, to replace the dictator Oliver Cromwell. The resulting 1688 “Glorious Revolution” inaugurated the checks-and-balances systems of constitutional monarchy.

The “steady evolution” Altman notes among most constitutional monarchies compares favourably with the standard republican alternatives to handling any constitutional issues: Robespierre and Napoleon, the US Civil War, Hitler and Stalin, Idi Amin and Pol Pot, Syria and Afghanistan. In fact our own 1975 sample of the “states’ rights” Senate and the “reserve power” Governor General combining against an “autocratic” Whitlam government, reinforces the joke that it is only in a constitutional monarchy that the umpire calling an election could be considered a “constitutional crisis”.

In the end, Altman simply accepts that constitutional monarchies are not going away, because they are generally more stable, and almost always result in freer and fairer government: “The presence of a monarch is a check on the behaviour of politicians.”

The myriad examples Altman quotes of flexibility in the constitutional monarchy system ultimately fail to make much of a case for his book’s subtitle and its “strange persistence”. (One example is the Belgian King—a good Catholic—abdicating for twenty-four hours in 1990 to allow the Belgian parliament to pass abortion laws.) Indeed, Altman concludes:

Monarchy is, in principle, indefensible for anyone who believes in democratic values … Yet it remains deeply entrenched and popular in a number of states that rate highly on most measures of democracy. Countries need both national symbols and political umpires, and the hereditary principle seems to satisfy both needs in a range of countries.

While focusing on the practical stability of the constitutional monarchy system, Altman also acknowledges the additional “emotional” value of loyalty to “pomp and ceremony”: “In the end, the existence of a constitutional monarch is a silent brake on the tendency of governments to act autocratically.”

It appears that he might have had a revelation about his own youthful “emotional” attraction to a republic. Given Altman’s statistical evidence, perhaps the book could just as effectively be subtitled: “the strange persistence of republicans”.

God Save the Queen: The Strange Persistence of Monarchies
by Dennis Altman

Scribe, 2021, 160 pages, $27.99

Nigel Davies is a Melbourne-based historian and educator. In the March 2018 issue he contributed the article “Republics: The Least Stable Form of Government”

32 thoughts on “More Stable, More Flexible

  • Lewis P Buckingham says:

    The USA has shown the lead.
    The people had a choice between a man of hubris and narcissistic tendency and a now revealed frail aged person with progressive signs of late onset dementia who forgets where he was.
    At least our head of state only has reserve powers at the direction of the Australian Governor general.
    This has proved more stable than the US republican model.
    Were we to introduce an elected head of state, we could end up with a conflict between that person and two elected chambers.
    Not to mention all the other levels of government in a country the size of California.

  • ianl says:

    >”In the end, the existence of a constitutional monarch is a silent brake on the tendency of governments to act autocratically” [Altman, above]

    Or a Governor as the Representative of the Crown. The constitutional existence of the “Crown”, per se, has the value of denying autocratic power to others; from my viewpoint, this is a very good reason for it to exist. As to any actual, individual monarch, not a fig.

    And so the Andrews Govt (Victoria) had passed through both Houses the removal of Reserve Power from the position of State Governor. Without the backstop of Reserve Power (previously exercised a number of times in Victoria), by the end of this week Andrews will be able to jail an individual in perpetuity without a charge, trial, conviction or right of appeal.

  • Adam J says:

    @ ianL:
    Evidently the Reserve Power was not reserved enough; or else it was reserved for the Governor by the Government’s will. If the Victorian Governor had any sense, he would use that power now.

  • Adam J says:

    I don’t accept that a monarchy acts as a break on governments acting autocratically and I certainly don’t accept that it makes any difference in the modern world where inflated bureaucracies backed by super-powerful police can do whatever they like.

    If you don’t use it, you lose it. Monarchies rarely intervene once their power has been restricted; and the less they do so, the less likely they will do so in the future. The idea of a monarchy coming to save you from a bad government seems to me to be just another Messianic Conservative fantasy.

    The issue of modern government is its size and power. It is impenetrable, incomprehensible, impersonal. Faceless bureaucracies make all the decisions, having been given vast regulatory power by parliaments. Laws are enforced by unaccountable police, armed to the teeth with military-grade assault rifles, while the average Australian can’t get even pepper stray (except WA).
    The government prints and borrows money freely and so can rarely be defeated in court, except by the rich, the determined, or the lucky. It invents every day new ways to get around whatever little restrictions may be imposed on it, and the Supreme Courts can’t be relied upon to stop it.
    Society is dominated by inner-city bohemians who fulfill amazingly all the stereotypes of the rootless cosmopolitans. They can’t be bothered to travel even a short way out to connect with the environment they claim to care for and so come to have their world dominated by theories and petty office squabbles.

    None of this is related to a monarchy; all of it is related to education and lifestyle. And accountability, for the only thing certain about modern government is that no-one is ever actually responsible for something, and so it never has to bear the consequences of its actions. A monarchy is hardly different, nor does it make a difference.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    Adam J, you seem to be placing too much emphasis on “monarchy” and ignoring the all important modifier “constitutional”. Our system of government is not a Monarchy. It is a constitutional Monarchy, and that makes a very big difference. Just ask Gough Whitlam’s true believers.

  • Adam J says:

    @ Doubting Thomas:
    I disagree, for a Constitutional Monarchy is not a real monarchy (“one power”) and in our time our monarchy hasn’t got any power at all: a single dismissal in the 1970s, 50 years ago, is really just proving the point. We see now in Victoria that the ‘monarch’ may have its powers stripped from it.
    I don’t support republicanism but as I said if we don’t stop Big Government then our country is doomed and the monarchy has so far done nothing.

    Where was the monarchy when multiculturalism and mass migration permanently changed our character without consent?
    Where was the monarchy when Howard took our guns away in 3 days because of 1 irresponsible maniac?
    Where was the monarchy when China purchased millions of acres of farmland?
    Where was the monarchy when we had facial recognition cameras installed in our cities just like China?
    Where was the monarchy when our kids were being taught that the monarchy committed genocide against the Aborigines and were therefore like Nazis?

    All of these things would have failed if they were at the referendum box. It’s not a matter of sometimes the government getting its way against our better judgement, it’s a case of the government always getting its way. Our Constitutional Monarchy is thus: the government is the one true authority and the Constitution provides for it.

    I pray every day the monarchy may eventually speak out; but the less they do, the less likely they will do.

  • lbloveday says:

    Off topic, but I’ll put in in under “Queen’s English”.
    From The Australian’s web site:
    Premier targeted by disgusting threats
    Extreme anti-vaxxers have made such disgusting and disturbing threats that one premier has been forced to shut down their office.
    That indicated to this non-PR, non-woke English speaker that the premier shut down the anti-vaxxers’ office.
    But NO – “their” is to be taken as singular and it was the premier’s office that was shut down.

  • lbloveday says:

    That should be non-PC of course.

  • maxpart27 says:

    Kids need their mum to guide them. When they get older they become independent and control their own lives. For all the comments to indicate a need for mum to be in control and us not to be in control of our own country amazes me. Grow up.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    In what way are we not in control of our own country, maxpart27? We elect our governments. If a majority do not like what our governments do, we vote them out at the next election. Fear of that majority view focusses politicians’ minds wonderfully.
    A noisy minority cannot expect to influence policy.
    Daniel Andrews seems to have majority support in Victoria. So which authority should force him to do something different.
    And the mother/child analogy is as inappropriate as it is irrelevant.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    In Australia, the role of the monarch, represented by the Governor-General, is to protect the Constitution and to perform certain functions prescribed within it. It is not to interfere in the development or delivery of public policy. Kerr did not dismiss Whitlam because he was incompetent but because he proposed to govern in breach of the Constitution. The fact that the has only been one Vice-Regal intervention in 50 years is as it should be. The reserve powers should not be over-used.
    That said there is a provision whereby the Governor-General can intervene in public policy viz his right to refuse assent to a bill. That would only be invoked on rare occasions and would subject the Governor-General to the risk of dismissal. So he would only use that power if he were convinced that the proposed bill was in serious breach of some fundamental principle, not that it was bad policy. In an earlier article, I used the example of the Victorian government’s proposed pandemic legislation as an example of where this might occur. Another example might be if it were proposed (as it has been by some activist groups) that we should lower the burden of criminal proof in sexual assault cases to ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

  • STD says:

    Maxpart27 your amazement is confounded disloyalty – that’s all.
    Disloyalty- the quality of not being loyal to someone, country, organisation; unfaithfulness, an accusation of being disloyal or betrayal.
    The constructional monarchy allows the Governor General to remove a corrupt elected official who is in contempt (E,G Whitlam) or exercising his powers in breach ( illegally)of the constitution, in the Whitlam case that being the Australian Labor Party. Put simply the matter was referred back to the electorate (jury) of which they returned a guilty verdict to the Australian Labor Party ( ACP ,no U)proxy for the Australian Communist Party and punted them out of office, Maxpart27.
    A republic would give politicians, if elected, even more power to ride roughshod over the entire electorate at large by removing the powers of the Governor General to call out politically corrupt criminal behaviour being exercised , such as that , in this case by the communist party of Australia ,the ALP ,in reference to Rex Connor and the Khemlani affair. What they were trying to do was bypass Australian Treasury procedures which placed them in breach of the Australian constitution
    The only thing that fails to amaze me is the gullible stupidity of lambs being led to the slaughter.

  • STD says:

    Fitz is the face of Red Bull.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    STD, Kerr did not act against Whitlam because of the Khemlani affair. The problem with the loan from Khemlani was that the Whitlam government proposed to bypass the Loans Council on the dubious basis that the loan was for ‘temporary purposes’. He was advised by the Attorney General and the Prime Minister that the loan was kosher. Kerr thought this was doubtful (since it was for infrastructure and was borrowed over 20 years) but he regarded that as a justiciable matter and not within his province. He therefore accepted the advice of his ministers according to convention. In the event, the loan was never consummated. It was dead long before the dismissal. Whitlam was dismissed because he proposed to govern without supply. That is he proposed to spend money not appropriated by Parliament.

  • Adam J says:

    If the government can just dismiss the monarch or a representative for going against it then it’s hard to see how a monarchy would stop an autocracy from developing as this article claims.
    It was acknowledged at Federation that royal assent was essentially a rubber stamp. The fact that it could in theory be used is not relevant. Mr O’Brien gave the examples:

    “Victorian government’s proposed pandemic legislation as an example of where this might occur. Another example might be if it were proposed (as it has been by some activist groups) that we should lower the burden of criminal proof in sexual assault cases to ‘on the balance of probabilities’.”

    But this is just idle conservative speculation. There’s no real reason to believe that such things wouldn’t be waived through and even if they weren’t, the government could just replace the governor.

  • STD says:

    Peter my point is that the Whitlam government was corrupt, in that it was undermining the constitutional rules for governing. The liberals under Fraser may have blocked supply, but this is not why they were voted out ,the electorate punted them because they were not only inept but corrupt. The Khemlani thing was illegal and corrupt intent.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    STD, it is true that the electorate punted Labor because they were corrupt (arguably) and incompetent but that is not why Kerr dismissed Whitlam.

  • STD says:

    Well he wasn’t being a good boy Peter, ok he couldn’t exactly govern, but why was that, surely your not suggesting they were competent, incompetent is corrupt in my book.
    Lionel Murphy Al Grassby- no argument there.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Adam J your point about the likelihood of GGs just waving stuff through is well made. But that goes to the lack of character of the incumbent. The likelihood of GGs not using the powers that are available to them is greatly exacerbated by the ongoing vicious campaign of vilification waged against Sir John Kerr. It is designed to intimidate current holders of the office.
    As to the power of the government of the day to dismiss the monarch or GG that crosses them, in the UK that could be neutered by the Queen refusing assent to the bill that cancelled her. In Australia it’s a more vexed question. It was a key consideration in the thinking of Kerr when he was contemplating that he might have to dismiss Whitlam. In my view we need a constitutional amendment that would constrain a Prime Minister from advising the monarch to remove a GG once that GG had advised the Palace that he was considering the use of a reserve power.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    As for GG’s waving things through, I very much doubt it is likely to happen unless the official secretary is as incompetent and corrupt as the GG, an unlikely coincidence.
    When I was very peripherally involved with the Honours and Awards system, I saw the longtime Official Secretary to several GGs including Kerr, Sir David Smith, in full flight. I cannot find my copy, or recall the title of his memoir covering his time in the Office, but he was a very formidable individual indeed. His very calm and collected presence in the background on the steps of Parliament House while Whitlam was raging about “Kerr’s Cur” was a perfect snapshot of the characters of both men – the one a physical giant but a moral pygmy, the other quite the reverse.

  • melb says:

    D. Thomas. Thanks for your comments about David Smith. You have put him in perspective for me. I read an excellent article by him in Volume 28 (2016) of the Samuel Griffith Society. I have the volume but you should be able to find it online.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    David Smith’s book is ‘Head of State’.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    Thanks, Peter. Old age and decrepitude.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    melb, thank you. As I said, he’s a very formidable individual indeed.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    The value of the Constitutional Monarch is that he or she stands as a figurhead of the Nation, has only very limited reserve powers, and does not intervene in political matters, leaving those to the political Parties. Non-interference in political matters has often been honoured in the breach. In Australia, Sir William Deane when Governor General sailed close to that wind at times in the things he chose to support, and in a minor way we have just seen Australia’s Governor General seemingly approve of ‘diversity’ training along the lines of Critical Race Theory, where the GG’s own staff have been instructed in an exercise to take a step forword or back depending on their skin colour.
    In general, Elizabeth the Second has been exemplary in keeping out of politics until recently, where I was personally dismayed to see her say how proud she was of Charles and William and the younger Royals taking up the cause of climate change at COP26. This is a political hot potato which the Royals should be well out of and it will only become more so. Many Australians cannot see that politicised cause as being in their internal economic nor their export interest. Some have argued that in the past Royals including Charles taking up the cause of British exports has been rather outside the brief too.
    Whether Australians will be there for King Charles is quite debatable, though William has more support.
    Here’s a wild card. Perhaps Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, an Australian woman with strong links here, and her Royal husband or one of their sons could be offered the Australian Crown as an alternative? The Danes once ruled Britain, so the historical precedent of Danish rule is there, as is the historical precedent of inviting in a more favoured Royal to be Monarch: William and Mary were invitees in 1688, as was the Hanoverian George 1 in 1714. Nothing else need change, as countries under the British Crown are free even now to choose their own flag and chose their own Governors representing the Crown. We should be openly discussing alternatives even if only half-seriously. The virtue of such rumblings in the Dominions may lie in the fact that Charles and William getting too politically big for their boots might be given pause to reconsider their position. Given that the Queen in her very old age has capitulated to the partisan politics of climate, these two inheritors could ask Anne, The Princess Royal, for some good advice on how to be dutiful and apolitical. The Republican drum is once more being thumped in Australia, with all of its possible problems. Could it be that there is more than a Republican solution to an unwanted King Charles or King William?

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Good point Elizabeth. Back when I was a minimalist republican I vaguely felt that my main objection to the monarchy could be overcome of we had our own King. Back then Harry, when he was a bit of a ratbag, came immediately to mind. Can’t see Princess Meghan agreeing to that proposal. The best solution would be if Charles stepped aside and William took the reins while he was still young enough to be guided into a proper sense of regal duty. Unfortunately that won’t happen either.
    The problem with the Deanes and Hurleys of this world is that thy don’t see that their virtue signalling is simply expressing one side of a political question. To them what they espouse is self evidently and incontrovertibly right.

  • STD says:

    They are all communists.
    The middle man to receive a commission for organising the loan was the Greek developer Gerry Karidis- a close friend of Clyde Cameron.
    I think there was a meeting of high ranking people in the ALP to discuss the Khemlani sponsored loan , ALP members Rex Connors, Jim Cairns, Gough Whitlam and Lionel Murphy – present.
    I’m not sure whether Sir John Kerr was an executive council member ,or was invited to executive council meetings ,or should have been a member or why he was not privy!
    When was the first Sir John Kerr knew of the Khemlani affair, was it when it was published in the media, and could or would it be reasonable to presume this precipitated thought on Kerr’s behalf ?,‘I’m going to have to watch these bastards’.
    Secondly ,do you think the force of this thought could have played a role in Kerr’s mind at the point of the dismissal?-“ These bastards have got to go”.

    Dr Jim Cairns – demoted and dismissed for misleading parliament in regards to irregularities with regard to overseas loans.
    Rex Connor – mislead parliament in regard to overseas loans.
    Lionel Murphy and Gough Whitlam were also Labor party executive council representatives made mention of above.
    Gough Whitlam dismissed at 1pm on the 11 November 1975.
    Lionel Murphy had links with Abe Saffron.
    Gough said he knew nothing about the loan .
    Clyde Cameron was demoted because he was in dispute with Whitlam about something- he may have been a communist but I think he was fair dinkum- what was his beef with Whitlam?
    **** – ministerial resignations and dismissals.
    **** shadow cabinet record No 24, Monday 13th October 1975.
    the middlemen who caused the ‘blowup’ of 1975. oct 29 2005, 10:00am.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Kerr was, of course, a member of the Executive Council. On the night of 13 Dec 1974, Kerr was in Sydney attending the opera. Whitlam called an urgent ExCo meeting to approve the Khemlani loan, which to this point, Kerr knew nothing about. Whitlam claimed the matter was so urgent they did not have time to wait for Kerr’s return. The following morning they sent a courier to Sydney with the ExCo minute for Kerr to sign. Kerr was quite dismayed about this breach of protocol and had great doubts about the legality of the loan because the Loans Council had been bypassed, ostensibly because it was purported to be for temporary purposes. He was given advice by the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (a public servant) that the was kosher. Kerr doubted this but because he believed the matter was justiciable (i.e could be resolved in the courts) he went with the convention that the GG acts on the advice of his ministers and signed the minute. But because of this ambush, he was very wary of Whitlam and his gang from that point on. He later signed another ExCo minute reducing the amount of the loan but it was never proceeded with, I think because it leaked and the political pushback was too intense.
    I think the only impact the loans affair would have had on the dismissal decision would have been sub-conscious. It might have made Kerr less likely to think Whitlam would see reason at the last minute. Although the affair was the trigger for what followed, constitutionally it played no part in the dismissal.

  • STD says:

    The Queen does not have the power to dismiss the prime minister- this reserve power and legal authority is held and can be exercised by the Governor General.
    The position of Governor General can be thought of as a non political position, that would be occupied by someone of a learned integrity ,unbiased disposition who has
    the interests of all Australians ,and by inference, is there to uphold the legal integrity of the Australian constitution in the interests of the ordinary everyday Australians.

    Sir John Kerr was a Labor man who was appointed by the Queen in 1972, on the recommendation and advice from the Prime Minister ,one Gough Whitlam.
    Positions in the senate are elected positions that are appointed by ordinary members of the voting public.
    “The senate has oversight in regard to the appropriation of bills from the House of Representatives (HR)”.
    “The Senate may propose or concur with amendments as with other bills”.
    “An appropriation bill is a legislative act proposing to authorise the expenditure of public funds”.
    As it turns out the Australian Senate move to block supply because the Senate , being the elected watch dog (Cur), if you like Kerr’s Cur ,acted on behalf and in the interests and on behalf of the fair dinkum Australians, as it had a loss or lost confidence in that ALP Government which was being run by Gough Whitlam.
    What would constitute a loss of confidence?
    How many affairs ( inappropriate and disloyal behaviour) occurred during the terminal life of the Whitlam Government?
    What were these affairs and in what form was the inappropriate behaviour, and was this inappropriate behaviour in contravention of elected Ministerial duties or outside the remit of Ministerial function and the Oath of elected office?
    The fact that supply was blocked may well have peeved Gough Whitlam personally , however the fact remains that the Senate had good reasons did they not, for lacking confidence leading to the Whitlam Government’s loss of supply.
    This lack of confidence was correctly known to the Senate and correctly confirmed by all Australians at the ballot box ,which dispatched with the services of these particular dirty rotten scoundrels from the Gough Whitlam Australian Labor ‘party’.
    So what is the loss of supply?
    “This is typically indicated as a loss of confidence in the Government.
    ….if a government maintains support from the majority of legislators or the elected parliamentary representatives ( Senate & House of Representatives Ministers of the Crown) the blocking of supply by the head of state would be seen as an abuse of authority and power”.
    The Queen and her representative the Governor General Sir John Kerr did not seek the removal of the Australian Labor Party and its elected Prime Minister Mr E,G Whitlam on political grounds, Whitlam was dismissed on constitutional grounds, because of a lack of confidence at the level of the senate that coalesced into the blocking of supply.
    Sir Garfield Barwick the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia ( an ex Liberal minister) advised the GG Sir John Kerr ( a Labor appointee and man) that he had legal rights and an exercisable duty in the constitution to dismiss the Government , because essentially it cannot govern without supply.
    It should be noted that Kerr did advise Whitlam that he could acquiesce to the Senate impasse and thus avoid dismissal or he could go to an election and seek the will of the people, of which Whitlam refused.
    The Governor General Sir John Kerr had no alternative left at his disposal other than to Dismiss the ALP Government of Gough Whitlam, because the supply blockage in the Senate essentially meant that Government agencies and bureaucrats and as a knock on effect ,ordinary Australians wouldn’t have had the means to feed themselves let alone maintain a roof over their heads.
    As a result the actions taken in the Senate necessitated the actions by the Governor General to act in the interests of Australia and all her people. The integrity of the actions taken in the Senate and acted on in law by Sir John Kerr was likewise respected and agreed with by the majority of Australians at the ballot box, which was in its essence saying to the ALP ( the communist party of Australia) that we the people of Free and fair dinkum Australia have no confidence in you and this is because we don’t believe what you are saying and by inference we do not trust you to govern in the interests of Australia or all Australian’s.
    One must presume that the reason for Gough Whitlam not going to an election on his own terms was because he knew he wouldn’t win, and of course he did not want to relinquish power- the fact that the electorate voted him out of office proves two things, 1) he was not governing in the public interest, 2) and for this reason the electorate had lost confidence in his ability to govern.
    For this reason we don’t need or want a Republic, the constitution of Australia prevents abuses of power from the thinking intelligent, political , cultural and academic elites- who basically despise Australia and working Australians and everything they represent, this is why they want a Republic, to do away with Australia and her self interest- their families (family).
    To wrap up ,it’s funny how the political left and the Marxist comrades in the media, feel hard done by, and poor Gough was persecuted. The fact of the matter is that their modus operandi is to project guilt on to others, and thus destroy the confidence in society.
    A lot of our elected representative’s are just as stupid as the rest of us. What Australia needs is good descent people, not rissoles like Rudd, Turnbull or Gough.
    **** one last point , the reason they want a republic is to do away with the senate and thereby increasing their access to more power. The Australian constitution works ,Gough Whitlam proved it.

  • STD says:

    Posthumous Recognition.
    Sir John Kerr we the Australian people thank you for keeping watch on the bastards on our behalf .
    To the Australian Senate we the Australian people understand the reasons that you blocked and or cut off power supply to the Gough Whitlam Australian Labor Party, your no confidence remains for ever thus in our confidences as shown agreeably in the ballot box .
    To you the Australian Constitution thank you in the main for being a brake on rampant abuses of political power and offering us the Australian people safe harbour from deviant political behaviour at both ends of that spectrum .
    And thankyou to the WW1 and 2 generation for showing us the meaning of fair dinkum , sadly in the Lefts multicultural Australia this has almost vanished .

  • whitelaughter says:

    Returning to the article: Machiavelli claims are more accurately described by French philosopher Charles de Montesquieu in his book L’Esprit des Lois (the Spirit of the Laws) (1748). He wrote that a nation’s freedom depended on the 3 powers of governance—legislative, executive and judicial—each having their own separate institution.
    He is also the guy who gave us the trio of republics appeal to those motivated by ideals, monarchies to those motivated by honour, and tyrannies to those motivated by fear.
    Our modern constitutional monarchies have built on that, creating a system that works for both idealists and the honorable. Only those who desire to kowtow to tyrants (frex those screaming ‘Islamophobia’ and wishing to suck up to China) are left out of our system.
    The solution to our problems will require working out how to deal with these born slaves.

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