On Thursday 16th of September, in The Jubilee Room, NSW Parliament House, at 10.30am, ACM will be holding a special event: " A new government emerges… an early election looms'.
This is highly relevant as a new government has just emerged, one which may or may not last for the full term.
A video showing Ms. Gillard being sworn in on 24 June follows.
After gaining the support of two independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, Labor leader Julia Gillard has now claimed victory as the nation's 27th Prime Minister.
Can I say we live in a lively and a resilient democracy – and it works. We have democratic institutions and conventions that work well at the most important times when they’re put to the test by the Australian people at an election.The events of the past fortnight show us unequivocally that our democracy is very, very strong indeed.
I acknowledge that Tony Abbott phoned me a short time ago to wish me well. I thank him for the simple courtesy and decency that making such a call shows. It can’t have been easy for him and I genuinely thank him for that.
Ms. Gillard has informed the Governor-General that she believes she can now form a government which is likely to enjoy the confidence of the House.
A new ministry is expected to be named early next week, and will then be sworn in. Parliament is expected to be recalled well before the deardline which is likely to be 30 November.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbot conceded defeat, saying:
The Coalition won more votes and more seats than our opponents, but sadly, we did not get the opportunity to form a government. Obviously, I’m disappointed about that but that’s our system and I certainly am not going to let my disappointment at the result blind me to the great strengths of our system which I will always respect.
I congratulate Prime Minister Gillard for being restored to office. For our country’s sake, I hope that she can be an effective Prime Minister in this term of Parliament.
For our country’s sake, I hope that the Labor Party can provide a better government in this term of Parliament than it has over the last three years. For our country’s sake, I hope that the Labor Party can rediscover the soul that has been so lacking, particularly over the last half of the previous Parliament.
….it is the system…
It is of course our tried and tested constitutional system which has long assured that governments come to power constitutionally and peacefully. No wonder then that she is in no hurry to put a referendum for change to some unknown form of politicians' republic.
Coalition supporters will be upset that they led on the primary vote and the two party preferred vote. But the voting system is for the Parliament, and it should be recalled by conservatives that the preferential system was introduced by a conservative government in 1918. No voting system is perfect, and it remains open to Parliament to review these matters.
Only a handful of the world's constitutional systems has ensured, in peace and in war, in propsperity and in and depression, for well over a century and a half, the peaceful emergence of governments in accordance with established conventions.
Once again this has occurred in Australia. One thing is certain. At some stage, either at or before the end of this term, the people will be again be given the opportunity to return to the polling stations.
How will this happen? What is the role of the Crown?
There is nobody better informed on these questions in the nation than the widely respected Dr. Anne Twomey, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Law School. She has published widely on these issues and her opinion is frequently sought by the media.
In this Conversazione, Professor Flint will be asking Professor Twomey to take us through the laws and conventions which will govern the political situation as it evolves over the coming months and years.
Please note that the Conversazione will be at 10:30am sharp followed by a Morning Tea at 11:30am.
This will be an important contribution to an understanding of these questions. ACM supporters are in many ways, ambassadors to the public about the strengths of our constitutional system.
So do come along and be better informed on questions which so touch on the future of our nation.
To download a copy of the flyer, please click here.