August 2

President v. Prime Minister : on the verge of civil war

The Ukraine is 'on the verge of civil war', the ABC reported on 26 May 2007. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko had declared that he was taking control of the country's powerful and loyal Interior Ministry troops.  The President was engaged in a bitter struggle for power with the Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovich, whose ally, the Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko had the day before called out the riot police in support of the prosecutor-general, who had been dismissed by Mr Yushchenko.  The Prime Minister condemned the President’s move. His allies at the Interior Ministry declared that they would defy the President.

The interior Minister saying the President's stance could lead to a violent confrontation.  "We are on the verge of civil war, everyone should understand this and it's the part of the President's entourage – I call 'the junta' – that's pushing us towards civil war," he said."This is terrible because we all want a peaceful life."
The Ukraine unhappily has the sort of constitution the Australian republican movement is planning, secretly, to foist on Australians through their plan for a cascading series of plebiscites and referenda.  We previously referred to this in “Benefits of monarchy & burdens of republics,” 9 April 2007.  

Meanwhile the situation in the Ukraine is fortunately that the two protagonists have agreed to hold parliamentary elections on 30 September, 2007. Whether this  will solve the impasse is not known. But in the meantime the Parliament is paralysed and can’t function. The President tried to dissolve it, but the Prime Minister resisted and challenged the dissolution in the courts, which was inconclusive. The Constitution provides that the Parliament should continue until the elections, but it has been rendered inoperative by a boycott by those politicians who support the President. This is the sort of constitution which makes a country ungovernable, where an elected powerful president governs alongside a prime minister responsible to parliament. The fact that Australia’s republican movement’s  plans to foist this model on Australia was explained to Senator Marise Payne by republican constitutional lawyer Professor Greg Craven in 2004. She then dissented in part from a Senate Committee report endorsing the ARM’s proposal. (See this column “Like A Lead Balloon – Senate Committee Report On Republic,” 8 September 2004.)  Her dissent was about a second plebiscite which is deliberately designed so that the people will be forced to choose between about four republican models only, without being able to express a preference for the existing constitution.   Professor Craven thinks, correctly I believe, that this is designed to produce a model similar to the one in the Ukraine.This second plebiscite is to be preceded by a first plebiscite. This is to ask the Humpty Dumpty question, “Do you want a republic?”  The fact that authorities from Montesquieu  down to our first Cardinal, Cardinal Moran, and Sir Henry Parkes, would tell them they already had one demonstrates that the question is  pointless. But worse, it asks for a vote of no confidence in one of the world’s most successful constitutions, without the voters having any idea of what is to replace it. It is designed to be a blank cheque in the hands of the republican politicians. It must be exposed for the shabby confidence trick it is. [The picture is of the south facade of St.Mary's Nativity Church, Kiev,  in the Ukrainian Baroque style] 


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