March 31

The USA as a monarchy

Those who call themselves republicans will really have to do better. This is particularly true of those who ostentatiously parade their republican virtue by describing themselves as ‘passionate’ republicans or ‘lifelong republicans’.

The point it we are already a republic, a crowned republic. Those who talk about republican change must tell the people what precisely they are proposing.

Even the word monarchy is ambivalent. That is why the organisation Australians for Constitutional Monarchy is so named. We are not Australians for Monarchy; we are Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. Although we are described as monarchists, we are actually ‘constitutional monarchists’. 

With people of the standing of former Chief Justice, Sir Harry Gibbs, Mr Justice Michael Kirby and Mr Justice Lloyd Waddy at its formation, and with Justice Kirby writing the Charter , the adjective “constitutional “ was carefully included to qualify monarchy. 

That is the sort of monarchy we support, and it is not any monarchy. It is the Westminster system, in which the constitutional monarchy is central.  It is the broad model adopted in Canada, Australian and New Zealand and the other Realms. It is and was the form of constitutional monarchy then adopted in most of mainland Europe, including Belgium, Norway, and Greece.

It is the form of constitutional monarchy which emerged in the most successful Arab countries. 

This is a monarchy where the Crown provides leadership above politics and, as the constitutional guardian, is an essential check and balance in relation to the political branches. 

…the United States…

Although the present government of the United States is famously republican, it is quintessentially an elective monarchy, as is the Fifth French Republic.  

This is a monarchy where the Sovereign governs. The United States model is based on the earlier form of monarchy which emerged in England as a result of the 1688 Glorious Revolution.   

In ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Toward Monarchy’ which appeared on 10 March the site of American Chronicle, David Swanson says that it  has become almost commonplace, since the recent release  of seven ‘legal’" opinions written in 2001 and 2002 by the Justice Department, to say Amreica came within an inch of dictatorship.

He says the transfer of unconstitutional powers to the president began when George Washington held that office and has advanced over the centuries, it did take a dramatic leap forward during the reign of Bush-Cheney. We were indeed within a foot.  As to those relieved by President Obama reversing this he believes there is a fundamental defect in the assumption that limiting presidential power can and should be done by a president, rather than by Congress, courts, and the American people.

“Obama has announced policy changes, some of them very much for the better, but to choose a policy of not torturing, or a policy of not altering laws with signing statements unless absolutely necessary, is to make choices in areas we previously supposed to allow no room for choice at all," he observes.

"In other areas, including the launching of missiles into foreign nations, rendition, unlawful detention, outrageous claims of "state secrets" and "executive privilege", claiming the right to deny courts access to any classified information, the continuation and even escalation of aggressive wars, the refusal to prosecute known crimes of the previous administration, and the creation of gargantuan powers to spend and lend without accountability for the purposes of bailing out bankers, stimulating the economy, and potentially even providing healthcare in a manner acceptable to health insurance companies, Obama has not only made policy choices but made the wrong ones, made the ones that the Constitution does not allow him, “ he says.

There is nothing to deter the next president from secretly or openly establishing a policy of torture, and nothing to stop any president from violating any other law, he insists.

 “We no longer elect executives to execute the will of Congress, but elected despots, kings for four years,” he asserts.

…and the Commonwealth of Australia?….

The point is the words "monarchy" and "republic" are not mutually exclusive. Our Founding Fathers decided and the people agreed that Australia should be an indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown and under the Constitution. They deliberately chose the word " Commonwealth,"  the English word closest to the Latin derived "republic".  That is why many eminent constiutional monarchists say we are already a republic, a "crowned republic". The ACM Charter acknowledges this.

The Founding Fathers were astute enough to make those who want to change the Constitution to spell out precisely the details of the change. That is why those who want to sneak unacceptable change through are proposing a vaguely worded plebiscite to lock the people in.

This is nothing other than a confidence trick. It must be both exposed and opposed.   


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