New book proposes non-political options for an Australian republic
The book, A Democratic Way to Australia’s Republic, is intended to bring a series of options to the table for national consideration and discussion introducing fresh ideas while taking into account a number of previous objections to Australia becoming a republic.
It examines a number of issues around the process of establishing a republic, innovative options for models for a republic, various objections that have been raised in the past, the rights and obligations of citizens and the possible powers and duties of a President of the Republic of Australia.
The book, released this week, is downloadable, free, from: http://www.republicforaustralia.com.au/ .
It is the result of a number of years of research by Sydney based author Robert Dawson.
“During the lead-up to the republic referendum in 1999, I was very disappointed with the options offered by the politicians that were reported by the media. I was not surprised that the referendum was defeated because it only offered a minimalist model,” he said, explaining what prompted him to write the book.
“I believe we should have a republic that serves the needs of our modern society and one that is adaptable to the needs of future generations. If we go about creating a republic in the right way there is nothing stopping us from having the best system in the world.”
Mr. Dawson continued: “I propose that Presidents of the Australian Republic be required to swear not to exercise any political bias and should have only non-political powers and duties. “Listed are more than six pages of suitable powers and duties including the conducting of Presidential Commissions, serving as the guardian of human rights of Australians, protect freedom of speech and of the media, protection of whistleblowers and administration of referendums.”
Mr.Dawson is a former civil engineer, lecturer and participant in local government organisations.
He said, while he understands a large number of people are wary of moving to a republic, there were more options available that have not been debated but which could be acceptable to those who currently oppose Australia becoming a republic.
“The single most important message I would like to convey is that we do have choices for how we want our country to be administered. We are not bound to the present monarchical system nor are we bound to a minimalist model for a republic. And this does not mean we completely cut our relationship with Britain,” Mr. Dawson said.