Features Australia

An appalling hypocrite

30 November 2013

9:00 AM

30 November 2013

9:00 AM

It has been said that hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to virtue. If so, Australia’s Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, knows a thing or two about paying compliments. Of course the hypocritical aspect of Ms Bryce’s recent ABC Boyer Lecture is only one of many wrongheaded things about that lecture. But it is a good starting place for anyone wanting to respond to our Queen’s representative in Australia.

And here there is such an embarrassment of riches one is not sure what to point out first. Perhaps it is the fact that Ms Bryce has spent the last decade and a half or so either as the Governor-General of Australia or as the Governor of Queensland. These are high-paying jobs. They carry status. They give the holder lots and lots and lots of perquisites. Nor are they even all that difficult or stressful, as far as high-paying jobs go.

And during that entire time Ms Bryce was perfectly content to take the Queen’s silver, as it were. Imagine if an opponent of the coal industry had spent the last 15 years heading up a worldwide coal industry think tank on a huge salary and lots of benefits and only with four months left in his tenure gave a speech slamming coal, and intimating he’d always been against coal.

After mocking someone like that for the sheer, brazen hypocrisy of his speech, you’d at least expect him to pay back his 15 years of salaries from the institution he now disavows.

Yes, you might draw a distinction between the person who only recently experienced some sort of Damascene conversion, and the one who was always in the other camp but liked the idea of a ‘job with benefits’, as it were.

Either way you’d be a hypocrite. But one sort is worse than the other. And it seems pretty clear to me that Ms Bryce’s hypocrisy falls into the worse of those two sorts of camps.


But let us put away charges of hypocrisy, damning as they are, and focus on other wrongheaded aspects of Ms Bryce’s lecture. Start with the horrible breach of convention it entailed.

Here’s the thing. In all but the most unusual of circumstances the job of Governor-General involves very little in the way of using your brain, other than paying strict attention to the convention that has developed over hundreds of years that you, as Governor-General, express no opinions at all on any contentious and disputed political issues of the day.

That is not a tough thing to live up to and it is an integral aspect of the job. Indeed it is that severing of the job of head of state from anything political that makes the existing system so hard to replace, without making things worse. Having a Prime Minister say one thing and a President (directly or indirectly elected) say another has bad consequences. Or at least that is surely the case unless you buy in fully to the American-style system of a full separation of powers, checks-and-balances regime. And even then it seems to me that our Westminster system is better than the Madisonian one in the United States (just look at the political gridlock Stateside right now).

So Ms Bryce knew before she took the job that she was expected to keep her mouth shut. And yet here she is giving her views on same-sex marriage, which is clearly a party political issue at the moment. And worse she gave her views on one of the most fundamental constitutional issues of the day, namely the benefits or otherwise of the constitutional monarchy. That, frankly, is also a highly partisan issue. Much higher percentages of pro-republic people are in the Labor party than in the Coalition. So Ms  Bryce’s comments coming as they do from a pulpit she only got to inhabit because she is the Governor-General are nothing short of outrageous, and they are outrageous even leaving aside the rank hypocrisy mentioned above.

Ms Bryce seems to have forgotten that she is not a politician running for office.

It gets worse. You see even if you were magnanimous enough to overlook Ms. Bryce’s egregious breach of the convention to keep her mouth shut in normal circumstances, these are not normal circumstances. By that I mean that she was not simply commenting on political matters, she was commenting on political matters in which her son-in-law was on one side of both those issues and the Prime Minister of the day on the other. And she sided on both issues with her daughter’s husband.

Now I would have thought that even someone foolish enough to talk politics as the Governor-General would not be so doubly foolish as to do so on issues where she effectively comes out of the closet and suggests ‘my son-in-law is right and Mr Abbott is wrong’.

Can anyone, seriously, ever imagine the Queen doing anything remotely like this? Not a chance. How about the Governor-General in Canada, where I am at present? Again, people here are dumbfounded by this.

So Ms Bryce has been foolish by breaching convention and talking big ticket politics and she has been foolish on stilts by being the party political cheerleader for her daughter’s husband, whom even she must have realised was the leader of the Queen’s official opposition. Really, it all beggars belief.

There are a few other tangential issues to note. Firstly, does it surprise anyone that this speech took place at an ABC-sponsored lecture? (No need to answer, that was just a rhetorical question, not a real one.)

Secondly, in all of this Mr Abbott has been very magnanimous. He has also been wrong about what is expected of a Governor-General. But he assuredly has been magnanimous. And perhaps that is what is called for from a sitting Prime Minister. But it is not what is called for from the rest of us.

In my view, Ms Bryce ought to resign immediately. If she had any sense of the hypocrisy of her position, she’d also pay back the last decade and a half of her
salaries.

James Allan is the Garrick professor of law at the University of Queensland and until Christmas is on sabbatical at Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto.

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Show comments
  • David Segall

    Quentin Bryce spoke to the Queen in person in June this year. We can safely assume that she has done so often in her fifteen years as the Queen’s representative in Australia. When did you last speak to the Queen? Quentin Bryce is a lawyer, her lecture was carefully prepared and she is aware that she can speak as an individual in a few months when her term ends. The Queen has never opposed an Australian republic. Perhaps you should consider the possibility that the Queen is in favour of an Australian republic and Quentin Bryce really was representing her.

    • Kev Cooper

      So your argument boils down to the possibility the Queen might be a republican (something for which there is no evidence whatsoever) and that she and the Governer-General have met? What a strange comment, do you have any other arguments or is that it? The Governer-General is supposed to be as aloof as the sovereign, staying above party politics and staying out of issues that are not her domain. When she has resigned, retired or whatever, when she is no longer speaking for the Crown, then she can express her opinions. Maybe she could even stand for parliament, she certainly knows the right people.

      • forby

        Um yes there is. Here response to the last republic referendum she knew that Australia only said NO because of the political structure we were offered. The Queen isn;t an idiot, she is evil as hell and hides it as if she is a nice lady, but she isn;t stupid. Any one that believe in Monarchy s though. as stupid as those that believe in god.

        • Evelyn

          Although Her Maj did sign the UK Same-sex marriage Bill!

        • JoelWhite

          I believe ‘sod off’ is the only sane response to that. I would say you were trolling, but I don’t think you’re intelligent enough for that.

          • forby

            Dude, unless you are a member of Mensa, you have no right to question my intelligence. Your accusation, that I am trolling but not intelligent enough to do so, shows your irrational logic. If you are trying to insult someones intelligence, at least come up with something witty or mildly intelligent yourself. BYE BYE MORON. “Sod off” what are you are child.

          • JohnB

            Forby “The Queen isn;t an idiot, she is evil as hell and hides it as if she is a nice lady”
            Oh, you’re a sad, nasty little troll, all right, and not particularly intelligent either.

          • forby

            fucking oath she is. She oversees a stable of pedophile’s in her family and syphon off money from the poorest of the poor to pay for her and her vile families lifestyle. You are calling me unintelligent, yet you are the one that obviously supports monarchy. The Royal Family supported Nazism until Hitler declared war on England. that is no secret. NO not evil, not at all. Jimmy Savile was a close confidant of the Royals and was free to do as he liked because of his Royal connections. NOOOO not evil one bit. Wonderful family lead by a wonderful lady.

          • JohnB

            Forby, who exactly are the paedophiles?
            She has a constitutional role and while the Royals are largely self sufficient and pay taxes, there is taxpayer money used to fund the constitional requirements. I doubt it cost as much as all the hoo hah which acompannies the US Presidential system.
            Hitler didn’t declare war on Britain, Britain & France declared war on Germany after Hitler invaded Poland.
            Jimmy Saville did what he liked because his colleagues at the BBC looked the other way. There is no evidence the Royals knew anything about it nor permitted it to occur.

            You have proven your idiocy through your allegations with absolutely no evidence and your failure to even understand the situation with Germany and who declared war on who.
            I rest my case.

          • forby

            NOOOO JImmy Savile is no pedophile or what about the ex Prime Minister Teddy Heath that used to take boys out of orphanages, take them out on his boat the MORNING GLORY rape them then throw them overboard to their deaths. NO never happened at all. Just heap of inquiries. Prince Andrew is well known to know a LOT of pedophiles and is known for his close friendship with CONVICTED PEDOPHILE Jeffrey Epstein. NO still no connection to pedophilia. NOOOOOOOO. you moron.

          • JohnB

            I once worked with a bloke charged with grooming an underaged girl. I never liked the bloke, and I never suspected he’d do something like that, but does my proximity mean I’m also suspect ??

            People who WERE friends with that paedophile still are friends and act as chaperones when he has access visits with his children. Does that make THEM paedophiles ?

            Your attempt to link the Royals with paedophilia because one of Andrew’s old friends was charged with it, does not make him a paedophile. I’m stuffed if I know what Ted Heath has to do with the Royals in this situation, but maybe they had met him and therefore there is guilt by association.

            You’re an idiot, forby.

          • forby

            UM when it is HIGH RANKING PUBLIC OFFICIALS and POLICE then yes they are guilty of the cover up. YEAH I am the idiot. fuck me. It is fine to bomb the shit out of people that are only living in the neighbourhood of SUSPECTED TERRORISTS, but helping cover up systematic paedophilia, no you are totally absolved of all guilt. YEAH I AM THE IDIOT. MORON.

            Ted HEATH was Prime Minister you fucking retard. NO the PrimeMinister has absolutely no connection whatsoever to the Royals and the ruling elite of the UK . NO, NONE WHATSO FUCKING EVER, HOW FUCKING STUPID OF A PERSON ARE YOU. FUCK ME.

          • JohnB

            Forby-wit. I am fully aware that Ted Heath was a former British Prime Minister.
            Just because he was PM does not mean the Royals shielded him from abuse allegations, you prime idiot.

          • forby

            you are an ignorant, naïve servile person. enough with you, you moron. Your ignorance is what allows this sort of shit to continue. NOOO the Vatican never covered up Paedophilia either, neither did the Anglican Church. Oh who is the head of the ANGLICAN CHURCH. would that be the QUEEN. you MORON. No the queen and the Royals have nothing to do with it.

          • JohnB

            What the fuck is with the Vatican entering the conversation now?
            Oh and note, the Queen doesn’t run the Anglican Church, despite being the head of it.

            Hey, why not blame Jesus Christ for the paedophilia of people he had no control over.

            You really are some perverted fuckwit, Forby!

          • forby

            Because it is an example of powerful institutions covering up there own evilness. wow. you have to have everything broken down and explained to you. You are really not that bright are you. Well you proved that with suggesting we blame a FICTIONAL CHARACTER for all the paedophilia in the world. You really are a moron. No the queen has zero control over the very institution that she is the HEAD OF . NOOOO. Fuck me. you are a special kind of stupid.

          • JohnB

            (groan) There is something seriously wrong with poor little forby.
            Misses the point entirely. What a dopey little troll.

          • forby

            You are kidding yourself you moron. You are the one that’s needs every thing explained to you, and you claim I am missing the point. I think you are missing a lot more than the point.

          • JohnB

            Fergus Pickering to forby
            • 2 days ago
            “Jesus, you’re an idiot.”

            Fergus is totally and utterly CORRECT !

          • forby

            Morons supporting morons. who would of thought. that is how religion has survived to begin with. Enough said. no wonder you defend the institutions. You are a servile moron.

          • forby

            NO the ROYAL FAMILY never supported NAZISM they all just married NAZI’S. Hilarious you are that you believe the history they told you even though a lot of it has been debunked and proven to be a lie to keep the british people on their side. You are the moron that obviously supports power no matter where it comes from.

            OH and the Queen is SELF SUFFICIENT show you know fuck all about this topic. she is anything but self sufficient. hilarious that you think she is.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Jesus, you’re an idiot.

          • forby

            I would put my house on it that I have a higher IQ than you do. moron.

          • Fergus Pickering

            No you don’t.

          • JoelWhite

            Definitely a troll. Hope you enjoyed that. Here’s another post for you to feed off, what ever will you come up with next?

          • forby

            Sorry am I supposed to be offended by an undefined insult that they use in high school. sorry. Calling me a TROLL is not an insult. what else have you got, It is as stupid as me calling you a mong. Next you will call me a free thinking LIBERAL or something. oooooh your insults are so biting and cutting. for a 4 year old mentality.

          • JoelWhite

            Keep going, I’m getting lots of copypasta here.

          • forby

            wow. you call other trolls yet act like the king of trolls. hilarious. projecting much. fuckwit. I don’t even know what copypasta is. I guess it is troll terminology you use.

          • JohnB

            Ahhh, we’re all brainwashed clowns here and Forby is the only person in the world who can see through reality to the NWO and the Illuminati or Glitterati or whatever it is which is brainwashing us all…… or maybe Forby is just some psychotic nutter.

          • forby

            how did you take a conversation between three people and include the entire 7 billion people. fuck me, you prove with ever post how stupid you are.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I think you are a secret paedophile and all this is a smokescreen. You are VILE VILE VILE!!!

          • forby

            “I think you are a secret pedophile” truly shows the level of intellect in this conversation. you moron.

          • Fergus Pickering

            You are obsessed with the idea of sex with children. Obsessed!

          • forby

            Such a statement, shows your immaturity. fuck off you moron.

  • Robinoz

    A stupid, silly woman we are well rid of. But what of the fools who ever appointed her in Queensland and then Canberra. She was well known as a pretentious woman full of her own self importance. Ahh, yes, she was a woman and that trumped everything.

    • Rebecca Healy

      What a pathetic comment. She has two degrees, plus her distinguished work career including:

      -In 1984 she became the first director of the Queensland Women’s Information Service under the umbrella of the Office of the Status of Women
      – In 1987 she became the Queensland director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC).
      – Over a five-year period (1988–1993) Bryce served as Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner during the time of the Hawke Labor government
      She became the founding chair and chief executive officer of the National Childcare Accreditation Council
      – Chair of the National Breast Cancer Advisory Council
      – Has sat on the Australian Women’s Cricket Board
      – a member of organisations such as the YWCA, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital.
      – Member of the Australian Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland from 1989 to 1991
      And that was BEFORE she back Governor of Queensland or the Governor General.
      And it’s because she’s a woman? Idiot.

    • David Somerfield

      and you are obviously a man with a miniscule dick.

      • forby

        WOW that it intelligent. Just because he doesn’t like a particular woman he is a man with a miniscule dick. Usually it is the guy that loves dicks that talks about other peoples dicks.

        • David Somerfield

          And his final sentence reveals him for what he is..he is against her because she is a woman. Oh and yes I LOVE dicks. but not on men who are sexist misogynistic pigs. Quentin Bryce has more intelligence in her little finger compared to fucking tossers like you. Your earlier comments expose you for what you are..a stain on this country. So sod off back to Cronulla and and start some more fights to satisfy the current governments agenda. If ever I see you I will vomit onto your face,

          • forby

            YEs my last sentence says I am against her because she is a woman. yeah. How the fuck did you come up with that out of. ” Usually it is the guy that loves dicks that talks about other peoples dicks”. From that statement you psychologically analysed my entire brain and what I think. How does that statement have anything to do with women whatsoever. And you are questioning my intelligence. that is hilarious. Go back to Cronulla, like that is supposed to be some hipster insult to a racist. Wow. once again, YOU question my intelligence. Then you threaten violence on me because of your own presumptions to knowing what I think. Seriously dude, firstly get educated before you project your own inadequacies on to me. You are a pathetic loser. If you ever vomited on me purposely, it would be the last thing you ever did.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Minuscule.

          • forby
          • Fergus Pickering

            If you are going to be a cunt you might be one who can spell.

          • forby

            there is two ways of spelling it you fucktard. obviously you do not know what VARIANT means.

  • Sarah Hipwell

    Mr Allan seems to forget that a government is not a private commercial entity that generates income through its activities; it is an elected representative body that generates income through taxing individuals and commercial entities. If a coal company is responsible to its shareholders, a government is responsible to the people who elected them. Quentin Bryce’s salary isn’t paid for by the Queen, it’s paid for by the people. She is the representative of the monarch in Australia, however if she feels the monarchy does not adequately represent the people, and in fact that the very structure of a government is not designed to represent the people of the country, she is perfectly within her rights to speak out about it. Because her job is to represent the moarch in a democratic country, who is a figurehead with no real power. If the monarch should no longer be represented in Australia she is entitled, as the monarch’s representative, to say so. And considering Britain has legalised same sex marriage and Elizabeth II is openly supportive of same sex marriage, she’s perfectly within her rights to comment on that, too. Her views on how Australia should be represented may different from other people’s view of the ideal future direction of the nation, but this does not make it partisan. It’s easy to draw conclusions considering Bill Shorten is her son-in-law and it’s important to apply a higher level of scruitiny to her comments because of this; however it also shouldn’t be surprising that her daughter would marry someone whose political and moral ideals reflect the ones she herself was brought up with. This does not automatically make Bryce’s comments partisan. Quentin Bryce is saying what she is saying because she feels it is in the best interest of the nation. The writer is adding two apples to two apples and claiming he has seven, and then trying to throw in a few oranges to make up the difference and hope no one notices.

    • forby

      I know what a stupid article really. I had lost interest after the first paragraph and I am a staunch republican. The coal industry analogy is just irrational.

    • Anne Kiew

      Sarah Hipwell, thank you, you have articulated that very well. Totally agree with you 🙂

    • mikewaller

      In the old days young policemen were always advise; “Don’t get mixed up in domestics” which meant that even if a guy was knocking seven shades of whatsit out of his wife, you just let him get on with it. However in these more enlightened times, we think that kind of approach unforgivable and the police are instructed to get stuck in. In a vague way I feel that this gives me licence as an Englishman to comment on this debate. In my opinion the article itself is very well written and the critique it makes of Ms Bryce’s behaviour is spot on. That no one from here in an official capacity would have anything to say about it, in many ways makes it worse. The woman has clearly chosen her time well. She has had the job and the money for a long period and has kept silent until the point at which it is simplest to let her finish her time, rather than kicking up a stink by sacking her. Devoid of any moral principle, but clever.

      However the kind of support she is getting on this list re-enforces my view that far more than here, Australians are devoid of any sense of good form i.e. behaving is a way which shows some regard for the feelings and interests of others. That our press now shows the same tendencies is, I think, largely to be explained by the influence of that appalling ex-Australian, Rupert Murdoch. Of course the easiest example is to be found in the game that so regularly divides us: cricket. I am not a sportsperson and have little interest in the outcomes of Test matches, but I do find the practice of sledging deeply repellent. Such sporting principles as I imbibed as a child placed great emphasis on giving the opponent a fair chance of winning and this certainly did not include trying to undermine him mentally with a barrage of deeply offensive remarks. And I view the topic of this article as a related issue. The woman broke the rules and in the UK would be castigated for doing so. In Australia, it would seem she is a heroine. How different we are.

  • Shawn Kopel

    James; is the GG not the representative of the Queen, and has the Queen’s own parliament not recently approved marriage equality? How is the GG’s view on this issue then in any way different from that of the Queen?

    • Dougie

      Doh! The Queen doesn’t have a view. She takes advice from her Ministers.

  • Judy Rachel Tanner

    Quentin Bryce is in her final few months of office and so far I was aware, she can speak as an individual now. Quentin Bryce has been an exemplary Governor General during her term. It sounds more to me that the writer of this dubious and rather insulting opinion piece, is one who takes the view that the only freedom of speech allowed in Australia is that which slavishly tows the LNP party line, even if the LNP is currently comprised of lobbyists and not true LNP at all. It would be difficult for any one of intelligence in public life not to disagree with Mr Abbott. Bill Shorten does not hold the premium for support of gay marriage in Australia- many of Australia’s citizens do too. Many Australians also support a republic. Making cheap shots about Quentin Bryce’s allegiance to her ‘son in law’ are to this reader’s mind an example of the author’s bias and do not reflect in any way on the highly professional and dignified manner in which our current Governor General has conducted herself throughout her tenure.

  • Evelyn

    Marriage equality is a human rights issue. Is she wrong in speaking out on human rights?

  • Daryl Barclay

    So, after milking the position for all it’s worth, Quentin Bryce has decided that future generations shouldn’t be entitled to hold her imperious office, and that Australia should become a Governor-General-less republic. Well, at least that would save the country a packet, beginning with her annual salary of $394,000. Let’s not forget that her 2009 trip to Africa cost taxpayers in excess of $700,000 which included $64,000 for accommodation, meals and gifts. Flying her over-loaded entourage there and back on a VIP aircraft came in at a mere $350,000. It really all began with her self-indulgent and inescapably monarchical “coronation” which she must have found a trifle uncomfortable, given her repressed republican sympathies. In a 17-month period of aesthetic euphoria, she spent $110,000 on flowers, attracting so much criticism that she was forced to reduce her flower bill – when most of us were trying to reduce our power bill – to a mere $800 a week!!! And how many people does it take to keep the Governor General’s office running? (this is not the start of a joke, by the way – or is it?) Well, she herself thought about 85 staff would do it, but was eventually forced to cut her administrative army back to a slightly more reasonable 55 when criticism was – quite surprisingly, of course – levelled against her. Last year, she wasn’t all that keen on releasing documents relating to nominations for the Order of Australia, so she duly hired solicitors to obstruct the Freedom of Information Act at a mere $121,000. This brings her bill over the last year for lawyers and consultants to a measly $280,000. Now, I haven’t been mathematical enough to keep an exact tally of the amounts I have quoted so far, but blind Freddie could see that they are rather starting to add up. Now, of course, I may by this stage have come across as a little cynical and hypercritical in my assessment of Her Excellency and the elevated office she occupies, but I don’t think that would worry the lady herself. Out of respect, I won’t even pursue the $28,000 clothing allowance or the acceptance of a $170 discount on an Oroton designer handbag (but if that was the discount, what must the object itself have cost?). Shortly, of course, Ms Bryce will be farewelled and lauded by voices far more important than mine, and the tributes and testimonials will no doubt be measured and eloquent. In fact, at a cost of $33,000, Sydney-born artist Ralph Heimans will produce a portrait of Governor General Bryce, just so that we are able to remember her in a fitting manner. Still, given what she has cost us in just under five years, one might have thought that a decent selfie could have sufficed, perhaps with her holding a bunch of plastic flowers in her free hand as a token recognition of economies duly observed, and wearing an African souvenir headdress as a crown?

    • Rebecca Healy

      As far as I am aware, Quentin Bryce didn’t create this job, and there were certainly takers for the job before her. Which means she wasn’t alone in her ‘excess’. Maybe you should spend some time investigating the previous occupiers of this position and how they spent their money if it concerns you so.
      And while she has been holding her office, now she is an individual, expressing her personal opinion, not making any actual changes to the structure of the Government.
      Malcolm Fraser has been extremely critical of the Government, and he was once PM – but now he is an individual with an opinion. A fantastic opinion in my view, but that is neither her nor there.

  • Rebecca Healy

    silly me. I thought it was a human rights issue, not a political issue.
    Not sure how much the anti-gay ‘industry’ pays into the government to warrant paying back 15 years of salaries

  • I’m offended that the head of state of my Canada does not hold a Canadian passport. I’m even more offended our elected government is representative of 40%

    • Owen_Morgan

      Perhaps Canadians should make more effort to vote, you moron. Or are the pavements too slippery for thirteen months of the year for them to slither to voting booths? They manage to make it to London and their fathers and grandfathers made it to Dieppe, Juno and Bomber Command.

    • Owen_Morgan

      Actually, it has just occurred to me that Her Majesty the Queen holds no passport. She doesn’t need one. Canada is full of French separatists, “First Nation” fantasists, children and grandchildren of participants in the Holocaust and would-be jihadists.

      Great place… and the sun shines on Canada Day, if you’re lucky.

  • Amanda

    There are extremely tenuous links between the contemporary Australian political system & that of the monarchy. The majority of the Australian population strongly support a republic. The only reason that the referenda have failed is because we disagree on exactly what should replace it & what powers that replacement should have. To most Australian eyes the GG has a diplomatic & ceremonial role that is quintessentially Australian, not in any way British. It is, therefore, completely appropriate for whoever holds that position to discuss how we should move forward into a republic. In my opinion, it is also relevant for the GG to discuss great moral issues such as equal marital rights for all citizens too.

    • Owen_Morgan

      The Queen is the Australian Head of State. She isn’t the British Head of State of Australia. It’s absolutely the right of Australians to adopt the constitution that suits them, although I think John Howard was wise to restrict the potential power of an Australian President. If you don’t believe me, just look at the way Obama is threatening to sideline the US Constitution on the basis that he was elected.

      How long, do you suppose, would a brand new Canberra Constitution last, with a presidential demagogue determined to re-write it at the earliest opportunity? I’m thinking of a vote for the President of Australia, where the President is elected by the people, supposedly has no power (as the Queen does now, in both the UK and Australia), but wins more votes than any party in the Parliamentary elections. Regardless of the Constitution, the new President can then claim the right to enact his / her policies, even if they are diametrically opposed to those of the existing government.

      It’s your country. Fell free to f**k it up. Since, I’m guessing, you’re a labor voter, you’re presumably used to doing that.

      • Amanda

        The Queen is an anachronism. A tourist attraction to your country. Not ours. Our ties with Old Blighty were largely severed when you abandoned us to our fate in the Pacific despite our men & women sacrificing themselves selflessly to save your shores in the WW2. We have been closer in the economic & geographical sense to the US ever since & are now increasingly tied to Asia. As I stated above the ceremonial link with the Queen only remains as a part of our political system in the absence of us agreeing on a replacement. As I have already stated the GG provides a ceremonial & diplomatic function. No more, no less. Why on earth would you imagine that we would replace the GG with a model that has increased powers that would destabilise our political system? As to our political system. We have one of the strongest economies in the world. Both Labor & the LNP have traditionally been progressive thinkers & have been willing to make radical changes in the face of changing world events whilst maintaining a social equity rating that is second in the world. I guess there are advantages to being a young country unencumbered by an arcane class structure & an inability to accept that you are no longer the land of hope & glory. 😉

        • Owen_Morgan

          Good luck with that closer relationship to the US in the age of Obama. You still have an awesome arrogance to claim to speak for all Australians. Come to think of it, you and Obama would get along fine. Can the two of you just emigrate to Mars, for the sake of the actual humans on this planet?

        • Owen_Morgan

          Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn…..

  • Anne Pavey

    Quentin Bryce is as about as low one can go – she has spent our tax payer money on her hair, her make-up and her designer frocks – before that as on the board of a charity she spent it’s money too. She is a self serving individual who is only about herself. How dare she give such a speech – their needs to be an investigation about how she has spent the money as GG.

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