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Our Heritage 

The Crown, our oldest institution, is thus at the very centre of our constitutional system, linking us to the other Realms and to the Commonwealth of Nations . It is part of the heritage handed down to us by the British, including  the rule of law, the common law, our Judeo –Christian values, and responsible government under the Westminster system. This heritage allowed Australia to be the success story of the twentieth century.   This may offend the cultural relativists, but it is established that colonisation by the British, compared with that of other powers, has usually been of considerable advantage to the colonised. According to a study by researchers from Harvard and the University of Chicago, former British colonies rank among some of the world’s best administrations.  Of the top ten, five were based on the common law, which strongly defends property and individual rights. Apart from Switzerland, there were four Scandinavian countries, whose constitutional systems are influenced by Britain.

Constitutional monarchies, through their structure, avoid those four republican perils :  excessive  rigidity, as in the American system, which is reduced to near  paralysis whenever  the President is seriously threatened with impeachment; political conflict and competition between the head of state, prime minister and ministers ,  a hallmark of the French Fifth Republic, an inherently unstable  model curiously followed in a number of countries;   extreme instability, which often haunted  the Latin versions of Westminster, and regular resort to the rule of the street to solve conflict, which permeates those systems which live under the shadow of the French revolution.

Another measure of relevance is the UN Human Development Index (HDI). This is a comparative measure of poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, childbirth, and other factors in most of the countries of the world. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. The HDI is contained in a Human Development Report which is published annually. In every year, constitutional monarchies make up most or all of the leading five countries, and make a disproportionate number of the leading ten, fifteen, twenty and thirty countries. No constitutional monarchy comes into any of the corresponding lists at the other end. The results are so consistent it would be difficult to dismiss this as a mere coincidence. This corroborates the results of the research at Harvard and Chicago.

These matters are not of course conclusive against fundamental constitutional change in Australia. They do support the contention that those who would change are   under a duty not to hide or ignore the Crown, but as a first step, to understand its role and function in our constitutional system. The behaviour of politicians who attempt to hide or suppress the symbols of the Crown is at best ignorant and ideologically driven, occasionally spiteful and at worst,  sinisterly indicative of a wish  to remove these checks and balances on their exercise of power, as we have seen in relation to the eviction of the governors from Government House in New South Wales.

Once those who propose change demonstrate an understanding of the role and function of the Crown, they are then under a duty to the Australian nation to develop sound reasons for change, and, most importantly, to develop a model which is, in all respects, as sound as the constitutional system which has ensured the extraordinary success that is the Commonwealth of Australia.   To seek change without understanding, and change without knowing what that change should be, is consistent with a view that the electorate is naïve, easily manipulated and gullible. It was precisely against such a campaign that the founders devised the procedure for change by way of a referendum under section 128 of the Constitution.

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