Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Magna Carta Society: The Republican Debate

31 July 1999
by John Howard

Researcher - The Magna Carta Society

From time to time the issue of whether New Zealand should become a republic is raised by some of our politicians, notably Mike Moore and Jenny Shipley.

It is ironic, therefore, that on the same day the leader of Australia's republican movement, Janet Holmes a Court, was speaking out strongly for a republic and who should be the first President, half a world away Congressmen Ron Paul and Jack Metcalf introduced legislation into their House of Representatives which will restrict the "executive order" law-making powers of the United States President which can override Congress and the Senate.

Ms Holmes a Court, Australia's richest women, urged people to feel their nationhood and said wherever she was on the planet there was a gigantic elastic band which pulled her back to the smell of eucalyptus, the dry wind, the red dust and the salt spray of her nation.

Her number one choice for Australia's first President is Sir William Deane, the present Governor-General.

The referendum on the Australian republic will be held on November 6.

Meanwhile, Congressmen Paul and Metcalf say their system of checks and balances between the co-equal branches of Government established under the Constitution has grown drastically out of balance.

Congressman Paul says the most glaring example of the out-of-balance system is the power of the president to create laws through the use of the "Executive Order."

The errors of the past, whether distant or recent, should not be reason to leave the future shackled to reckless policies grown from disdainful philosophies, he said.

"I have introduced the Seperation of Powers Restoration Act which will prohibit a presidential order from having the effect of law unless it is within the scope of strictly controlled directives. In addition it repeals the 1973 War Powers Act which - despite the constitutional prohibition - granted broad war-making authority to the president, Congressman Paul said.

"Further, the legislation suspends all of the "national emergencies" which have been declared since 1976 when Congress last cancelled them. Still on the books are emergencies relating to Iraq and the Soviet bloc . These emergency declarations give a president, one person, great authority even if the situation no longer presents a threat to national security," he said.

"Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the legislation grants legal standing to individual Members of Congress and Senators, state officials and, of course private citizens who believe a president's Executive Order has overstepped constitutional bounds and negatively impacted their rights, their property and their business," Congressman Paul said.

In reality, both Australia and New Zealand have been truly independent from the British Crown for decades. The Queen, apart from the Reserve Powers including the prerogative of mercy, does not have substantial powers.

However if Australia or, indeed, New Zealand goes towards a republic, people will need to ensure that the powers of any future president are strictly limited, but also strictly divided among the three co-equal branches each with unique and limited powers and each with a co-equal duty to uphold and sustain them.

That way each branch has the ability to check the abuses of power by the others.

But first, New Zealand politicians must be made to either honour and uphold our existing constitutional laws and principles or the people need to write and agree to another power-limiting constitution.

magnacarta@minidata.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

The “Scoop 3.0” Transition Plan
There is good reason to believe that a new path and a better future is possible for Scoop in 2019 as a pioneering independent Media company. A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’.

By opening up Scoop’s structure to community ownership and exploring decentralised technology through the blockchain we can ensure the public has a stake in this enterprise and a say in its development. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

Text Messages Released: National On $100,000 Donation(s)
The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us. More>>

ALSO:

Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>

ALSO:

Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>

ALSO:

Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>

ALSO:

Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>

ALSO:

Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

ALSO:

Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels