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A Constitution for an Australian Republic

Draft by Peter Crayson

Minimalist Constitution Models 2, 3 and 4

This document contains amendments which could be made to my original Minimalist Constitution Model 1, in which the President is nominated by a Constitutional Council and Parliament is given the option of appointing the President or providing for popular election of the President. Refer to the original document for the entire text of the Constitution, and this document for amendments to the original document (i.e., only that part of the text which differs from Model 1 is included). The minimalist options provide for the following scenarios:

Note that text attributes such as bold or strikeout are not used, as all text here is text which is added to the Australian Constitution presently in force.
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[Click here to see summarised comments on significant amendments.]

[Click here to see a list of suggested future amendments.]


Minimalist Model 2 - Appointment by the Parliament with Nomination by the Prime Minister


(Reference to Chapter II Part IV in Table of Contents is deleted.)
(s.5(3)(iii) referring to the Constitutional Council is deleted.)

Chapter II - The Executive Government

Part I - The President

59. (1) (Same as in Model 1.)

The President.

(2) Within ninety days (but no later than thirty days) prior to the expiry of the term of office of an incumbent President, or within twenty five days following the death, resignation or removal of the President in accordance with this Constitution, or within twenty five days of the office of President becoming vacant in accordance with this Constitution, the Prime Minister shall, after consultation with the leaders of the other parties represented in the Parliament, and with the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition, propose a person for election as President, and shall without delay inform by message each of the Houses of the Parliament of the same.

(3) (Deleted from Model 1.)

(4) (Deleted from Model 1.)

(5) The President shall be chosen according to the following procedure:
    (i) Within ten days of the proposal by the Prime Minister, the President shall convene a joint sitting of the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives Parliament which shall meet to elect a new President.

    (ii) If within fifteen days of the proposal by the Prime Minister the Parliament has not elected a President, the Parliament shall not be prorogued, nor shall either House be adjourned for a period extending beyond five days, until a President has been elected.

    (iii) In electing a new President, a joint sitting of the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives shall vote together to approve the appointment as President of the proposed candidate. A vote by secret ballot shall be conducted, and the options shall be only to approve, to disapprove, or to abstain. If that candidate obtains the approval of at least two thirds of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, that person shall be elected President.

    But if the proposed candidate has not obtained the approval of at least two thirds of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, the procedure to choose a new President shall be repeated in accordance with sub-section (2).

    (iv) If at the time the Parliament has voted to approve a new President the office of President is vacant, the person so elected shall take office as President immediately, but if the term of the incumbent President has not yet expired, the person so elected shall take office as President upon the expiry of the term of the incumbent President.

But if notwithstanding the procedure to choose a President having been duly and conscientiously followed no President is chosen, the procedure to choose a new President shall be repeated in accordance with sub-section (2).

Procedure for choosing the President.

(6)-(13) (Same as in Model 1.)

(Various.)

60. (1) (Same as in Model 1, except (1)(iii) and (2)(ii) are deleted.)

Vacancy in office of President.


Minimalist Model 3 - Appointment of the President by the Parliament with Nomination by a Constitutional Council

Chapter II - The Executive Government

Part I - The President

59. (1) (Same as in Model 1.)

The President.

(2) Within ninety days (but no later than thirty days) prior to the expiry of the term of office of an incumbent President, or within ten days following the death, resignation or removal of the President in accordance with this Constitution, or within ten days of the office of President becoming vacant in accordance with this Constitution, the President of the Senate shall declare his intention to convene the Constitutional Council for the purpose of choosing a candidate for the office of President, and shall without delay inform by message each of the Houses of the Parliament of the same, and no less than five days from the time of such declaration, he shall convene and chair the Constitutional Council, and shall without delay inform by message each of the Houses of the Parliament of the same, and the Constitutional Council shall propose one person as the candidate for election as President.

(Second paragraph same as in Model 1.)

Convening of Constitutional Council.

(3) In proposing the said candidate, if the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition both vote in favour of a motion to propose a person to be the candidate, the motion shall not be passed except by a majority of all voting members of the Constitutional Council voting in the affirmative. But if either the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition vote against any such motion, the motion shall not be passed except by a three-quarters majority of votes in the affirmative, and in such a case the vote of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition shall not be counted.

But if within five days of the first such proposal by the Constitutional Council either House of the Parliament passes a resolution, with the concurrence of at least two-thirds of all members of that House, requesting that the Constitutional Council reconsider its proposal, the Constitutional Council shall do so, but following the second such proposal, any such resolution by either House shall be of no effect.

Declaration of Presidential candidates.

(4) If after sixty days prior to the expiry of the term of office of an incumbent President, or after fifteen days following the death, resignation or removal of the President in accordance with this Constitution, or after fifteen days following the office of President becoming vacant in accordance with this Constitution, the Constitutional Council has not proposed a person as candidate for the office of President the Constitutional Council shall not be prorogued, nor shall it be adjourned for a period extending beyond five days, until such declaration has been made.

Constitutional Council not to be prorogued or adjourned .

(5) The President shall be chosen according to the following procedure:
    (i) Within ten days of the proposal by the Constitutional Council, the President shall convene a joint sitting of the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives Parliament which shall meet to elect a new President.

    (ii) If within fifteen days of the proposal by the Constitutional Council the Parliament has not elected a President, the Parliament shall not be prorogued, nor shall either House be adjourned for a period extending beyond five days, until a President has been elected.

    (iii) In electing a new President, a joint sitting of the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives shall vote together to approve the appointment as President of the proposed candidate. A vote by secret ballot shall be conducted, and the options shall be only to approve, to disapprove, or to abstain. If that candidate obtains the approval of at least two thirds of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, that person shall be elected President.

    But if the proposed candidate has not obtained the approval of at least two thirds of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, the procedure to choose a new President shall be repeated in accordance with sub-section (2).

    (iv) If at the time the Parliament has voted to approve a new President the office of President is vacant, the person so elected shall take office as President immediately, but if the term of the incumbent President has not yet expired, the person so elected shall take office as President upon the expiry of the term of the incumbent President.

But if notwithstanding the procedure to choose a President having been duly and conscientiously followed no President is chosen, the procedure to choose a new President shall be repeated in accordance with sub-section (2).

Procedure for choosing the President.

(6)-(13) (Same as in Model 1.)

(Various.)


Minimalist Model 4 - Popular Election of the President with Nomination by a Constitutional Council

Chapter II - The Executive Government

Part I - The President

59. (1) (Same as in Model 1.)

The President.

(2) Within ninety days (but no later than thirty days) prior to the expiry of the term of office of an incumbent President, or within ten days following the death, resignation or removal of the President in accordance with this Constitution, or within ten days of the office of President becoming vacant in accordance with this Constitution, the President of the Senate shall declare his intention to convene the Constitutional Council for the purpose of choosing candidates for the office of President, and shall without delay inform by message each of the Houses of the Parliament of the same, and no less than five days from the time of such declaration, he shall convene and chair the Constitutional Council, and shall without delay inform by message each of the Houses of the Parliament of the same.

(Second paragraph same as in Model 1.)

Convening of Constitutional Council.

(3) The Constitutional Council shall choose no less than three and no more than five persons and shall declare those persons to be candidates for the office of President.

In choosing the said candidates, if the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition both vote in favour of a motion to declare a person to be a candidate, the motion shall not be passed except by a majority of all voting members of the Constitutional Council voting in the affirmative. But if either the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition vote against any such motion, the motion shall not be passed except by a three-quarters majority of votes in the affirmative, and in such cases the vote of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition shall not be counted.

But if within five days of the first such declaration of candidates by the Constitutional Council either House of the Parliament passes a resolution, with the concurrence of at least two-thirds of all members of that House, requesting that the Constitutional Council reconsider its declaration, the Constitutional Council shall do so, but following the second such declaration, any such resolution by either House shall be of no effect.

Declaration of Presidential candidates.

(4) If after sixty days prior to the expiry of the term of office of an incumbent President, or after fifteen days following the death, resignation or removal of the President in accordance with this Constitution, or after fifteen days following the office of President becoming vacant in accordance with this Constitution, the Constitutional Council has not proposed a person as candidate for the office of President the Constitutional Council shall not be prorogued, nor shall it be adjourned for a period extending beyond five days, until such declaration has been made.

Constitutional Council not to be prorogued or adjourned .

(5) Subject to this section, the President shall be chosen according to the following procedure:
    (i) Not less than five days, but no more than ten days after the declaration of candidates by the Constitutional Council, the President of the Senate shall issue his writ for the election of a new President. The writ shall be returned as soon as is practicable.

    (ii) The President shall be directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, voting as one electorate and according to the system of optional preferential voting.

    (iii) If at the time the writ has been returned the office of President is vacant, the person so elected shall take office as President immediately, but if the term of the incumbent President has not yet expired, the person so elected shall take office as President upon the expiry of the term of the incumbent President.

Procedure for choosing the President.

(6)-(13) (Same as in Model 1.)

(Various.)


Last updated 9 January 1998.


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