Monday, October 21, 2019

WHITLAM essays

WHITLAM essays Was the Governor General right to argue that he had the constitutional authority to dismiss the Whitlam Government or was Whitlam correct in arguing that the principle of responsible government should prevail? On the 11th November 1975, the Australian Governor General, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the federal Government of Gough Whitlam and commissioned Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser as Prime Minister. The dismissal and the events leading to it clearly demonstrated the friction between constitutional authority and responsible government. In a spiral of events, responsible government and the overall concept of democracy was blatantly ignored, and technicalities within the constitution abused, leading to the dismissal of a democratically elected Prime Minister. While the Governor Generals decision was constitutionally allowed, it was certainly not the responsible or democratic Despite their victory in the double-dissolution election of 1974, the Labor Party found themselves once again without a majority in the Senate, deadlocked with the Liberal/National coalition at 29 seats each, with 2 going to the independents.1 They received a further blow with the death of one Labor Senator and the resignation of an other. In this particular situation, according to the Constitution, under Section 15, such vacancies were to be filled by the state from which the former senator came from by a nomination from a joint sitting in the House of Parliament. However in the principal of responsible government and democracy, unwritten convention had developed that the casual vacancy should be filled by a member of the same political party, in this way maintaining the representation of the previous election. Both the New South Wales and Queensland governments broke with this convention and the two vacancies were not filled by the Labor Partys nominees. Even at this early point the tension between writt...

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