Friday, October 05, 2007

The Australian constitution is useless

Really, what is so useful about a document that tells us how many members of parliament, the levels of government, the numbers of senators, the election terms and the role of the queen and governor general ?

Its all just formality and ceremony. Is there much in there to limit the powers of government ? Unfortunately not.

....the Australian Constitution, was to list the powers given to the Commonwealth and otherwise leave the powers of the States unspecified and unrestricted.

Some powers are given exclusively to the Commonwealth, but with others overlap is allowed, with a provision (Section 109) to decide which legislation prevails if there is conflict. There is also provision to give new powers to the Commonwealth, either by the consent of State Governments
There are no clauses that seem to limit the power of the government, and no bill of rights. No guarantee on the right to bear arms, no clauses about freedom of speech, or about government having no power to tax commerce, and no mention of life, liberty and property.