16. REACHING FOR THE STARS

Once installed as a majority in Federal Parliament, Independents can sort out what changes to the structure of Parliament should be put in a referendum to the people. Some, of course, do not need to be put to a referendum. Basically the structure of Federal Government is as follows:  
  1. A Titular Head of State, the Queen.
  2. The House of Representatives.
  3. The Senate.
  4. The Judiciary, presided over by the High Court.
  Below are my suggestions:
    1. Firstly, we want an Australian Head of State, nominated by and elected by the people. We could nominate as we do for Australian of the Year, and have a Board which the public appoints by vote to select four or five candidates for the final vote. The Head of State could be a President who stays in the position for a certain duration or life, after which we have another vote. Or he/she could be a hereditary monarch, so that we don't have to keep on having elections, and we would have our own Royal family.
    2. The salary and allowances of the Head of State would be decided by Parliament.
(I suggest that only the sovereign receive remuneration from the public purse if we are to have a monarch.)
  1. The House of Representatives would have a term of six years. The number of members would be in a ratio of one to ten thousand voters. Electoral boundaries would have to be changed for this to happen. My own notion is that we could abolish the States and make the electoral boundaries of the Commonwealth also Shires which would be administered by Councils. This would bring government closer to the people, cut out one tier of politicians and public servants, and make administration more effective and universal.
  2. The salaries and allowances of the Members of the House of Representatives should be decided by the High Court and remain fixed for the full term. Their pensions should be set by Parliament and be in line with the pensions of all other Australians.
  3. The Senate would have a term of four years, if we have a Senate. Perhaps we could do without one. The salaries and allowances of the Senate would be the same prescription as those of the House of Representatives.
  4. The Judiciary is a Law unto itself, so I shall leave it as it is.
  5. If we have our own Head of State, we are either a Republic or a Monarchy. Either way, we need a new flag. We don't really need a new flag. We need simply to take out the Union Jack and the State Star, and we have the Southern Cross. What better flag than the emblem of the constellation that guided our First Australians across the Torres Strait and then throughout this land? What better flag than an emblem of the flag that was flown at Eureka Stockade in 1854, where Australians won the return of democracy? The so-called "Aboriginal flag", I'm sorry, was dreamed up by a half-Caucasian, borrowing an emblem of Western culture. Flags did not belong to the culture of the First Australians, but the Constellation of the Southern Cross is still a deeply meaningful symbol to true First Australians.
  6. We could also do with a new anthem, an inspirational one, which unites us.  I await suggestions.
  N.B. We need unity. Anything which will mend bridges, bring about mutual understanding. Apologise; forgive. Try to see things from your protagonist's point of view. Don't judge, don't label. Sometimes it's the pot calling the kettle black. No-one has the right to be self-righteous.  

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