The Constitution of Australia

In preparation for the commemoration of Australia Day1, I present to you the (somewhat abridged and edited) Constitution of Australia:

  1. The continent of Australia was willed into existence by the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, having previously comprised isolated stretches of coastline on Dutch maps.
  2. Don’t mention the massacres. I mentioned them once, but I think I got away with it.
  3. The Commonwealth of Australia is one of four countries in the world, the other three of which are collectively referred to as “Overseas”, and include “Western Christianity”, “Asia” and “Islam”.
  4. The Commonwealth of Australia is founded on Western Christian values (delete whichever is inconvenient): racial superiority, forgiveness, conquest, humility, colonialism, tolerance for others, surprise, fear, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope and nice red uniforms.
  5. As Australia is founded on such openness, it cannot afford to let anyone else in who might dilute that openness, or otherwise embarrass its morally flawless citizens into living up to what they claim to believe in.
  6. The legal system of the Commonwealth is firmly based on the Ten Commandments and Deuteronomy, with the exception of the first, second, third, fourth, sixth, ninth and tenth commandments, and all the slavery, death, animal sacrifice and prohibitions on divorce, adultery and the mixing of otherwise innocuous things together, and aside from a few extra fiddling prohibitions we’ve implemented against rape, assault, deprivation of liberty, fraud, extortion, possession of drugs and firearms, etcetera. Firmly based, you understand.
  7. The monarch of the UK is on loan to Australia in perpetuity, to save on costs. He/she doesn’t really have any power, except when actually visiting the country, in which case all citizens are required to become gibbering idiots overwhelmed by gushing affection. In practice, the head of state is the Governor General, but he/she doesn’t really do anything either. Except once or twice, but you have to be Really Surprised about it.
  8. The head of government, operation of parliament and rights of the citizens are left as exercises for the reader.
  9. All citizens with incomes of $200,000 per year (adjusted for inflation) or more are permitted to whinge in the national media about “not being rich”, due to the unavoidable costs of living in a $1.5 million house with three cars, four refrigerators and a boat, and sending five children to private schools partly funded by the taxpayer. All other citizens are required to empathise with due weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  10. Elections of the House of Representatives are to be held no later than every three years, following a mandatory six-month period of intense speculation about electoral tactics. During this period, no substantive policy debate is permitted.
  11. The electorate is prohibited from electing a minority government, or choosing different outcomes in House of Representatives and Senate elections. The penalty for disobedience is a term of incoherent shouting from political commentators, followed by pledges from all parties never work with anyone ever again.
  12. The parliament is prohibited from implementing policies with planned outcomes more than three years in advance. The penalty for a violation is a term of incoherent shouting from political commentators followed by ruinous election defeat.
  13. Parties in office are permitted a maximum of six major scandals per term of office, and a minimum of four, to be approved via incoherent shouting from political commentators.
  14. The Federal Executive Council must contain a minimum proportion of arseclowns (initially 33%, to be adjusted upwards as determined by the parliament), defined as those members elected to safe seats who would not have been permitted into adulthood save for party affiliation.
  15. New Zealand is a state, whatever it says. Western Australia may or may not be a state depending on how much GST revenue it provides.
  16. Additional states may be approved on the basis of participation in the AFL or NRL.
  17. Australia is required to win every sport ever invented. Failure to do so is a National Disgrace, and requires that funding be stripped from science and education to compensate.
  18. Amendments to the Constitution must be approved by referendum, the outcome of which is “no”.
  1. The anniversary celebration of a bunch of Europeans taking over an inhabited continent and pretending it wasn’t. []

6 thoughts on “The Constitution of Australia

  1. You are wasted as a lecturer, you should immediately quit the university and become either a comedian, religious broadcaster or a politician depending on whichever you feel will earn you the most humor for your way with words (the correct answer is certainly not a politician)

  2. Cricket needs to be mentioned in here somehow, somewhere, right? 😛 I guess 17 covers it *somewhat* but only implicitly.

    It is almost ironic how your blog is now a favourite of students – if only it was the bad ones and not the good ones, then you could subliminally teach them.

    Can’t wait to see what you make of the Senate recount (if that should ever happen). Your article re: weighting the small parties was astoundingly accurate.

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