RIP Margaret Whitlam
  • I doubt too many will care here but Australia lost one of its finest. Margaret Whitlam was the wife of one of Australia's most controversial Prime Ministers. She was an icon of the arts, a voice for numerous issues, and a savvy polly herself. Out for 92; she had a good innings.


    [video=youtube;dnj68nq2n4c]
  • 92? Good run. Was she extremely influential? Was there anything she was highly criticized of supporting?
  • Sunflower said:
    92? Good run. Was she extremely influential? Was there anything she was highly criticized of supporting?


    She was pretty active when her husband was in power. She was very big on projects for helping the community, women's rights, things like that. She also wrote books, and was a champion swimmer back in the 30's. She led a very full life.

    Her husband is far more famous though, primarily because he is the first and only Prime Minister the queen had sacked. He was technically given the boot by the Governor-General, but the job of the Gov-Gen is to exercise the will of the Commonwealth within Australia, ie, the Crown. It's a powerful position to hold. I have to wonder if something like that could ever happen again. Australia 2012 is a far cry from the Australia of 1975.
  • does sacked mean had sex with?? I don't understand your English >.<<br />or perhapse she tackled him in the pocket... well that's about the same thing huh?? :P
    BTW RIP Margaret Whitlam
  • Yes, Prime Minister Whitlam had hot steamy donkey sex with the Queen of England, and Prince Philip filmed it. :p

    "Sacked" means "fired" means "dismissed" means "had his employment terminated". It's pretty common English bud.
  • For people that want to know more about the PM being "sacked".

    The Australian Governor-General (Queens representative) has reserve powers to dismiss the Australian Prime Minister. To make it even weirder the PM is responsible for selecting the Governor-General and the Prime Minster can dismiss him at any time.

    It was a very unique scenario where the opposition (Coalition with Malcolm Fraser as its leader) controlled the senate (upper house) and blocked supply. They said they would continue to do so until the Prime Minster called an election for the House of Representatives (lower house). The governor acted to break the deadlock and dismissed the PM on Fraser advice and installed Fraser as caretaker PM.

    The queen had nothing to do with it, she cannot over rule her representative she really is just a figure head holding no power. She can't even refuse the selection of her representative, yet I believe she technically has to "give it the ok" she can only act given instruction from the Australian PM.

    To quote wikipedia:

    The events of the Dismissal led to only minor constitutional change. The Senate retains its power to block supply, and the Governor-General the power to dismiss the Government. However, those powers have not been exercised again.


    So yes it could happen again.


    After the dismissal in November a double dissolution election was held in December which Fraser won.

    In the 13 December election, the Coalition won a record victory, with 91 seats in the House of Representatives to the ALP's 36 and a 35–27 majority in the expanded Senate

    These reserve powers are rarely used infact the only similar case I remember was in 1930~ when the NSW state government pretty much decided it was a power unto itself ignored federal law and widthdrew all the state money from federal accounts (Thats illegal). He was dissmised as well under reserve powers of the State Governor.


    R.I.P Margaret Whitlam
    [B][/B]
  • Ineptic said:

    So yes it could happen again.


    I don't mean technically, I mean do you think the average Australian would accept it today? If the Governor General said "Right-o Jules, piss off" do you think the average Australian would be OK with that?

    Dude, the Governor-General is the Queen's representative in Australia, you can't say she had nothing to do with it and then in the next sentence write she technically has to give the OK. So which is it? Of course the Queen gave the nod. This isn't even a debatable issue.
  • Dr Flibble said:
    I don't mean technically, I mean do you think the average Australian would accept it today? If the Governor General said "Right-o Jules, piss off" do you think the average Australian would be OK with that?


    They probably would. Kevin Rudd was dismissed in a different way that I'm still pissed off about yet the average australian doesn't care beyond "Fuckin bitch" and the women getting all excited at having our first female PM they don't care how she originally got the job.


    Dude, the Governor-General is the Queen's representative in Australia, you can't say she had nothing to do with it and then in the next sentence write she technically has to give the OK. So which is it? Of course the Queen gave the nod. This isn't even a debatable issue.
    Yea sounds contradictory but thats the way I've always had it explained to me. I did some googling to help explain it.

    For example for her to choose the Govenor-General

    The Prime Minister then provides the nomination to the monarch. The monarch may, in theory, decline the Prime Minister's advice and ask for another nomination or even appoint a person of his or her own choice, but no such cases have been recorded since November 1930, when James Scullin's proposed appointment of Sir Isaac Isaacs was fiercely opposed by the British government. This was not because of any lack of regard for Isaacs personally, but because the British government considered that the choice of Governors-General was a matter for the monarch's decision alone.

    ... the real reason being that an Australian, no matter how highly regarded personally, was not considered appropriate to be Governor-General. Scullin was equally insistent that the monarch must act on the relevant Prime Minister's direct advice.... Scullin cited the precedents of the Prime Minister of South Africa, J. B. M. Hertzog, who had recently insisted on his choice of Lord Clarendon as Governor-General of that country, and the selection of an Irishman as Governor-General of the Irish Free State – both of these appointments were agreed to despite royal disfavour.
    Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs was made Govenor-General despite objections. The way its taught in schools and explained in every documentary i've watched is the last vestiages of British power was closed in the 70's - 80's not sure exactly but it was relatively recently. Due to a loop hole all Australian High court decisions could be appealed to the high court in England. Everything the Queen does today that affects Australia is purely ceremonial. She signs things "giving the ok" but she has no other option, she can not reject the decisions of her Govenor-General or of the Australian Prime Minster. So yes the Queen gave the nod (Actually I can't find any information on that but I would assume she had to sign something), but she couldn't say no either, her power is that eroded. Whitlam was dismissed due to the Govenor-General reserve powers that were promted to action on advice of the Australian opposition leader.


    As established by the Constitution, the Parliament of Australia is composed of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate, together with the Queen of Australia. The Queen is represented through the Governor-General, who has executive powers granted in the Constitution,[1] as well as rarely exercised reserve powers.[2] The reserve powers are that legal authority remaining in the Crown after most of its historic power was transferred to Parliament or to officials. The Governor-General ordinarily acts only upon the advice of his government, but can act independently and against the advice of his advisers in exercising the reserve powers.
    The way I understand it, no one really controls the Govenor-General so to speak on the decisions he makes. He/she can ignore everyone and come to his/her own decision. The only thing that stops this being a bad thing is that he/she is appointed by and can be fired by the PM and can only use the power in very specific circumstances.

    The cermonial stuff is a joke, I want a vote on Australia becoming a republic again. It's funny when you goto a sitting of local council here they bow to a picture of the Queen before they enter or leave the chamber its a laugh, but im getting off track, this sort of stuff really interest me so sorry if I derailed the thread for the late Margaret Whitlam.
  • So what kind of person would be happy she passed? Is it the "bogans" or whatnot?

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