For fucks sake Australia have you even read the fucking constitution?

No one has. That's why this Australia Day, we've summarised the boring as bat shit original into real, true blue, Strayan.

Grab a stubbie, this'll take 5.

And who knows, maybe having a decent fucking handle on the Constitution could be the groundwork we all need to make this country a little bit better in 2017.

Preamble

Useless shit before the main bit

This is a fucking redundant section that gives a 'short name' for the constitution that's 5 words long - experienced players might notice that’s 4 words longer than the word Constitution, which isn’t fucking short in the first place.

It’s also where the Queen gets a wrap for being great because she is the Queen, which is a bit circular, but saying it helps to pad out the intro and get us to the word count.

Anyway, there are a few important things that definitely can’t wait until later in the document:

What's this?

These are the rules for Australia. If you don't love it, make a referendum and change it; after all we're all just making shit up at this point.

Who's in charge?

If the Queen carks it (we're looking at you, 2018), it’s old mate Charles in charge. We're off to a great fucking start aren't we?

States and Territories

In Australia, States are States; and Territories are fucking weird. Fuck knows why they can’t be normal, like the true blue Australian states of Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand.

Chapter 1

The Parliament

1. General

Like any self-respecting Baby Boomer, Australian parliament will have 2 houses; the Senate and the House of Reps. These will be run by the Queen.

Since the Queen is busy christening ships, and spanking Harry for dressing as a Nazi, we will appoint a Governor General.

The GG's salary is in here, but let’s not get bogged down in the details or we'll be here for fucking ages.

2. Senate

So that no one misses out on the parade of former league players, climate deniers, and racist fish and chip shop owners, every State gets to elect 12 people to the shitshow that is the Senate. Except those fucking territories, they can have 2.

Then there's about 30 paragraphs explaining how to elect the fuckers, without one single mention of a sausage sizzle.

3. House of Reps

Aside from being the best named gym in the country, the House of Reps is also an elected group of ill-fitting suits who get paid to speak at school assemblies, smile in photos and pretend to care about our shitty little lives, all while writing it off as a tax exemption.

There’s some fairly complex year 9 algebra here to decide just how many white men we should get to make decisions for us, but in the end we agree that if you want to run, you should be male (yes, we say 'he'), and must be at least 21 years old (*cough* Wyatt Roy *cough*) and have been under UK law for at least 5 years, or watched the equivalent in seasons of The Bill.

4. House Rules

This bit has had a bit of a workout recently; but basically, you can't be elected if:

  1. You pledge allegiance to a foreign power.
  2. Make sweet coin from the Government already.
  3. You spun up Bankrupt on Wheel of Fortune, and did not become carry-over champ
  4. You have committed treason (makes sense).
  5. You have committed a serious crime.

But, let’s face it, you can’t always get what you want.

5. The Powers of Parliament

If you read one section of the Constitution, make it this one. It’s a riveting list of the 39 powers of the Parliament. Highlights include:

  • It dedicates about 10% of the list to railways.
  • It literally mentions that Parliament can make laws about buoys. Why wouldn't anyone want to read this fucking thing?
  • Marriage gets a mention here too, so if Parliament wanted to make marriage equality a thing, y'know like Canada, the US, Ireland or that old colony of ours, New Zealand... they could.

Then we wrap it up with old mate Malcolm’s fav bit; that if the Senate and House of Reps don't agree on something for fucking ages, we can get a double dissolution election - which definitely won't come back to bite the Government in the arse #2016.

Chapter 2

The Executive Government

Australians love nothing more than leaving our work for other people to do. This chapter enshrines that proud culture into our constitution. The Queen delegates her work to the Governor General, who in turn delegates it to the Ministers or to any Civil Servant they choose, who in turn knock off at 3 for a smoko, and forget what they were doing in the first place.

Chapter 3

The Judicature

Other than being a fucking nonsense word that no Australian would ever use, the Judicature is where we establish the High Court - which you may remember from Mabo, or The Castle.. or in all likelihood, you remember Mabo from The Castle. Either way, you know a fair price for a set of jousting sticks, and you'll go far.

TBH, this section is less about the balance of power between a Parliament, a Monarch and a Court, and more about a fucking odd fascination with old people. Basically, if you want to be a judge, and preside over the laws of the land you can be anything you like except older than 70. The Constitution: safeguarding Australia from your slightly racist grandma since 1901.

Chapter 4

Finance and Trade

To be fair, that chapter title doesn't exactly scream 'read me' - so I didn't.

But a quick skim tells me that this is where we established free trade between States, and where WA first got its knickers in a fucking knot about taxation.

A quick detour back through railways again (dat gauge tho) and we all settle on a fight to the death between Kochie and Ross Greenwood if we ever lose our AAA credit rating.

Chapter 5

The States

This is probably the best part of the whole fucking thing, both because it mentions alcohol (we can tax it!) and because it's what keeps us together as a nation when Queenslanders are being a bunch of fucking dickheads.

Here we decide that State laws aren't as important as national laws, that States can't make their own money and that if any State invades another State the national army will help one of them; probably decided by the toss of a coin, or whichever one is fighting Victoria.

Freedom of religion gets a guernsey here too, so that the Commonwealth won't make laws about imposing religious observance, except forced leave at Christmas.

Chapter 6

New States

If the Queen, or our MPs, decide to rejig the States, or make new ones, they can. This leaves the door open for our Kiwi cousins to stop pretending they’re a real country or for one of our rotating roster of PMs to grow a pair and collapse both the fucking Territories and start again.

Chapter 7

Shit We Forgot

Because Melbourne and Sydney fighting to be the capital is like two spoilt kids fighting over a fucking cookie; neither of them get it. Instead, we all get Canberra. Thanks a fucking lot, Eastern seaboard.

Also, in case you didn't get it every other time we mentioned it; the GG can hire as many deputies as he fucking well wants, because cutting ribbons and toasting the Queen is difficult work when you could be sitting on the porch of Admiralty House yelling at the new-money trying to sail on the Harbour.

If you got through that, you probably agree that our Constitution needs to change.

You may have noticed that this detailed summary neglects to mention Indigenous people who lived on, worked on, and cared for the land we now know as Australia for over 40,000 years before the white men who wrote the Constitution had even arrived.

In fact, that is because the Constitution neglects to mention them (except of course for the original parts that mentioned them only to exclude them from being counted).

We think it's time that changed.

The land that we now live on, work on, and care for was never Terra Nullius, but was, is, and always will be the land of the longest continual surviving culture in the world.

Regardless of our background, as Australians that is something of which we should all be proud.

In 1967, Australia won a landmark referendum to change the Constitution to remove racially discriminatory clauses.

We’re not affiliated with the Recognise campaign, we just think they're great.
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