The national chair of the Australian Monarchist League, Philip Benwell, has come out swinging post allegations then Prime Minister Turnbull sought to involve the Governor-General in last August’s Liberal leadership spill.
Benwell argues this is clear evidence of the necessity of “retaining our system of constitutional monarchy”.
Facing a potential leadership challenge from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, the former head of the Australian Republican Movement allegedly sought to save himself by appealing to the only person with the power to refuse to swear in a Prime Minister: the Governor-General.
It’s claimed that, by convincing the Governor-General to refuse to sanction Dutton’s prime ministership, Turnbull hoped to rule another day.
As it happened, we’ll never know: Peter Dutton’s bid for the top spot failed, averting Turnbull’s rumoured constitutional crisis. However, Benwell argues that without Australia’s constitutional monarchy, utter chaos may well have ensued in this instance.
“Just imagine what the situation would have been had Australia become a republic with a president from a political party… There is no telling whether a decision in such a matter would have been subjected to a bias rather than complete impartiality.”
“Under our system of constitutional monarchy, the allegiance of the Governor-General is to the Queen and through the Queen to the people, never to politicians, not even to the prime minister nominated him or her. Under a republic there is no telling where allegiance will fall.”
Benwell believes Turnbull potentially taking such action proves Australia is best served with a government formed under a constitutional monarchy.
“The Governor-General is above party politics and any decisions made would be made by him alone, always in the interests of the people.”