Manual Project Republic: Plans and Arguments for a New Australia

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In a recent project, it became clear that stakeholders could not agree about the specifics of several core processes. However, consensus came quickly as the team wrote and revised use cases. For many stakeholders, these written documents offer a foothold on a sometimes bewildering mountain of complex business processes. Remarkably, use cases often help stakeholders reach common agreement on "best practice" processes as well. In a facilitated group setting, divergent perspectives are welcomed, understood, and appreciated. As a by-product of this agreement, team members inevitably commit to support improved processes to both management and peers.

I always have the analysis team start a use case by developing the "Main Course of Events" see the sample use case. As the group develops a coherent and ordered set of process steps, team members tend to volunteer statements that begin with the words "what about The "Exception Paths" often arise in a similar way. More of these become obvious when the team considers what happens if any step in the "Main Course" fails.

As the facilitator of team meetings, carefully listen for any jargon used by stakeholders.

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Write these terms down in front of the group and ask for a definition for each one. Later, you'll add these definitions into the project glossary. Also, listen for issues as they arise. Is a process step fuzzy? Is there an area that needs more research, or an item on which team members disagree?

Write these down as well and later include them in a project issue log. As a result, the analysis team may need to prioritize development work, or separate project deliverables into phases.

You can help the analysis team by creating a catalog of the use case titles, and arranging them into some meaningful order e. With this catalog, the analysis team can prioritize the use cases. They may decide that some fall outside the project scope, or that some are not needed in the first project phase. Either way, you have given the stakeholders an opportunity to declare which functions they need the most, or which ones they need first. When software is being designed to automate aspects of an existing system, the analysis team usually begins by writing "as is" use cases to describe the current business processes.

While this effort is time consuming, the result is valuable. Besides revealing the details of an existing business process including business rules, alternative paths, and exception paths , you will create a launching pad for the team's imagination. As they are writing the use cases, they often discover an improved process, recognize unnecessary steps, or reach agreement on "best operational practices". The "as is" use cases may also allow the system architect to propose high-level process flow diagrams that represent how the new system could work.

While the first attempts may not be viable, iterative review and revision by the analysis team may generate a workable architecture for the new system. Software developers often lack an understanding of the customer's business. It is easy to forget that software systems should help business people get work done — effectively, efficiently, and inexpensively.

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To achieve these objectives, the development team must understand not only the business process the software must support, but also the process' alternatives and exceptions. Use cases provide this information in clear, structured language that developers can readily understand. I conclude from all this that the Australian constitutional debate, with its inability to codify an unnecessarily complex set of conventions, its addiction to reserve powers, and its distrust of politicians and democratic politics, is mired in the politics of the nineteenth century.

Furthermore, it is parochial and often misinformed. Overseas precedents make clear that the core conventions of parliamentary government can be written into constitutional law and there is no universal appetite for reserve powers. Also in , Senator Andrew Murray commissioned a series of essays from seven notable contributors titled Trusting the people: an elected president for an Australian republic.

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These provisions are not novel. Most of them were contained in a bill to amend the Constitution which was passed by the Senate in but which was refused passage by the then government in the House of Representatives, the Constitution Alteration Fixed Term Parliaments Bill Evans discusses nomination, election and removal of a president, and how to handle a sudden presidential vacancy. Early in the republican issue was given an interesting twist with the eruption of a controversy embroiling the Governor-General Dr Peter Hollingworth, who was said to have failed to pursue allegations of sexual abuse by clergy in his former diocese.

His eventual resignation in May sparked new calls for an overhaul of the way that the Governor-General is selected.

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Professor John Warhurst has had a long association with the Australian Republican Movement and has been a senior office bearer. It is like a kiss of death. Warhurst explained that after the defeat, the ARM produced a new constitutional and organizational structure and a new national committee was elected in August Warhurst noted that a comprehensive November Newspoll showed:.

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Warhust was hopeful that the recently announced Senate inquiry into the republic would give a substantial impetus to the republican debate. The ARM also directed energy into preparing Six preambles to a republican constitution of Australia, a project that was launched at the Museum of Sydney on 8 June Six prominent Australian writers and thinkers offered individual statements reflecting their vision for Australia, its land and people:. The Preamble Project began as a conversation between the writer James Bradley and other republicans about the need to provide some imaginative foundation for the ongoing debate about an Australian Republic.

In the course of that conversation the idea was floated of inviting several writers to draft preambles to a republican Constitution as a way of giving voice to some of the deeper impulses an Australian Republic might embody It must, in other words, tell us the story of who we are. Importantly, this will be relatively easy to do. Public statements on controversial topics upon which there are at least two strongly held views within the community inevitably will polarize views of the Governor-General concerned.

Fundamentally, that dimension is to facilitate a separation between legitimacy and power within our constitutional system, so preventing a close identification between politicians and the state itself and its interests. This dimension is not easily consistent with an adventurous understanding of the office of Governor-General. Australian republicanism: a reader, edited by Mark McKenna and Wayne Hudson, was published in late McKenna argues for the conceiving of a republic in maximal, not minimal, terms that would involve substantive political reform to empower citizens and facilitate reconciliation with Indigenous Australians.

The republic was neither a ship of dreams nor a vessel of political reform. Instead it was reduced to a slogan—resident for President. Cast against the history of republicanism, contemporary republican philosophy can easily appear shallow. In McKenna also published This country: a reconciled republic?

Why it's always the right time to push for a republic

It stated that:. The ARM was quick to deny those suggestions, saying that three of the six models it had put forward in involved direct election. The ARM advocates a three-plebiscite process: first, a plebiscite on the threshold question of whether Australia should become a republic; a second plebiscite asking Australians their preferred model and a third asking Australians to choose the title of the Head of State.

A fully elected Convention would then draft the model, according to the plebiscite results, to be put to the Australian people in a referendum.

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Saunders sees merit in including the following features in any republican model:. In some countries, the same person is both head of state and leader of the government. The conservative publication Quadrant devoted a three-page editorial to the republic in May Patmore traverses the familiar grounds of constitutionalism, popular sovereignty, ways of choosing a head of state, the powers of the head of state, and how to preserve political stability. He highlights the tensions involved in achieving both participation and neutrality in electoral processes, and affirms the absolute necessity of bipartisanship by political leaders if the transition to a republic is to be achieved:.

They ought to agree on a framework for the development of a viable proposal for a republic. The framework should allow time for widespread public consultation and education, and eventually a referendum, and permit productive disagreement even between the political leaders over the desirability of various models.

As drew to its close, an opinion piece by the republican and former Queensland premier, Peter Beattie, captured the essence of the republican state of play. Her standing in the eyes of Australians has firmly sidelined the republican debate.

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In my view, Australians are not going to trust politicians to appoint the president; they want to have a say. Those who argue otherwise misjudge the Australian psyche.

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I make two suggestions to you. The rights and duties of the president must be set out in the Constitution, as they are in the constitution of Ireland. The head of state could still be called the governor-general; as the USA shows, governor can be a republican term and need not be a monarchist term.

It makes sense to have a two-stage process on the way to a republic. The first step is to ask Australians if they want a republic. If they do, step two puts the models to choose from in a referendum. In reality, there are only two real choices for an Australian republic: the direct election of the president, as in the Irish model, or the governor-general simply appointed as president by federal parliament. It has to be a thoroughly pro-Australian argument. Australia Day has also had to contend with Anzac revivalism and the sense that the commemorations of April 25 serve as a more rightful - and righteous - national day.