The Governor-General The Watchdog Not in the Room
It is interesting to note the part that the Governor-General played in ensuring that constitutional lines were not crossed. It is not that he was actively involved or indeed may not even have known anything about his name being used in the Turnbull discussions, it was the fact that, as representative of the Queen, everyone involved knew that there was no way that he could ever be a party to the intrigues of the prime minister.
Convention decrees that the Governor-General must accept the advice of the prime minister, but that is only if that advice accords to the constitution and its conventions and precedents.
There has been comment that the Governor-General is merely a cipher. The events surrounding the manoeuvrings of Malcolm Turnbull, firstly in attempting to save his prime ministership and secondly to block Peter Dutton is proof that the Governor-General is anything but. As executive head of state he is the guardian of the constitution and acts always in the interests of the people, never, ever in the personal interests of the Prime Minister.
If we had become a republic in 1999 and if the president came from the same faction as Malcolm Turnbull, the end result could have been far different and would most likely have resulted in a constitutional crisis.
The revelations over the Turnbull machinations have actually served to strengthen the position of the Governor-General and our unique system of constitutional monarchy.
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