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 Chapter 32

Candidate's Policy

 

THIS chapter sets forth details of some of the advertising material sent forth in support of Russell’s election campaign. This will provide a small insight into his policy. His media release follows.

A Candidate with a Difference

Mt. Dandenong resident, Dr Russell Standish, has nominated as a candidate for election to the Constitutional Convention which will convene February 2–13, 1998. Dr Standish is a candidate with a difference. While most nominees are standing on a platform of either:

1. Support for the establishment of a Republic, or

2. Support for the retention of Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state,

Standish sees neither of these positions as central to the constitutional debate:

"The matter concerning the issues of a Republican or a Monarchist Constitution is not the crucial issue in the present debate," Standish asserts. "The central issue is the Constitution itself."

He poses a question which he considers worthy of close consideration:

"Is Australia’s present state of politics and society as a whole, conducive to wise and considered deliberation on the matter of the formulation of a new Constitution, one which will protect the civil and religious freedoms of our nation, which we covet so assiduously?"

Standish does not think so.

A graduate with a major in Modern History, including the History of Australia, from the University of Sydney and a First Class Honours Degree in Educational Psychology, Standish has carefully studied the moves to Federation and the Constitutional Conventions held a century ago. He concludes that the political atmosphere and the state of society then, stood in stark contrast to that of today. He quotes a conclusion drawn from the book Slouching Towards Gomorrah? written by Robert Bork, former United States Solicitor-General and U. S. Supreme Court Justice nominee. Bork states in his book:

"We must take seriously the possibility that perhaps nothing will be done to reverse the direction of our culture, that the degeneracy we see about us will only become worse."

Standish believes this statement could well apply also to Australia at the end of the twentieth century. Social standards of the citizens of our nation and of the politicians who rule us have demonstrated a serious decline in the last one hundred years. It is exceedingly doubtful, Standish believes, that the wisdom and clear insights into the preservation of the welfare and the protection of the freedoms of each individual citizen, so evident in our present Constitution, will dominate the thinking of those who would be entrusted to frame a new Constitution. In today’s climate of ill-considered change, uncertainty of social standards, and social decline, we could rather expect the inclusion of measures poorly constructed to protect our future. The Clemenger Report found that:

"Australians are deeply concerned about the pace of change in their society. They feel changes are random and uncontrollable."

Standish concludes that such an absence of a clear national identity and course, and the present volatility of public opinion, contrasts markedly from the 1890s where stability was the watchword of the day. Thus, this is not the moment in our history to forge a change in an element of our lives as significant as the Commonwealth Constitution, for none can predict how the final outcome will impact upon each Australian’s life and the lives of future generations. What we do know is that the 1901 Constitution with its 96-year-long track record is serving us well, very well indeed! It is time, long overdue, for Australians to rise up and defend its continuity.

 

When questioned about the prospect of a "minimalist" constitutional alteration, simply exchanging a President for a Governor-General, Standish points out that the very structure of the 1901 Constitution will not permit such a simplistic approach. For a new Constitution along these lines to make sense, deeper alterations than these are mandatory. Further, Standish suspects that once the Constitution is opened up for major review, many politicians and Constitutional activists and members of the judiciary will find it impelling to endeavour to have their own agendas inserted into the articles of the Constitution. He believes that it is time to make the Constitution itself the central issue, and not the political debate of the Republic versus the Monarchy.

Apart from our indigenous peoples, all of us are either migrants, or descendants of migrants who entered this country less than 210 years ago. Those who came to settle as part of our nation following the conclusion of hostilities after the Second World War, chose Australia because of the unusual freedom of life which it affords us. Our unobtrusive Constitution is so beneficial to our well-being that its details are seldom considered. This, in itself, is a powerful testimony, Standish believes, to its wise and citizen-friendly principles.

Standish is a sixth generation Australian with a passionate love for Australia. His British ancestors (English, Irish, and Scottish) arrived in Australia in 1844, and his 25 per cent German ancestors settled in the Barossa Valley in 1849. Dr. Standish himself is both a consultant physician and a clergyman. He graduated as a physician from Sydney University in 1964 and pursued specialist studies in London and the Royal Berkshire Hospital in England, obtaining his membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom in 1970. He was elevated to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburg in 1983, and to that of Glasgow the following year. He held the post of Deputy Medical Superintendent of the Austin Hospital, Melbourne, 1975–78, and for a number of years in the 1980s, conducted a specialist practice in Harley Street, London. Dr. Standish also spent twenty years in Medical Mission Service in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore). He also holds the Theological Normal Diploma of the Australasian Missionary College. With his identical twin brother, Dr. Colin Standish, M.A.(Hons), M.Ed., Ph.D. (Sydney University), President of Hartland Institute, Virginia, U.S.A., Russell Standish has authored twenty-three books, and four others are presently in preparation. These books cover a very wide spectrum of subjects including Education, Religion, Prophecy, History, Psychological Counselling, Cosmology and Biological Science, Religious & Civil Liberty, Natural Law, and Autobiography. The books authored by the Standishes have been published worldwide. Together they have lectured on all inhabited continents.

Russell Standish’s election statement, confined by regulation to fifty words, will appear in the Candidates’ Statement booklet which will be posted along with ballot papers to all Victorian electors between Nov. 3–14. Ballot papers have to be returned by Free Post to the Commonwealth Electoral Office, Melbourne, by December 9.

Standish’s election statement reads:

 

OUR CONSTITUTION IS SERVING US WELL

 

Our constitution, which is serving us well, will be jeopardized. Today’s atmosphere of political dishonesty and social breakdown warns that presently any constitutional alteration is unsafe. I, a consultant physician, historian, author, clergyman, international lecturer, student of the constitution, offer an informed voice representing citizen freedom.

Keep our constitution safe!

 

 

We present two extracts from the advertisements placed on behalf of Russell’s candidature.

 

It is time to put aside the emotional arguments

surrounding the Monarchist vs the Republican issue—

OUR CONSTITUTION

IS AT STAKE

 

Dr. Standish understands and shares the gratitude and nostalgia of the Monarchists. Similarly, he shares the patriotism of the Republicans. But the central issue of the present Constitutional debate is THE CONSTITUTION itself.

It is time to put aside the emotional arguments surrounding the Monarchist vs the Republican issue.

What Victorians require at the Constitutional Convention, are representatives who have studied the Constitution together with the political and social climate of today.

THERE CANNOT BE A "MINIMALIST" ALTERATION OF THE CONSTITUTION in order to simply delete the post of Governor-General, and replace it with the post of President. Any student of the Constitution will discover that no less than seventeen Articles of the Constitution provide prerogatives for the Monarch quite separate from those of the Governor-General. The Monarch, for example, is a designated part of the three most powerful arms of any nation—the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial functions. Further, the Monarch is the titular head of our Defence Forces and has the right to annul any law enacted by Parliament.

The Monarchy has a long track record of restraint in exerting these powers. But could we feel secure that an ambitious President would show similar restraint? Are we ready to imperil our freedoms and trust in an appointed or elected figure? All these matters must be seriously considered and would inevitably lead to a major reconstruction of our Constitution. Senator Robert Ray, senior Labor Party broker, was absolutely correct when he asserted:

"The minimalist position—Mr Keating’s 1995 view that only minimal changes to the Constitution was needed, and would be accepted by the community to transform Australia into a republic—was deeply flawed." (The Australian, Oct. 9 1997)

Victorians must preserve our Constitution, it is serving us well. The fact that the vast majority of Victorians do not recall a single one of the 128 Articles of our Constitution is proof of its effectiveness and power. If our liberties and way of life were restricted by our constitution, we would well know these Articles causing us such serious deprivations.

This is not the time to undertake a major reconstruction of our Constitution, which continues to serve us so well. A century ago, when our present Constitution was established, political and social conditions were quite different from today. Is Australia’s present state of politics and society as a whole, conducive to wise and considered deliberation on the matter of formulation of a new Constitution, one which will protect the civil, social, and religious freedoms of our nation, which we covet so assiduously? Are our politicians honest? Do they place the good of the nation before their personal advantage? Is society at this time stable and considered in its deliberations? The Clemenger Report in the late 1980s found that,

"Australians are deeply concerned about the pace of change in society. They feel changes are random and uncontrollable." (emphasis added)

The report identified "AIDS, crime, family breakdown, and community fragmentation" as the crucial issues destabilizing Australian society today.

Thus, now is not the time to alter our tried and trusted constitution, which has—

% Provided a haven of peace, security and liberty for millions who have come to this country from other nations whose Constitutions have impinged upon their freedoms and peaceful existence.

% Provided all Australians with a standard and quality of life which is the envy of most nations upon earth.

 

Your CANDIDATE, DR. RUSSELL STANDISH is—

% A specialist physician

% Former Harley St. specialist (London)

% Former Deputy Medical Superintendent of the Austin Hospital, Melbourne (1975–78)

% An historian. Holds a major in Modern History, including Australian History, from Sydney University and author of four historical works

% With identical twin brother, Colin Standish MA, MEd, PhD (Sydney University), President of Hartland Institute, Virginia, U.S.A., is a co-author of 23 books on history, biological and physical science, civil and religious liberty, natural justice, religion, education, and psychology.

% International lecturer—all six inhabited continents

% Former Medical Missionary to Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore.

% A sixth generation Australian (British ancestors arrived 1844; one quarter German ancestry, who arrived Australia 1849).

LET VICTORIA LEAD OUR NATION IN STANDING IN DEFENCE OF OUR CONSTITUTION

 

 

An extract from a second advertisement follows—

 

It is time to put aside the emotional arguments

surrounding the Monarchist vs the Republican issue

OUR FREEDOM IS

AT STAKE

 

Our 1901 Constitution has provided us with almost a century of Civil and Religious Freedom

Let it not be forgotten that forces are within our nation which are designed to take these freedoms from us. A full scale reconstruction of Constitution will provide the very avenue sought to subvert our liberty

Victorians under the present Australian Constitution possess freedom of speech, the right to frankly and openly express their opinions, their concerns, and dissent from political decisions. Let us oppose any moves which will jeopardize this freedom. Religious liberty provides the right to practice the Christian Faith or any other faith or no faith at all. It is the precious right of Freedom of Conscience for all Australians:

The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

Article 116 of the Australian Constitution

Let all Victorians preserve Freedom of Religion as a guarantee of Liberty of Conscience for both believer and unbeliever alike.

A generation of migrants have chosen to come to our shores in order to flee Civil and Religious persecution because our 1901 Constitution provided freedom. Let us take no action to lose such liberty. Since Federation, Australians have in Referendums rejected proposed changes to the Constitution 34 times —WHY?

1. Because our present Constitution is serving us well. It was designed with care and foresight.

2. Because in later years, the political and social climates prevailing in Australia have not been seen to be conducive to wise and statesman-like alterations.

3. The Constitution was already protecting our freedoms.

The present prevalence of political dishonesty, society fragmentation and family disintegration all impress upon Victorians that—

THIS IS NOT THE TIME

TO ALTER

OUR CONSTITUTION

 


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