Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Constitutional

I've just noticed that the Australian constitution features under the heads of Commonwealth power s. 51 the ability to legislate for "The influx of criminals." Odd phrase. That's separate from "Immigration and emigration", which you would think covered criminals coming in (or going out - the efflux of criminals? The reflux of criminals?)
A quick google doesn't clarify much, except that there was a Victorian (in both senses) Influx of Criminals Act in the previous century, so people obviously knew what was being referred to.

Another objectionable thing about the Australian constitution is that so much of it is junk DNA, things like "There shall be payable to the Queen out of the Consolidated Revenue fund of the Commonwealth, for the salary of the Governor-General, an annual sum which, until the Parliament otherwise provides, shall be ten thousand pounds." I'd vote for a constitutional amendment to remove all that; it'd halve the length, making it much more user-friendly.
Actually, I have the same trouble with much of the old testament, which is largely about the details of Temple protocol which even in fundamentalist terms was applicable only for that space of time when Israel had a temple, or for about nine hundred years (generous maximum) out of six thousand. Seems a poor use of space.

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