The bedrock of the Australian constitution - the law which defines our head of state - is the 1701 Act of Settlement. It is a blood-curdling anti-Catholic rant that enshrines Protestant religious beliefs in the succession to the throne. This means that any monarch who holds communion with the Church of Rome or who marries a Papist - heaven forbid a Muslim or Methodist or Scientologist - is immediately dethroned. The act imposes anti-meritocratic race discrimination: no one unrelated to this German family (the Windsors changed their name from Saxe-Coburg Gotha during the First World War to disguise their familial relationship with the Kaiser) can aspire to the crown.
These constitutional laws are obsolete and obnoxious, and in some cases very silly. For example, ownership of every wild swan is vested in the monarch, and in the case of ''the royal fish'', the head of every whale, sturgeon or grampus landed in the United Kingdom (it is not clear whether this law extends to Australia) belongs to the king and their tails belong to the queen. The monarch is entirely immune from legal action - which would be tough luck for any tourist who happened to be run over today by a royal motorcade hastening to get to the church on time.
To ensure that our coverage was respectful, we were only planning to use jokes that Prince Phillip has previously made in public, or at least the ones that don't violate racial vilification laws. We've also filmed a joke about hunting grouse which we think you might enjoy.
Parliamentary systems -when compared to presidential systems- are characterized by having a different type of separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, leading to a different set of checks and balances. Parliamentary systems usually have a clear differentiation between the head of government and the head of state, with the head of government being the prime minister or premier, and the head of state often being a figurehead...
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