In relation to our constitutional debate here, the document produced by the "ideas summit" Mr Rudd assembled in Canberra is quite relevant. It outlined the Australia the participants wanted to see evolving by the year 2020 and rather unoriginally, it threw forward the old chestnuts of abolishing the monarchial link and the setting up of a republic.
But there were also serious criticisms of the federal system of government:
David Morgan, a former boss of Westpac, one of Australia's biggest banks, says the original model is “poorly suited to the needs of the 21st century”. The most urgent task, he says, is the creation of a national economy unhampered by conflicting state-government regulations. George Williams, a constitutional lawyer, blames the “dysfunctional” constitution for some A$9 billion ($8.5 billion) a year lost in buck-passing, red tape and duplication. Heather Ridout, of the Australian Industry Group, a business lobby, argues the federal structure is the most glaring cause of policy failures in health and education.
OK, the federal states have rather more power independent of the centre than the devolved assemblies in the United Kingdom, but since the logical stepping stone to independence would be a similar system to that existing in Australia, those highlighted failures and weaknesses are most interesting.
And isn't it rather ironic that whilst current nationalist policy in Scotland and Wales appears to be keep the Queen and at the same time loosening the economic ties with the centre, Down-Under the trend appears to be moving in exactly the opposite direction?