Churchill and the Empire

The trouble, much like with Australia, is that the Prime Ministers who happen to occupy office in all the Dominions - save South Africa - in the mid- to late-40s were, OTL, more interested in shaping the transition from Empire to Commonwealth. Perhaps that was a function of the realpolitik of the situation, but, given they were Liberal/Labor/Labour (Can, Aus, NZL respectively) I suspect it was actually more of a conviction than expediency. Interestingly, in each case they were replaced with PMs who radically disagreed with them.

Sidney Holland in New Zealand called himself a "Britisher through and through".

As noted previously, Robert Menzies in Australia described himself as "British to his bootstraps".

John Diefenbaker in Canada vehemently opposed the introduction of the Canadian Maple Leaf flag.

Which is why I'm asking this question regarding the Dominions, I suppose. In OTL, the Liberal/Labor/Labour PMs served concurrently with a Labour government in London who probably agreed with them on most things, including the reform of the Empire. How would they have instead got on with Churchill?
Loyalty to the home country had been worn down somewhat by the war. There were still those who identified strongly with Britain in the Dominions, but I think the general impression was that we had paid our dues, let us do what we want for the moment. That kind of stifled the more Empire/Commonwealth unity minded in the Dominions while those who were less so, saw the changing situation at the end of the war as opportunity to bring about change. Combined with British strength seeming pretty depleted, the Dominions took the opportunity yo distance themselves from Britain and flex their independent muscles a little. To be honest, I doubt Churchill winning in 1945 would greatly change that dynamic. I suppose if Britain was more inclined to work on making the Commonwealth a little more closely tied than OTL, that might be doable.
That’s my read on it anyway.
 
Australia declined for the Statute of Westminster to be automatically applied to it in 1931 - it wouldn't be formally adopted until 1941. The idea of an Australian Governor-General was denounced in the Australian House of Representatives as "practically republican" in the the 30s. When the Queen visited in 1954, there were more Union Jacks than Australian ensigns flown to greet her. Australians were still, legally, British subjects, and other British subjects were, legally, Australian while in Australia until 1988.

Certainly the anti-British sections of the Australian population you allude to, particularly the Irish element, existed and spread throughout more of Australian society with the decline of the British Empire. However, you'll note that the above all were the case well after Gallipoli and the "lions and donkeys" mythology and those elements were fighting an uphill battle until at least the 1970s.
I think it, like many things, depends on where you grew up and lived. My father who had an Irish grandmother lived opposite the new Catholic church and was a devout Catholic. It wasn't an appreciably Irish area but when that new Catholic Church opened in 1923 they flew Union Flags on the front. Nearly the entire Irish population took one look at it and didn't attend the opening. They had no love for the British after 1916. It lasted for at least a generation and none attended the Church for Mass. Just before WWII that slowly started the change. Outside of the Eastern states, there was less love for the British than in Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane.
 
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Loyalty to the home country had been worn down somewhat by the war. There were still those who identified strongly with Britain in the Dominions, but I think the general impression was that we had paid our dues, let us do what we want for the moment. That kind of stifled the more Empire/Commonwealth unity minded in the Dominions while those who were less so, saw the changing situation at the end of the war as opportunity to bring about change. Combined with British strength seeming pretty depleted, the Dominions took the opportunity yo distance themselves from Britain and flex their independent muscles a little. To be honest, I doubt Churchill winning in 1945 would greatly change that dynamic. I suppose if Britain was more inclined to work on making the Commonwealth a little more closely tied than OTL, that might be doable.
That’s my read on it anyway.
Curtin made his (in)famous speech to Washinton were he declared that Australia now looked them for help. The reality was that Australia was a big continent with a small population and it needed help to hold back what appeared to be undefeatable Japanese onslaught. Yes, the Statute of Westminster wasn't passed until early 1942 but that was more because of laziness than anything in Canberra. The previous United Australia Party under Menzies just hadn't worried about it because of his naive belief that Britain would "look after us". The problem was that London would look after itself first and foremost. As events proved. Menzies believed himself enough of an Englishman that he could even believe it was ultimately possible for him to stand in a seat in the UK and take over the Prime Ministership from Churchill. What disabused him of that notion was when Canberra came a'calling and his party back home dissolved itself and a vote of no-confidence led to an election.
 
Menzies actually spent 4 months in Britain in mid 1941 while his support in the United Australia Party crumbled ending up with Fadden the leader of the Country Party the minor partner in the coalition becoming PM. There have be stories which maybe somewhat grandiose that Menzies so impressed some members of the British parliament that they looked into arranging a by-election in a safe seat running him and once in the house replacing Churchill with him as PM.
 
There have be stories which maybe somewhat grandiose that Menzies so impressed some members of the British parliament that they looked into arranging a by-election in a safe seat running him and once in the house replacing Churchill with him as PM.
A coup like that would certainly change the relationship between Britain and the Dominions forever. I'm sceptical that they could ever have pulled it off though. Get him a safe seat in Westminster? Yes, that's not a problem. Go on to replace the PM with an outsider? Borderline ASB.
 
A coup like that would certainly change the relationship between Britain and the Dominions forever. I'm sceptical that they could ever have pulled it off though. Get him a safe seat in Westminster? Yes, that's not a problem. Go on to replace the PM with an outsider? Borderline ASB.
There was a plan during early World War II to have Jan Smuts replace Churchill as the British Prime Minister if Churchill died during the war. King George VI and the Queen Mother (Mary, not Elizabeth) both approved of it.

Now *that* would, if it weren't historical fact, be ASB. A former Boer general who fought the British ending up the arch-imperialist British PM.
 
There was a plan during early World War II to have Jan Smuts replace Churchill as the British Prime Minister if Churchill died during the war. King George VI and the Queen Mother (Mary, not Elizabeth) both approved of it.

Now *that* would, if it weren't historical fact, be ASB. A former Boer general who fought the British ending up the arch-imperialist British PM.
The idea of a Dominion politician becoming British Prime Minister is very interesting, and it would of been Britain's best chance at improving relations with the Dominions after the World Wars.
 
You are assuming that they, the Dominion politician didn't believe in being more British than the British were...
 
The important difference between Canada and ANZAC is that the US is an unreliable actor outside North America until 1945, if even then.
The Dominions need a big power to ensure their status in the big bad world, isolated from Europe. That unfortunately means a lot of hoping and praying Britain will stand up.
 
Well, they had cause ... Gallipoli ... a right royal muck up == the original plan might have made some sense but by the time the Australians were sent in after the fleet bombardment had failed, the enemy were waiting for them .. if the troops had been landed first with the element of surprise it might just have worked .... but to land them months after making your intentions obvious was indeed just sending men to their deaths .... Churchill should have called it off after the moron of a French Admiral ran half a dozen battleships into a string of mines that sunk half of them instead of trying to use the Australians to recover the situation.
I've a friend whose Australian father hates Churchill for that reason.
 
I wasn't gonna jump back up on the soap-box :p, but lemme get this straight.... (had to break out the calculator on this one)...
If you have FIFTEEN candidates running for a seat (assuming a SMD) in a FPTP election, doesn't that mean that someone could win with 6.67%, plus 1, of the vote? That's not much of a "clear mandate from the people" :winkytongue:
I prefer the Australian system of AV Under any.system.but FPTP the disaster that hit South Africa in 1948 wouldn't have happened.
 
I prefer the Australian system of AV Under any.system.but FPTP the disaster that hit South Africa in 1948 wouldn't have happened.
A quote often misattributed to Stalin goes something like: "Those who cast the votes decide nothing... those who count the votes decide everything...". When speaking of SMD's in a FPTP system, I'd modify that slightly to read "those who draw the electoral district boundaries decide everything"! :p
While gerrymandering is not impossible with multimember districts or AV-type systems with SMD's, it's usually not so blatant or so frequently encountered.
I live in a US state with 13 House seats, and for the past few elections, the split's been about 10/3, despite the electorate being nearly evenly split between the two parties... easy to figure that one out.
OK, that's it, I'm out... No more derailing from me! :p
 
A quote often misattributed to Stalin goes something like: "Those who cast the votes decide nothing... those who count the votes decide everything...". When speaking of SMD's in a FPTP system, I'd modify that slightly to read "those who draw the electoral district boundaries decide everything"! :p
While gerrymandering is not impossible with multimember districts or AV-type systems with SMD's, it's usually not so blatant or so frequently encountered.
I live in a US state with 13 House seats, and for the past few elections, the split's been about 10/3, despite the electorate being nearly evenly split between the two parties... easy to figure that one out.
OK, that's it, I'm out... No more derailing from me! :p
Well shouldn't all regions in the state be represented, rather than just the populous metropolis.
 
Well shouldn't all regions in the state be represented, rather than just the populous metropolis.
Of course... but in proportion to the population and to the level of support for each party. It's just inherently not fair that a person's vote in a rural should be "weighted" disproportionately over a person's vote in an urban area, or that supporters of one party see their votes wasted and meaningless in election after election because they tend to be clustered in urban areas... Packing and cracking are "cheat-to-win" tactics any way you slice it... or draw it, in this case :)
 
Of course... but in proportion to the population and to the level of support for each party. It's just inherently not fair that a person's vote in a rural should be "weighted" disproportionately over a person's vote in an urban area, or that supporters of one party see their votes wasted and meaningless in election after election because they tend to be clustered in urban areas... Packing and cracking are "cheat-to-win" tactics any way you slice it... or draw it, in this case :)
Well the state should be represent the people, not just those in the big city. It's not fair that people in the big city should get a say over 90% of the state that voted differently from them. Perhaps the solution to this is more decentralised states.
 
Well the state should be represent the people, not just those in the big city. It's not fair that people in the big city should get a say over 90% of the state that voted differently from them. Perhaps the solution to this is more decentralised states.
There should be an equal number of voters in each constituency/district. Had that applied in SA apartheid would have remained a theory.
 
Well the state should be represent the people, not just those in the big city. It's not fair that people in the big city should get a say over 90% of the state that voted differently from them. Perhaps the solution to this is more decentralised states.

I think it all depends on how many people are in a representatives seat. Urban areas have a higher population density than rural areas. If you give more weight to rural areas you have the situation that developed in Queensland in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. The Gerrymander was managed by the local state Electoral Commission and they were political appointees. The result was the rural based Country (or National as it later became named) Party run the affairs so that the distribution favoured their voters and so they were continually elected. It was shameful and the rest of Australia could not understand it how it happened. You had Joh Bjelke-Petersen the Premier preside over a crooked Government. He was on the take and so were his senior ministers. It was never proven in court but the man who collected the bribes was convicted but the people he gave the bribes to, went scott free.
 
I think it all depends on how many people are in a representatives seat. Urban areas have a higher population density than rural areas. If you give more weight to rural areas you have the situation that developed in Queensland in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. The Gerrymander was managed by the local state Electoral Commission and they were political appointees. The result was the rural based Country (or National as it later became named) Party run the affairs so that the distribution favoured their voters and so they were continually elected. It was shameful and the rest of Australia could not understand it how it happened. You had Joh Bjelke-Petersen the Premier preside over a crooked Government. He was on the take and so were his senior ministers. It was never proven in court but the man who collected the bribes was convicted but the people he gave the bribes to, went scott free.
Well if the state governments are elected by the big cities, the state will just favour the big cities. That's what the whole power struggle is about, a rural government will be in the interests of the ruralites and the urban government will be in the interest of the urbanites. And considering cities often only represent a small area of the state, it isn't fair they should get to distantly rule over the rural areas. More decentralisation will give better representation of each groups interests.
 
Well if the state governments are elected by the big cities, the state will just favour the big cities. That's what the whole power struggle is about, a rural government will be in the interests of the ruralites and the urban government will be in the interest of the urbanites. And considering cities often only represent a small area of the state, it isn't fair they should get to distantly rule over the rural areas. More decentralisation will give better representation of each groups interests.
The point is, in a democracy, the power resides where the people resides as they vote for the government they desire...
 
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