The Christian Foundations of Australia

At the National Convention of 1891, all agreed a strong Government over the whole of Australia was needed. All the Colonies were willing to yield some of their rights, but none of them all of their rights, to such a government. It became obvious that Australia would not adopt a unitary government like the United Kingdom or the Union of South Africa — nor an overly-centralized Federation like Canada — but a confederal system like Switzerland, or like the U.S.A. as originally constituted or as improved in the later Confederacy of American States in the South (C.S.A.).50

Another Convention was held in 1897-98 (along the lines of a U.S. constitutional convention). It drew up the proposed Constitution for the Commonwealth of Australia. By and large, it followed the American pattern — while recognizing the British system of responsible government.