The Constitution is not normally front-page news in Australia. Despite the profound impact it has on our politics and society, it is easy to see why.
Overall, the document is a dry and difficult read that bears out the lawyers’ language and values of the 1890s. Former senator and High Court judge Lionel Murphy remarked that he kept a copy by his bedside. No doubt it was a perfect antidote for sleepless nights.
It is not surprising, then, that it has been a long time since the Constitution so captured public attention. The last time was in the 1970s, during the Whitlam era, when a series of events sent people searching for answers in the nation’s founding document.