Forty years ago, Australia was in the midst of a constitutional crisis set off by the blocking of supply by the Senate, which culminated in the governor-general's Dismissal of the Whitlam government and a landslide election victory for the Coalition. Long-term effects included a boost to efforts for constitutional reform and especially the idea of moving to a republic.

At the same time on the other side of the world, Portugal was engaged in a much more serious crisis. The "carnation revolution" the previous year had overthrown its right-wing dictatorship, and democratic left-wing forces were now struggling for power with communists. The democratic socialists eventually prevailed, and Portugal became a stable parliamentary republic, joining the European Union in 1986.