March 30

A Republic? Young Not Interested – Ageing Elites Throw Tantrum

For years, monarchists have been caricatured, sometimes affectionately malevolently , in the media. Perhaps its time to ask just who is the typical republican? PP Mc Guinness tells us that the Green vote in the inner urban areas in the recent New South Wales local government elections is essentially similar to the republican vote in 1999. ( see The Sydney Herald of 30 March, 2004- Melbournians, incidentally, do not see this column in The Age because the editor caved in years ago to threats by Age journalists against republishing his column ) Paddy-who was a republican well before it became fashionable- says this vote represents the disaffected inner urban upper-middle classes, especially those who consider themselves on the left. Some people refer to them as the elites. Paddy muses that the elites increasing aggressiveness is in part because the levers of economic and social power are slipping from the grasp of the baby-boomer generation- a kind of tantrum of the ageing! In the same edition of the Herald, Cosimer Mariner reports on ALP polling of a sample of 1000 young voters in marginal electorates.

The majority sided with Labor on a range of issues.( If they hadn't, would the poll have seen the light of day?) There is a table showing how they rate their priority issues, although we do not know the precise question asked. For example, did the questioner prompt them with a list of priority issues, or was each young person allowed to choose any issue without any prompting? I would think that a list was probably used for administrative convenience, and because these were the issues the ALP chose. And after all the ALP was paying. The results are not at all surprising. At the top are education, 25%, health 19%, family 14%, wages and work, 9%, etc. Readers will be interested to find forlornly, at the very bottom of the table, the issue, 'republic '. Was it there because the pollsters put it on a list which each respondent had to rate? If they did, republicans will curse the politicians and the pollsters for doing this. The young, apparently strongly Labor inclined voters ranking of the republic as a priority issue was one per cent! Yes. A miserable 1%.Without prompting, it wouldn't have been there. Why? Because the typical young Labor voter is just not interested in destabilising our constitutional system, as I am sure that the same young Labor voter wouldn’t have a bar of changing our Flag. This should not surprise us. It is consistent with major polls taken in Canada, and also New Zealand, which we have previously reported. It is consistent with the answers 26,000 Herald Sun readers recently gave to a questionnaire on current issues, where the young voted 56% against a republic. Need we say more?


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