March 15

ACM Newsletter: latest issue

The editorial from the latest issue of the newsletter of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy is posted below.  Financial supporters of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy receive copies of the newsletter as soon as it is published.

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If you are a financial supporter and have not yet received your copy, please let us know. You can telephone the ACM National Office on (02) 92512500. The next issue will be published in May.

 Editorial by Thomas Flynn:

 I would like to tell you a story about two real people, Bob and Miranda. Bob has announced on more than one occasion that he is strongly opposed to Australia having an elected President. He attended the constitutional convention in 1998 and worked assiduously to promote the Yes case at the republic referendum in 1999. Miranda, on the other hand, is very much in favour of an elected president and promoted that cause at the convention in 1998. Organisations like the ARM would have Australians believe that Bob and Miranda somehow belong together. They say that Bob and Miranda belong together in a group separate from constitutional monarchists. The ARM calls these people “republicans”. They say most Australians want “a republic” and that we should not split hairs about a model. It is easy to see why the ARM does this. They want to get as many people as possible on their side in the hope that they can cajole them at some point in the future into supporting some-any-non-monarchical system which they will benevolently label “a republic”. But the ARM’s convenience is no reason for the rest of us to go along with their strategy. There is not a hope that Bob and Miranda (or any fellow anti-monarchists) will ever agree on how to select a president. They share only one thing: they reject the Australian crown. In other words being a republican – so far as the ARM is concerned – is only about not being something. All they can say is “no Queen!”. They cannot agree how to replace her.

…the Australian Crown….

 The Australian crown, worn for more than fifty years by Queen Elizabeth II, has delivered 110 years of peaceful government since federation. The Commonwealth of Australia was born with the twentieth century  – an era marked by horrendous tyrannies which often emerged from benign republican systems of government. But while the people of other countries looked with apprehension at their cleverly balanced republican constitutions being supplanted by more sinister regimes, Australians lived and prospered under a system that you could not invent but we were lucky enough to inherit. This system – the Australian constitutional monarchy – is the system people like Bob and Miranda are united in wanting to see abolished. But they cannot agree what should replace it.

…a republic….

 They call the system they would put in its place “a republic”, as though the word must always and everywhere exclude monarchy. At the time of federation Cardinal Moran, the Archbishop of Sydney, described the new Commonwealth of Australia as having “the most perfect form of republican government”. There have been a couple of Senators in recent times who were under the impression that Canada had done away with its monarchy. Cardinal Moran was not making that mistake about his own country, and nor is Michael Kirby, formerly a judge of the High Court, nor is John Howard. Yet Michael Kirby – who drafted ACM’s Charter – describes Australia as “a crowned republic” and John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia for eleven years, does the same. This is not to announce a change in ACM’s vocabulary. We still describe our opponents as republicans. But let us always remember that the word republic does not just mean a non-monarchical system. It also means any constitutionally ordered system of government. “Crowned republic” is just another way of saying “constitutional monarchy”. That is why Cardinal Moran, Michael Kirby and John Howard speak as they do.

…education project….

 It gives us great pride and pleasure in this issue of the newsletter to announce to all ACM’s supporters our new educational project. 

We thought for a long time about the name to give this project. At the simplest level we wanted it to be easily found by students and teachers looking for information. It was clear that civics pupils are being told to research “the Australian republic debate”. They therefore look up the word “republic” on the Web. They do not look for words like “crown” or “constitutional monarchy”. We tried different terms and then somebody suggested Crowned Republic. It was like a light going on.

…Crowned Republic…

 Crowned Republic: both the fact of our ordered and lawful government and the way it is supervened and guaranteed by the crown. Crowned Republic: the noble art of politics where it matters but controlled by a system of leadership beyond politics. Crowned Republic: a system of government which is tried and tested by experience and protected by the authority of an hereditary crown, an authority that cannot be explained by the clever (and therefore elites hate it), but that commands 1000 years or more of accumulated respect. 


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