On Affirmation Day, 6 November, 2007, supporters of ACM came together to honour those who so successfully defended our constitution eight years ago. This culminated in the landslide rejection by the Australian people of the republican model the republicans themselves chose. Affirmation Day was also the occasion to hear the 2007 Neville Bonner Oration, which was delivered by Thomas Flynn, who was appointed this year as ACM Executive Director, an office first held by the Hon. Tony Abbott and then Mrs Kerry Jones. The Oration was very well received and will be published soon.
Notwithstanding the people’s very clear decision in 1999, we approach the Federal Election concerned that change to a republic is about to return to the political agenda. A spokesman for the Leader of HM Loyal Australian Opposition recently indicated that if Mr Rudd becomes prime minister, another referendum will be held within three years, probably in 2010. If the Coalition is returned, the avowed republican Mr Costello may become prime minister.
We must stress that ACM is not partisan. Its mission is narrow – to preserve, to protect and to defend our heritage: the Australian constitutional system, the role of the Crown in it and our Flag. ACM is a community based organisation. The only election which we contested was for the 1998 Constitutional Convention where we won over 85% of the constitutional monarchist vote. We and the vote No Committee chaired by Mrs. Kerry Jones led the No campaign which resulted in a victory in all states and 72% of electorates.
In previous elections, ACM has asked candidates their views on our mission, and advised our supporters of those views. This year we established ACM ELECTION WATCH as an important part of our website to monitor this and future federal, state and territory elections across the Commonwealth.
This will ensure that this information is readily and instantly available not only to our supporters but also to the general public. ACM believes that the people are entitled to know the attitudes of candidates for political office on such basic matters as our constitutional system, one of the most successful in the world, and our beloved flag.
How supporters use this information is a matter for them. Some may wish to work for candidates; others may find it affects their voting intentions. This is a matter for each Australian. ACM believes that all Australians are entitled to know about the attitudes and the plans of those who are seeking their vote.
ACM is sending to our supporters a copy of our brochure on the election, warning of wall-to wall-republican governments. This may be downloaded from our site.
We have sent letters with questionnaires to all of the leaders, federal MP’s and the candidates known to us. These too may be downloaded. As their answers come in, they will be posted to our site.
In the meantime, we are clearing the decks, as it were, so that we shall be ready for anything that eventuates. Our young team is upgrading all of our records. We have also stored in a safe place the valuable historical records of our previous campaigns, and we are in the process of editing the next issues of The Defender and the News to keep supporters informed on all these matters. A meeting of our National Council will be called soon after the election to consider strategic issues.
We remain confident here that should we be required to fight again to defend our constitutional system and the flag, ACM will not be found wanting, and that our Flag and our Constitution will be preserved and protected.