We are returning to what a leading republican refers to that “ arid and irrelevant “ issue, the head of state. He and another leading republican have advised the republican movement not to rely on this for their next campaign.
But if the republicans have their way and are able to persuade parliament to resort to what is clearly against the spirit if not the letter of the constitution, a plebiscite, it is as certain as night follows day that they will use the term head of state in the question. That will of course be designed by their spin doctors.
And I fully expect that the term will be used if there is another referendum.
No one of course has yet explained why there should be another.
As Thomas Flynn asks, does anyone think that if the republicans had won in 1999, the constitutional monarchists would be given another chance?
…Strewth enters the debate…
Anyway, on the term head of state, Mr. DD McNicoll reported the following in his popular Strewth column in The Australian (12 March, 2008).
“DAVID Flint, the convener of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, took issue with Strewth yesterday over our description of the Queen as ‘our glorious head of state’
“While Flint and his supporters are determined that Australia should not become a republic, they are equally determined in their campaign to ensure that everyone knows the Governor-General is our head of state, while the Queen is our sovereign.
“Flint says ACM has unearthed a ruling made by the High Court in 1907 to support their view.
" 'In this ruling our founding fathers who made up the first bench (including Sir Samuel Griffith and our first Australian-born G-G, Sir Isaac Isaacs) declared the governors to be the 'constitutional heads of state' and the governor-general to be the 'constitutional head of the commonwealth',’ Flint says. “
…and there's more…
In addititon whenever the governor-general is overseas the Australian government sends him as head of state and he is received as such by foreign governments and international organisations. For many years the government documents on the governor-General dscibed him as head of state.)