The Sydney Morning Herald has done what the dispirited and sidelined republican movement refuses to do. The Herald has come out and told its readers what republican model it wants.
Unfortunately, it is is so committed to its agenda to turn Australia into a politicians’ republic that is quite prepared to misrepresent history. The Herald shows no balance whatsoever in its choice of accompanying letters. No wonder people are calling it the Darling Harbour Pravda.
…John Howard blamed….
In an editorial on the election for an Irish president, "The Irish question is ours too," (24/10) the Herald says,“ it is worth remembering that Australians never did get the chance to vote on whether they would prefer a directly elected Australian president. John Howard saw to that at the 1998 constitutional convention.” John Howard did nothing of the sort. He left the choice of a model to the convention.
And although Malcolm Turnbull and Gareth Evans could never believe that we would not behave like Machiavellian opportunistic politicians, the constitutional monarchists declined to be involved in pushing any particular model .
The majority of elected delegates came from the Australian Republican movement. The republican delegates supporting the direct election of a president were in a minority. The model chosen by the overwhelming majority of republican delegates was the one preferred by Malcolm Turnbull's Australian Republican movement.
…why did the Herald make this up?
They admit to being upset to find that the current Irish presidential election is "dispiriting" . In the Herald's own words the Irish people face a choice “among a record of seven candidates, all of whom seem either irreparably flawed, dogged by scandal or simply uninspiring”.
Yet the Sydney Morning Herald is now campaigning for a direct select model. This is different from the Australian Republican movement who can't make their mind up what model they wish to propose to the Australian people.
The Herald is optimistic. It says that sooner or later, probably not while the Queen lives, the question will be put. A number of letters are selected to accompany the editorial under the heading “ The monarchy – God save us from the Queen – no offence ma’m.”
…Herald's unique concept of balance…
Of six published letters, not one supports the existing system. Pravda could not have done better.
We've become used to this sense of balance in republican circles. Paul Keating's taxpayer funded Republic Advisory Committee contained only committed Republicans.
Kevin Rudd's 2020 summit governance panel voted in favour of a motion to cut constitutional links with the United Kingdom 98:1 with one abstention (Sir William Deane).
The eminet repubolicans overlooked the fact that constitutional links were terminated in 1986, so the minutes were surreptitiously changed on the 2020 summit website several days later.
Anyway at last The Herald has come out. They are for direct election. They’ll have to explain this to those many republicans who would far rather retain the present system.