…disloyalty smear ….
We saw it during the referendum. The sort of argument you don’t expect in a democracy. If you didn’t support the Yes case you were disloyal.
The Daily Telegraph even had a regular news column during the campaign, with a slouch hat and a crown. it was headed “ Queen or Country.” There's bias for you – in the news pages.
One of the TV networks asked people to vote in the streets. You had to put a ball in a box. The Yes box suggested you were a loyal Australian. You can guess what the No box did.
Such shameless bias, as Lord Deedes reported.
But research later by the ANU suggested No voters were more patriotic than Yes voters.
Some republicans have not learned from this.
“Constitutional amnesia is a recurring ailment afflicting monarchists whose loyalty is not to Australia but to a foreigner,” wrote Roy McKeen of Biggera Waters, Queensland in a letter published in The Australian on 5 March 2008, thus insulting the memory of all those who served and died “For God, King and Country.”
He continued, “They refuse to recognise that more than 100 years of political stability in Australia is because of the good common sense of the Australian people. It is not because of the presence of the monarchy but in spite of it.”
…if the vote in 1999 had been yes, would constitutional monarchists have been allowed to reopen the issue?…
In reply, Thomas Flynn, ACM’s executive director wrote:
“Roy McKeen accuses constitutional monarchists of amnesia (Next Byte, 5th March 2008). He alleges that it has been purely down to the good common sense of the Australian people that Australia has had over 100 years of political stability and nothing to do with the Australian crown as a source of unity above politics. But that does not explain why constitutional monarchies do so well in the United Nations Human Development Index and republics do so badly (http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/).
“Mr McKeen has clearly forgotten a better example of the common sense of the Australian people. At the Constitutional Convention of 1998, the vast majority of republican delegates decided on the best model of republic to put before the Australian people. In the subsequent referendum of 1999 the Australian people – 72% of the electorates – voted no to the republican experts. All this despite a considerable media and political campaign in favour of a yes vote.
“Here is something for everyone to remember. If the referendum had gone the other way, we can be sure nobody would now be allowed to reopen the matter. Since the Australian people voted no in 1999, why should republicans be allowed to reopen the matter?”
….Balance on the letters page?…
“Christopher Pyne wants the ordinary branch membership of the Liberal Party to elect the parliamentary leader. How does he feel about ordinary Australians electing the president of the republic?”