Next republican referendum defeat will be even bigger than the last

David Flint

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David Flint

17 September 2022

The almost universal sadness on the passing of Elizabeth II has come as a surprise to those who think the institution of constitutional monarchy is irrelevant and easily removed.

When the world comes to watch King Charles III’s coronation, they will see at its most sacred part, how strong is the link between this institution and the Judeo-Christian religion which is an underlying pillar of Western civilisation.

This is not in the crowning but in the anointing. For well over a thousand years, this is preceded by these sacred words from the Book of Kings, now sung to the most magnificent music of George Frideric Handel:

Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king.

And all the people rejoiced and said:

God save the King! Long live the King! God save the King!

May the King live for ever. Amen. Hallelujah. 

Despite the wish of the Jewish people, we know that death is inevitable, even for a person as virtuous as the Queen. But notwithstanding Her Majesty’s age, her passing still came with surprise and for some of us, even shock. It was not of course as much a shock as it was in 1952 when that beloved monarch, the Queen’s father, George VI, suddenly died and the Commonwealth, including Australia, was plunged into deep grief.

I would not at this time have written about some ‘republic’, but Australia’s self-described ‘republicans’ could not leave this alone, even during the period set aside for mourning.

Reporting on this recently, a British newspaper, probably repeating ‘republican’ propaganda, said that in 1999 Australia voted ‘narrowly’ to retain the monarchy. The fact is that, despite their great riches and a mainstream media and political class almost totally onside, the best the ‘republicans’ could do was record the support of less than 43 per cent of registered voters, not even one state when four are essential and only 28 per cent of all electorates.

In anyone’s language, a landslide loss. This was not so surprising. Our founders rejected overwhelmingly a proposal to allow the office of governor-general to develop into an elected presidency, something for which there was no demand. Instead, the constitutional monarchy remains our oldest institution, at the core of the choice of the Australian people when, ‘humbly relying on the blessings of Almighty God’ they ‘agreed to unite in an indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown… and under the Constitution’.

With the Crown involved in almost every major event in the life of the nation, it was always unlikely Australians would exchange such an institution with what ACM branded accurately as a ‘politicians republic’, that is a republic that increases significantly the unrestricted control over the people by the politicians.

So at this point, let me make one very firm prediction.

If the Albanese government were to mount a second republic referendum – and provided the No case is run as well as it was in 1999 – that referendum will go down to an even greater defeat. This will be even if, as I suspect, the No case is underfunded or even not funded, and the question put is rigged.

Notwithstanding their overwhelming defeat in 1999, ‘republicans’ have for some years suggested the time for a republic would be at the end of the Queen’s reign.

To try to give this some minimal credibility, they developed yet another myth like the three lies about John Howard they manufactured to justify their poor showing in 1999. Taken up by a compliant mainstream media they are now presented as three truths.

This was the myth recently repeated by Kevin Rudd, that a referendum while Elizabeth was Queen was always doomed because of her popularity.

The fact is that the Queen was less popular at the time of the referendum, but not because of any personal failing. When Diana, Princess of Wales died, certain parts of the London media, probably to distract attention from their harassment of Diana, mounted a disgraceful campaign against the Queen.

Their manufactured reasons were about the palace flagpole and the young princes staying at Balmoral until the funeral.

Probably because few in the media bothered to come not only to the Queen’s defence but to truth itself, this calumny worked, even in Australia.

Ausralians for Constitutional Monarchy’s then executive director, Kerry Jones, found this to be the worst period in the campaign, with even apparently solid monarchists leaving the organisation. That decline in the popularity of the Queen lingered and went through to the referendum.

My reply to the argument that a new reign would make a politicians’ republic deliverable was that interest in and support for the monarchy will increase.

I predicted it would provoke the greatest video retrospective that the world has yet seen, and I suspect I am right. I said there would be great fascination with the new king, the new Prince of Wales and his family and in that most spiritual of ceremonies, abandoned in the rest of Europe, the coronation.

In an age when established religion appears to be declining, there is an assumption that people have turned their back on belief and matters spiritual to become a hundred per cent rational. Not so.

Man was endowed by his Creator with an inherent need to believe, hence the curious endorsement of increasingly deranged new dogmas and beliefs created to destroy the institutions of a civilised society by neo-Marxist ideologues operating mainly from American and other Western universities.

Australians have shown and are showing their belief in and their love and affection for Elizabeth II and thereby in a constitutional monarchy. At the same time, a time bomb awaits the ‘republicans’. This is that the young are uninterested in a ‘republic’, while the latest Morgan poll finds 60 per cent (66 per cent of women) want to retain the constitutional monarchy.

This reinforces my strong prediction.

In the meantime, as to our dear Queen, may she rest in eternal peace. As to Charles III, God Save The King, and as to the nation, Advance Australia Fair.


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