April 27

Emissions Trading Faces”Republic Moment”

During the referendum, we were told the republic on offer would cure unemployment, liberate artists, improve trade, increase immigration and ensure we did not become the laughing stock of Asia and the world.

But who these days would draw a link between climate change and the movement for a politicians’ republic?  A Crikey blogger and an “environmental commentator”  says people “close to Labor” would. They are saying that “just as the failure of the Republic referendum knocked that issue off the agenda for a decade or more, the story goes, so if the CPRS fails in the Senate will we have lost our chance to do introduce an ETS for ten years.”

The one person who is “close to Labor” who has come out is not just close but well and truly in the Labor camp. She is Sharon Burrow MP, who has trod the well worn path from union apparatchik to one of those sought after safe seats.   She warned The Age’s (23/4) Adam Morton that we were in danger of facing a “republican moment” on climate change.

In “Climate Change is no Republic moment” on the news and current affairs Crikey website, Tim Hollo refers to “a century long campaign for a republic.”  Most of us missed that one.   Century long?  Bob Brown made a similar unfounded claim in Parliament, where you can say anything and politicians often do. 

He also refers to “John Howard’s undermining of the referendum.” Undermining? There wouldn’t have been a referendum but for John Howard. Although John Howard had by his appointments given the republicans an overwhelming majority at the Convention, they still failed to get their preferred model through the convention. This was one of John Howard’s criteria for the government proceeding with a referendum. But they were close, so the PM took pity on him, receiving their praise then and in the media. Like spoiled children, when they lost, they then blamed John Howard and  not themselves.

I do agree with Mr. Hollo when he says the people were “presented with a dodgy” model. But that was the one the overwhelming majority of republicans at the Constitutional Convention designed, and the very one all the republican politicians wanted.

And he’s also right when he says “no-one will die for lack of an Australian republic.”

But I still can’t see the link between the politicians’ republic and climate change. (By the way whatever happened to “global warming”?) 

In the meantime E. Whan of Belmont North said this in a letter published in the Daily Telegraph on 24 April, 2009:

“So now we are going to become a republic when the timing suits Kevin Rudd, are we? Can he please tell the Australian people who among the incompetent Federal or State members would be made our president. May I remind the PM that it has to go to the people to decide whether or not we become a republic.”


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