August 2

Few came – and fewer noticed

Sadly, now is not the time to reopen the debate about a republic, conceded Mark Day in The Australian on 30 July, 2011.

“On a bleak and blustery night during Sydney's big wet last week,” he wrote, “ the kind of sodden night when only fools or fanatics would venture out, 150 rusted-on believers in an Australian republic gathered for an evening of warm reminiscence.”

It was a dinner to mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Australian Republican Movement, a starry-eyed moment when a coterie of activist citizens declared it was time for Australia's Constitution to stand on its own, without the British monarchy as its central pillar.

But, he says,  “few came and fewer noticed. There is no clear way ahead. As Australian of the Year Simon McKeon said at the dinner: ‘This is an awkward time for the ARM.”

…little solace… 

Links to these other reports come up on the internet version of this piece. None would give the republicans any solace.

•     Why risk becoming a republic? Herald Sun, 7 May 2011

•     Only the populace can foster a republic The Australian, 1 May 2011

•     Monarchy has a fresh, young face Herald Sun, 30 Apr 2011

•     Monarchists vindicated, Flint claims The Australian, 25 Apr 2011

•     A republic of ambivalence The Australian, 24 Apr 2011

…20 years on….

.“Twenty years on from the original push and a dozen on from the referendum,” Mark Day asks, ” when will the time be right to have another go?

Certainly not now, “ he answers.“I think the lessons of 1999 are clear: if there is to be a change, the public demands a say. In other words, the people will accept nothing less than a direct vote for a president.

Mr. Day is wrong there. The polls show any republic is on the nose. Then, lamenting the fact that the Founding Fathers insisted the details of change be on the table before the people vote, he says another lesson from 1999 is that “there will be no republic without political bipartisanship.”


(Continued below)  
Believing that Tony Abbott, former executive director of ACM will be the next prime minister, he says this means “no republic until 2016 at the earliest, and probably another term after that, at least.”

The public view of the republican politicians is not to move on this during the present reign. This is not, as some say out of respect for The Queen. It is that they know not only that they would lose. They also know it would irritate voters. But to keep the republicans on side they pretend the issue will be revived in the future.

 The republican politicians are putting their politicians’ republic off until they are not in Parliament. It’s on the never-never, but they are pretending it will be revived.  

Are you surprised by this duplicity?   


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