September 17

In their own words

Asked why not a direct election for a president, one answer given in the referendum campaign was: “This would mean another major election like the US Presidential race. It would turn our presidency into an expensive political event and a popularity contest. “ This was in a formal campaign document by the Australian Republican Movement, authorized by the national campaign director Mr. Greg Barns, who now has a low opinion of our country, as we noted in this column of 22 December, 2005,  even declaring Australia, our nation, to be “a backward racist pigsty.”

 

The republican movement now claims that it has no preferred model. However the process it demands the government adopt ie a convoluted and very expensive series of plebiscites and referenda, is, according to the republican constitutional lawyer Professor Greg Craven, and also according to one of the republican movement’s own prominent parliamentarians, Senator Marise Payne, designed to achieve a republic where the president is directly elected. In other words the republican movement now plans surreptitiously to foist on the nation precisely the sort of republic it specifically denounced in the nineties.


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