As reported here earlier, The Queen has been pleased to appoint former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard to the Order of Merit.
In interviews with the media including Channel 7, ACM's Professor David Flint congratulated Mr. Howard insisting that his support for the monarchy was probably not the reason for the award.
Rather it probably followed his outstanding achievements as one of the nation's leading former prime ministers and one who had attained so much, including the liberation of another country, East Timor.
It was his fairness and decency in relation to the republic referendum which would have been noticed , rather restricted campaigning towards the end. Remember he said, the Queen observe the strictest neutrality in relation to the referendum.
In addition it would have been noticed that when he was in opposition he supported policies in which he believed notwithstanding the fact that they were proposed by the government. In response to a question, Professor Flint suggested suggested a return of knighthoods, as in New Zealand..