Mr. Beazley’s endorsement of the Latham model, and promise of another referendum, which we reported in our last column (Kim Beazley Endorses Latham Model), does not seem to have gone down well-at least if today’s letters in The Weekend Australian are any guide. They were published under the headline: "On a hiding to nothing."
John Wylie of Wagga Wagga writes:
"So Kim Beazley is again off on that fool’s errand, the Fata Morgana of Australian politics, the republic ("Let voters choose a president: Beazley", 21/10). Surely Mr Beazley must understand that at the end of the day what must be put to the people is a single statement of change to be accepted by the majority of Australian voters and then surely he must understand why anyone deliberately pursuing a republic cannot be taken seriously as a politician in this country. The sooner Labor drops the republic from its platform, the sooner people will realise it has a grasp of the reality of Australian politics, the divisive nature of the republic cause and the more seriously they will be taken as an opposition and potential government."
Then Stephanie Lorenzo of Sydney adds:
"Mr. Beazley advocates popular election but is he aware that republicans Neville Wran, Malcolm Turnbull, Paul Keating, Professor Greg Craven, Peter Costello, Sir Anthony Mason, senators Amanda Vanstone and Marise Payne, Sir Gerard Brennan, Professor George Winterton, Sir Zelman Cowen and John Fahey are against it?"
Of course the ARM will be delighted with Mr Beazley. But some ARM leaders are opposed to the Latham model. Senator Marise Payne went so far as to dissent from the Senate committee’s pointless and costly report on this last year.
The support for the Latham republic is clearly dwindling – and we haven’t even had a campaign about it.
Professor Craven- and Malcolm Turnbull – are right.
If there is ever a vote on it, it will suffer a greater defeat in 1999.
And remember, Mr. Beazley, that was a landslide.
Until next time,