Among the several things the Bulletin’s Laurie Oakes reproaches John Howard for, one is that we are not a republic.
That John Howard did what Paul Keating didn’t – actually let the people vote on the republicans’ preferred model – seems to be beside the point.
I suspect the letters editors think it boring to allow anyone to write against the republic.But editors don’t seem to want to stop their journalists from raising the same issue incessantly. After all, the people did vote No.
So I pointed this out in this unpublished letter to The Bulletin.
"4 May 2001
The referendum landslide was not a result of a scare campaign (Laurie Oakes, 1 May), there were two reasons.
First the people disliked the republican model – they knew it was flawed.
Secondly, as Malcolm Turnbull confessed in his diary four months before the vote, "We have Buckley’s chance of winning". The trouble is "nobody is interested". Clearly the people see nothing wrong with this aspect of our constitution. Even with our suspicions being confirmed about the electoral system, no rural, regional or outer urban electorate – and no state – voted for the best model the republicans could come up with – even though they had the better part of a decade, two attempts, and millions of dollars from the taxpayers.