Like the Bourbon Monarchy in France, the republican movement has learned nothing and forgotten nothing, writes Graham Cooke in Online Opinion (10/10.)
Mr. Cooke has been a journalist for more than four decades, having lived in England, Northern Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, for a lengthy period covering the diplomatic round for the ultra republican newspaper, The Canberra Times.
He writes that:
"… the republican movement is still carrying on as if its referendum loss in 1999 never happened, plugging the tired old theme about how simple it would be for Australia to slip off the anachronistic cloak of monarchy in favour of the sharp, modern attire of a 21st century presidency."
He says the republicans are descending into farce when they say a monarch may one day decide to test his Australian powers.
In any event Australians rejected the ARM’s “ lazy, laid-back throw-another-prawn-on-the-barbie approach to constitutional change” in 1999.
Now they have no model, but as for the alternative – an elected presidency, “ under the current system, this “would be a built-in invitation to constitutional crisis.”
The republican movement seems to prefer to spend its time on ineffective stunts, such as their Mate for a Head of State fiasco or demanding The Queen "give back" the Tom Roberts painting of the opening of the first Federal Parliament in Melbourne.
In case they haven’t noticed, this hangs permanently in Parliament House, Canberra.