Professor Malcolm Mackerras predicts that at the next election, Labor will be returned with an increased majority, The Australian 22-23 August, 2009. He is to be the keynote speaker at the Saturday dinner during ACM’s annual national conference, the tenth since the 1999 referendum. His subject is “Recent Fads of the Australian Constitutional Change for Change’s Sake Brigade.” His views on any future referendum or plebiscite on the great issue should be illuminating.
The conference is to be held on the Gold Coast from 23 to 25 October 2009. A brochure on this and other events to mark the tenth anniversary of the referendum and the people’s affirmation of the constitution will soon be available.
Professor Mackerras assumes the NSW and Queensland redistributions are adopted as recommended. He says Labor would its majority with a 1.6 per cent swing. It would also lose Benelong, John Howard’s former seat. He believes the proposed redistribution is fair. Labor would still need a 2.8 per cent swing to lose its majority of the two-party preferred vote.
In his new pendulum, Labor has 48 safe seats and the Coalition 26, all with margins of 8% or more.
Labor is formally committed to some sort of politicians’ republic, the Liberals are divided and their Coalition partner, the Nationals, is committed to the present constitutional monarchy or crowned republic. Most politicians who are republicans say they are resigned to the status quo prevailing in the present reign.
That the nation would suddenly give them a blank cheque to make unknown changes to the nation’s the fundamental law on such a sad occasion seems unlikely.