In a survey commissioned by the State government, two thirds of Victorians are now opposed to a republic and three quarters want to keep the Australian Flag.
Since 1999 support for a republic has fallen by around thirty per cent. This is a serious blow to those campaigning for Australia to become a politicians’ republic.
But even with all of the state political leaders, and most of the senior federal politicians on side, and with an almost unanimous media –even commercial talkback – the people of Victoria voted against the model chosen by an overwhelming majority of republican delegates at the 1998 Constitutional Convention.
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According to Elissa Doherty in the Herald Sun (14/8) (“Proud Vics loyal monarchists”) the survey, Australia SCAN 2010 data, shows Victorians see themselves as artistic, sophisticated and tolerant of others, with an interest in world affairs and a rising connection to the Australian flag.
The survey also reveals 70 per cent of Victorians are proud of their country, compared with just 55 per cent of other Australians.
There was some confusion over the head of state. It is likely that those conducting the survey were not aware or uncertain about the term. As a legal term it is now settled that the Governor-General is head of state.
In 1907, a High Court bench made up of Founding Fathers unanimously described the Governor-General as the constitutional Head of the Commonwealth, the Governors as the Heads of State and the monarch as the Sovereign.
The survey findings were released to coincide with the launch of Victoria's Australia Day 2011 ambassadors by the Deputy Premier Rob Hulls – a passionate republican – at a reception in Melbourne on 14 August.