August 25

Mixing politics with sport up to the London Olympics: SkyTV debate today

Once again, the republicans are doing what Australians hate – mixing politics with sport.

Having tried this, and failed with the Commonwealth Games, they are actually saying that because the 2012 Olympics will be in London, we should make major changes to our constitutional system  and presumably, as The Age says, to our flag.

In 2006, at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, 80,000 – the majority Australian – told the republican politicians what they thought about the attempt to ban the singing of the Royal Anthem there.

Led by the magnificent Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, they belted out the eight bars of our Royal Australian Anthem which the bossy republicans reluctantly allowed to be sung.

 The republicans had planned that Dame Kiri would sing alone – they were astounded when the whole stadium stood for Happy Birthday and then sung those bars of God Save The Queen.

…re-opening the debate on SkyTV…


On Sky TV, 25 August 2008, the republicans tried to reopen their campaign by linking constitutional change to the Beijing and London Olympics.

The problem is that the polls, Morgan and Newspoll, are recording even lower interest than at the time of the 1999 referendum, which was a landslide defeat of the model the republicans chose.

This is especially so among the youth, a matter we reported on here on 8 May, 2008: (“Collapse! Young Australians kill off republic.”)

The republicans are citing the latest Australian Election Study put out by ANU.

The republican spokesman on Sky TV said  this is the best predictor of elections, which would no doubt come as a surprise the researchers.

This is an in depth survey of electors and candidates views, and has nothing to do with predicting future elections.

The respondents have to answer around 150 questions, some of them complex.

How this affects the sample is a matter for the experts, but the sort of people willing to do this could not be typical Australians.

That said, the key question on a republic is hardly neutral and the researchers, who I am sure are most professional, should reconsider it for the next survey.

The question, Number  F17,  is  “ Do you think Australia should become a republic with an Australian Head of State, or should The Queen be retained as Head of State?”

Since a key part of the debate is the identity of the Head of State, a term not used in the Constitution, this is, inadvertently no doubt, the equivalent of “push polling.”

It is as lawyers say, a leading question, which lawyers are not allowed to put to their witnesses for reasons which are obvious.

That is what the plebiscite will be, if there is one.

…we already have an Australian Head of State..

We constitutional monarchists have established, beyond reasonable doubt, that we have an Australian as Head of State, the Governor-General.

In 1907, a powerful High Court consisting of the leading Founding Fathers of our Constitution, decided unanimously that the Governors are Constitutional Heads of State and the Governor-General is the Constitutional Head of the Commonwealth.

Since 1926, whenever the Governor-General travels overseas, he, or she does so as Head of State.

The republicans want more money diverted from such matters as schools, hospitals and pensions into what will be the government’s seventh major project on trying to do the work of the republicans- find a politicians’ republic that the people will swallow.

We of course already have a republic, a notoriously imprecise word.

What we don't have, mercifully, is a politicians' republic.

We have instead a crowned republic, the indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown which the Australian people chose and most recently affirmed in 1999.




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