“Monarchists in Australia have promised to launch a fight of ‘monumental proportions’ against any move towards making the country a republic,” Nick Squires reported in one of the UK’s leading broadsheets, the Daily Telegraph, on 14 April, 2008 (“Australian monarchists promise fight against republic.’)
This was in response to the Prime Minister, hours before his audience with The Queen, indicated his support for making Australia a republic, saying, "Once a republican, always a republican."
The headline in The Weekly Telegraph read: “I’ll make Australia a republic, vows Rudd before visit to Queen.”
Mr. Rudd promised an “accelerated public debate” about this issue.
With the international press swallowing the untruth peddled by the republican movement that a majority of Australians wanted republican change, it was refreshing that Mr. Squires accurately reported the truth about the polls.
This is that Newspoll reports that when asked whether they support Australia becoming a republic, 45% agreed.
This is hardly a majority.
This of course means that a referendum is doomed. Unlike an opinion poll, an Australian referendum requires all details of change to be on the table.
It will not be about "a" republic, which could include the present crowned republic.
…call for a republic disguised as a monarchy…
Accordingly some influential republicans are even calling for the next referendum to be on a republic disguised as a constitutional monarchy.
The Telegraph reported the reaction in Australia: “The group Australians for Constitutional Monarchy claimed that there was little appetite for changing the country’s constitutional status.
“’We promise you a fight of monumental proportions to keep our constitutional system and our flag,’ said Prof David Flint, the group’s head.
“’Don’t underestimate us, Mr Prime Minister – on this we are more in touch with the people.’
“An opinion poll published last year found that 45 per cent were in favour of the Queen being replaced by a home-grown president, with 36 per cent against and 19 per cent undecided.
“However, there is disagreement over whether a president should be chosen by parliament or by the people.
“The dissension resulted in a referendum on the issue in 1999 producing a no vote.
“’Since the failure of [that] model, the republicans still haven’t worked out what sort of republic they want,’ said Prof Flint.
“So it’s still any sort of vague, undefined republic."
“He claimed that Labour Party supporters were among the least enthusiastic about a republic.
“Spending any more taxpayer funds on promoting the republic would be an act of gross financial delinquency, he added.”