By his misuse of the constitution as a wedge, the Prime Minister demonstrates precisely why Australians must be wary about politicians’ vague proposals for fundamental change.
There would be few things more serious for a prime minister to propose than this.
So it was extremely disappointing to hear Mr Kevin Rudd misuse the constitution to seek some momentary advantage over the Leader of the Opposition.
It is not the seeking to embarrass the Leader or to drive a wedge between Liberals which is wrong .
Politicians play that game all the time.
What is just not acceptable is the use of fundamental constitutional change as the wedge (Brad Norington and Patricia Karvelas:” Rudd tries to split Libs on republic” The Australian, 17 September, 2008)
Mr Rudd is fully aware of the fact that Malcolm Turnbull has declared a republic is a long way off, certainly not in the present reign, unless there is a consensus on the model and opposition minimal.
And as Peter Costello says most Liberal voters see no need for change.
So do most Labor voters – just look at the results of the 1999 referendum.
Unlike most Prime Ministers, including his predecessor Mr. John Howard, Mr Rudd is a self-declared "lifelong" republican.
But as Mr. Turnbull points out, no one recalls his republican advocacy in the 1999 referendum.
Of our 26 PM's, only two or three have been declared republicans, at least while in office, and seven of the 31 Leaders of the Opposition.
It is of no constitutional significance whatsoever that republicans should hold both offices.
[Cartoon by Nicholson from "The Australian" newspaper: www,nicholson.com.au ]