During the referendum, Robert Hughes famously declared that anyone who voted No was stupid.
Then the vicechancellor of the University of Melbourne, Professor Gilbert, declared that if the nation voted No, we would be the laughing stock of Asia and the world.
When the nation did in fact vote No, there were many in the commentariat who declared their compatriots to be of low intelligence or even stupid.
Now, twelve years after the referendum, the republican movement has come out to declare that we are governed by a constitution which is “stupid”.
The declaration was made by their preferred Republican Royal Watcher (as he was described in the headline tohis occasional column on the Crikey website).
This declarationthat our constitiution is stupid had been posted to a republican movement website which is minutely controlled and censored by their media director.
Anything that appears there has the imprimatur of the republican movement.
…one of the world’s most successful…
This ARM claim that our constitution is stupid is in contrast with the fact that it was carefully developed by a mainly elected convention of outstanding Australian delegates, then approved by the Australian people – the first such in the world – and that it was uniquely achieved without war, threat of war , insurrection, bloodshed or indeed any violence.
The successful adoption of our Constitution owed much to Sir John Quick's Corowa Plan, to the work of the drafting committee, to the sophisticated judgement of the delegates, to the premiers for their quick action after the first failed referendum, to the generosity and good faith of the British who had already given us the first five pillars of the constitutional system, but above all to the good sense of the Australian people
It is in fact one of the world's most successful constitutions.
But the republican movement which has as its mission fundamental constitutional change – without being able to tell anybody what that change should be – has now declared our Constitution to be stupid.