October 4

Parliamentary prospects for professorial press columnist proponent of politicians’ republic

The prominent republican Professor George Williams is continuing his search for preselection for a safe Labor seat. He unsuccessfully sought preselection for the Sydney seat of Blaxland in the 2007 federal election.

According to Stephanie Peatling writing in the Sun Herald (“Lawyer eyes McMullan's seat” 4/10), he will nominate against Bob McMullan, who is  Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance and who holds the safe Canberra seat of Fraser.

Mr. McMullan had previously announced next year's election would be his last. Ms. Peatling reports that party insiders say that, although this announcement was designed to head off a challenge, it might not have worked, “despite the convention that government frontbenchers should not have to worry about preselection”.

Professor Williams is a columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald where he quite often returns to the issue of Australia becoming a politicians’ republic, and on a bill of rights which he strongly supports.   Apparently he has taken up residence in the capital and has been writing in The Canberra Times about the poor level of representation electors in Canberra receive in the Federal Parliament.   


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