November 10

Paul Keating – If I had not lost the election, we’d be the republic geological changes require



Former Prime Minister Paul Keating, speaking here to the Sydney Writers Festival on 30 October 2011, declares that the major "geologic" events in Asia are the reason why Australia must become the republic we would now be had he not lost the lost the 1996 election.

During the course of the interview in front of an audience apparently mainly made up of supporters, he delivers a very personal attack on the Royal Family.

He suggests, with a gesture, that the House of Windsor is incapable of the renewal that former ALP leader and Governor-General Bill Hayden had recently described.

…embarassing flag….


He believes our trading partners are concerned that we are still attached to a "worn out old monarchy". Apparently trade is no longer about quality, delivery and price.

He confirms that he told The Queen on behalf of the Australian people that the Crown is "an anachronism".

He also attacks the flag as "embarrassing".

He tells Kerry O'Brien that had he been prime minister in 1999 he would have won the referendum which he says went down but "not badly". In fact, the referendum was lost nationally, in all states and 72% of electorates.

Had Mr Keating won the 1996 election, it would have been most unlikely neither that a constitutional convention would have been held. It is doubtful that Mr Keating would have allowed the equal funding of the Yes and No cases. He would not for example allow the appointment of any non-Republicans to the Republic Advisory Committee.

Indeed it is unlikley that the No case would have received any public funding from a Keating government.

I would have thought that this would have only confirmed in the minds of the Australian people that the republicans were up to something and this would have resulted in an even greater No vote.

…his republic…

Mr Keating claims ownership of the 1999 model, apparently approving the significant change Malcolm Turnbull made to it at the Constitutional Convention. This was that the president could be removed without notice, without reason and without any effective appeal

He describes how he had offered the Liberal Party a model which they should have accepted, one where the president retained the governor- general's reserve powers, the Senate could still block supply, and where the president was chosen as a joint sitting.

This was hardly a generous offer. Any change in the reserve powers on the blocking of supply or on the Senate's powers would have been most unlikely to be approved by the Australian people. Both Mr Keating and his predecessor Mr Bob Hawke were well aware of this. That is why they made no attempt whatsoever to initiate changes to these two aspects of the constitution. 


Keating Turnbull Republic

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