May 29

Paul Keating rewrites history

One of the tactics used by republicans has been to rewrite history. The egregious example is the frequent attempt to disguise their failure to convince the Australian people to accept the republican model- the one they chose- to put to the people in 1999.

  I sent this letter to the Sydney Morning Herald when  Paul Keating attempted it:

"Sir,

Was Mr. Keating indulging in rewriting history when he referred to the "tricky-poo over the republic referendum – putting the wrong question to get the wrong result" (Sydney Morning Herald, 28-29/5/05)

Look at the facts, and judge yourself. The republican model was the one proposed by the republican movement, and supported by the majority of republican delegates at the 1988 Convention.

The question was whether Australians approved of a law "to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament."

ACM suggested at the etime that the question should also refer to the crucial method of dismissal, which would have been unique among republics. But to the amazement even of the mainly republican media, ARM leaders Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Barns proposed the deletion of two words-"President" and "republic".

 The republicans had a very fair go – Mr Keatings own Republic Advisory Committee chaired by Mr Turnbull to prepare the way, taxpayer funding, and significant media, political and celebrity support.

Yet they lost in every state and nationally. Had it been an election, it would have been called a landslide – 72% of electorates voted No.

Yours etc"

 Until next time,

 David Flint


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