September 30

Republic not inevitable: Malcolm Turnbull


Postscript: Given most of the media's obsession with turning Australia into a politician's republic, I find it curious that none of the nation's leading newspapers has published the report referred to below about Malcolm Turnbull's comments made on Macquarie Radio and circulated to all news desks by AAP.


When Malcolm Turnbull became Leader of the Opposition, republicans foolishly rejoiced.  Nine years after the referendum, they are still  unable to tell the nation what they actually want.

Instead they are still waiting for some magic bullet which will hand them some sort of republic.

I am always amused when someone tells me a republic is inevitable.  I think back to the similar mantra about socialism.

If a bandwagon is passing, there is no obligation to climb on to it. This is especially so if it has the near unanimous support of the commentariat.

Malcolm Turnbull knows a republic is not inevitable. Unlike the Prime Minister who claims he is a lifelong republican, he  fought hard for his version of a republic in 1999 and generously subsidized the campaign.

When he stood for Wentworth he not only said a republic could not be achieved in the present reign.

There had to be a consensus about the model among republicans, and opposition be minimal.
 When he only referred to a republic not being feasible in the present reign, some republicans assumed that meant it would fall into their laps in the next.

This has in the past meant that republicans would try to demonize Prince Charles.  After his marriage this failed miserably.

Now according to an AAP report on 29 September,2008  Malcolm Turnbull  has told Macquarie Radio that to win any referendum to alter the constitution there needed to be more than bipartisan political support.

 He said an overwhelming majority of people and states had to be in favour of a republic for it to happen. 

"I think the next time this will come onto the agenda in a form where a change could be approved and it may not even be approved then, is at the end of the Queen's reign." 




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