The republican dinner in Orange to name Mr. Philip Adams the Republican of the Year was declared by the organisers to be a “magnificent success”. Indeed, it was “hailed as the most successful ever,” according to a report in the Central Western Daily of 22 May, 2006.
We had reported that Mr Adams would be named last year’s republican in our columns of 1 and 14 May, 2006. Apparently Mr. Adams answered questions including one whether he thought the Prime Minister should step down. We are in some suspense wondering what Mr. Adams’ response was to that.
An agreement was announced between the Republican Party and the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) “ once Prime Minister Howard vacates the prime ministerial seat. ” This seems to be that Australians must be forced to keep on voting about a republic until they get it right, using the notorious proposal for a cascading series of federal and state plebiscites and referenda. The Republican Party, unlike the ARM, openly endorses the model in which the president is elected directly. The ARM, as we know, pretends it hasn’t the foggiest idea what change it is so passionately campaigning for.
Nevertheless, one thing really surprised us. This was that this was seen as the most successful ever. You see, including the party leaders and officials, the Mayor, Mr. Adams, and any spouses, twenty nine people attended. That’s right. Twehty nine people.
With The Australian reporter confirming that about fifty people, including republican leaders, officials and accompanying persons attended the national centre piece of the ARM’s “mate for a head of state campaign”, the strongly media promoted sausage sizzle on Bondi Beach on the Sunday before Australia Day ( which we reported in our column of 22 January, 2006 ), this is clearly a year for breaking records at republican events. What was that Tony Abbott said about some of the meetings of Paul Keating and Malcolm Turnbull’s Republic Advisory Committee across the country – that they could have been held in phone booths?