The increasing isolated republican movement, having criticised its former leader and benefactor Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, has now launched an extraordinary attack on both the Governor-General and the Rudd government.
The movement’s spokesperson, professor of politics and columnist on the Canberra Times John Warhurst, laments the fact that both government ministers and the Leader of the Opposition have indicated that any attempt to remove our oldest institution, the Australian Crown, from our constitutional system is doomed during the present reign.
This is not ACM being complacent. The republican politicians admit they would lose another referendum.
Writing in Eureka Street, a publication of Jesuit Communications Australia, John Warhurst reveals that the movement is extremely put out by the Rudd government’s declaration that the Governor-General is Head of State. This it sees as a victory for constiutional monarchists.
There is increasing acceptance of the position long argue by ACM that the Governor General is Head of State and the Queen the Sovereign. The term comes from international law, and there can be no doubt that since 1926 the Governor-General would be our Head of State under international law. The recent discovery of a hitherto unnoticed unanimous High Court ruling by a bench consisting of our Founding Fathers confirms that the Governor-General was intended to be and is in fact the Constitutional Head of the Commonwealth.
The republican movement has also had to struggle against the increasing realisation among commentators that an elected president will necessarily be a politician and will have his or her own political agenda, and not be above politics.
The curious thing is that ten years from the referendum, the republican movement still cannot say what sort of republican movement they are proposing.