The republican movement was filled with joy when John Howard announced in 1998 that the model clearly preferred by the overwhelming majority of republican delegates to the Convention would be put to the people in a referendum.
The ARM delegates were running about embracing one another.
He was generously praised in all of the republican media, that is most of the mainline media.
In an attempt to suggest the constitutional monarchists were worried, they published photos of Lloyd Waddy and Kerry Jones looking serious.
It was only when the people by a landslide rejected this that the republicans decided they had been tricked. They dislike what the founding fathers ensured, that the details of constitutional change should be on the table before and not after the people vote.
…we hate referendums…
In a letter to The Australian (26/10) Colin Cameron, of Palmyra in Western Australia writes:
John Howard's self-justification, revealed in his upcoming autobiography, is for me the third strike against the former prime minister.
First was his manipulation of the 1999 republic referendum, (having it framed as a constitutional change, which Australians habitually reject), second his shameful kow-towing to George W. Bush, and now his blaming of Peter Costello for his own inability to let go of power.
That he's unable to analyse his own sophistry is uncomfortably revealing of the man.
How, my dear republican, could Australia be turned into a politicians’ republic without constitutional change?
The republican movement still wants to hide from the people what they plan to do to both the constitution and the flag.