As we reported in Part 2 of this series on 4 June, 2008, republicans are as divided as they were in the nineties over what sort of republic should be the subject of yet another referendum.
And the cost of this folly continues to mount. Money that could be spent on hospitals or education is being diverted into this. All paid for by the taxpayer.
If the republicans can't agree, why should the taxpayer help them to resolve this. The point of course they will never agree.
The latest skirmish was in the surreptitious change to the records of the 2020 Summit.
This ensured that the commitment made by Kim Beazley for a second plebiscite on the choice of a republican model would not be honoured.
Both plebiscites are part of a devious scheme designed by republicans to keep Australians voting "until they get it right."
Each part of this complicated and quite fraudulent scheme has been concocted for one reason.
And one reason only.
Republicans fear another referendum would be defeated.
This second plebiscite, between different republican models, was deliberately designed to stop Australians from expressing any preference they have for the existing constitution.
(This contrasts with the Flag Act whch was amended to provide that on any vote about a proposed new flag, Australians must be allowed to vote for the present flag. The Flag Act was amended when leading republicans were openly proposing the shredding of our Flag. Typically they could not even agree on a new flag. All they could agree on was to get rid of our magnificent flag.)
If Australians were allowed to express a preference for the existing constitution in the second plebiscite, republicans fear that the existing constitution would win.
So they decided that Australians would not be allowed to vote for the existing constitution.
Unable to express any preference for the existing constitution, most experts think the direct election model would prevail.
But after a proper debate at the resulting referendum, it is likely that it would be defeated in a referendum. That is the view of constitutional lawyer, Professor Greg Craven.
Most republican politicians oppose direct election, and in a referendum on such a model, it is likley that the media would be divided.
This may be contrasted with the almost monolithic support the media gave to the Yes case in 1999.
So when the Summit record was changed, the conservative republicans saw that there was no reference to a second plebiscite.
So it seems the conservative republicans are considering putting a similar model to that defeated in 1999.
This intricate and deceitful scheme to have two plebiscites before a referendum was approved, at great expense to the taxpayers, by a Senate Inquiry in 2004. That money might as well have been poured down the drain.
This is yet another example of republicans are quite prepared to spend millions of taxpayers funds to help them in fighting their internal struggles, and trying to rig the ballot.
…more prominent republicans opposed to direct election…
In the meantime , we are concluding our list of republicans who are opposed to the people electing the president.
When we become aware of other names , we shall publish them.
NO Says Republican Marise Payne
(Was persuaded to abandon the second plebiscite by Prof. Greg Craven)
NO Says Republican John Fahey – former Premier of NSW
“He also warns that, if there were another referendum on direct election, he would be campaigning for a No vote.”
( Malcolm Turnbull, Fighting for the Republic, Hardie Grant Books, 1999, p 179)
NO Says the ARM official referendum brochure
“This would mean another major election like the US presidential race. It would turn our Presidency into an expensive political event and a popularity contest”
Authorised by G (Greg) Barns
NO Says Republican Prof George Williams
“A directly elected President might be in a position to challenge the political leadership of the Prime Minister.” (Constitutional Politics UQP 2002)
NO Says Republican John Brumby – Victorian Premier
“An elected President cannot be an impartial umpire – conflict will inevitably arise.”
NO Says Republican Elizabeth Evatt AC – former Judge
University of Wollongong Video 1997 ‘Millennium Dilemma’
NO Says Republican Emeritus Professor Leslie Zines AO
University of Wollongong Video 1997 ‘Millennium Dilemma’
NO Says Republican the Hon. Nicola Roxon, then Shadow Attorney-General, now Minister for Health – letter: 21January, 2006
NO Says Republican the Hon. Nick Greiner former Premier of NSW – letter: 13 December, 2005
NO Says Republican the Rt Hon J D Anthony, former Deputy P.M.
“One of my strongest concerns is the concept of having a directly elected president. Such a move would immediately undermine our present British parliamentary system where the Prime Minister is appointed by elected parliamentary representatives of his party. The other point is that I dread that a popularly elected person might not have any knowledge or experience of governing a country e.g. a popular sportsman, actor, entrepreneur etc.”
Letter: 9 November, 2006.
NO Says Republican the Hon Jeff Shaw QC former Justice, Supreme Court of NSW and MLC
“Our rationale was that we did not want to do anything which would detract from prime ministerial government and did not want to create unnecessary tensions between an elected president and a prime minister appointed from the majority party in the House of Representatives.”
Weekend Sydney Morning Herald “Podium” 31 December 2005 – 1 January, 2006.
No say most republican leaders
“Most republican leaders are opposed to a directly elected President.” (Weekend Australian 16/17 June, 2001)
No says The Weekend Australian
In "ALP to directly elect its President” (The Australian, August 4, 2003, p.9), the republican newspaperwarned of the dangers of direct election:
“… that the president – until now mainly a figurehead, but soon to become the only person elected by all members – could become a rival source of power to the parliamentary leader.
“Ironically, this is the same argument used by opponents of a directly elected president.
“It mirrors, constitutionally, the fundamental concerns surrounding the republican push for a directly elected president to Crean’s prime minister of the day. There would be two power centres within the one system pulling in destructively different directions”