Republicans are as irreconcilably divided today about the form of an Australian republic as they were in 1999.
In the meantime the outlook for a republic is even worse than on 6 November, 1999
Polls are confirming support for a vague undefined republic, and also for one in which the president is to be directly elected by the people, down to 45%.
The latter is important. Republicans have been asserting that if only the direct elect model were put in 1999, it would have won handsomely.
And the point about the polls is that support is likely to fall at the actual vote, after the people have heard both sides.
This occurred in 1999 even with massive media bias.
( I have just been re-reading Kerry Jones excellent story about this in her “The People’s Protest,” 2000, ACM Sydney. Even now, I am astounded about some of the incidents she recounts)
Any way, we have now obtained a list of prominent republicans opposed to the direct elect model.
They predict this model will result in the election of yet another politician, and an extremely and potentially dangerously powerful one at that.
What is being proposed is not an American model. What is being proposed is a model which grafts a powerful president onto our safe stable and secure Westminster system.
It is clear that most of these prominent republicans overwhelmingly prefer our “ crowned republic” – as Michael Kirby puts it – to the direct elect model.
So they will try to see that a direct elect model does not go to a referendum. If it does they will fight it, and the media will be divided.
Professor Greg Craven, the republican constitutional lawyer and Vice Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University warns that such a referendum would result in a greater defeat than in 1999 and ensure Australians live not only under the reign of King Charles III but also King William V.
To which constitutional monarchists say “ Hear, hear!”
…prominent republicans opposed to direct election…
We have received a list of prominent republicans who are opposed to direct election. We shall be publishing these, with their views in subsequent columns, including a DIY guide for republican Liberal politicians on how to shoot themselves in the foot.