September 23

Stable Model

In a letter published in the Sun Herald on 12 September, 2010 under the heading “Stable Model”  Alan Smith, of St Ives, NSW wrote:

Your three correspondents last Sunday  on the republic survey canvass the popular issues regarding an Australian Republic.  Their avoidance of mentioning the historical record of the republican form of government overlooks the simple fact that it has been inherently unstable from Greek and Roman times.  Since the end of the 19th century we have seen many former colonies (of European powers) and others worldwide become republics. 

There are now 160 of them.  Their history continues to be one of economic basket cases, revolution, invasions, civil strife and war, no human rights and persecution of minorities.  Compare that with the record of the eight constitutional monarchies of Europe over the same period.  No contest.  Think it couldn’t happen here? 

If you want a living republican example here, take the Levantine influence on NSW Labor politics for the past 15 years.  Many conventions of government exist in constitutional monarchies and that ensures a stability not inherent in any republican model.  The head of state issue is irrelevant compared with stable government.

A letter from Derek Parker, of  Mosman, NSW was also published under the same heading:

Of course John F. Jackson is right in believing that there are several Australians worthy of becoming a head of state.  The problem is that none of them will be chosen. 

If Parliament decides, the head of state will be some shonky retired politician or trades unionist.  If the public votes, it will be for an empty-headed popular entertainer or shock jock.  That may not be worse than the present system, but it certainly won’t be better. 

Think of Hilaire Belloc’s lines:  “Keep a hold of Nurse/For fear of finding something worse.”




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