With the governance panel blatantly rigged, the organisers overlooking Passover, two delegates imagining a constitutional rule that does not exist, you would have to wonder what else could go wrong with the 2020 Summit on 19 and 20 April, 2008.Now it seems the Federal Government announced the "participants" for the 2020 Summit before bothering to check whether they wanted to attend.
This extraordinary piece of mismanagement was revealed in a report by Michael Pelly in The Australian on 15 April, 2008 (“Participants declared before invites”) Former High Court chief justice Sir Anthony Mason said he received his invitation by email only last Thursday, after a member of the 2020 secretariat followed up a letter incorrectly sent to the High Court.
Sir Anthony told the newspaper he has a private commitment, and former Justice Mary Gaudron is not well.
The Australian believes the former governor-general Sir William Deane was also unaware he would be on the list that was announced on 28 March, 2008. Julian Burnside QC and Professor George Williams said he knew of others who were also surprised to be on the list.
While many prominent republicans have been invited to the 2020 Summit, no persons prominent in the No campaign in 1999 have been invited. Nor have any strong supporters of federalism.
According to Piers Akerman in the Daily Telegraph of 15 April 2008 the composition of the attendees is more indicative that their views will be in accord with the summit co-chairs, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Professor Glyn Davis, than that they are actually the best and the brightest in the nation.
The proposition that the summiteers appear to have been selected more for their compliant opinions, he says, was reflected in the email sent to members of the left-wing activist organisation GetUp! last week:
“Only 1000 people will be deliberating Australia’s future at next week’s 2020 Summit – but that’s not to say your voice won’t be heard. Incredibly, 118 of the chosen delegates are GetUp! members, including our Executive Director Brett Solomon.”
As Piers Akerman says, more than 10% of the delegates are GetUp! members.
And this is Australia, not Zimbabwe or the USSR.