May 25

The Age should know better

How sad it is to see that once great newspaper The Age, telling untruths in its editorial column. The Age ( 30/5) says that it “ has long been clear that a majority of Australians want a republic.”

This is just not true. The latest Newspoll measured support at 45% for a vague politicians’ republic. Morgan asked a question about what is claimed to be the most popular model, the one where the president is elected by the people. Again support was at 45% , and disastrously low among the young.

The Age attacks the holding of the 1999 referendum where it campaigned for a Yes vote. Victorians did not vote the way The Age told them. Nor did any other State. So the editor stamps his foot and criticises the referendum because the republicans were divided.  Imagine if he were playing football. “I lost the game so I want the rules changed,” he is saying.

The model for the referendum was chosen by the republicans. It enjoyed the overwhelming support of the republican delegates at the 1998 Convention, the republican politicians and the mainly republican media.

Having lost The Age would like to change the rules. Get a favourable vote on a vague question. They might even then try to get a republic through the back door. It doesn’t matter that a plebiscite invites a vote of no confidence in what is portably the world’s most successful constitution without putting in place a viable alternative.

Still published under a variation of the Royal Coat of Arms, The Age should know better than to try and hood wink their readers.  

In the old days such an editorial in The Age would have made them sit up. It would be discussed across Melbourne.  Today this would most likely have been filtered out by  junior staff from the press summaries which they get through to the nation’s decision makers.

The political advisors have read the polls. They have no doubt commissioned their own polling. This is telling them that not only has support for some vague politicians republic fallen, the public are not interested and are tired of money being wasted on this folly.

Every informed person knows The Age is talking rubbish.


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