March 19

The Age stamps its foot and demands a republic – now!

An editorial in The Age (still published ,mind you, under a Coat of Arms based on the Royal Arms)  calling for an instant republic elicited this response from ACM:

"Sir,

 In your continuing campaign to force a republic onto a totally disinterested nation  your editorial , “Let’s not wait for King Charles- The republic matters now”,  19  March 2006, really takes the cake. You claim opinion polls regularly show that a majority of Australians want a republic. Surely you must have seen the latest Newspoll, which  shows support  has  fallen to 46%.

And not content with the fact that in the 1999 referendum you ,with almost all of the media   and  most of the politicians, campaigned  for the republic, you now choose  to try to tell the  monarchists how they should have conducted their campaign! We did not take your instructions then, and we have no intention of taking them the next time, if in fact there is one. The qualities of The Queen were not in issue then, so why should we have campaigned about them? As our Founders always intended, debate focused on the terms of the changes you wanted.

You repeat the tired excuse for your landslide loss on the fiction that  John Howard exploited divisions among the republicans. Were you at the Convention you would have realized that the republicans were already so divided that a walkout was avoided, paradoxically, only through  the mediation of Lloyd Waddy. And Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Craven predict even greater divisions if the “direct elect” model is submitted to the people

You refer to aspects of the law of succession with which you do not agree, but neither you, nor the politicians who constantly complain  about this  have ever done anything  to change them. After all, under the Statute of Westminster , this is not just a matter for the British , it is a shared responsibility our Parliament shares

To the response to your  mantra,  “when do we want a republic?”, you should  have an additional  response :”But we haven’t the foggiest idea what sort of republic we want! "The reason for your sense of urgency is obvious. You must be aware that polling has consistently shown that support for a republic is weaker among the young than the "baby boomers". Far from being inevitable, a republic is highly unlikely now or in the future.

 

Yours etc"


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