March 12

Torchlit procession at presidential palace – Canberra too?

We reported on 18 February ( “Another German President resigns”)   that for the second time in two years, a German president has resigned. Australian republicans often refer to the German model is one where the president fulfils the role as well as a constitutional monarch can. We have demonstrated in this column that this is not so. “Republican Rorts: From Manila to Berlin and Paris”

In this image, we see soldiers marching in the Grand Tattoo of the German Armed Forces Bundeswehr for the former president, Christian Wulff, at the presidential Bellevue Palace in Berlin.  According to Reuters, Germany's other former presidents humiliated the  former president  by boycotting the torch lit military parade held in his honour.

 The president was forced to resign last month over a political favours scandal.

When it was revealed that a superb site had been  set aside in the nineties for the building of a grand presidential palace in Canberra – Yarralumla was thought to be far too modest – this revelation was very quickly downplayed.

From Paul Keating, republicans often cite the German system as the model for an Australian republic. We wonder whether it was also planned to have torchlit processions at the presidential palace in Canberra.



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