There is a sad air of desperation among the republicans these days. There is none of that joyful anticipation of a glorious victory which we saw in 1999.
Professor George Williams pleads for action on ”the” republic in The Sydney Morning Herald (“Labor stalling may anoint Charles III “ 11/5)
He has adopted the republicans’ alternative silver bullet to vote now and get a politicians’ republic later: “Against both God and King” (14/4).
The other silver bullet is the one Prime Minister Julia Gillard favours. Put any vote on the politicians' republic off until the end of the reign. That is, when she is unlikely to be in Parliament.
Professor Williams doesn’t like that at all.
… wailing and gnashing of teeth..
“The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has said that the Queen should be Australia's last monarch,” he laments.
“However, if steps are not taken now towards a republic, this will be impossible to achieve. It will guarantee the reign of Charles III as King of Australia,” he adds.
“The push for an Australian republic has stalled. This is not due to any surge of support for the monarchy produced by the royal wedding.”
…the real reason Labor dropped the subject…
“ Instead, the problem stems from the failure of the federal government to live up to reasonable expectations that it would advance the debate. Its lack of action has stopped the republic in its tracks, and undermined community support for change,” he continues, seeking the readers’ sympathy.
George, the reason is simple. The long term trend in the polls – confirmed in the politicians’ polling and focus groups they don’t make public – is telling the republican politicians not to touch your republic with a barge poll.
The polls show a Yes vote in a plebiscite would be lucky to make the low forties. A referendum on any model would probably be in the thirties You see, George, the republican politicians were burnt badly when they thought the Keating Turnbull republic bandwagon was going to roll onto to a glorious national victory.
You and the republican media led them up the garden path. All they got were some inner city electorates – and the Australian Capital Territory. Seventy three percent of electorates and every State said No.
…MMP – Many More Politicians…
And George, you can’t really be suggesting we adopt the appalling proposal recently made by the republican Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and a Companion of the Order of Australia, Sir Gerard Brennan. He wants to pin the change on the life of The Queen.
Incidentally his republican model is a most complicated contraption.
This will produce about 100 more federal and state politicians. There will be fourteen to twenty one more elections every decade. And in addition, there will be the elderly constitutional council judges. No doubt the hundreds of political candidates for these jobs will be funded by the taxpayer. And of course there’ll be travel, study tours to check out other republics and wonderful taxpayer funded superannuation.
…an appalling proposal…
Voting now but delaying the change until the end of the Sovereign was not made because of some new found delicacy about the feelings of The Queen.
This is not the feeling which a highly confused Amanda Vanstone recently attributed to monarchists – as if monarchists would be party to something so disgraceful.
The Queen’s feelings did not for a moment stop Sir Gerard joining with Sir Anthony Frank Mason, AC, KBE, QC and Sir Zelman Cowen, AK, GCMG, GCVO, QC in penning the front page so-called "Three Knight’s Letter" to The Australian in 1999. (The response from three monarchists was well buried away from the front page of a later issue.)
The republican knights called for the immediate adoption of the republican model on offer. That was overwhelmingly rejected.
So Sir Gerard proposes a vote now to take effect at the end of the reign is that “ it might well accord with majority opinion.”
As you do George. In other words “ Look we failed in 1999. If we have the vote now but delay it until The Queen leaves this
world, we may have a better chance.”
No you won’t George. A device to keep the monarchy alive only as long as The Queen lives is not only distasteful, it is appalling.
It will be seen as such by all right –thinking Australians.