October 26

WA Defeat for Creeping Republicanism

Although Australians overwhelmingly rejected the republican referendum in 1999, some politicians have attempted to circumvent the people’s clear decision. They are trying to remove all of the outward signs of the Crown from public life.

Their Orwellian intention is clear.

They hope to make the people forget about their heritage, and by forgetting, to agree to change the constitutional system, and then the national flag.

This is disgraceful behaviour. Honest republicans have recognized this and, to their credit, have refused to go along with it.

ACM has resolved to fight this whenever we can. We will soon post a continuing record of all such acts on our website, which will be a continual resource in our campaign to expose this.

Creeping republicanism was discussed at the recent ACM National Conference. Stephen Logan from our WA branch reported on the concern there about various measures taken and proposed which clearly undermine the symbols of the Australian Crown which is , and always had been, an integral part of both the WA and Australian Constitutions.

Now Western Australia’s constitutionalists have scored a major victory.

They have stopped a WA government plan to achieve a republic by stealth by introducing legislation to remove references to the Queen from all oaths, affidavits and statutory declarations.

Under the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations (Consequential Provisions) Bill it was proposed to remove the requirement that members of Parliament, local government councillors, ministers of the Crown, judges and other WA public officials take an oath or make an affirmation of allegiance to the Queen.

The Liberals, with the support of the Greens, stopped the push in the Legislative Council by an amendment to allow people to choose to swear to the Queen or Western Australia.

This came eighteen months after the government had attempted to remove references to God in oaths, but failed after massive public outcry.

“Last night’s vote was a victory for common sense, but this should not have been put in the first place.” Liberal MLC Peter Collier said

“That the Gallop Government sought to undermine the constitutional framework of Western Australia and tried to pre-empt the public’s views by making a legislative change to suit its ideology is yet another example of arrogance and disdain for the community.”

Mr Collier made his position quite clear in the Parliament. He declared: “It is quite evident what the government wants from this legislation: this is an attempt by stealth to achieve a republic.

"I must declare my colours. I am Senior Vice-Chairman of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, and I am proud of it. I wear those colours on my chest quite proudly.

“However, even though I am Senior Vice-Chairman of ACM in Western Australia, I am not a monarchist. Contrary to popular belief, there are very few monarchists in Australia; that is people who pine for a system of government controlled by kings or queens. Of course, “monarchy” in itself conjures up images of tyrants and despots from centuries past.

"I am a constitutional monarchist, and the distinction is quite vivid. I am a strong advocate for our existing system of government, and that is where the distinction between a monarchist and a constitutional monarchist needs to be made.

“Even though I am not a monarchist in the strictest sense – as I said, there are very few in this country – I hold the British royal family in extremely high regard.

"Again I say quite proudly that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s seventy-ninth birthday was on 21 April 2005. I am delighted to say that in my travels at the time, I went to Buckingham Palace with tens of thousands of others to help Her Majesty celebrate. It was a wonderful day. Millions of British citizens and other citizens across the world, including in Australia, still hold a special affection for the royal family.

" Similarly, with thousands of others, I spent the next day at Windsor Castle. These huge crowds represent the attraction and magnitude of the royal family right across the globe. I doubt that there would be many Australians who do not visit Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace or the other royal residences when they visit England.

"Similarly, thousands of Australians throng the streets when the Queen or any member of the royal family visits our nation. “

Congratulations to Mr Collier and his colleagues, including the Greens who behaved so honourably in blocking the attempt to remove the Oath.

In doing this, they have given an example to the Federal authorities in relation to the Oath which new citizens may swear.

Why not at least allow them to swear allegiance to their Sovereign if they wish to do so?

Until next time,

David Flint


Tags

creeping republicanism, Greens, Liberals, Oath of Allegiance, republic by stealth, WA, Western Australia


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