On the fifth anniversary of the referendum, The Sydney Morning Herald of 6 and November 2004, reviewed the republican debate in cybersphere. Our site , it says, is a predictably regal affair. It noted what it called an amazing outpouring of press releases , often several in a single week. Clearly they confused Hot News with Press or Media releases – that is why the name of this column changed .
They also were not persuaded by comparisons. One typical breathless example, they wrote, announces that the five leading countries in the UN’s latest Human Development Index are all constitutional monarchies.
Coincidence? Not at all, "crows" the ACM site.
Actually, I first noticed this correlation between constitutional monarchy and this index some years ago when I was looking at the index when I was teaching international law. This correlation has been pretty consistent in each of the published indexes since then.
Most of the top countries are constitutional monarchies. The few republics in that top group tend to have tried and tested constitutions-the US and Switzerland. Neither have ever been successfully copied-unlike the Westminster system.
We know that republicans watch the ACM site, which does not concern us. We are even linked to the ARM, advising readers to go there for an alternative view. The ARM does not reciprocate, but we do not complain about that. That is their business, not ours.
This has its amusing side. After the referendum, we decided to make our occasional national conferences an annual event. Whenever we announced ours, there would be a flurry of activity at the ARM, announcing theirs. There was one difference. We actually held ours.
This year, perhaps fearing that somebody may have noticed, the ARM did not announce theirs. We also instituted a major lecture, the Neville Bonner Oration. There have been three. I see now the ARM has a formal Lecture. We do not mind the ARM imitating us. But we would be truly happy when they finally acknowledge that our constitutional system , a pillar of this nation, does not need to be tampered with. After all, most republicans say they have been finally reconciled with, and even love our Flag.
Until next time,