September 22

“Young back Queen, say monarchists: Republic push ‘futile, costly’.”


 

The first report below appeared in the Herald Sun on 20 September, 2008. Readers may make a comment on the newspapers’ site.  It also appeared in several other newspapers.

The second report is from the Sydney Morning Herald, 21 September, 2008, "Republic push 'futile, costly'. "

 

  Young back Queen, say monarchists   

September 20, 2008 01:57pm

MORE politicians want to waste money on pushing Australia towards becoming a republic after six failed attempts, monarchists say.

 

The national convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy Professor David Flint said today support for a republic is in decline, particularly among the young.

 

In a column released to coincide with the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy national conference in Perth, Professor Flint said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was seeking to place some undefined politicians' republic back on the national agenda.

 

"Despite taxpayers funding six major exercises on trying to move to a politicians' republic since 1993, some politicians still want to divert millions more from pensions, schools, water etc into this folly," he said.

 

"But polling indicates that not only is overall support for some politicians' republic in decline, it has collapsed among the younger generation."

 

Australians rejected a republic at the 1999 referendum.

 

But the cause has received a fresh boost with the rise of Malcolm Turnbull to opposition leader.

 

Mr Turnbull headed the pro-republic movement at the 1998 republic convention which failed because of bitter divisions within the republican movement over the sort of republic Australia should have.

 

Professor Flint said this would be the 10th Australians for Constitutional Monarchy convention since the 1999 referendum and would feature a panel of young Australians explaining their commitment to the constitution and the flag.

 

He said the keynote speaker is former WA Liberal premier Richard Court, the only state premier at the 1998 Constitutional Convention who was shown to be in touch with the voters.

Republic push 'futile, costly'

The following report appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald  on 21 September, 2008

 

POLITICIANS are continuing to waste money on pushing Australia towards becoming a republic despite six failed attempts since 1993, monarchists claim.

 

The national convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Professor David Flint, said yesterday support for a republic was in decline, particularly among the young.

 

In a column released to coincide with the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy national conference in Perth, Professor Flint said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was seeking to place some undefined politicians' republic back on the national agenda.

 

"Despite taxpayers funding six major exercises on trying to move to a politicians' republic since 1993, some politicians still want to divert millions more from pensions, schools, water, etc, into this folly," he said.

 

"But polling indicates that not only is overall support for some politicians' republic in decline, it has collapsed among the younger generation."

 

Australians rejected a republic at the 1999 referendum.

 

But the cause has received a fresh boost with the rise of Malcolm Turnbull to Opposition Leader.

 

Mr Turnbull headed the pro-republic movement at the 1998 republic convention, which failed because of bitter divisions within the movement over the sort of new structure Australia should have.

 

This will be the 10th convention since the 1999 referendum.

 A republic above politics

Editorial: Sydney Morning Herald 18 September,2008

IS THE Prime Minister playing politics with the republican issue? We hope not. Such a ploy would do Kevin Rudd no credit and Australia no service. The question arises from Mr Rudd's remarks on Tuesday, after Malcolm Turnbull won the Liberal leadership.

The Prime Minister said he wanted to work with the new Opposition Leader on national challenges, including Australia's move towards a republic.

The convenor of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, David Flint, saw Mr Rudd as trying to wedge Mr Turnbull on the issue. Certainly the subject still divides the Coalition.

Indeed, the former treasurer Peter Costello believes most Liberal Party members remain monarchists. That, presumably, is why Mr Turnbull is now so low-key.

The former leader of the Australian Republican Movement attempts to cover his lack of public enthusiasm for a republic by saying the proposal cannot be revived while Queen Elizabeth II still reigns.

What a feeble excuse. 

Despite Australians' respect and affection for the Queen, the present monarch was not the central issue in the 1999 referendum where a republic was rejected 55 per cent to 45 per cent. The republicans were outmanoeuvred.

The former prime minister John Howard ensured the vote was not for the general idea of a republic but for a specific model.

It was a model the monarchists successfully demonised as offering a politicians' president, despite the scope for public participation in the selection.

Worse, the republicans themselves were divided on whether the head of state should be appointed or elected.

Constitutional experts, meanwhile, were also divided on that and other issues; and the government and the opposition were on opposite sides of the argument.

Faced with such controversy, a majority voted to stay with the constitution that had served them for a century. 

If Australians are to be united on the issue, the example must come from the top. Generational change in the leadership of Labor and the Coalition provides just the opportunity. Mr Rudd and Mr Turnbull are both republicans.

They can – and should – develop proposals for a republic that will find the support of a majority of Australians, proposals that will give Australians a clear say in the selection process.

Mr Turnbull needs to rediscover his zealotry for the republican cause (and to take the parliamentary Liberal Party with him).

Mr Rudd must resist any temptation to divide the Coalition on the issue. The Prime Minister likes to say the republic is not a "first order" issue. That is only because he chooses not to make it one

    


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