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Germans heap praise on our monarchy Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 08 November 2004

As we were approaching the fifth anniversary of the landslide defeat of the 1999 referendum, I was delighted to see this comment from the leading German newspaper, Die Welt, during The Queen’s recent visit to Germany:

" Every time German democrats look at the British monarchy, they can hardly suppress their envy and admiration for its balance between tradition and innovation. "


Incidentally, in one of the press reports of the anniversary, I read that the one state, Victoria, voted Yes. I have seen this in a book, and it is wrong. Every state voted No.………………….

 
Princess Alice Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 08 November 2004

We are saddened to learn that Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester has passed away. Older Australians will remember her as the wife of the Governor –General, the Duke of Gloucester, who was chosen to hold that office in those difficult post war years by that great Prime Minister, John Curtin. Her story  can be read at

http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page 3455.asp.

Condolences may be sent online to http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page249.asp

 
2004 Neville Bonner Oration Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 04 November 2004

ACM celebrated the fifth anniversary of the referendum with the traditional Neville Bonner Oration, which was given by Sir David Smith. The title of this year’s oration is THE GOVERNOR GENERAL IS AUSTRALIAS HEAD OF STATE.

It is the irrefutable answer to one of the two principal arguments advanced by republicans - that we must change our constitution so that we may have an Australian Head of State. The other republican argument, that we must become a republic in order to be independent is so obviously wrong that it must be embarrassing for republicans to hear it repeated.

Sir David put a detailed submission on this to the recent Senate inquiry into our becoming a republic. This was conducted by a committee stacked with republicans, one member actually asking a republican academic to respond to Sir David. This was done in a one page response, in which we learn that the term Head of State is not mentioned in the Constitution, that it is a political term without any constitutional significance and it means what the user wants it to mean! Why then,one may ask, do republicans raise it? Is it because they have no other reason for changet?

As you will recall, the report of the Senate Committee was released when it would least be noticed-perhaps they did not want the voters to notice just how out of touch those republican politicians are with the electorate.

A more detailed response to Sir David appears in the September 2004 issue of Quadrant, and is on their website, www.quadrant.org.au.

 This is by the distinguished professor of constitutional law, Professor George Winterton. In it, Professor Winterton argues that the debate is an arid an increasingly irrelevant battle over nomenclature!.

Sir David has now replied to this-that is published in the November issue, as is incidentally, a letter of mine. In it I refer to my comments on this in the book I wrote for the referendum campaign, The Cane Toad Republic. I pointed out there that the term came from international law and diplomacy as a replacement to the increasingly inappropriate word, Prince. The first states to use it in their constitutional law seem to have been the fascist states!

 In any event, Sir David's paper was very well received. Edited by Diana Melleuish, and with a foreword by John Stone, it is available from ACM, price $10.

 
Malcolm Turnbull, MHR Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 04 November 2004
What does the election of Mr. Turnbull mean?
On the day of the anniversary of the referendum, some of the media treated the ARM call to revive the republican issue as a newsworthy item! I wonder why? Is the republic still part of the agenda of the elite media? I responded in the media release which I circulated recently. In any event, the Prime Minister regards the issue as settled by the 1999 referendum. It will not be raised while John Howard is Prime Minister. Nevertheless, the ARM leader, Professor Warhurst, had made a great play over the fact that Malcolm Turnbull had been elected to Parliament. He seems to see this as a a major reason to raise the issue again.
Read more...
 
Out of touch republicans Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 04 November 2004

"Once again, Australia's republicans have demonstrated they are completely out of touch. Australians are not interested in changing either our Flag or our constitution, one of the most successful in the world, which the republicans ridiculously suggest is "increasingly irrelevant". Nor do Australians want to see any more of their hard earned money diverted from schools , hospitals and transport to this folly." said ACM National Convenor, Professor David Flint, responding to ARM calls to revive the issue.

"Republicans know that another referendum would be defeated by an even greater majority than the landslide in 1999, when every state and 72% of electorates said No to the ARM's preferred model. That is why they have opted for a series of plebicscites to trick the people into giving them a blank cheque on the Constitution."

ACM conducted a campaign in selected electorates, distributing up to a million pamphlets explaining the plebiscitary proposal.The conclusion of the voters was that republic is one of those issues which indicates to the rank and file Australian that the politician who advances them is completely out of touch.

And even the stacked Senate Committee- which recently and secretively reported at great expense on a republic- conceded that education on the way we are governed is crucial. " We believe that as Australians know more about their remarkably successful Constiution, they will want to keep it even more than they do now. Republicans actually believethe people will then want to change it! We say, let the people decide"     
    

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Election Lesson Ignored: Republicanism Still On The Agenda Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 28 October 2004

One of the lessons of the election is that the voters are just not interested in such issues as a fundamental change to the constitution or a new flag.

(Republicans often say they now wish to keep the flag, but The Age let the cat out of the bag on that when it asked whether anyone really believes that Australia is likely to become a republic without also changing its flag : The Age, editorial, 20 March 2004.)

It was surprising then to read Senator Bob McMullan’s piece in The Bulletin of 2 November 2004. (According to The Bulletin, Senator Mc Mullan quit the Labor front bench after an argument with Mr .Latham.)

The Senator said Labor should return to its past successes and core values, which as a general proposition is quite understandable.

Read more...
 
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