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Convenor's Column
Warning: Politicians to be given keys to the Constitution Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 31 January 2014

 A referendum proposing an Australian republic with an elected president would fail, predicts a strong and longstanding academic republican, Professor Helen Irving of the University of Sydney.

She also reveals her preferred model for a republic. 

Under this, the keys to a crucial part of the constitution would be handed to the politicians.

 

 

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The control over how the Head of State would be appointed would be stripped from the Constitution.

The method of the appointment or election and the dismissal would be decided by the politicians. Most importantly this will be decided by the politicians without any reference to the people.

it will be able to be changed at any time at the whim of the politicians. 

To see how undemocratic and dangerous this is, remember that in 1999 about two thirds of the politicians - at least - wanted the very politicians' republic which the people rejected not only in a national landslide, but also in all states and in 72% of electorates.

This proposal is indeed for an ultra-politicians' republic.  [i]

 And one further note of caution. This is the only model on the table, apart from vague references to direct  election and parliamentary appointment. Academic writers have great influence in these matters, as the late Professor George Winterton demonstrated.

 

...no myths...

 

 

At least she doesn't rely on the usual republican myths that John Howard rigged the 1998 Constitutional Convention, that he chose a doomed model for the 1999 referendum or that he fixed the question.

 

Nor does she go along with the myth that the 1999 referendum was close. It was she says its ''resounding defeat'' suggests another attempt should only be made when there is ''unmistakable evidence of support''.

 

 

...direct election to fail...

 

 

  

 

     
Read more...
 
Support for a republic low Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 30 January 2014

The questions in the two opinion polls commissioned  by the republican movement ("Cosgrove Promotion',' 29/1) were both vague, without defining what sort of ''republic'' was being proposed, writes David Flint in the Australian Financial Review 30 January, 2014," Support for a republic is not clear cut.''

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This is important because it  produces a false impression of the strength of republican support. As soon as a specific model is revealed - any model-  a significant number of supporters say they prefer the present constitution.  

One poll was also was hypothetical, asking  about what may or may not happen at the end of the present reign. Asking people what will happen years hence has limited utility.

 

 

....best measure...

 

 

Since the referendum, support for both a vague undefined republic and what is assumed to be the most popular model, direct election, has fallen significantly.

The best measure of this is by looking at a number of polls from different over an extended period of time, as we do on our site. (norepublic.com.au).

This indicates that current support, as measured by polls, is probably in the 30-40  percentile range.

 

....conclusions...

 

 

Experience in referendums indicates two important conclusions .

First,  those who say they are undecided tend to move to the No vote. This is either because they are genuinely undecided ,or because they do not really wish to reveal their intentions to a pollster.

Second, after hearing both sides in a referendum debate and reading the Yes/No booklet, a significant number of ''soft'' Yes voters switch sides.

Polling and surveying also contains a timebomb for the republicans. This is the low level of strong support for change to a republic among the young.

That is why republican politicians, who also do their own polling and focus groups,  won't touch the issue in any serious way.

 

 
General Cosgrove appointed next Governor General Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

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The Prime Minister, speaking in Canberra, has announced the appointment of retired Defence Chief Peter Cosgrove as Australia's 26th Governor-General.

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy congratulates General Cosgrove on his appointment as Her Majestry's representative in Australia and also congratulates Mr. Abbott on his fine recommendation to Her Majesty.

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/peter-cosgrove-announced-as-next-governorgeneral/story-fni0xqrb-1226811724006

 
Almost certain violence? Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

ACM is in no way associated with a prediction of  "almost certain violence'' which would allegedly accompany the proposed aboriginal recognition referendum.

This prediction was in a Media Release by Philip Benwell  headlined "Aboriginal Recognition Set Back For Decades".  

In this he says the  Rudd and Gillard governments moved away from their commitment to hold a referendum because of  vandalism and of a demonstration where Ms.Gillard had lost her shoe. ( The demonstration was provoked by misinformation by a member of her staff who then resigned.) 

 He predicts in the Media Release that vandalism - and this demonstration -  ''undoubtedly sets back the acceptance of Aboriginal recognition by decades''

The contents  of the media release and a subsequent interview were reported nationally by Simon Cullen for the ABC on 27 January 2014, by Andrew Green in this video report  as well as on ABC radio.

 

 

 

ACM, as the nation’s leading constitutional monarchist association, distances itself completely from these  predictions.

 

ACM is not a political party. Our mission is limited and we do not take a position on constitutional issues unrelated to the   core of our constitutional system, which is centred on an indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown.

 

That said, it is difficult to see why Australians would  approach the proposed referendum in any way different from the way in which they have approached all others - thoughtfully and peacefully.

 

 
Do Australians really want a politician at Yarralumla? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 27 January 2014

Do Australians really want governors-general and governors going down into the political arena and campaigning just like the other politicians? The Sydney Morning Herald thinks so.

 

In recent years the Herald and The Age have emerged as the leading newspaper advocates of Australia becoming a republic.

 

The Herald returned to this in an editorial on the day following Australia Day 2014. This was partly to accept, reluctantly, that General Cosgrove seems to be likely to be the person appointed to succeed Quentin Bryce.


 

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...General Cosgrove ...


To show some disdain concerning the appointment the editorial said:  "Some have insisted his role in East Timor may rankle the Indonesian government; that his endorsement by the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy rules him out; and his lack of legal expertise is a minus, given the likelihood of constitutional problems stemming from the hung Senate after July.''

It is obvious that those "some" people expressing reservations concerning the appointment were probably those seated around the Herald editorial conference table.

They stretched their minds to find reasons for not making the appointment. The fact that these three were the only ones they could come up with shows vividly that there is no argument why the General should not be appointed.


 

... unsurmountable divisions...

Then the Herald revealed what they want in the Australian head of state both now and after some republic is adopted.

Like the Australian Republican Movement the Herald has retreated from the Republican position which prevailed up to the referendum. This was to set out in detail precisely what was being proposed.

Now the Herald, along with the Republican Movement, has swept this under the carpet.

The most likely reason is that they know that once a model is revealed, a significant number of republicans will decide that after all they prefer the existing Constitution.

This of course is not the way to initiate and campaign on constitutional change. The problem for most republicans is this. It is not that they believe in change as an improvement to the governance of Australia. It is just that they detest the Australian Crown and the Australian Flag.

They want to change them. Some couldn't care less what the change is as long as the Crown and the flag go. But a significant number of republicans are attached to a specific model and will not accept another.




...A different Head of State...

 

Read more...
 
Prediction of "almost certain violence'' Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Monday, 27 January 2014

ACM is in no way associated with a  prediction of  "almost certain violence'' which would allegedly accompany the proposed aboriginal recognition referendum.

This prediction was reported nationally by Simon Cullen for the ABC on 27 January 2014.

ACM, the nation’s leading constitutional monarchist association, is not a political party.

Our mission is limited and we do not take a position on constitutional issues not affecting the core of our constitutional system.

That said, it is difficult to see why Australians would  approach the proposed referendum in any way different from the way in which they have approached all others - thoughtfully and peacefully.

ACM distances itself completely from this prediction.

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[ Neville Bonner, ACM Constitutional Conventin Delegate]

 
London's Mayor Boris Johnson Honorary Australian Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 26 January 2014

London's  Mayor Boris Johnson says he will use his naming as an Honorary Australian of the Year in the United Kingdom to push for easier immigration between Australia and the United Kingdom.

He is so right to push this point.

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[Mayor Boris Johnson Source: The Australian Ella Pellegrini ]

Mr Johnson says he is a great admirer of Australian's energy and get up and go and wants London to import as much of Australia's "outgoingness" as possible.

He said it was ludicrous that Australians face exorbitant red tape to work in London and the United Kingdom.

"There should be the same reciprocal rights between the UK and Australia as there is between the UK and Slovenia or any of the 27 European Union countries," Mr Johnson said at a black tie function at Australia House.

 
Celebrate Australia Day Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Friday, 24 January 2014

This Sunday, celebrate  the day when Captain later Admiral Arthur Philip RN, the first Governor of New South Wales, brought the first four pillars of our nation  - the rule of law, the English language, our Judeo-Christian values and that institution above politics the Crown.

The  British gradually gave us self government under the Westminster system, and we ourselves federated into one nation, with the approval and active support of the British - a Federal Commonwealth under the Crown.  

These sound  institutions have allowed Australia to develop politically and economically in a way few countries have.

Ignore the attempts to rewrite our glorious and unique history.

Advance Australia Fair!  God Save The Queen!

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Queen more popular than any politician Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 23 January 2014

 

Attention republican activists. If you're about to put on your usual stunt on Australia Day about trashing the flag or a politicians' republic, don't bother. ( One year you even did it for ANZAC Day, which was appalling)

We all know you want a politicians' republic. At least you admitted that up to 1999 - since then you have been very coy about what you want. But don't spoil Australia Day for this.

And as for your campaign, just consider the following. 

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[William Dargie's portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1954 ]
 

Well, at Parliament House Canberra the most popular  painting is not of any of the many politicians on display.

It's The Queen. By far.

Everyone wants to be photographed in front of The Queen of Australia.

Ross Peake reports in Fairfax on 23 January,2014  that a perspex cover has had to be placed in front of Sir William Dargie’s portrait of the Queen, known as the "Wattle Painting’’.

 

 
ACM Facebook page reaches 40,000 "likes" Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 23 January 2014

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Yesterday, ACM reached 40,000 "likes" on our Facebook page - and we are by no means done growing yet.

This extraordinary result demonstrates that, although ACM is a one issue organisation, we remain relevant and Australians are interested in debating matters relating to the Australian Crown.

ACM would like to thank all those who have actively participated in the online debate, as well as those responsible for the maintenance of the various online presences.

This increasing growth in the social media builds on ACM's highly visited and primary website, www.norepublic.com.au, which is now receiving in excess of 10.5 million hits and almost 5 million page views annually. ACM also maintains an educational website, www.crownedrepublic.com.au, and a Twitter account.

 
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