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ACM Home arrow Latest News and Opinions arrow Mark Latham Loses Werriwa

Mark Latham Loses Werriwa Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 09 December 2003

December 11, 2003
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the National Convenor
National Office, Sydney Australia

Mr. Mark Latham, the new Leader of the Opposition, has decided to put the republic back onto the agenda. Yet in 1999, he was not able to persuade his own electors to vote in favour of the model he was campaigning for. His loss was not marginal-it was a catastrophe!

Mr. Latham had everything going for him. He had a safe Labor electorate, the ALP unlike the Liberals, was united, and both the media and the big end of town were sympathetic, Mr. Latham had the celebrities, he had the ground troops to round up the vote, and the model was the one the ALP favoured, yet all he could manage to get in his seat, Werriwa, was a miserable 41.8%.

That every state voted No with 72% of electorates nationally (93% in Queensland and Western Australia should indicate it is not time to raise this issue.

ACM National Convenor, Professor David Flint said “So why does Mr. Latham want to divert millions more from such essentials as schools and hospitals to pay for what is essentially the plaything of the elites, when the people have so clearly said they are not interested in changing either the constitution or the flag.”

Calling on Mr. Latham to tell the people what sort of republic he had in mind. The National Convenor said.”The proposal for a plebiscite on whether people want a republic is grossly irresponsible. This is to invite Australians to register a vote of no confidence in what is arguably the world’s most successful constitution - without anyone knowing what is going to replace it. This is a recipe for at least a decade of constitutional instability, while the nation goes through a cascading series of plebiscites and referenda. That is why the founders of our Commonwealth chose the referendum, with all the proposed changes on the table, rather than the blank cheque plebiscite where the politicians fill in the details later. And we have had that referendum.”

“Now is the time for those in politics to concentrate on the core functions of government. It is not the time to throw out our constitution or our flag,” he said.

 
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