|Republicans no Guide to community opinion|
|Written by ACM|
|Monday, 09 July 2012|
So writes Jai Martinkovits ACM's Executive Director in today's Daily Telegraph, Sydney's most read newspaper.
The text of Jai's piece follows:
The management clearly fails to recognise that we are a federal commonwealth under God and also under that most important institution, the Crown. After all, that is how the people of the several states agreed to unite. In fact, as recently as 1999, the people reaffirmed this foundation of our nation. They did so with an overwhelming majority in all states and in 73 per cent of federal electorates. And since then support has only grown.
The June 2012 poll taken by Roy Morgan Research, Australia's oldest polling company, put support for a politicians' republic down to 34 per cent. The trajectory has long been down and it is likely to be even lower now.
From all experience about polling and referendums, were a vote to be held now it would be substantially lower.
Our politicians, who do endless polling and focus groups, know this. Despite their strong republican beliefs, they will not touch the issue with a 10-foot barge pole.
When Julia Gillard bowed to Bob Brown's demands for the 2010 alliance government, he could have had anything. He even persuaded her to break her election promise about not imposing a carbon dioxide tax. But he didn't even ask for the republican plebiscite which he proposed in legislation beforehand.
There can only be one reason for this restraint from such a passionate republican. He not only knew he would fail, he knew any party introducing this would be punished severely by the electorate for engaging in such a wasteful and useless distraction while the country faced serious and pressing issues.
About six months ago I wrote to Guides Commissioner Belinda Allen expressing what I sincerely believe to be mainstream concerns at what were then only proposed changes. I was told they would be listening to the grassroots of their membership.
Mindful that the monarchy's strongest support is to be found among the young and those living in regional areas, one wonders how an organisation with a membership comprised mainly of young girls spread throughout the country can claim this reflects the views of their grassroots members? Or did Guides management encourage their grassroots members to adopt their views?
It was appalling to me to see televised grabs showing young girls spouting lines so unlikely they seemed to have been drip fed to them. At least the Kevin Rudd 2020 summit only claimed a 98 per cent republican majority; the management seems to want to tell Australians that their decree has 100 per cent support.
The girls interviewed all supported the decision for reasons which could well have been put into their heads. Using lines unlikely to emerge in young minds, is it really being suggested that the girls initiated the removal of references to God and the Queen? Was this a case of faceless republicans using children to push their cause?
Many TV viewers were no doubt appalled to see a staged scene showing girls standing to attention as the leader directs one girl to march up to the portrait of the Queen.
The unlucky girl has to take the portrait down, and march away with it to some unrevealed indignity. It seems to me as if this once proudly independent movement is being used to advance a political agenda.
This is political correctness gone mad. What's next? Where do we draw the line? What other parts of their political agenda are next?
Parents ought to be wary of what is going on in this once proud movement, which previously operated outside of the political arena.
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