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Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Mate for a Head of State arrow One of their mates for head of state competition

One of their mates for head of state competition Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 15 January 2006
Before we announce our competition, it has to be said that Australia’s republicans are now involved in some very confusing campaigns.

One is to force Australians to keep on voting until they get it right. They plan to divert millions from schools and hospitals, with one purpose. This is to replace our Governor –General, the Head of State who is above politics, with one of their political mates. They admit as much in their current campaign about making one of their mates the republican head of state. They plan to do the same with the Governors.

The republican leadership seems to agree that there should be an expensive taxpayer funded opening plebiscite in which the Australian people will be asked to cast a vote of no confidence in one of the world’s most successful constitutions, without having any idea about what is to replace it.

While most agree on the principle –if that is the right word –of this deceitful and irresponsible proposal, and that whatever is done is paid for by the taxpayer, they agree on little else.

They are divided into at least four factions.

One faction wants a republic at any price, and will accept the impossible model of having an elected president with all the powers of the governor-general, a politician with a bigger mandate than the prime minister.

Another faction wants to change those powers by codifying them. This is a task which Paul Keating told Parliament on 7 June 1995, his government had , after careful consideration, formed the view that it is probably "impossible".

By this the Keating government, with the involvement no doubt of Senator Evans, and of the present leader Mr. Beazley, concluded that they could not write down or codify these powers in a way that would both find general community acceptance and cover every possible contingency.

So they concluded codifaction is impossible.

Yet another faction wants to take away all of the reserve powers, which would mean a prime minister behaving unconstitutionally or illegally could not be stopped.

Yet another fraction wants to try the 1999 model again, where the president is appointed by parliament. This was the model that the whole ARM certified in 1999 was the only safe model. The view that it was safe was then certified by the three republican knights, Sir Anthony Mason, Sir Gerard Brennan and Sir Zelman Cowan, none of whom indicated they would renounce their several imperial honours.

Obviously some ARM people are embarassed to join the opportunists and now say that other models which they condemned it 1999 are now quite safe.

The difficulty with this model for the republicanmovement is that it was defeated in a landslide.

On top of all this, the republican leadership is openly divided on whether we should be forced to vote twice or three times on some sort of republic –and that is just at the federal level! To paper over these divisions the majority pretend they have no model in mind.

This is a marvellous position to put to the Australian public.

You can imagine the mantra they could chant in their demonstrations, wearing their yellow ribbons, about getting one of the “mates for head of State day”.

The chant could go something like this:

“Q: What do we want? A: A republic Q: When do we want it? A: Now Q: What sort of republic? A: We haven’t the foggiest idea.”

As if this mess were not enough, we also have the issue of the flag. This has been so helpfully put on the agenda by the councillor -commissars down at the Peoples’ Republic of Bondi/Waverley. (They are also planning to charge those bourgeois lifesavers who dare live outside of the Peoples’ Republic a special parking fee, similar to the fee they charged families, bourgeois or not, to watch the fireworks from a park with a distant view of Sydney Harbour on New Years’ Eve.)

The republican leadership, hoping that nobody noticed that one of them is calling Australia a racist pigsty, now pretends that changing the flag has nothing to do with their plans to change the constitution. But when they thought they were going to get their republic in 1999, they were blatant about insisting on changing the flag. In fact, they weren’t going to allow us to vote on it!

But the republican Melbourne newspaper, The Age let the cat out of the bag when they revealed that no one seriously thinks the flag won’t have to be changed under a republic.

And now some individual republicans have been ignoring their new leadership and campaigning openly for a new flag.

The republican movement probably won’t come clean this time, and openly endorse campaigns to change the flag as they did before the referendum.

You may recall that one was a travelling exhibition, supported expressly by the republican movement, and sponsored by the flag change company, Ausflag, and the merchant bank, Turnbull and Partners. One of the flags exhibited consisted of the insulting, indecent slogan, printed in a very large size “F*** off back to Fagland”.

But back to the campaign about getting one of their mates as Head of State .

We’re holding a competition to help them choose their mate. Email us , and tell us which of their mates you think should be Head of State.

We'll then consider the nominations, and ask you to vote for one of the names on the list.

This may help the republicans, and for once , it won't cost the taxpayer a brass razoo.


 
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