Summit Vote for republic, 100%. Are they serious?
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 19 April 2008

Image

 

When the Prime Minister drew inspiration for the 2020 Summit from Mao Tse-tung's famous observation "Let a hundred flowers bloom, let the hundred schools of thought contend," (The Sydney Morning Herald, "Summit brimming with ideas," 17 April, 2008), we should have realized that the Summit - at least the governance panel - would be run on Maoist lines.

According to a reliable source, the group within the governance panel has voted that Australia is to become a republic by 2020. The vote was 29 in favour, with one abstention.

If we apply the way the AEC counts referendums, the vote was 100% in favour. This is a better result than Mugabe has managed in the Zimbabwean elections.

In 1999, with what Professor Greg Craven told the Summit was a minor constitutional change (we disagree), the No vote prevailed in all states and 72% of electorates.

It is inconceivable that 45% has somehow turned into 100%.

This was confirmed in the plenary session on Saturday, which was run as if it were from a 1960’s vaudeville TV programme.  You know, people sitting on high kitchen stools with a wandering comedian asking the audience questions.

Anyway, one lady from the governance panel volunteered the information that the divisions she had expected did not exist, and that they had all agred on a republic and a bill of rights.


...panel gerrymandered...



This confirms  our critique that the governance panel was obviously gerrymandered.

But when this was reported in The Australian on 17 April, 2008,  the chairman of the governance panel, John Hartigan, countered that it was the failure of the monarchists to nominate that had led to the perceived imbalance.

Mr Hartigan - chairman and chief executive of News Limited, publisher of The Australian - said there had been "no obvious constitutional monarchist" among the 700 prospective summiteers who nominated governance as their first preference.

"We even went back and checked every form again, but to no avail," he said.

"We also looked at all of the delegates to the 1999 constitutional convention - other than the politicians - to see whether any were also nominees for this summit. As far as we could tell, none were.

"We also looked at David Flint's website to identify anyone else who might have nominated. Nothing there either.

"We then came up with a list of other possibles, but all of them were already allocated to other streams

We have just learned that Mr. Michael Hodgman QC, Shadow Tasmanian Attorney- General nominated.

He was at the 1998 Convention, he is referred to on the ACM site. He leads the ACM group in the Tasmanian Parliament.

He fits all of the criteria Mr. Hartigan says would have qualified him.

Yet he wasn’t appointed.

If this were not about a serious issue of governance, it would be slightly amusing.

It is difficult to understand how anyone could continue to be associated with such a disgraceful operation.


...Stop Press....


As a postscript, the governance panel decided by a majority of 75% on Saturday evening 19 April 2008 to recommend a republic by 2010.

And the republicans don't even have a model.

If the Rudd government accepts this, they will have little else to do between now and the next election.

And by the way, the states are to be abolished, and a bill of rights enacted.