Don't Elect The President! Lesson From The Butler Affair
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 15 August 2004

Andrew Bolt is one of the nation's most read columnists. A shrewd observer of the affairs of the nation, he is one of the few to see the dangers in the republican model which the official republicans are now secretly backing, publicly pretending they have no model.

He charges the ARM with irresponsibility for going down this path. On the republican side, Professor Greg Craven has been warning about this since the Griffith University republican conference.

In his column in the Herald Sun (13.8.04), Andrew Bolt draws a very important lesson from the Butler affair, the ending of which has given us no joy at all.

The lesson, he says, is NEVER to elect president.

Can you imagine, he says, if he had had a mandate from the voters. He would not have gone so quietly. He says the odds are he would have behaved far worse than he did. What horrifies Andrew Bolt is that Richard Butler thought the position gave him real political power. When terrorists bombed the UN in Iraq, he said they had killed the wrong people-they had killed good people! He wanted to form committees to tackle the environment and unemployment, surely the function of the government , not the governor. When he attacked the US, the Premier gagged him.

Andre Bolt says imagine if he had been elected. He would say to the Premier:

Listen, sunshine -- I was elected to this job by people who back what I have to say. So shove it. I'll say what I like and I'll stay while I like it.

And as for the ARM, Mr. Bolt gives them short shrift:

Our republican zealots claim most voters already want a president who is elected, not selected. And that's all the Australian Republican Movement cares about -- what the public will buy now, rather than what it will like once it's actually tasted these poison apples.

Andrew Bolt has well and truly hit the nail on the head.

Oh and by the way, the governor's new official secretary was to have been the head of the Tasmanian ARM! Can you imagine that?

Until next time,

David Flint