Do Australians really want a politician at Yarralumla?
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 27 January 2014

Do Australians really want governors-general and governors going down into the political arena and campaigning just like the other politicians? The Sydney Morning Herald thinks so.

 

In recent years the Herald and The Age have emerged as the leading newspaper advocates of Australia becoming a republic.

 

The Herald returned to this in an editorial on the day following Australia Day 2014. This was partly to accept, reluctantly, that General Cosgrove seems to be likely to be the person appointed to succeed Quentin Bryce.


 

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...General Cosgrove ...


To show some disdain concerning the appointment the editorial said:  "Some have insisted his role in East Timor may rankle the Indonesian government; that his endorsement by the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy rules him out; and his lack of legal expertise is a minus, given the likelihood of constitutional problems stemming from the hung Senate after July.''

It is obvious that those "some" people expressing reservations concerning the appointment were probably those seated around the Herald editorial conference table.

They stretched their minds to find reasons for not making the appointment. The fact that these three were the only ones they could come up with shows vividly that there is no argument why the General should not be appointed.


 

... unsurmountable divisions...

Then the Herald revealed what they want in the Australian head of state both now and after some republic is adopted.

Like the Australian Republican Movement the Herald has retreated from the Republican position which prevailed up to the referendum. This was to set out in detail precisely what was being proposed.

Now the Herald, along with the Republican Movement, has swept this under the carpet.

The most likely reason is that they know that once a model is revealed, a significant number of republicans will decide that after all they prefer the existing Constitution.

This of course is not the way to initiate and campaign on constitutional change. The problem for most republicans is this. It is not that they believe in change as an improvement to the governance of Australia. It is just that they detest the Australian Crown and the Australian Flag.

They want to change them. Some couldn't care less what the change is as long as the Crown and the flag go. But a significant number of republicans are attached to a specific model and will not accept another.




...A different Head of State...

 

Then the Herald revealed exactly what they want in the Australian head of state both now and after some republic is adopted.

Like the Australian Republican Movement the Herald has retreated from the republican position which prevailed up to the referendum. This was to set out in detail precisely what was being proposed.

Now the Herald, along with the Republican Movement, has swept this under the carpet.

The most likely reason is that they know that once a model is revealed, a significant number of republicans will decide that after all they prefer the existing Constitution.

This of course is not the way to initiate and campaign on constitutional change. The problem for most republicans is this. It is not that they believe in change as an improvement to the governance of Australia. It is just that they detest the Australian Crown and the Australian Flag.

They want to change them. Some couldn't care less what the change is as long as the Crown and the flag go. But a significant number of republicans are attached to a specific model and will not accept another.




...A different Head of State...

In the editorial, rather than revealing the model they  have in mind, The Herald revealed instead the role they envisaged for the republican head of state.

 

THe or she is to be a player in the political arena.

Hitherto, the whole basis of the viceregal role has been that he or she is above politics. Following the practice well settled by the Sovereign, governors-general and governors carefully avoid making political comments taking political sides.

Hence the outrage when Governor-General Quentin Bryce breached this long-standing convention and expressed strong views on same sex marriage and of all things, against the very institution to which she has more than once sworn allegiance, which she represents, and whose powers she exercises, the Australian Crown.

 

So there we have it. The Herald wants another politician as head of state, not only in their politicians' republic, but now under the constitutional monarchy. 
 

This is of course the very antithesis of constitutional monarchy.

And it isn't as if we don't have enough politicians. At the three levels of government we have thousands.

Why on earth does the Herald want another politician, grandstanding across the country making political speeches as the  Governor-General?

Is this the policy of the Australian Republican Movement? What does Mr Malcolm Turnbull think?

He is  after all now the leading active republican in the Parliament.