Communist support for republic
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 08 July 2006
Hammer and sickle

If you saw some of the ABC programmes on the Communist Party of Australia in recent years you would have thought that they were no different than a benign, well intentioned church going group. Of course idealists once came to communism as the answer to the excesses of capitalism, especially after the depression. But the idealists were soon expelled or they left. The Communist Party planned to turn Australia into a peoples’ republic. Failing this they were ready to sabotage anything here to further the interests of the Soviet Union, which financed and directed them. Their only spark of independence came towards the end, and that led to the split into three communist parties, one Russian, one Chinese and one neutral.

The Communist Party of Australia was revived in recent years as a result of a name change by the Socialist Party. In the 1999 referendum campaign, the Party argued predictably that the monarchy is an “unwanted relic of feudalism in England and colonialism in Australia.” The comrades declared it irrelevant to the people of Australia. The party joined with the elites in the media and among the politicians to endorse the Keating –Turnbull model as “ an important, progressive step forward.”

Just before the referendum, on 20 October 1999, their journal, The Guardian reported that “a recent survey by Newspoll found that 64 percent of voters support Australia becoming a republic and 95 per cent believe Australia's head of state should be an Australian.” (Actually, in the year preceding the referendum, Newspoll recorded the level of support some sort of republic, which is in itself is meaningless. These fluctuated from about the mid forty percent to about the mid 50 percent, and never ever reached 64%. But on 12 September,1999 Newspoll inextricably changed to a convoluted question (see below) which obviously confused respondents and was never repeated.It is interesting that the comrades chose this one and ignored the others). The Guardian thundered to those who listened :

“The Communist Party urges you to vote "YES" for an Australian republic.”

They put out a pamphlet, For an independent and democratic republic of Australia.

No doubt they support the republicans latest plans to throw out our constitution.

NEWSPOLL QUESTION:

NOW I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU THREE BROAD QUESTIONS FOR AUSTRALIA IN REGARDS TO A REPUBLIC. ONE POSSIBILITY IS TO CHANGE TO A REPUBLIC WITH A PRESIDENT WHO IS ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE. A SECOND POSSIBILITY IS TO CHANGE TO A REPUBLIC WITH A PRESIDENT WHO IS APPOINTED BY PARLIAMENT. AND A THIRD POSSIBILITY IS TO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING, KEEPING THE QUEEN AND THE GOVERNOR GENERAL IN THEIR CURRENT ROLES. WHICH ONE OF THESE POSSIBILITIES WOULD YOU YOURSELF MOST PREFER?

The answers were 50%,. 14% and 32% with 4% uncommitted.