||Issue No. 123||21 December 2001|
The Unmaking of History
International: Global Year in Review
Unions: A Year at the Barricades
Technology: Unions Online 2001
Republic: Terror Australis
Economics: 2001: Annus Horribilis
Campaign Diary: Melanie and Me
Politics: Tony Moore's Final Word
Review: You Are the Weakest Program
Legal: The New McCarthyism
The Locker Room
The First Bastion
Tom Collins' Christmas Wish
ARM national director James Terrie asks where to now for the Republic?
It's now been over two years since the defeat of the proposal put to Australians in 1999. Many republicans, particularly with the re-election of John Howard, think that it's a lost cause or won't be back for years. While this is true in a sense there is much that needs to be done and is being done to bring about an Australian republic with an Australian as head of State.
The two biggest contributors to the 1999 defeat, apart from the disgraceful campaign run by the monarchists, were division among republicans (with many supporting the No camp) and the lack of support from the Prime Minister.
The next few years will be an opportunity to move beyond both of these problems. On the former, much work is already being done by the ARM to create a wider coalition of republicans. We have just released a discussion paper detailing six indicative models, ranging from a minimalist proposition to a number of direct election proposals. This will form the basis of ongoing and future discussions on the best model for the future.
The issue of prime ministerial support will be resolved one way or the other before or at the next election. The basis to move forward politically will be agreement of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and the departure of John Howard will see that come to fruition - Tony Abbott aside! Once these two have agreed on a process to allow the Australian people to have information they need, the proper debate they haven't yet had, then the republic that most want will happen. A thorough process will ensure that regardless of whatever type of republic we eventually have - it will be constitutionally safe, politically deliverable and sufficiently inspirational to affirm our common values as Australian citizens.
The republic won't just happen. As in all campaigns in public life it requires participation and activism. While the republic is not an issue that many (if any) Australians will "storm the barricades" for it nevertheless needs to be campaigned.
All republicans should be involved even if in some small way. From simply affirming your 'republicanism' occasionally, particularly within the ALP, through to getting involved in republican organisations such as the ARM. All republicans should approach the issue in a spirit of compromise and say that "the only thing we rule out is Monarchy!"
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