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  Issue No 27 Official Organ of LaborNet 20 August 1999  





Direct Election Republicans who say YES … and MORE!

Despairing at the sight of Ted Mack and Phil Cleary fronting for Kerry Jones and the Australians for A Constitutional Monarchy? Appalled at the disastrous strategy and paralysis of the Australian Republican Movement? A significant group of Republicans has an answer for you!


Launching the campaign in Sydney on July 21: rear row from left: Patrick Thompson (environmentalist), Ben Slade (legal aid lawyer), John Sutton (CFMEU). Front row from left: Sally McManus (union organiser), Moira Rayner, Rev Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Lee Rhiannon (NSW Greens ML

Write "YES" in the box on your ballot paper on November 6 and write "and MORE!" or stick on a sticker with the same message, to register a protest at the wrong question, and a demand for the next elected Convention to pursue democratic change to the Constitution.

This position was held by 22% of the 45 elected republican delegates to the 1998 Constitutional Convention. Their most prominent speakers were Pat O'Shane, Moira Rayner, Tim Costello, Mary Kelly, Misha Schubert and Catherine Moore.

The NO Republicans represented 18%, led by Phil Cleary, Ted Mack and Clem Jones.

The NO Republican strategy is long on hope and short on a definite program.

Their basic message is that the best way to get a directly-elected President is for this referendum to be defeated, because this would spark an unstoppable public movement to "get it right". On the other hand, the NO side argues that a win for the referendum would close off any further constitutional change.

This flies in the face of the broadly supported decision of the 1998 Convention that a second Constitutional Convention, with 75% elected delegates, should be held within 3-5 years of the passage of the 1999 Referendum.

A "YES" win, accompanied by a loud demand for more change, is a more certain pathway to comprehensive constitutional renewal than a NO.

Both direct election republican groups are making judgements about the potential opposition to democratic change to the Constitution.

The YES ... and MORE! see a far greater chance of a progressive majority for change if the threshold question of the monarchy is resolved now. That removes the Monarchists as a bloc in the debate, and re-groups the direct election republicans as a united bloc, and should also divide the minimalist republicans, with some of them moving across to the conservative bloc who will oppose any further change.

A win for the NO would maintain the Monarchist bloc, eliminate any commitment to the second Constitutional Convention from the parliamentary parties, greatly encourage the "no change" camp, and throw the republican camp into continuing recrimination.

Prime Minister Howard would have again demonstrated his superior political skill, declare that he had given the people the choice, and now it is time to move back to the "substantive issues" and the "main game".

There are 86 days to go before we the people have our say on November 6.

Working people have a powerful interest in constitutional change, especially a Bill of Rights which enshrines basic rights of workers, including the right to organise, collectively bargain, and to strike.

The CFMEU has formally committed to the YES and MORE! campaign. It deserves the support of all democrats across a wide range of social movements.

You can join the campaign by contacting:

Sydney - Peter Murphy, 02 9211 4164. Fax: 02 9211 1407. or mailto:[email protected]

Melbourne - Mike Hill, 03 9654 0333. Fax: 03 9654 0555. or: mailto:[email protected]

Republic News

Young Australians for a Republic and Women for an Australian Republic...

Invite you to put the PUB in the REPUBLIC

Pub Night, Wednesday 25th August, 7:30pm at Tilley's Devine Cafe & Gallery Lyneham, Tilley's meals available

Special guests for a Republican Quest (Good News Week style) ..... Tanya Plibersek MP (Labor member for Sydney); Senator Marise Payne (Liberal Senator for NSW); Rachael Jacobs (President Australian Young Democrats)

- with discounted Carlton Crowns so you can down a crownie!

Call Sandy Pitcher 6262 6141/ 041 333 7025 or mailto:[email protected] for more details

Young Australians for a Republic -

Women for an Australian Republic -


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 27 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Stepping Up To The Plate
ACTU secretary-in-waiting Greg Combet talks about his report on international trade union trends and the need to adapt for the future.
*  Work/Time/Life: The Good Type of Wharf Security
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has locked in better job security for casuals as part of its collective agreement with P&O Ports.
*  International: Venezuela Warned By Global Labour Group
Venezuela's new Constituent Assembly has drafted a decree providing for the dissolution of the country's national trade union organisation, the CTV.
*  Legal: Politically Motivated Case Against Unionist Fails
A politically motivated extortion case against Eric Wicker, a long-time trade unionist on the Port Kembla waterfront has failed.
*  Republic: Direct Election Republicans who say YES … and MORE!
Despairing at the sight of Ted Mack and Phil Cleary fronting for Kerry Jones and the Australians for A Constitutional Monarchy? Appalled at the disastrous strategy and paralysis of the Australian Republican Movement? A significant group of Republicans has an answer for you!
*  Unions: Technology for the Times
New technology offers exciting opportunities which help union growth, according to this extract from Unions@Work.
*  History: Australian Unions and Industrial Action 1788-1900
A project is under way to compile a comprehensive record of unions, informal worker organisation and strikes from the period of European settlement to 1900 using a specially designed computer database.
*  Review: Stage Left! - Workers Theatre Hits the Mark
'Rare' is the word on the Melbourne Workers Theatre production, 'Who's Afraid of the Working Class?' currently touring the eastern states of Australia.
*  Satire: Australia's Most Earnest
Strewth magazine scours the cultural landscape for its inaugural Earnest Bastard of the Year Award.

»  Combet’s Call - Double Effort Needed Now
»  Rally or Surf Party? It’s the Workers’ Call
»  Vizard Agenda Analysed
»  Truckies Face Another Oakdale
»  Former Union Leader to Investigate SOCOG Uniforms
»  Second Steggles Mum Wins Job Back
»  Strip Leads to Fair Wear Win
»  Rail Security: Scully Cuts Staff as Assaults Rise
»  Civil Libertarian Support Sought Against "Big Brother"
»  Dita Sari takes Sydney by Storm.

»  Guest Report
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Piers Watch

Letters to the editor
»  Thanks for Einstein
»  A Non-Unionist's Sympathy
»  A Mexican on Piers
»  Group Homes Claims Disputed
»  Rallying Cries
»  Security Overload

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