|Issue No 39||12 November 1999|
Letters to the Editor
Republic Post Mortem
Let us pray,
If Australia is now a constitutional monarchy and little johnny's preamble has been rejected by popular vote, and the general idea of a republic has been rejected, can we not now put forward a motion like this?
Should not the Leader of the Opposition (KB) appeal to the Governor General, to appeal to our newly elected Head-of-State ie. The Queen, to remove our Prime Minister? Does not the Queen generally follow the idea and the instruction of the Governor-General? I'm going to send a number of emails to Kim Beazley to direct Billy Deane to direct the Head-of-state to Dismiss the Prime Minister because thats what the people want. Bitter, bitter, bitter.
Lets put this unchanged constitution to the the test and make the people of
Australia realise the opportunity they have missed.
It's a Joke!
'How many monarchists does it take to change a lightbulb?'
Where Now For The Republic?
Where now for the republic? We have learnt that:
* Most Australians want a republic, including about half of those who voted "no".
* However, the "yes" vote will have to increase by 8-9 per cent, to about 54 per cent, to win a majority in a majority of states.
* The monarchists were able to mobilise the same forces of political alienation that Hansonism mobilised. Hence the "yes" case did worst in rural areas and in the state with the highest One Nation vote (Queensland). In every state it did best in the inner city areas, whether Labor or Liberal, where One Nation polled the poorest.
* Public support for direct election of a president is fundamentally soft, as shown by the deliberative poll. If a direct election model had to be specified, scrutinised and put to referendum, the monarchists would form a new coalition that would tap the same anti-politician sentiments we have seen and ensure its defeat - probably by an even greater margin than last weekend's poll. ("Don't give all this power to a single politician!") The'direct electionists' would reap the seeds they have sown.
To secure a republic, a two-stage process is essential. The first stage is a referendum (not a plebiscite, which has no constitutional effect) on the Republic. But its validity must be contingent on the second stage taking place: a referendum on direct election. While they could be held simultaneously, separating them would allow for proper scrutiny of the direct election model and avoid a merging of issues.
The direct electionists would have to support the first referendum. This would weaken, but not destroy, the Hansonite tactics of the monarchists. If the direct election model fails, a minimalist model would prevail.
Success in obtaining a republic requires other elements. Better education about the constitution would be a good start. And critically, it requires better behaviour from our politicians. Political alienation was not always this high. Years of non-core promises, of deteriorating Ministerial standards, and of parties enthusiastically pursuing policies that weaken social infrastructure and defy their supporters' beliefs, have brought us to this situation where anti-politician rhetoric has such resonance.
It will take some conscious choices and years of better engagement with electors by parliamentarians to reverse that trend - longer than most republicans will be willing to wait. Long before then the last monarchist Prime Minister will have passed faintly into history. Let us hope that his successors on both sides of the House can give us the confidence in ourselves and in those we vote for to finally have one of us as Head of State.
Interview: Let Sleeping Dogs
Republican campaigner Jason Yat-Sen Li dusts off after Saturday’s vote. We ask him: where to now?
Republic: Readers Speak - Kerry the Face to Deface
We asked and you have spoken; Sydney heiress Kerry Jones is the Workers Online choice for desktop doodling, as the official winner of our Defacement of a Nation competition.
Economics: Understanding the Economy
Who was voted thinker of the millenium in a recent BBC Online poll? Karl Marx shooed it in. And another socialist, Albert Einsten, came second.
Unions: Come Fly Away!
With just four weeks to go, Labor Council's Organiser of the year Award is up for grabs. We've only had the one entry ...
Work/Time/Life: Better Times for Casuals in the Sunshine State
The Queensland Council of Unions has mounted a case in the Queensland IRC to increase wages for casual workers by up to $2.00 extra per hour.
International: All Black Fate Looms for New Zealand Right
The New Zealand economic experiment – for many years the cherished role model of the Australian Liberal Party – is just about to face an angry jury.
History: Who Remembers Egon Erwin Kisch?
Egon Erwin Kisch was a well known progressive journalist living in Germany when he was invited by the Australian branch of the world committee against war and fascism to speak at a conference in Melbourne in 1934.
Review: Bizarrism - Strange Lives, Cults, Celebrated Lunacy
The strange story of Donald Crowhurst or how to cheat and become a God.
Satire: Support Surges for Armenian Republic Model
The assassination by gun crazed extremists of the Armenian Prime Minister has been cautiously backed by Ted Mack and the Direct Electionist lobby as a possible new Republican model.
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