the australian constitutional thingy

Rob Schaap rws at
Wed Nov 3 07:14:59 PST 1999

G'day Jim,

You ask:

>Am I being naive, or is it plain obvious that Australians should vote
>against the monarchy?

Howard has concocted it so that the side that couldn't win a shoot-out (the monarchists) gets a chance to pick up some numbers by confusing the republican ranks. The republic on offer changes nothing that I can see (that means anything) - for a start, we've got a prime minister who does us a lot more harm than Charlie Foxslayer ever did (he's not as funny either), and we had, not that long ago, a governor-general kick out a democratically elected government, too (which he'd have done at least as readily had he been a president).

So clever Howard splits the republicans on the question 'how do we best get something better than this nothingness?' The 'no' repubs reckon that, as we're obviously mostly republicans, a 'no' vote will keep the debate going. For them, even the sham republic on offer (which, incidentally, I prefer to the direct election option - but with no more intensity than I prefer a broken left leg to a broken right leg) would, should it get up, deflate the whole process, and leave the patient with little but changed pyjamas.

The 'yes' repubs either like the model on offer (the conservatives) or don't like it, but see it as a better platform for future efforts. The ALP leader, Beazley, has promised to give us another go at it if he gets in and the republic gets up.

Those in charge of the debate have kept it confined to the question of how does our designated fete-opener get appointed and get sacked. Not even were we asked whether we wanted such a ponce in the first place. Anyway, excuse me while I alphabetise my spicerack ...

Cheers, Rob.

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