Yesterday the Australian federal Treasurer Wayne Swan stated his republican creed:
"The time may not indeed be right for an immediate referendum, but it is my belief that it is always the right time to argue for the merits of a republic and prepare the ground for future constitutional change. The road to an Australian republic is a long one, without a timetable, and so the journey must continue.
"The case for a republic is as simple as it is compelling, and one that I have been making since my maiden parliamentary speech in 1993."Funny that he referred to his maiden speech, since yesterday's press conference might be the preface of his swan song, his last political statement. Today he is faced with a disastrous opinion poll "Swan likely to lose seat amid Queensland Labor despair" (The Age, 4th June 2013):
"Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan looks set to lose his Brisbane seat of Lilley for a second time, with internal polling suggesting Labor will struggle to retain any Queensland seats north of the Brisbane River at the September 14 federal election.Let's hope for the best that could happen. Wayne Swan will lose his seat in September and have a lot of time afterwards to become a full time republican propagandist. Or should we say "itinerant preacher"? Even The Age's editorial admitted today: "The increasing likelihood is that a federal Coalition government led by Tony Abbott, an ardent monarchist, would consign a republic to the political deep freeze for at least a few more years. "
"The results are so dire for Labor that a ''worst case'' scenario suggests Kevin Rudd could become Labor's ''last man standing'' in Queensland, with the former prime minister the only Queensland MP who is seen as likely to retain his seat.
"The Queensland polling, taken in recent weeks in Mr Swan's electorate, is believed to show that his primary vote has collapsed to just 28 per cent, compared to 41 per cent at the last election.
"Mr Swan has held the seat since 1998, although at the last election his margin narrowed from 8 per cent to 3.2 per cent, with a 10 percentage point fall in his primary vote."
No need to feel sorry - neither for Mr. Swan nor for The Age. This letter to the editor says it all:
According to internal polling, Wayne Swan is about to receive a well-deserved and long overdue ''efficiency dividend'' from his electorate (4/6). Can't wait.
Lucien Zalcman, North Fitzroy
|Seen at Federation Square in Melbourne.|