The Saturday Age's headline "Labor vows vote on republic" is hardly newsworthy. The editorial in the same paper unsurprisingly comes to Labor's aid: "Opposition leader Bill Shorten is right that Australia should expedite its inevitable transition to a republic." So far, so bad, but all this was said and written before.
What neither Bill Shorten nor The Age are telling the bored audience is the answer to the question: WHAT kind of republic do you want? The Constitutional Monarchy Australia has enjoyed since becoming an independent country in 1901 has given a frame work everybody knows - even if some people dislike it. But to give this up and wander off to unknown territory will not easily be done by the Australians. Out of 44 referenda to change the constitution, only eight were successful.
Mr. Shorten knows this, therefore he wants a plebiscite with the question: "Do you support an Australian republic with an Australian head of state?" - to be followed by a second vote after that would settle on the tricky topic of the best model. When will Mr. Shorten let us know, which model he prefers? There's no indication anywhere what kind of president he would like to have (or he would like to be?).
In this plan neither Mr. Shorten nor the Fairfax media rule in a "No!" vote in the plebiscite. This is a more than likely assumption considering that the opinion polls do not favour the republicans, despite their loud claims they would speak for the Australian people. They are nowhere near the 50 percent threshold for their cause.
That poses the question: Will they give up their useless efforts to replace our Constitutional Monarchy with "a" republic? Isn't the US example of a republic not frightening enough? Why not donate their millions to a worthy cause instead of spending it on their media advisers and the likes?
Or to say it in the words of Taylor Gramowski in the Spectator, "Flogging a dead horse republic": The ARM and Labor need to stop flogging a dead horse, concede defeat and move on.
|Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla in 2015 at Government House, Sydney.|