You’d quite rightly be suspicious if someone came knocking on your door every few months asking you to move to another house but could never show you where it was or what it looked like.
'Just trust me', he kept on saying.
You politely say no but he keeps coming, then other people turn up asking the same thing year after year and you realise that no matter what you say, they’re going to keep knocking on your door.
This month the guy’s called Bill Shorten and boy, does he have a deal for you!
Yes, Bill has a republic you just can’t pass up, except you have no idea what it looks like, what it’ll do and how it’ll operate.
For a bit of background on this issue and for those readers who may be too young to remember, the issue of whether Australia should become a republic was put to the Australian people on 6 November 1999. Australia wide, 55 per cent of the country said no and 45 per cent of the country said yes. Every state and territory in the country said no with one exception, that being the ACT. The irony of ‘government city’ being so out of step with the rest of the country was lost on no one. In fact, not only were they totally out of step with public opinion they voted 63 per cent yes compared to 37 per cent no. The entire nationwide voter turnout was 95 per cent of the electorate and more resounding ‘get lost, I’m not moving’ is hard to imagine.
Before the vote, polls showed51 per cent of the population in favour of a republic, 35 per cent against and the rest uncommitted. These polls were totally wrong unless they were taken in the ACT - the republicans lost in a humiliating landslide.
To date, none of the proponents of moving Australia to a republic have been able to offer anyone a good reason to do so.
All they seem to have is making fun of 'God Save the Queen', which hasn’t been the Australian national anthem since 1984, and keep mumbling something about an Australian Head of State. None of these are reasons, they are all feelings, or at best opinions.
A brief history of Australia since federation, if written in one sentence would read:
'116 years of continual piece, no civil war, peaceful transitions of power, overall continual prosperous development, and Whitlam got sacked.'
For those living in the midst of it, whose parents have lived in these conditions of peace and prosperity, it is easy to take it for granted. In the course of world history and with a survey of countries around the world, these conditions are very special and rare.
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
12 posts so far.