Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Turnbull offside with Republican Movement

Malcolm Turnbull is no longer in favour with his old pro-Republic mates. In a press release on Wednesday 30 January, Mike Keating, the Chair of the Australian Republican Movement, criticised his comments that the republic is off the agenda until QE2 has departed:

This theory means we won’t debate the issue until we have King Charles of Australia. By that time the absurdity of our current constitutional arrangements will be even starker. No one doubts that Queen Elizabeth is a popular and admired figure but the republic is something Australians should determine on our terms.

Mr Turnbull is entitled to his opinion... but on this issue he is wrong.

Rather than putting the republic in the too-hard basket, Mr Turnbull should be taking the opportunity to forge consensus around the issue in the changed political environment. The Australian Republican Movement would be happy to assist him in this task...
It will be interesting to see if Malcolm will support any moves towards dumping the monarchy during the queen's lifetime. Perhaps he has learnt the lesson of alienating some of his party room colleagues after his stolen generation"sorry" statement before the leadership ballot. The recent Governor General debate has certainly awakened interest in the republic if online chatter is any indication.

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Pete said...

Hi Kevine

I think the positions of many politicians on a Republic are shallow and unprincipled - before and after the Constitutional Convention.

I've always had the suspicion that if a Republic eventuated Turnbull would want to be the first President. If no Republic he'd settle for Governor General - a bit like Hayden when he couldn't be PM.

Re Turnbull's change in attitude I agree Party unity is part of it but I also think Turnball recognises that the Liberals need all the support they can attract. Monarchist voters may opt for the old-fashioned Libs rather than the Labor "upstarts".


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