I continue to get response from serious minded supporters of an Australian Republic since my little joke about how the only way Chairman Peter could revive support for the movement following the most recent Royal tour would be to propose a model with everybody’s favourite race winning mare Winx as head of state.
Graphs and surveys notwithstanding, even if some politician in need of a distraction puts a plebiscite back on the agenda, it will fail.
I know there’s a push for a Yes or No vote and then we wait to see what kind of model is foisted on us.
The hope on the part of the Republicans is that enough people will fall for that to take it a step further but I seriously doubt even the most apathetic Australian will go for such an obvious con job.
Back when Malcolm Turnbull and his then high profile fellow travellers were pushing the myth that a model had not been decided on, support to dump the Royal connection was strong – because most people thought they would get a system similar to the US where the President would be elected by popular vote.
That was never going to happen then and it won’t now.
Following an interview on one of my programs with Mr. Turnbull where he confirmed as much I had people calling for weeks after saying “I told my friend what I heard about us not getting to vote for a president and they don’t believe it – could you say it again”.
As awareness grew that politicians would decide who was to be President, disenchantment set in and ultimately the vote was in the negative.
Over the years I’ve said to (among others) Malcolm Turnbull, Mark Day and Peter Fitzsimons “I’m your worst nightmare, because I just don’t care. There’s absolutely nothing in it for me or most Australians. But if you’re so convinced it’s important to make a change, why not campaign for a real root and branch restructure? Advocate we go the American way for example?”
The usual response is: “Oh that would never get off the ground, that’s why we’re proposing the minimalist model – it’s the only one that has any chance of success”.
If it’s so minimalist why bother?
These days I have no strong feelings either way about the Royals.
When I was fourteen I used to embarrass my girlfriends by refusing to stand for God Save the Queen at the movies – but I got past that when I realized there were more important things to worry about.
And of course we now have the kind of National Anthem only a committee could approve.
I would have preferred Waltzing Matilda myself.