December 10, 2003


"One of the problems of the Howard Government is they're always talking about the past," says Mark Latham. "I'm here for the future."

So why is he doing this?

New federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham today vowed to put the republic debate back on the national agenda if Labor wins the next election.

The staunch republican said Labor would fully outline its policy on the issue well before the next election.

Are republicans ever anything besides "staunch"? And boring as hell? With Labor talking up a republic and Crean as shadow treasurer, itís 1999 all over again. What will Mr Future do next -- oppose the GST? Demand an end to Super League? Stockpile canned goods in advance of Y2K?

Posted by Tim Blair at December 10, 2003 09:21 PM

Now, Tim, you know as well as I do that the Last Of The Romanoffs only won the 1999 referendum by promising the Australian voter an even bigger, better, and more democratic republic than the "Politicians' Republic" being touted by Turnbull and his spivvy and luvvy mates.

Hey, James Blundell! Wasn't I supposed to get a chance to "have my say" on our (Acting) Head of State if we rejected the 1999 ConCon model -- as we did? Howard's sworn no fewer than two (2) G-Gs into office since 6.11.99 and I didn't get a vote on either of them.

Posted by: Noami Kleimpsky at December 10, 2003 at 10:10 PM

If Latham is such a staunch republican, how come he doesn't have a ready made republican policy?

I think the republic is one of those immovable objects v irresistable force problems.

The PM (of any stripe) will offer nothing that reduces his/her power.

The people will not vote 'Yes' for a poodle president.

The Republic (like Muslim kids out of custody by Christmas) is just a sop for the lefties.

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 10, 2003 at 10:59 PM

It's funny that republicans are living in the past, while monarchists are not just clutching at the last vestiges of a dying empire.

Posted by: Robert at December 11, 2003 at 01:14 AM

Would "crazed" do as a substitute for staunch?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at December 11, 2003 at 04:23 AM

All the arguments put forward by the republician 'leaders' center obsessively around going to a republic to remove the Queen. The republican 'leaders' should instead be puting forward a model that inspires people to move to that model rather then away from the present one.
Positive instead of Negative.

Latham and Labour will not do this of course (as peggy sue outlined above) because they have their eye on the Lodge and will do nothing to undermine that prize.

Posted by: Robin Wade at December 11, 2003 at 06:56 AM

I've got no problem with an Australian head of state, in fact we already have one, The Prime Minister.

I don't see why we need to replace what is effectivly a titular head of state with another titular head. Changing the name of the GG to the President achieves nothing. Abolish the office altogether, and get rid of state governors while your at it.

The money that is saved, along with the 750 million saved per year by selling the ABC can be returned as tax cuts, hospitals or schools - tangible and useful.

Posted by: Gilly at December 11, 2003 at 10:03 AM


You did in fact have a chance to vote on the Governors General appointed by John Howard by voting in the elections where the Coalition Governments were elected into office. The point is that when you vote for a party in a Genral Election you are voting for the their policies and appointments.

Posted by: Toryhere at December 11, 2003 at 10:42 AM

arrrr! laybore only want to ditch the queen because she's a pom. all that irish/laybore hate for ole england is still festering.

Posted by: roscoe at December 11, 2003 at 11:33 AM


Thanks for pointing that out. ... And that differed from the reviled evil dictatorial centralist Turnbull Republic how exactly?

Posted by: Noami Kleimpsky at December 12, 2003 at 09:38 PM