Australians declined the invitation to become a republic in 1999 and would probably reject the offer even more emphatically if the referendum were to be repeated. …
People [would be unlikely] to vote in favour of the [Australian Republican’s Movement’s] recent condescending proposal for the election of candidates approved by the political class. … The risk that endorsement at the ballot box might go to the winner’s head, leading she or he to claim a US presidential-style mandate cannot lightly be dismissed. …
If Australia ditches the English Monarch as head of state, we need to elect one instead — by popular election, not some insider political class stitch-up. But an elected head of state will have a mandate to implement their proposals. But there is no room in the Westminster system for such a head of state — the head of state (currently the monarch) is just a tie breaker in emergency, who otherwise stays out of politics.
Therefore, if we are going to become a republic, we need to switch to a US-style constitution with an elected president who runs the executive. There doesn’t appear to be any middle ground.
Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of the nations of the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Arguments for the republic have little traction even in New Zealand, the poster child of the modern left. The Maori Party, whose representation in the 120-member parliament numbers two, last week called for “a mature and adult conversation” about ditching the monarchy. Co-leader Rawiri Waititi’s preferred alternative is “a tiriti-centric Aotearoa through constitutional transformation”.
Roughly translated, that would mean overturning the Westminster system and creating an equal power-sharing arrangement between two separate parliaments. How the head of state would be appointed, or what authority the office would hold over two parliaments, is anybody’s guess. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, like most of her Australian Labor counterparts, says she favours a republic, but not yet. The result of the 2016 referendum to change the New Zealand flag serves as a cautionary tale. The proposal was overwhelmingly supported by the media and political classes but decisively rejected, 56-44 per cent, when put to the vote.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, like Ardern, is instinctively in favour of ditching the Crown but is happy to let moral perfection wait. At the height of the attention on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s brand-trashing interviews last year, Trudeau said the time was not right for the conversation. …
The woke foot in the door:
The new advocates of change are intent on destroying the whole liberal-democratic edifice: the Westminster system, rule of law, the equal distribution of respect, the traditional family, personal autonomy and more. That the system is morally corrupt and broken beyond repair is an article of faith for adherents of woke and there is no room for further discussion.
The calibre of the arguments proffered by this pan-institutional demolition squad can be judged from a speech by Mehreen Faruqi last week. The monarchy is “a racist, colonial institution. It is a relic of the British empire, and it shouldn’t exist”, the Greens senator declared. Faruqi is a migrant from Pakistan, a country that had been “colonised, ravaged and looted” by the British empire that the royal family represents. Colonialism was not dead, she claimed, it had “merely transformed into the extractive and exploitative global corporations that control vast swathes of the world”.
The history of bad ideas tells us this subversive, woke ideology will not necessarily remain on the fringes of political debate. The Ardern government is paddling in the shallow end of this dangerous pool by elevating Maori self-government to the status of a state within a state, a radical departure from the constitutional arrangements under which the country has operated for nearly 200 years. The road map for this proposal, known as He Puapua, was commissioned by cabinet in 2019. Any chance of debate about where such a proposal might lead has been curtailed by the denouncing of critics as racist.
In such a climate of debate, it is hardly any wonder that constitutional conservatives feel they are on the back foot. The assent of critical race theory is poisoning the civic debate in the US and may do so in Australia and NZ, too. Its ambition goes far beyond a makeover of our institutions or the practical righting of past wrongs. Its express aim is to pull the whole structure down and rebuild it in a manner not yet revealed.
Dividing the population into first nations people and second class citizens, with racially-composed parliaments. Whatever will the left think of next?