Monday, 14 April 2008
New Governor-General a declared Monarchist
I know it sounds a bit odd, but the present Governor of Queensland, Quentin Bryce, whom the Queen will soon appoint as Her Governor-General in Australia, has described herself as a Monarchist. "I have a great admiration for the monarch and I do value and respect our democratic system of government," she said according to The Age.
In these days, when the buzzing republicans jump from one corner of their media offices to the next to deliver their recycled articles, such a sentence seems to come from outer space. Should not everybody who represents the Queen of Australia and swears the Oath of Allegiance to Her, be a loyal servant of the Crown? Appointments of state governors in recent years seemed to go the other way with the annointed candidate making very doubtful allegations about their loyalty.
With republicans now heading the federal as well as state governments it was the media’s hope that the new governor-general would be one from the republican mould, one who would give the coup de grace to the institution that is so dear to the Australian people that they voted in 1999 to retain the Monarchy.
Republicans may not like to be reminded of this fact, but nearly 55 pc said No to the proposed republican model. And since this is Australia and not the Republic of Zimbabwe nor the People's Republic of Bielarus, nor the People's Republic of China, claiming the referendum was rigged, is offensive. A question was put on the ballot papers, which explicitly highlighted the proposed changes: To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.
How can anybody claim the question was too difficult?
What will the republicans do when the next referendum fails to deliver their republic - have a regular vote every five years? Recent opinion polls may please republicans, but they also indicate that it will be an uphill battle to destroy the Crown of Australia. The republicans may have the full support of the media, what they haven't won is the referendum.