I had not planned to post on this subject as there are plenty of others who have, however, somewhat after the fact I decided that contemporary monarchist victories are so few and far between that I'd give my two cents. The vote of November 6, 1999 rejecting an Australian republic was a victory for the monarchy and should be celebrated as such. However, I may be paranoid, but it is no time for monarchists to rest on their laurels and I'm proud of the Australian monarchists for not doing so. The number of those supportive of a republic in the land of Oz are still far too high and if the republican traitors had managed to come up with some coherent plan as to what sort of republic they were advocating I fear they might have done better. In some ways they lost because they could not tell Australians what sort of republic they were for and why they were for it. Their only real message was that they were against the Australian constitutional monarchy.
Loyal Australians have also kept their noses to the grindstone because the republicans have not accepted defeat. Like "democrats" the world over they champion democracy on the assumption that the people can be made to agree with them and when the people do not they quickly call for a new vote and another new vote, re-packaging and re-branding their snake oil until 51% of the public will buy it. Fortunately, the Australian government (which is actually quite different from the British constitutional monarchy despite what the republicans would have Australians believe) does not allow for constitutional changes without the consent of the public. Were that not the case Australia might have already been reduced to dreary republicanism by a simple decision of the legislature. So, there is at least a fighting chance and so far the Australian monarchists have been putting up a damn good fight and I salute them for it.
As usual though, you have one side fighting like the gallant knights of old and the other side fighting like rhetorical terrorists. Probably the tactic that angers me the most, and which I would think proud Australians would find downright insulting to themselves and their ancestors, is the tired line that by being a constitutional monarchy, sharing a sovereign with Great Britain, modern Australia is somehow immature and only by becoming a republic will they show how they have "grown up". In the first place, there should be no discussion of "independence". The Australians as a people have always been an independent lot, growing out of the rugged determination required to tame and settle their fierce continent. Even as part of the British Empire there was something unique about Australia, just as their was about every other member. When I hear someone say that the Australian monarchy is some sort of sign of immaturity I cannot help but wonder if these same limp-wristed republican traitors would call "immature" the men who stormed the beaches of Gallipoli, who held off the triumphant legions of Marshal Rommel in Tobruk or in more recent decades who crawled into communist booby-trapped tunnels in south Vietnam.
The history of Australia and its place in the British Empire cannot be changed, cannot be erased and it should be embraced as it was that history that made the Commonwealth of Australia the 'young and free' nation that it is today. I was glad to see that Prince William will be visiting Australia in the not-to-distant future and I hope a proper welcome is given to Australia's future king and that it will still be around when his turn comes. If any are so obsessed with republicanism as to turn their back on all of Australian history I would suggest a quick trip north to Indonesia, Taiwan or Vietnam would be a quicker and easier way for them to content themselves.
In your later post you touche don the main problem with Republicanism, and that is that it does form a lot of its decisions ona cncept of legitimacy that elevates a passing trend of the moment to the postion of highest and most sacred object of veneration.ReplyDelete
However, the reason for the maturity argument is obvious.
Republicanism is seen a more mature because of the idea of progress that people associate with History and Politics.
I mentione don the American Monarchist blog this before, and American also noted this Herself.
In peoples minds, they see us stepping forward, ever evolvign into a higher and higher state of Enlightenment, and developing a superior humanity by evolving past th eolder, outdated forms of culture we had in our past.
This idea came about mainly in the 19th Century when we as a western world married Evolutionary theory to social proccesses, and began to think of our development into an INdustrial age, as well as our then-domenant social engeneering schemes as the next step forard.
People tend to beleive that we started out crude and primitive, with no Govenment. We develped into Nomadic herders, which in tiurn became small clans or Tribes. These Tribes grew and evovled to become cities and small CHeiftains, and evntually where taken over by Warlords. Each step of the way we saw progres sinto a higher level of Human Awareness. THis lead ot he old Monarichal sytems, in which one man ruled. Fnally, we evelope dinto a King wiht a sort of Parliemntn to help him rule, and gradually, over time, the Parliment gaien dmroe and mr epoer, even to block some fo the Kings decisions, all ebcause we as a peopel where growign yet mroe enlightned.
Finally, the institution of the Monarhct, which was superior tot he Tribes it replaced, was weakend and in the end discarded for the newer, better system we have now- Democracy.
Thats how peopel tend ot view it, as a naturla step forwa don ur road to abslute perfection and true maturity as a race.
And this is how the Australian Republicans view it, Capitolising on this common narrative to sell their point. It snot liej this isnt tauhg tin all our schools an dpromote din our media. Its become an operaitonal assumption for our enture culture.
Thus, they see the fact that Australia has a Monarhcy as evidence that Australia is still Immatutre, for it hasn't grown up enough yet to cast aside its Monarhc and emrbace the higher, mroe sophisticated and more devleoped form fo Govement- The Republic.
Its of course all a SHam.
The electorate all too often act like Children. They want the next new thing and are easly manipulate dby politicianss and their allies int he media, and vote according to the images they are shown, and soarign emotional Rhetoric. The best way for a Republic to win votes an support is to promise to create a Nanny state that offers yoyu cradle to grave insurance that even if your own stuypidity causes soem probkems, the Govenment iwll make it all better and take care of you, and peopel vote on these entitlement programes because they get free money and dont need to be responcible citesens.
Yet, somehow, Repubicanism is seen as a sign of Maturity.
Somehow we shoudl repsect "The Will of the People" even though they are os eaisly maniulated. In fact, Politicians dotn even repsect theiwll of the peopel, they simply try to direct the majority to win their desires.
In fact, the hole concept of the people choosing and their will being taken seriosuly is a joke. Referendums are just held until the "Correct" vote is taken. Look at Ireland with Lisbon.
Yet, wherever it emerges, Republics tend to see moral decline se tin almost imediately. Only in America has this not been the case throghou all of tis History, though todays Moral Climate in America certianly doesn't give me much to work with on that claim.
You've described the "Whig vision of history" perfectly. Of course that take ignores the democracies and republics of the ancient world, though they are still quick to tout them when in need of some history of their own. The attitude most comes to mind for me in a very old travel book about China that was handed down to me. It in the (obviously American) author speaks of the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty as a great step of progress, that by becoming a republic China had finally "grown up" and joined the U.S. and the rest of the "modern" world. That one line infuriated me no end. Imagine the nerve of an American telling that to a son of Imperial China whose ancestors were translating Confucius, building some of the greatest monuments in human history and using their own form of monarchial government when all of the Americas and even much of Europe was a howling wilderness! It is the arrogance that bothers me most I suppose.ReplyDelete
As an Australian myself, though only eleven at the time, and actually in favour of change (I saw change as exciting, though now that I am far more politically aware, I wouldn't touch a Labor politician with a two mile pole), I can saw that our system is actually quite stable. Referenda require a double majority of a majority of people in a majority of states in order to pass. That means you need four states out of six to vote for the proposal for it to pass. Out of 44 proposals over a hundred years, only 8 have actually passed (much to the anger of many progressives).ReplyDelete
This is generally portrayed by progressives as our constitution being broken, leaving it in the "Horse and buggy era" (which to my mind is hardly a bad thing). I, however, disagree. In fact, it is due to the Constitution being immune to the fads that dominate the progressive political agenda. The desire to centralise power to themselves so they can, ahem, make it all better, cannot pass at referendum, because the general population don't trust them, and because there is no other way to achieve change, they get frustrated.
To me, a glacial pace of reform is preferable to a rapid level of change when it comes to a document such as the Constitution, and it is this difficulty which causes the progressives such consternation. They now seek to subvert the Constitutional referendum by instead holding plebescites, which are basically glorified opinion polls of the entire electorate. The ACM is totally opposed to them as unconstitutional, and though they would be non-binding, they would be used to choose a preferred model of republic. Of course, all sorts of questions still remain, such as what happens if the model voted at plebescite is rejected at referendum.
However, for the republic to be rejected at plebescite, though I consider it possible (though not probable), would certainly kill off the issue for good. Among those my age (20s and younger), we really don't particularly care. The issue is almost exclusively pressed by Baby Boomers and elder Gen X-ers.
The longer they wait, the worse they'll do. I guarantee you, Australia will not easily turn to a republic. ACM will see to that, as will I.
Here, in case the Mad Monarchist is interested, is an article (The Herald Sun newspaper, Melbourne) on Prince William's planned visit. He last visited Australia in 1983, at the ripe old age of one.ReplyDelete