I have a new post on referendums and the constitutional monarchy in Australia at The Monarchist. The text of that post is repeated here.
Referendums are in the news, and the question of why a defeated referendum against the monarchy is not considered binding has been raised and I want to weigh in on the issue.If the Australian Constitutional Monarchists are serious about preserving the monarchy, and more importantly the Anglo Saxon tradition of government, then they need to be proactive.
First they need to take the war of language to their enemies. The word republic is a proud one with a long history among our people. But it is not a word that belongs to the anti monarchists alone and they should not be allowed to steal it. Australia IS a republic. It has always been a republic.
The English speaking people have been ruled by republics for almost the entire history of our nation. Since Magna Charta at the latest, England has been a republic. The UK has always been a republic. If that is you mean a system that is not an absolute monarchy, an absolute aristocracy, or an absolute democracy.
In fact, the word Commonwealth as in “the Commonwealth of Australia” means republic. Commonwealth is a calque, a word for word translation, of the Latin res publica which means “the public things” or “the public matters.”
The question is not weather Australia should be a republic, that question was settled centuries ago. The question is weather the Head or State should be Elizabeth, by the grace of God of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and her other realms and territories Queen, Defender of the Faith, or some political hack who can get two thirds of parliament to vote for him.
Second, imply quite rightly that the reason the anti monarchists don’t know that Australia is and has always been a republic, albeit a crowned one, is because they don’t give a hoot for the history and traditions of the people of Australia or the larger English speaking nation to which they belong.
Further point to the fact that the anti monarchists real goal is not equality before the law, but the replacement of the monarch who is a symbol of the whole people with a either a political hack who can compromise his way to power or a partisan politician who will be beholden to one party or the other.
Thirdly, if as looks likely, another referendum is going to happen anyway, then the monarchists need to get out in front and demand one and demand the wording that they want.
The goal of this should be two fold, first, to get a wording that will likely uphold the monarchy, and secondly, to insert wording that will preclude another referendum for a full generation.
If I were writing the referendum it would read something like the following:
That the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Australian Territories relying on the blessings of divine providence do proclaim their continuing allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth of Australia, Queen and the free and equal system of laws of the English speaking people and their desire that after the aforementioned Elizabeth her heirs and successors according to law shall be King or Queen of Australia. They proclaim their desire that the King or Queen of Australia shall in the future reside within the Commonwealth of Australia during one year in ten and that during that time there shall not be a Governor General. They do further proclaim their desire that henceforth the Governor General shall be chosen, if the monarch does not desire to appoint one of her children or siblings to that post, as follows. All subjects of the Australian crown who: have won the Nobel Prize, have won the gold medal at the Olympic Games, have earned the rank of brigadier, commodore, or air commodore or above in the Royal Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force respectively, or have served as governor of one of the states, shall be candidates and the people of Australia shall elect one of them as Governor General using a single transferable ballot. The people of Australia do further proclaim that they do desire that this question be closed for the next 25 years and that no amendment affecting the monarchy be brought before them during that time.
Then, the supporters of the monarchy have to get out there and fight, not to defeat their opponents measure, but win passage of their own. They have to immerse themselves in the great political tradition of our people, the monarchists and the anti monarchists. Locke, Sidney, Blackstone and yes John Adams. A great place to start this research, though it is an explicitly republican site is here.
I don’t say this course of action will necessarily be successful, but if the monarchy is going to be preserved for future generations it has to be fought for. If the supporters of the Constitutional Monarchy are to win, they need to deserve to win and that means being willing to dare.