Chris Barradale, Treasurer of the Monarchist League, has attacked United Future leader Peter Dunne's Irish heritage in a letter to the New Zealand Herald (not online) today. Aside from the typical and inaccurate assertion that the monarchy enjoys overwhelming support in New Zealand, Mr Barradale attacks Dunne's Irish lineage, complaining that as a "son of Ireland" he has a nefarious agenda: increasing politicians powers.
IN THIS EDITION: PM: No Republic Debate "At this time"; Australian Senate Hears Republic Bill; Opinion: An Issue of Vision by Barrie Cook; Republican Movement News.
Both the New Zealand Herald
and the Otago Daily Times
have editorials today on the republic debate.
The Herald's editorial is the most accurate of the two:
Noel Cox and Lewis Holden debate the monarchy on TV3.
TV3 held a debate today on republicanism on their morning Sunrise program - the video is here
. Noel Cox of the Monarchist League and myself presented our cases for and against a republic.
We didn't really end up discussing John Key's rejection of a republic referendum, although I should've said that despite the Newstalk ZB report, Key only said he doesn't support a republic "at this time". The point there is that Key knows there's no point holding a republic referendum until there's a good majority for a republic. However, the issue is currently very closely fought (which as I pointed out is despite what Noel said - that two thirds of New Zealanders support the monarchy. Only one poll, by TVNZ, says this).
MEDIA RELEASE 27 April 2009
"While the Australians are working towards a plebiscite on the republic question in 2010, Prime Minister John Key has decided to sit on the fence" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement.
The Prime Minister stated this morning on Newstalk ZB that he did not support a republic referendum "at this time". His comments follow UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne's call for a referendum by the next general election in 2011.
"The Prime Minister should not use the economic and social problems we face as an excuse to do nothing. The Republican Movement's poll last week found support the monarchy versus a republic is very close - 45% to 43%" concluded Mr Holden.
Prime Minister John Key has "poured cold water
" on Peter Dunne's call for a referendum on a republic
Mr Key was asked by Newstalk ZB if he would back a referendum, but he said he didn't.
He did not support New Zealand becoming a republic.
"There are so many other issues we need to deal with at this time," he said.
"As I have always said in the past one day it's likely New Zealand will become a republic but, I don't think anything is going to happen under my watch."
Sadly Newstalk ZB don't have the actual audio of the interview on their website, so we are unable to confirm if Key actually said he was opposed to a republic, or if that was something the journalist implied.
Here's today's press release from United Future leader Peter Dunne
UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is calling for a referendum on whether New Zealand becomes a republic.
Commenting on the Republican movement’s recent poll showing a sharp increase in the numbers of people favouring a republic, Mr Dunne said it is time for New Zealanders to have their say.
He proposes a two-stage process over the next decade.
Mr Dunne says the first step should be a public information programme about the pros and cons of becoming a republic, culminating in a binding yes/no referendum on whether we have our own head of state.
He said this should be done during the term of the current Parliament.
“If the result of that referendum is no, then the issue stops there and then.
reports that the Rudd Government has decided that it will not pursue the republic issue.
The republic debate is therefore over. The supporters of the monarchy have won...
Radio New Zealand
's Morning Report featured the poll in its news program. No surprises that the Monarchist League called the poll and its timing "crass" - which of course they would say, because they consider any suggestion of New Zealand being without the monarchy as crass. They also said that the Republican Movement is "clutching at straws". The only straw we're clutching is their straw man - it's a fact that polls have shown a general trend towards republicanism
. The funny thing is, Monarchist League chairman Noel Cox has co-authored a chapter in a book on New Zealand politics which concludes exactly this.
21 April 2009
"A poll commissioned by the Republican Movement and published today, on the Queen's 83rd
birthday, shows New Zealanders are increasingly looking to the future as a republic - although Prince Charles is winning the race by a nose" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement.
43% of those surveyed in the poll stated they wanted New Zealand to become a republic, and did not want Prince Charles to become New Zealand's head of State when the Queen's reign ends. 45% supported Charles as King, with 13% stating they wouldn't answer or didn't know.
"Whether they support the monarchy or a republic, New Zealanders want the chance to choose who their future head of State is" continued Mr Holden. "With the Cabinet Office helping legal academic Alison Quentin-Baxter research a book on the implications of the end of the Queen's reign, the debate is reaching a new and crucial phase".
Former Canadian Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson has suggested in an interview with the Globe and Mail
"Nominees for governor-general should be approved by Parliament, limited to a six-year term and be required to tell Canadians what their job is all about"
While her views are nothing new, Clarkson argues Canada's recent constitutional crisis reveals the lack of understanding of the office of Governor-General.
Referring to British constitutional philosopher Walter Bagehot's notion of the mystery of the Crown - and his famous injunction to not let "daylight in on magic" - Ms.
The "offending" image of the Queen used by the Royal Easter Show.
Probably not - John Drinnan writes in today's Business Herald
, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, that the promoters of the Royal Easter Show
in Auckland might have broken the law in promoting the annual event:
Depictions of the Queen are subject to rules under the Flag Emblems and Protection of Names Act. The cartoon monarch in the ad invites people, saying "I can't be there but my cows will be" in a reference to a herd of Waikato cows HRH [sic] owns.
The Act itself is aimed at preventing businesses from claiming "Royal patronage" (a feudal concept based on granting monopoly to individual products and businesses). The Royal Easter Show has had Royal patronage since 1987
, so there's no problem there.
However, if I were a monarchist, I'd be a bit worried about this casual depiction of the Queen. As Drinnan notes, the cartoon of the Queen signals a more "easygoing" approach to the Queen's image. I would say the image actually mocks the Queen, with all of the adverts making fun of her accent. Unlike years past, when being a "Royal" show would've been a draw card in itself, the shows organisers are now using the Royal link in a humorous, self-depricating and ironic way.
The Australian Republican Movement
has a brilliant lecture to the Australian Senate from Associate Professor Anne Twomey, author of the excellent Chameleon Crown
on the Crown in the Australian States. Twomey is hardly a republican, and appears to be a monarchist for the most part. She argues against a directly elected head of State, but provides a brilliant answer to detractors who say such a President would need to have their powers carefully codified.
writes that recent comments by the incoming Governor of Victoria on climate change and the Governor-General of Australia's view that Australia will become a republic show the way for how a head of State in a Australian republic will act.
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has just stated in her valedictory speech that a republic is a question of "not if, but when". Let's hope Labour takes up the challenge laid down by its former leader.Update: Stuff has the text of the speech
. Here's the quote:
We have evolved distinctive reconciliation and constitutional processes. Our institutions from our Parliament and executive government system under MMP to our Supreme Court have evolved a long way from our colonial heritage. It is inevitable that our constitutional status as a monarchy will also change - it's a question of not if, but when.