IN THIS EDITION: Happy New Year!; Queen's Counsel Restored; Monarchist League Influences QC Decision; Aussie Senate Rejects Republic Vote; Mt Albert Candidates For A Republic; Poetry: Queen's Birthday In Waitaki; Republican Movement News.
The Dominion Post
argues in an editorial that our national anthem, God Defend New Zealand
should be changed. On Thomas Bracken they say:
He was enthusiastic about New Zealand, the land he immigrated to in 1869, he was an enthusiastic propagator of egalitarian ideas and, unfortunately for the All Blacks, he was an enthusiastic scribbler of schoolboy rhymes.
Personally I don't have a problem with God Defend New Zealand
. It's our 'other' anthem - God Save the Queen
- which grates with me. No, not just because it's about the Queen - because it's also a originally anti-Catholic tune.
The Spanish King and Queen have been visiting New Zealand this week. The Prime Minister and several MPs of the Government and Opposition have met the King of Spain - but not the Governor-General.
The Governor-General's engagement diary
for this week shows he's not up to much - in fact all of June he's not really up to much. Does anyone know why this is? It doesn't seem right the Queen's Representative in New Zealand didn't meet the King of Spain.
Mayor of Waitakere Bob Harvey has called for Matariki, the Maori New Year
, to replace Queen's Birthday as a public holiday:
“I have long been a supporter of the Matariki revival,” Mr Harvey says. “This is an event that only New Zealand can celebrate. It’s our very own. It is a festival born of our unique heritage, our culture, our land. It is more ‘us’ than our June public holiday, Queen’s Birthday.”
17 June 2009
"The reinstatement of Queen’s Counsel is a backwards step for New Zealand. The Republican Movement is totally opposed to this move" said the chair of the Republican Movement, Lewis Holden.
Most members of the Commonwealth, including all states of Australia, now call their top lawyers Senior Counsel. The decision to reinstate the Imperial title puts New Zealand out of step with fellow Commonwealth members. It also puts all lawyers appointed as Senior Counsel in an awkward position amongst their peers.
"It is foolish in this day and age to be reclaiming the trappings the Empire when polls show most people believe that New Zealand will eventually become a republic.
The Senate Committee considering Australian Greens leader Bob Brown's Bill for a plebiscite on an Australian republic has rejected the Bill. Instead, the committee has recommended
that there is greater public education, and the Australians own the process "to the fullest extent possible".
While this outcome is disappointing, it's not exactly surprising. The Rudd government clearly wants to move the republic debate to its second term in office, perhaps after the end of the Queen's reign. However, should the succession issue be raised at the next CHOGM
(which is likely, irrespective of who the British Prime Minister is in October) the debate will become unavoidable.
You can now follow the Republican Movement on Twitter
reports the Queen is starting her own vegetable garden to help Her Majesty cut costs. Not a bad idea in a time of national need. Of course, when it comes to organic farming of vegetables and livestock, no-one knows better than Prince Charles, who owns the commercial operations of "Duchy Originals".
The man who might be New Zealand's King receives about NZ$250,000
(€119,584.0) in subsidies from the European Union. That's right, the very subsidies despised by New Zealand farmers* to keep their inefficient European counterparts warming their cattle in sheds every winter are been scooped up by someone who could be our future head of State.
The Solomon Times
Parliament of the Solomon Islands.
reports the Pacific nation is to elect its next Governor-General today. The next representative of the Queen in the Solomons will be the sixth elected since the country gained independence in 1978.
There are nine candidates for the job, including Sir Nathaniel Waena (the current Governor-General) and Sir Peter Kenilorea (speaker of the House). Each candidate is nominated by members of Parliament. Since the Solomons has no entrenched party system like more mature democracies, the election will be more competitive.
Before Bill and Ben brightened election campaigns with their satirical take on the process, there was the Imperial British Conservative Party
, a joke party promoting the return to the good old days of the British Empire. However, it seems one of their most prominent members, Ian Brackenbury - aka the "Wizard of New Zealand
" - wasn't actually joking:
He was a strong believer in a constitutional monarchy and it held the key to a lot of New Zealand's problems, he said.
"There's a malaise here, I think they don't know what they are any
more. This is a problem of identity that is striking New Zealand. They
are trying to find things like buzzy bees and lamingtons, it's not the
way to do it.
Professor Bruce Harris has written an excellent article (mentioned on Scoop)
proposing the abolition of the Royal prerogative powers.
Of course, the proposal makes sense - executive oversight ought to be held by our elected representatives. Obviously republicans have a vested interest in abolishing the prerogative powers, because it would make the transition
to a republic a lot less complicated (even though the transition itself
would be legally simple, following Dr Ladley's suggested "soft"
Nonetheless, if abolition occurred before a republic, it could only enhance our democracy.
...your opponent has to resort to name-calling
But seriously, "Republican losers"? Reading the comments, it seems Professor Flint's not fooling anyone. Aside from the name-calling, Professor Flint forgets that direct-election republicans were on the winning side of the 1999 referendum.
The Solomon Islands will elect its next Governor-General in the coming week, the Solomon Times
An interesting letter to the editor in today's Dominion Post
I read with dismay a report in The Dominion Post 25 May 2009 that top lawyers may get the QC title back and that the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson said his office was considering this move.
What a backward step this would be, already this National government has restored knighthoods and now they may restore the QC title. I thought this National government was going to be a progressive forward thinking government, not a government living in the colonial past. It seems that National can not just let go of Mother England's apron strings.
Perhaps the real reason that restoring the Queen's Counsel title is being
considered is that lawyers since 2007 who have been appointed to the
reports that Danes have voted in favour of an amendment to the law on royal succession - resulting in "absolute primogeniture" meaning the Danish monarch’s first-born of either gender will now to ascend the throne, rather than boys before girls (as is the case with Britain's monarchy.
While the referendum's outcome makes the Danish monarchy more equal, fundamentally monarchy is still unjust. Still, at least the Danes are willing to modernise their monarchy - unlike the die-hards of the Commonwealth realms.