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The Forum > Article Comments > Trust matters: politics, trust and the republican cause > Comments

Trust matters: politics, trust and the republican cause : Comments

By Rebecca Huntley, published 10/1/2007

The Australian Republican Movement should harness Generation Ys enthusiasm for direct democracy.

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Such an important topic ! It's certainly not only the younger generation that wants direct democracy. The large scale exodus from the Labor Party, for example, occurred at a time when branch policies and decisions were being increasingly ignored by head offices,who were parachuting their own candidates into electorates amongst other things. No, the call for participatory democracy has been made for generations by anarchists, worker control movements and many others, always to no avail. Hannah Arendt's famous text "On Revolution" describes the impetus for every revolutionary movement as being the desire for participatory democracy, which she called "the lost treasure of the revolution" in every case The Australian Republican Movement made a pathetic mistake in supporting the notion that politicians are the only ones who can elect the leader ! No wonder they lost the referendum ! They have not read their history.
Posted by kang, Wednesday, 10 January 2007 9:23:16 AM
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I think that the information contained in this article is important, even though I too am completely disinterested (which does not equate to "uninterested" which seems to be the way many interpret this word)in the republication issue.

For the past few years I have been trying to get the message across that Australians are changing. I never thought to tie these changes simply to a particular age-group however as it has presented across the board. Now that it has been pinpointed as specific to Generation Y, perhaps the old reactionaries and hidebound pollies who dismissed these findings will finally start to take notice.

It is a shame that this article will only be read by those interested in the republican cause as the writer's findings signal what is going to become the majority viewpoint in Australia. Cognizance of the fact that the "average" Aussie to-day differs markedly from the traditional or even from the average of two decades ago could lead to meaningful changes.

Of course it is true that every generation differs, but this is a reaction to decades of political b/s, media-buying and all the patent insincerity that has made a mockery of politics since the '50's: it is not as simple as a reaction to current office-holders which traditionally ties in to party politics.

Only if more and more people are made aware of this crisis of faith in the ability of a country to govern itself effectively can the slide to loss of faith in the country itself be stopped.
Posted by Romany, Thursday, 11 January 2007 5:52:02 PM
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There has been so much water under the bridge since Keating brought the Republican debate to the agenda.

I think at the moment when elected politicians are clearly on the nose, no one is sure who to trust, and the ugliness of propaganda is in full throttle, who would you trust as President given such a mandate?

Also in reflection of the war in Iraq, films like "V for Vendetta" question the agenda of such nationalistic power wanting to replace Royalty.

We need a charter of rights or a bill of rights as a premise for democracy before was discuss Republicanism again. Basing Republicanism on nationalism is really asking for trouble.

Whether a proposed President is directly voted in by the public or not does not solidify our democracy at all. On the contrary, it simply makes it easier for a despot to use a political spin to gain absolute dictatorship.
Posted by saintfletcher, Monday, 15 January 2007 3:01:04 AM
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At the risk of boring all those who have heard it before, I will repeat what I consider to be the essential political truths in Australia, which are propagated to all immigrants with an efficiency I find astounding, and which continue to be ignored to the eternal detriment of the republican cause.

The four basic truths of Australian politics are:

1. The government is the enemy of the people, and can never be trusted.

2. No taxation with or without representation, with any deficiency in government finances being made up from the sale of politicians' assets.

3. No matter whom you vote for at an election, a POLITICIAN is ALWAYS elected.

4. ALWAYS vote NO at referendums.

I continue to be surprised that these basic attitudes are never acknowledged.

For example, at the moment every federal politican must, before taking their seat in parliament, swear or affirm that they will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty. Many Australians value this as a test of integrity. If ONE republican politican declined to take their seat because they could not swear allegiance to her Majesty, their approval would skyrocket.

If you want to achieve a republic, you must give people an incentive, where they feel they will benefit from the change. The only one I can think of is to implement citizens initiative referendum, as practiced in Switzerland, where the people can enact legislation in the teeth of the opposition of the entire political and legal elite.

As hell will freeze over before this is implemented in Australia, we can look forward to many more years where all our politicians swear allegiance to Her Majesty.
Posted by plerdsus, Sunday, 28 January 2007 7:55:08 PM
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