The predictable calls for a renewal of the Republican debate on Australia Day notably from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Australian of the Year, ex-army chief, David Morrison who said “I will lend my voice to the republican movement in this country. It is time I think to at least revisit the question.”
Two leaders, two different approaches to a fight
But there was a marked contrast between these two and the Prime Minister where the Artful Dodger was at his very best.
But Malcolm Turnbull said it was his personal view that the best time to renew the campaign would be after the Queen’s reign. He said he did not want to repeat the failed 1999 referendum campaign that he spearheaded. “If you don’t want to have another heroic defeat, and you want it to be carried, the best time to do that will be after the end of the Queen’s reign,” he said.
Malcolm is waiting for Madge to drop off the perch
His response, couched in nearly 3 minutes in his normal mellifluous verbosity boils down to this: “There are more important things to do and I’m not going to take the lead in something that might not be successful.”
Come on, Malcolm.
You’re the Prime Minister. You nearly made it last time when you weren’t Prime Minister and John Howard stitched up the referendum question.
Your support and influence will almost certainly carry the day. You are immensely popular and this is an immensely popular issue. Like gay marriage, like constitutional recognition of the first Australians, like an equitable tax system, like action on climate change.
Choose an issue, any issue, but choose something.