Minutes of the 9th EGM of The Republicans

Minutes of the 9th EGM of The REPUBLICAN PARTY of AUSTRALIA (RPA)
held over
 2 nights at Epping, NSW 2121 on 25 June & 23 July, 2014

The Semi-Meetings commenced, near-punctually, on both occasions at 8.10pm.

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At the commencement of Semi-Meeting #1, The National Executive Director, Peter Consandine, gave an overview of happenings, primarily, in the ‘Deep South’ and particularly in the month of May.

Resolution:  The Party invites the ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, to consider accepting the acknowledgement and award of: ‘REPUBLICAN of the YEAR 2014’ on the strength of her 13 June National Republican Lecture: ‘More than a Fashion Choice…Continuing the Campaign Towards an Australian Republic’ to the ARM faithful at the ACT Legislative Assembly in the National Capital.

Noted with considerable regret:  Bob Carr, former Labor Foreign Minister and, before that, former NSW Labor Premier is, if possible, more than ever a minimalist-Republican who might (a) carry out his public threat of campaigning against ANY model for the Australian Republic which involves/involved the popular election of Australian Heads-of-State and, as a corollary of that, (b) lead the new batch of ‘NO-Republicans’ in any second referendum which was standard-bearing for a directly-elected Presidency. The cringeing reality of this spectre was Carr’s 24 June panel speech – and in answers to questions following – on the St James’ Ethics Centre IQ2 debate at the City Recital Hall in  Sydney’s Angel Place where the topic was: ‘The Queen Should Be the Last Australian Monarch’. Noted further, that Peter Consandine was invited to attend this debate and contribute some colourful signage from his Republican street meetings and also add a few sentences (one minute’s worth in ALL) to what was a recorded event to be shown on an ABC network sometime in the near-future…Peter not having to pay the ticket fee of $36, therefore.

Resolution:  That, as a result of now-established links with the St James’ Ethics Centre, The Party nominates Peter Consandine to be it’s recipient of the Centre’s new quarterly periodical: Ethics Quarterly (no surprises there!) and that The RPA pay Peter’s annual Concession Member’s Dues of $44 out of July’s monthly budget.

Noted:  That Peter Consandine has met one of the ‘Negative’ debaters of the City Recital Hall Debate – Julian Leeser – and that he has already made an overture to him regarding further/future Republic versus Monarchy debates. Noted also that Peter re-met David Flint, another prominent monarchist, at the City Recital Hall Debate and suggested the same idea – favourably, as it happens.

Adoption:  Newly-designed CAMPAIGN for AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE (CACC) joining form to cater for those who wish to be Financial Supporters of The RPA without actually being a card-carrying Member of The Party [an arrangement which worked well, hitherto, and is being revived for the new scheme of things].

Noted and Adopted:  The Minutes of the 28th Annual Republican Convention held at Torquay, Victoria 3228 on Saturday, 17 May.

Noted and Adopted:  The RPA Report into the Conduct of the 5 April WA Half-Senate Re-Election Campaign.

Resolution:  That since it was time to get an advance notice to potential Tasmanian involvers in the Oz Republic by Default Campaign – kicking off schedulely in October – that The Party should include with the mailer and reference material a promotional brochure publicising our Republican associate, Kris Spike’s, upcoming Wind Energy ‘Heroes’ concert  at the Hobart Conservatorium Recital Hall.

Resolved:  To adopt in principle the proposed RPA Policy #13 on the Need for an Over-Arching Federal Independent Commission Against Crime and Corruption.

Noted:  A line from the famous ‘WEST WING’ television series out of America: “The worst thing about political campaigns is surprises” – the (American) male actor playing the role of the Republican vice-presidential candidate uttering these threatening words to an interviewing journalist.

Agreed:  That it is now opportune and timely for The Party to produce a ‘State of the REPUBLICAN Nation Report #2’ and disseminate same in the next little while.

Discussion Topic:  ‘History is NOT Destiny…because History ALWAYS Unfolds in a Contingent Way’ – a key line from a paragraph of a fairly new book – co-authored by American academics Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson – ‘Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity & Poverty’ which had interesting sections on (a) trust-busting and (b) the Rule of Law issue/matter in it, as well.

Agreed:  That recently-adopted Policy #12 be added to with two important and integral words to now read: RPA Policy for the Trillion Dollar Australian Crop viz: Industrial and Medicinal Hemp as part & parcel of the Australian Agricultural and Commercial Marketplace.

Noted:  That the invitations for the 9th Annual Wattle Day Luncheon are now printed and that they will be personally prepared and sent out to the 1260-odd Greater Sydney network of Republicans during July/August.

Noted:  That the AEC wanted a return from The RPA by mid-October and the names of The Party’s associated entities. Peter Consandine reported that the two associated entities of The Party – those who were declared and indeed had bank cheque accounts separate from The Party’s main Westpac Operations Account were

(a) The Campaign for Australian Constitutional Change and (b) The Land Value Taxation Society of Australia.

Acknowledgement, with utmost sadness and regret:  The passing of Professor Leslie Zines who gave just

oodles of his  time to Peter Consandine whilst he was compiling a compelling case for the  revisiting of the

Interstate Commission clause in the existing monarchical Commonwealth  Constitution (Section #101).

Noted:  That the new Senate crossbenchers are going to – as a bloc – revolt if The Tone attempts to abolish group voting tickets for/on future Senate elections.

Accepted:  That e- mail communications have been difficult  in the recent 10 months or so but that ALL rectification work necessary has been done by The Party’s technical troubleshooter, Vic Hocking, and better – much better – times are ahead in terms of The Party’s e-communications.

Noted:  The Party has run out of stock of the current batch of ‘Sublime’ medium-grind coffee. 

Appointments:  Ben Forsyth, Jimmy James Wright, Peter Dixon and Greg Flinn to the National Executive.

New Confirmation: Wattle Day Luncheon 2014 Guest Speaker: Kris Spike, President of the NSW Chapter of Sustainable Population  Australia Inc (SPA) whose topic on the occasion 1st September shall be: ‘Sustainable Population: The Key to Sustainable Growth & Economic Prosperity’.

Noted and Resolved:  A supply of ‘Wattle Day 1st September’ badges has arrived, courtesy of the Wattle Day  Association in Canberra and that purchasers of the badges should pay $5 a pop given that The Party has to pay $3 a pop (full retail) plus postage and handling.

Semi- Meeting #1 concluded at 10.20pm.

At the commencement of Semi-Meeting #2, The National Executive Director, Peter Consandine, revisited the salient topics of Semi-Meeting #1 and answered questions from those Attendees who weren’t there.

Discussion Topic: ‘Going It Alone’…With ALL the ‘pre-positioning’ going on in the Federal Political Sphere, it was painfully accepted that the next Federal Election may be before the end of the current financial year viz: before the end of June 2015. Incumbency was deemed to be an important factor in the Electorate’s deciding to give the Liberal/National Coalition a second term – though with a much-reduced majority. The precedents in modern times being Bob Hawke (elected in 1983 and going to the polls the very next year, 1984) and John Howard (elected in 1996 and ‘going early’ in 1998). Attendees realistically accepted that, in the next 6 – 9 months, The Tone would have built up sufficient political capital – achieving most of his 2013/2014 promises and then some – notwithstanding his government’s shockingly bad salesmanship. Attendees grudgingly accepted that (a) ‘doing in the PUPs’ would prove popular, as would his (b) statesmanship in foreign policy;

his (c) glory-coating in the celebration of the Centenary of Anzac Day; his (d) successful referendum on First Australians’ recognition in the Preamble of the existing monarchical Constitution and his (e) advocacy of ‘hemployment’*as one-out-of-Left-Field national policy or something similar and UNexpected. Not so adventurous of Tony Abbott given that his NSW State Premier colleague, Mike Baird, has become a convert to the need for adoption of Industrial and Medicinal Hemp legislation. *‘Hemployment’ – a fine coined word – emanated out of the ‘Politics of Pot’ segment of the ABC1 program ‘LANDLINE’ on Sunday, 20 July.

Resolved: The next EGM (#10) be held at Epping 2121 on the night of Wednesday, 24 September.

Resolved: The Select-Preference Order, for the next Federal election be slightly varied so that the first 5 placings would be as follows, provisionally:

REPUBLICAN PARTY of AUSTRALIA

LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY

SECULAR PARTY of AUSTRALIA

SUSTAINABLE POPULATION PARTY

COUNTRY ALLIANCE

Resolved: That the manifesto [Policy Platform] for the next Federal Election be progressively built up to 25 planks – (that) The Party significantly broaden its electoral appeal in something of a ‘Great Leap Forward’.

Agreed: That former Republican of the Year, Geoffrey Robertson’s, ‘Statute of Liberty’ be a good starting point for The RPA to prepare its own suggested/proffered outline for a 21C Australian Charter of Rights, Freedoms, Choices, Values and Responsibilities.

Resolved: That at the very next outing of The Party be when the updated Wattle Day National Public Holiday petition is ‘given a flight’. Well, actually, a second flight – as the petition was taken out of currency for 3 years.

Resolved: That the 14th policy of The Party be along the lines of deeming Trade Unions and Religious Institutions as business operations and, accordingly, that they should be subjected to business taxation and corporations law.

Resolved: That former Nuclear Disarmament Party Senator, Karin Sowada, be invited to join The RPA.

Resolved: That SA Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi’s recently published 6 Dot Points for Parliamentary and Electoral Reform be carried forward as handy and practicable RPA joint policies on such matters. Also, in furtherance to that notion, The RPA writes to the controversial Senator and congratulates him on such super-pragmatism.

Noted: Even the ‘Mad Hatter’ (MHR for the Federal Seat of Kennedy, Bob Katter,) himself has some sensible ideas on the topic of ‘DEVELOPMENTALISM’ and that they should be taken on board by The Party.

Semi-Meeting #2 concluded at 10.45pm.

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