Answers to FREQUENTLY-ASKED Questions
with regard to the differences between the ARM (Australian Republic Movement)
and The RPA (Republican Party of Australia)
- The RPA is a registered political party which contests federal elections and, therefore, champions Oz Republicanism in the context of federal elections and – as the case may be [indeed, very rarely] – re-elections. And, since 2001, ONLY Senate election campaigns.
- The RPA was founded in January, 1982 whereas, the ARM was founded in July, 1991. Thus a 9½ year lead time.
- The ARM is a single-issue Lobby Group with an expressed ‘use-by’ date whereas The RPA is an alternative, minority political party which enunciates clearly alternative, inter-related policies which it deems conducive to a supremely democratic and harmonious, inclusivist, secular, NON-colonial polity.
- The RPA champions the Peoples’ Sovereignty [*Direct Election of the Oz Presidency] when the incumbent monarch either dies or abdicates, meaning that BEFORE either option comes into play, The Party is and shall remain a dedicated, democratic co-operative advocating the nation’s becoming a republic sooner rather than later so that the place rules off at a total of nine (9) monarchs since European (well, British) settlement in 1788. And never gets a King Charles 3rd, let alone a Queen Camilla. *Insofar, as has happened on a couple of occasions to date, The RPA will courteously petition the monarch to consider abdication; to seriously consider taking ‘early retirement’.
- The RPA and the ARM organisations, in February 2006, agreed, in writing, on a three (3) phase process with the Leader of the ARM at the time,
Ted O’Brien, for the ensurance of a successful, eventual, second republican referendum – whenever it is that the Government-of-the-Day
instigates one. To this point in time, The RPA has been and remains a stickler for the maintenance of the written agreement whereas, it would
verily seem as though – under the influence of present Chairman [new since July, 2015] mini-minimalist republican, Peter FitzSimons (aka ‘Fitzy’),
is advancing a ludicrous, NON-inclusive, Plutocracy-orientated proposal which attempts to by-pass Section #128 of the Australian Constitution
whilst persuading OR attempting to persuade the Prime Minister-of-the-Day to carry a vote of the two (2) Houses of Federal Parliament to
enact legislation which, indubitably, would be UNconstitutional. Not to mention ANTI-Democratic.
- The RPA is ‘nationally-structured’ whereas the ARM is federally-structured (NO coincidence, because so is the Labor Party).
- The RPA has tax-deductibility status and, concurrently, not-for-profit accreditation whereas the ARM has neither.
- Joiners of the ARM do NOT get a Certificate verifying their Membership whereas, The RPA issues to ALL Joiners [whatever category] Foundation Membership Certificates – with attendant joining date of The Party thereon.
- The ARM is, primarily, a Labor Party front – one of two (2) Labor Party fronts, actually (*the other being Labor for an Australian Republic – formed in mid-2015) – on the republican issue, whereas The RPA has NO outside links on the republican issue save for its continuing, strong links with the Brisbane-based Real Republic Limited organisation led by David Muir. The RPA, though, is the party political/electoral wing of an ALL-encompassing republican umbrella group which since 1993 has been marketing ‘Republican-branded’ ALL-Australian products e.g. wine, coffee, olive oil, Wattle Day flags, bunting & badges, Republican t-shirts and water diverters etc. for both fund-raising and national identity/national awareness-raising purposes. The RPA, though, actively involves ARM Members in its exclusive ‘Oz Republic-by-Default’ [for State Republics] Campaign and Direct Electionists.
- The RPA sponsors and hosts three (3) major Australian Republican events per annum viz: the Annual National Republican Convention in a different regional Australian city/town (since 1987) with multi-faceted, topical themes the mainstay + the Annual National Republican-of-the-Year Dinner (since 1991) + the Annual Wattle Day Luncheon (since 2006). The ARM sponsors and hosts a different set of national functions including the annual Republican Lecture, each year, mostly premised on the theme of: ‘One of Us for President’.
- The ARM can fairly be described as ‘Elitist’ – meaning that the organisation is ALL of the following: (a) appealing to the so-called ‘Big End of Town’, (b) supported, however, not exclusively by Big unions + Big business + Big lobby groups but the ‘monied’ class anyway. Whereas, The RPA can most accurately be described as ‘grass roots’ with attestation to that claim emanating from the track record of something close to 800 community-republican street meetings, Australia-wide (from October, 1991) and 830+ one-to-one positive, pastoral/housecall visitations (since September, 2015). *The RPA has absolutely no doubt that, when the proverbial ‘push comes to shove’, the model for the Oz Republic the ARM plumps for will be a Parliamentary-Appointment model similar to the model that the organisation on (then) Chairman’s watch (Malcolm Turnbull aka ‘The Turnbully’) advocated in the first Republican referendum held on 6 November, 1999 and which was defeated on the UNfortunate ratio: 45%: 55%.
*At the time of writing this amended screed UP [Wattle Day, 2019] there were fully 278 Members of the ARM who were declared ‘crossover’ Members of The RPA. The writer, Peter Consandine, is of the honest belief that this number will ONLY grow. Solidarity in Oz Republican ranks can ONLY prosper with the building of further momentum for The Quest (formerly: The Cause) in and during 2019-20 and beyond.
**Peter Consandine re-joined the ARM in November, 2015 and allowed his second-time around Membership to lapse in November, 2018.