Just the plain facts
Bruce Hyland (Howard Republic was Defeated, Peninsula News, 22 August) is quite wrong to suggest that John Howard somehow tricked the electorate into voting out the republic model presented at the Referendum of 1999.
The push for a republic arose in the mid 1990s at the insistence of Paul Keating among others.
In 1998, John Howard agreed for the republicans to present their case at a convention to be held in Old Parliament House.
For two weeks, up to 10 republican groups debated their various platforms in an attempt to reach a common consensus.
At the end it was agreed to accept the Australian Republican Movement model led by Malcolm Turnbull.
Although this model failed to achieve the required majority of 76 votes, John Howard generously allowed the Referendum to go ahead.
Prior to the Referendum, the republicans attempted to alter our constitution with up to 70 amendments.
So that all could see what the republicans wished upon us, the Prime Minister mailed a copy of this substitute constitution to every household in Australia.
In a televised address to the nation, John Howard stated that he personally did not accept the republican model as he saw no need to change a successful system of governance that had served us so well.
No crafty manipulation, no trickery, no hysterical nonsense.
Just the plan facts so people could decide.
The outcome was a landslide 72 per cent of electorates and all six states voted no.
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