10 December 2003

Latham puts republic on agenda

A federal Labor government under Mark Latham would make the republic a priority in its first term, the party's new political leader said today.

'People will know well in advance of the next election the timetable we would set out to advance (for) this very important issue, for the independence of our nation, pride of our nation' Mr Latham said in Melbourne today.

He said a Labor government would let the public decide on a model for a republic through three separate plebiscites.

Most, 'if not all', of this process would be completed in the first term of a Labor government, he said.

Mr Latham said he supported the direct election of an Australian president.

'We need a head of state who is one of us,' Mr Latham said.

'That truly means, in my assessment, that we all have to have a sense of participation, a sense of belonging to the process by which that person would be selected.'

Iron Mark is dangerous. The idea that the Australian people should get to vote on a republic they want instead of one the political elite wants could lead to all sorts of unmitigated catastrophe and unparalleled disaster. Next he'll be advocating democracy.

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