Kevvy's "stacked" summit
"Branch stacking" is a well-known ALP pursuit and Kevvy's selection of "delegates" for his ideas summit shows that he is a dab hand at it too. A few years ago, two thirds of Australians voted in favour of the monarchy. So did two thirds of Kevvy's delegates feel that way too? Read on:
Monarchists and some participants have left the 2020 Summit less than impressed. Those against severing ties with the Crown yesterday called the summit stacked after it was used to place the republic on the national agenda. A staggering 98 per cent of 2020 summiteers were confessed republicans. At the weekend, GetUp activist Brett Solomon asked those in the governance stream if anyone opposed a republic. Only one delegate, Liberal senator George Brandis, declared himself a monarchist. Former governor-general Sir William Deane [A well-known bleeding heart] abstained. "This is a better result than Mugabe has managed in the Zimbabwean elections," monarchist David Flint said.
It has also been revealed at least 10 per cent of participants were members of GetUp, the Left-leaning activist group. But it wasn't just the monarchists who were disillusioned. Former Australian Medical Association president Mukesh Haikerwal said many good ideas at the summit had been "lost in translation". "What was discussed on the groups, a lot dropped off or was unrecognisable," Dr Haikerwal said. "But more, some ideas got extremely high prominence when they were in no shape or form agreed to."
Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan said the summit was a success but some good ideas had been ignored. "I was shut out at one stage," Mr Kiernan said. "I was told: 'You've had enough say'. I didn't appreciate that." Mr Kiernan also criticised the coal industry lobbyists in the environment group. "The coal industry is made up of multinationals, which mostly couldn't give a damn about the place," he said.
ANZ economist Saul Eslake said he enjoyed his weekend in the creative stream. But Mr Eslake expressed concern the event had been taken over by professional management consultants in the facilitators' roles.
Melbourne barrister Julian Burnside [A well-known Lefty], in the governance stream, said the summit went extraordinarily well. "There was excitement about it all, including from people with whom I would not normally be agreeing on things," Mr Burnside said.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last night reaffirmed his commitment to a republic. "The Australia of the 21st century will be a republic," he told the ABC's 7.30 Report. Mr Rudd said he would proceed slowly. "We lost the last referendum nearly 10 years ago," he said. "We don't want to lose the next one." [The people must be made to vote correctly!]
Environment Minister Peter Garrett joined GetUp yesterday to launch a remix of the Kev Carmody-Paul Kelly song From Little Things Big Things Grow, featuring Mr Rudd and former PM Paul Keating.
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