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No case now outright lies- constitutional expert

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To;, Political editor PLS Resource Development

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A leading constitutional lawyer and merrihmr of the national Yes Committee has labelled most of the arguments of monarchists and direct electionisis supporting a No vote in the November referendum as outright lies.

Professor Greg Craven, Dean and Professor of Law of the University of Notre Dame in Western Australia said that the anti-republican forces were dearly determined to conduct the most shamefully dishonest No case in Australia's history.

"No one can argue with one side in a referendum putting the best gloss they can on their case", Professor Craven said.

"But when the No case in this referendum starts to mount arguments which arc deliberately deceptive in an attempt to mislead the Australian people it is time to c a l a Spade a spade."

‘These people are not arguing their case. They are telling flat lies which that they iao w to be untrue, but they juat don't care."

"The only thing that matters to the No case now is winning the referendum. They ilo not mind what lies they tell to the Australian people, so long as they win", Professor Graven said.

‘The biggest lie is that the monarchists arc only opposed to this republic, and w oad be prepared to support direct election in another referendum.’

uAs a conservative constitutional lawyer, I know these people. I know what they think about direct election because wc have discussed it a thousand times", Professor Graven said.

“Hell will freeze over before Bill Hassell, Reg Withers, Nick Mlnchin or Kerrie Jones support direct election. The entire thing is a con."

“All they want is for Australians who favour popular election to vote No in this referendum. If they do, (he monarchists will come running to conservative republicans to help them stick the knife into direct election."

“It is the most cynical stunt in Australian constitution history", Professor Craven said “It is a pup they are trying to sell to the Australian people in the contemptuous belief that they are just too plain stupid to see the truth".

Professor Craven said that monarchists were becoming increasingly desperate in their claims, and were beginning to make claims that could seriously divide ibe country.

“Reports are cooing back to us are that monarchists ate starting to play the race cart, by claiming that native title claims would increase if we became a republic. This is a contemptible lie”.

Pressor Craven labelled the following as outright lies being advanced by monarchists

* Australia would be expelled from the Commonwealth (moat members o f the Commonwealth are republics);

* the Prune Minister can dismiss the President like a servant (the President would be much harder to sack than the Governor General);

* the President would be the political appointment of the Prime Minis ter (the Governor General is whoever the Prime Minister likes, but the President can only be appointed with bi-pamsan support).

Professor Craven said that p an of the problem was that leading monarchists had no real idea o f how the Constitution worked.

“When you debate most of the people the No case put up, you realise that they don't actually know what is in the Constitution. It’s like trying to debate the GST with someone who can't count".

“What 1 would really like to see is some of the No case leaders take a short public test on knowledge of the Constitution, just so they could show people that they know whtit their talking about.”

“But they don’t, so they cant."

Contact: Gary Mitchell 0408 7717 95