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R for Republic

Australia is not yet a republic, we are a constitutional monarchy. The Queen of England is our head of state. On November 6, 1999 a referendum was held to ask Australians if we wanted to become a republic. I voted no, primarily for two reasons at the time.

  1. I could see how expensive the American presidential elections were and I thought what a waste of money. We had a perfectly functional system, we are independent and we don’t pay for the costs of the Queen!
  2. I didn’t like the proposed process for appointing the President of Australia. There was a lot of talk about it being too hard to change the constitution to do it any other way, but I couldn’t see the logic of becoming a republic if the foundation wasn’t sound. If we need to change the constitution, then we need to change it. Let’s do it properly.

The referendum was lost, 55% voting against the idea.

The debate is on again. To be honest, it never really went away. There are many web sites around looking at the arguments for and against. Here’s the  first page of Yahoo results! Oh, don’t ask – just thought I needed a change from Google.

Sites devoted to the Republic question

Sites devoted to the Republic question

There is little doubt in my mind that at some point Australia will become a republic. How and when are the burning questions.

I’m not exactly sure how this happened, but yesterday I was invited to join a group of people thinking about the concepts and supporting the thinking. I found I was in quite an illustrious group of people! There was Malcolm Fraser, giving very sage advice, Malcolm Turnbull and Christine Milne. David Donovan from Independent Australia is also there.

There I am.

There I am

There I am

This initiative is the work of Steve Irons, who provides his resume at http://www.bloggerme.com.au/background-briefings. Not to be confused with the WA MP of the same name!

Now, Steve seems to want a whole lot of states, whereas I’m not sure we need states at all. For the population of Australia, we have an awful lot of levels of government and an equally awful lot of associated running costs! :D

I worry that if we drop our ties to England we will become the 52nd state of the USA. I say 52nd because I understand Puerto Rico  has already voted to become the 51st! I don’t think Australia being the 52nd state would be cool as much as I think our American cousins are cool.

If we, the great unwashed, otherwise known as citizens (you know, we who pay our taxes to keep the wheels of government in motion) don’t take part in the discussion, we may end up with a republic we don’t like very much. Better to be in it than let it all pass by, paying no attention and complaining later. I dobbed a few other people in for an invitation from Steve: people I felt represented our diversity and who should have a voice in shaping our future.  Three of them are or aditenfy as Aboriginal – let us ensure ALL Australia’s people are included, especially our First People.

What exactly Australia’s republic will look like, when it will happen and how we determine a president are all things to come, but let us, as Australians, make sure we participate in shaping our future and the future of our children.

Let us, the people, drive how the Australia of the future looks and feels. Read, learn, speak up. Where ever you decide to do it, just do it! Let’s make sure we get a Bill of Human Rights!

Visit http://myatozchallenge.com to find more countries and articles on the global A – Z Challenge. Check out the A – Z of Australia Menu above for other articles on this site.  In this case, you might like to visit P for Politics and Politicians!

I made this part of the Our A – Z of Australia because our political system is a very important part of what Australia is. So this is a personal article as well as an A – Z series article! 

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8 comments on “R for Republic

  1. I like that PR release looking page fr you… Great photo too. :-)

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  2. Every country associated with the UK needs to become a republic and get shot of LIz Windsor and the rest of the parasitic progeny descended from murdering robber barons; only fools think having a monarch is a good idea; surely we’ve all outgrown that idea by now?

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    • Ummm, well, you guys still have a monarchy. :)

      Any idea which is more expensive, USA president including election costs, or the Queen?

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      • Yeah that’s true, but I’m for getting rid of the monarchy and from that I expect would begin the process of UK citizens having freedom from servitude to a feudal aristocracy, an old boy network and we could then move towards a meritocracy, not a society mired in servitude to a ruling class elite. This will have its price and I for one would rather the cost was in money and not in blood as it was in other countries when they freed themselves from hereditary leaders and the corrupt civil services that served them. Sorry, but here in the UK it is a class based society and it’s not really going to be a democratic society until the civil service, who really run the country, aren’t in their places out of patronage from the queen. All of our leaders and top civil servants come from top class rich ruling elite backgrounds and the country is really run by grey men who influence the government policies from Whitehall. Expensive or not at least a president isn’t in a leadership position because his ancestors murdered and robbed their way to the top; school history taught me all about how Mrs Windsor and her parasitic brood came to be ‘Royal’. Sorry for the rant, but my country won’t really be a free country until we have eradicated the class system that’s been in place since medieval times. Anyway that’s enough of my republican ranting… it’s too early in the day for me to start a revolution. (LOL)

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      • Richard, trust me – monarchy or not the public service still run the country. Your class system may take generations to eradicate, I think, although I am no epert in the field. Look at the USA – you think there isn’t a class system over there? Too bloody right there is. Perhaps even worse than in England.

        As for the USA president not coming from ancestors that murdered and robbed their way to the top, Richard, ask the slaves and the Native Americans about murder and robbery. Certainly not all Americans are from such ancestory, by any means, and Obama’s father is Kenyan and I don’t know his mother’s ancestory, but really – name me a country that wasn’t built in some way on the oppression of others. Sadly, I can’t think of one although my knowledge of the history of say Switzerland and Sweden is pretty limited.

        That aside, I can undertand your desire to be a republic – just be aware it comes with problems too – it is a question of which set of problems is the lesser evil for the people!

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      • Well there is a lot in what you say, but doesn’t that leave me staring a ‘Hobbesian’ nature state in face and wanting to think better of the human race? Hmmm yeah, governments suck that’s for sure… still in the words of Longfellow ‘So let us be up and doing, with a heart for any fate, still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labour and to wait.’ (Psalm Of Life)

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      • Absolutely doesn’t stop you wanting better! I am the same. I think a great many of us want a better world. Most of us want a better world.

        Whether we see it in our lifetimes, Richard, is debateable. Hopefully we can raise our children with the right ideals to continue to strive.

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