I have a confession to make and I make no excuse for it.
In fact, my heart skips a beat and a little wave of excitement swells through me when I read headlines such as, ‘Prince Harry set to marry’.
You see, I love the royal family. Everything about the British monarchy fascinates me; a royal wedding that drags me out of bed at some ungodly hour totally pulls at my heart strings, or the birth of another cute prince or princess just makes me gush with excitement, and who doesn’t love a bit of royal scandal from time to time.
There are plenty of reasons not to care, but there are plenty of reasons to care and that’s why Australia should not become a republic.
The Australian Republican Movement held a referendum in 1999, and 55 per cent voted against Australia becoming a republic that would be headed by a president and cut ties with the British crown and the Westminster system.
So why are we still talking about this issue 18 years later when we live in the most beautiful country in the world with a traditional system that already works?
Can we address more important issues like the soaring prices of electricity bills? Or question why some young Australians face the possibility of living with their parents longer because of the current housing affordability crisis?
Unless you’re living under a rock or totally oblivious to what’s happening in the world right now, you’d know that America is a republic with their current President possessing incredible political power. The Australian Republican Movement defend this argument by stating that America is a completely different systemized republic and that an Australian republic would keep the same parliamentary democracy it already has, with the advantage of an Australian head of state to represent this great country.
I’m not buying it.
The Australian Republican Movement also gives a range of reasons why it’s time for Australia to stand on its own two feet which includes the following:
- An Australian head of state will put Australia first – the Queen or King of England will never be able to represent us properly. I disagree: Queen Elizabeth has done a fine job until now and I question if some Australian politicians genuinely represent us properly!
- We’ll be able to choose an Australian as our head of state instead of being told which English person we have to have. I counter that: The system has worked mighty fine until now and we all have witnessed in recent times in the US how much havoc a presidential election can cause.
- Our constitution will be 100% Australian and independent of other countries. I counter that too: I rather like and appreciate being part of the Commonwealth realms, it gives me a sense of security and surety to march alongside other countries, you never know when you may need your allies help.
- We’ll have a head of state that can represent Aussie values – mateship, equality and fair go – more than a foreign royal family ever could. Hmmm: Didn’t the Australian government recently announce a postal plebiscite costing millions of taxpayer funds to legalise same-sex marriage when England passed the legislation in 2014?
I’m still not buying it.
All those reasons have not convinced me to vote YES on Australia becoming a republic, simple as that.
There is a civil war in Syria, North Korea and its nuclear missile threats are no secret, Australia is tackling an epidemic of the drug ice and headlines are constantly filled with bad news. At a time of uncertainty that’s consuming many parts of the world, including our great southern land, becoming a republic may be an option one day but I just hope it’s not in my lifetime.
So until then, I will eagerly wait for another grand royal wedding and prepare myself for that early sunrise wake-up call to watch Prince Harry get married. One can only hope.