Why Australia should NOT become a Republic

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.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

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.

 

0 comments on “Why Australia should NOT become a Republic

  • In response to Paragraph Man’s comments”. The Prime Minister can request in writing that the governor-general be dismissed? This would horrify and embarrass the queen.

    How could I possible know this? Because when John Kerr feared that the PM was going to dismiss him, he wrote to the Palace. The Palace letters made it crystal clear that this would put the queen in an impossible position.

    In reality, on the rare occasions when a vice-regal has been dismissed, pressure has been put on him by the PM to resign of his own accord – rather than the embarrassment of the queen being put in the position of having to agree to the Prime Minister dismissing her “representative”. The queen’s only duty in Australia is to approve the appointment of the GG and governors, on the advice of the PM and state premiers. She doesn’t even know most of these people – let alone choose any of them. Her only soft power seems to be to protect her own interests and reputation.

  • The flag DOES NOT have to change if we become a republic.

    Is there some obscure international rule that I missed somewhere????

    The State of Hawaii is part of the United States, a republic, the State is also a republic as required by the US Constitution (all States must have a republican form of government), yet it has the Union Flag on its State flag.

    Fiji has been a republic for going on for 40 years and it still has the Union Flag on its national flag. South Africa was a republic from the 50s until the Union of South Africa gave way to the Republic of South Africa, yet the first republic spent its entire existence with the UK’s Union Flag on it’s national flag.

  • Lucy Hastings says:

    Should Australians be prohibited from being Australia’s official head of state on the grounds that they are Australian? Apparently.

    Australia is already an independent sovereign nation and operates that way. The queen does not guide us from afar – nor is she required to constitutionally. The governor-general performs all head of state duties, including exercising the reserve powers. Ostensibly the GG may “represent” the queen but in reality, he/she operates independently of the non-resident monarch.

    So why do we continue to ask a monarch who lives on the other side of the planet to be our official head of state when we are already running our own show? The queen probably wonders the same thing.

  • well this has helped me to in my hass but republic would have to change the flag and i like the flag iv groin up with it so i think we should stay in the commonwealth.

  • In my opinion i think we shoud not become a republic because we will have to change our flag and change our coins which will become very confusing

  • paragraph man says:

    As things stand, the governor-general can sack the prime minister, but only under certain circumstances. The Prime Minister can also remove the governor-general if they act inappropriately. How? By writing a letter to the Queen ‘requesting’ that the governor-general be dismissed; the Queen then must act on the advice of her prime minister. In this way, the benign nature of the Crown protects our democracy from overreach by both parliament and our head of state.

    Under any republican model, our president would either be directly elected by the people or voted in by parliament. Either way, instead of our head of state being recommended based on their community standing or services to Australia, their appointment would become politicised. Do we need another elected official in high office, who perceives they have a mandate to pursue their own special interests? The governor-general, in contrast, is appointed by The Crown on the advice of the prime minister and serves a uniting and neutral role, above politics and partisanship.

    To be content with our constitutional monarchy does not require adulation and worship of the reigning monarch. It is not a requirement that we believe them to be superior types of people. The argument in favour of the monarchy is a utilitarian one; the outcome is all that matters. Indeed, although there is much to respect and admire in the person of Queen Elizabeth II; her son, with his eco-babble and alleged anti-Israel sentiments, is a less appealing prospect for many. And yet he will exert no political power over our Australian parliament.

    The financial cost of becoming a republic is considerable. Not only is there the expense of referendums, plebiscites or postal votes to consider (yes more than one – the states would need to conduct their own separate votes), we would also foot the bill for the very many committees that would be needed to be formed to address the logistics of any change. Add to that the cost of new coats of arms, new flag designs, the rebadging of our emergency services and the expenses really start to add up. In contrast, the cost to the Australian public of maintaining the monarchy and the royal household is exactly nil.

    There are no rational reasons to support an Australian republic. Individual Australians will not become freer, more independent or more prosperous as a result of having an Australian president, indeed we would risk the opposite. An Australian republic would not address our national debt, the housing crisis, our failing education system or the black hole that is our spending on health. It wouldn’t close the gap or put an end to welfare dependency. We would be no freer; we would be no richer, and we would lose the non-political check on power we already enjoy, at great financial cost.

    As the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. In becoming a republic Australians have nothing to gain, and a great deal to lose

  • First of all thank you, you have helped me with my HASS assignment. But i totally disagree. I recon we should become a republic. And also what happens when poor old Lizzy kicks the bucket she has been good to us but we need to become a republic. it would help our country. and it is WAYYY to expensive to keep sending the royal family over here. its costs like 4 Billion dollars. i rest my case good night

  • You do realise when Queen Liz kicks the bucket we’re going to have to change all our money right?? And Prince Charles isn’t getting any younger, so it won’t be long until we’ll have to change it all again when Prince William becomes King.

    Plus, the Monarchy hasn’t really been “good so far”. The 1975 Constitutional Crisis is a prime example of that.

    It would be best for our country to become a republic sooner rather than later. But don’t worry, Im sure you’ll still be able to watch all those royal weddings.

  • When you think about it we will have to change the Australian flag and the money because they have the queens face on them. So I think we should not become a Repblic.

  • I agree with you.
    People say that Australia should be a republic so that as people, we can have the ultimate power.
    Now that just sounds greedy to me. Is everything really about power? Can we not just accept all that Britain has done for Australia as a whole, and thank them for establishing our country?
    Above all this, though, we should be trusting in God as the true power of our nation, not in governments big or small, Australian or British.

  • Australia Should Become a Republic! I believe that Australia should be and independent country, and we should not have to follow some King or Queen from a foreign country. The Head of State should be an Australian citizen, chosen by Australians. We should not be told who we have to follow and listen to. That choice should be Australians and Australian alone. The crown should not be claimed by someone just because they were born into a royal family. And plus, Who knows Australia better than an Australian himself.

  • It isn’t helpful, bb. It’s nonsense. (Point 1) If the queen has done a good job for Australia, it’s mainly because she’s stayed away – except when invited here to do something we’re perfectly capable of doing ourselves. However I note her first loyalty is to her own nation and her own legacy. This was made clear when she put an embargo on OUR Commonwealth records under the guise of ‘private letters’ i.e. presumably letters that are none of our business. Fortunately the High Court of Australia saw it differently. (Point 2) No republic supporter I know wants a US style republic with an executive president. Let alone their complicated, state-by-state pre-selection method for selecting candidates. There are many examples of parliamentary republics which manage to select their heads of state with out all the massive expense and hoopla which accompanies US elections. (Point 3) Most Commonwealth countries are already republics and nobody has suggested leaving the Commonwealth of Nations when we become a republic. Plus the Commonwealth club is not associated with a defence treaty. (Point 4) If the writer doesn’t approve of the current federal government and their handling of the marriage equality legislation (long, drawn out and lots of stalling tactics) then vote them out at the next election. This is what federal elections are for. As for civil wars, corruption and all the other problems, retaining a foreign monarch has not solved any of these problems. Australia will always have challenges but this should not stop an independent nation like Australia having its own official HoS.

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