Politics Should Australia become a Republic?

Should Australia become a Republic?

  • YES

    Votes: 76 63.3%
  • NO

    Votes: 44 36.7%

  • Total voters
    120

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Hornberger

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60 years of continuous democratic government is sufficient to disprove Caesar argument. The argument that it would not be possible to move from an appointed Governor-General to an appointed President without their inevitably being substantial change to our politcal system is bogus.
 

tandino

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60 years of continuous democratic government is sufficient to disprove Caesar argument. The argument that it would not be possible to move from an appointed Governor-General to an appointed President without their inevitably being substantial change to our politcal system is bogus.
We could be a republic tomorrow with the President holding the same powers and responsibility as the Governor-General, as long as such a situation reflects the will of the people.

I do not think that is the case in this country, and it probably won't be for a long while, if ever.
 

MacMum

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The system installs an English person as Australia's Head of State.

That needs to be fixed.
So what, it doesn't really matter when all is said and done...its only in name..

Its the parlimentry system that is important, and that is working nicely...no need to tinker with something that is working....just for the sake of change..

We might be technically tied to mother england, but we make our own laws, we do not answer to the queen in our every day life, we are an independant nation, allowed to go our own way.....we are not ruled by england...we are our own people..


NO..

...and anyway, when Will + Kate become King and Queen, there won't be hells own chance of getting a republic up and running..
 

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Father Jack

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All these arguments for the monarchy are well and good, but only if you are British. It may be symbolic, but symbols are important and I for one would like the symbol that is the head of state to actually reside in Australia, not in the bloody UK.

There surely must be a way for this to happen without descending into anarchy?
 

Caesar

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You're ignoring history yourself. The head of state for the England and the broader British Empire has hardly been stable itself over its history. Stability lasts only so long as the current head of state, which for Elizabeth II has been remarkably stable, but that is also true of the politics of most Anglosphere countries post war. It was as recently as within many people's lifetimes that a Nazi sympathising King abdicated. Things can change.
But I'm not really talking about the stability of the HoS, I'm talking about the stability of the country at large. The monarchy was in an absolute mess during the Regency period, but thanks to the system the country continued with business as usual.

I'm not really bothered if the HoS is a degenerate slob or not. They're just a useful repository of reserve powers. In fact, the more unpopular with the citizenry they are the better - because the more disliked and distrusted they are, the more limited, closely scrutinised and accountable their decisions will be.
 

Clay Davis

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But I'm not really talking about the stability of the HoS, I'm talking about the stability of the country at large. The monarchy was in an absolute mess during the Regency period, but thanks to the system the country continued with business as usual.

I'm not really bothered if the HoS is a degenerate slob or not. They're just a useful repository of reserve powers. In fact, the more unpopular with the citizenry they are the better - because the more disliked and distrusted they are, the more limited, closely scrutinised and accountable their decisions will be.
How stable was the UK during the Commonwealth/Restoration/Glorious Revolution period?

Your point seems to be that a monarchy is more stable than a republic due of length of time, when what, the British monarchy has something like a 100 year lead of stability on the US?

I don't see how a head of state 10,000 kms away is inherently more stable than one within that country, regardless of the system used. If something were to befall the UK, where would this leave Australia?
 

Richo83

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Especially given Australia has quite an established and stable system of law and governance, which I very much doubt will collapse by changing the head of state from an English to an Australia. If our system is that weak then we can hardly claim strength in the current state anyway. A republican model can easily work within our westminister system, just change the head of state from the Queen/King to the governor general. I mean the governor general largely represents and takes the role of the Queen in playing head of state anyway. The Queen is in reality purely, and I stress purely ceremonial in relation to Australian law and politics.
 

Caesar

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Your point seems to be that a monarchy is more stable than a republic due of length of time
No, my point is that a democratic system with a patently anti-democratic head of state has an inherent protection against the HoS accumulating more power. Given that throughout history this has usually been the greatest internal threat to democracies and republics, I regard that as a fairly crucial advantage.

Any democratic system will inevitably have some degree of inherent instability.
 

Clay Davis

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No, my point is that a democratic system with a patently anti-democratic head of state has an inherent protection against the HoS accumulating more power. Given that throughout history this has usually been the greatest internal threat to democracies and republics, I regard that as a fairly crucial advantage.

Any democratic system will inevitably have some degree of inherent instability.
Where is the evidence of this inherent protection with regards to the head of state of a country on the other side of the world?

At this point in time, Australia and Britain's histories are on strongly divergent paths. They are bound to Europe, we are bound to Asia. In their relationship to Europe, they have their own problems which are fundamentally different to any Australian concern.

Let's suppose that the European financial situation takes a turn for the worse, and there are political consequences as a result of that - ie a change to the structure of the monarchy, or even it's abolition altogether. I'm not sure why there is a justification for the status quo, when our head of state's existence rests with the political fortunes of another state.
 

Caesar

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Where is the evidence of this inherent protection with regards to the head of state of a country on the other side of the world?

At this point in time, Australia and Britain's histories are on strongly divergent paths. They are bound to Europe, we are bound to Asia. In their relationship to Europe, they have their own problems which are fundamentally different to any Australian concern.

Let's suppose that the European financial situation takes a turn for the worse, and there are political consequences as a result of that - ie a change to the structure of the monarchy, or even it's abolition altogether. I'm not sure why there is a justification for the status quo, when our head of state's existence rests with the political fortunes of another state.
I'm not sure I really follow. I'm talking about the protections attached to the constitutional role. The Australian monarch is a role in the Australian constitution. The UK parliament cannot change or alter that.

The only thing that the UK parliament does technically control is the person who fills that constitutional role. Even though they're not supposed to, they could theoretically change or abolish the succession without our consent.

If that happened it would obviously prompt a rethink, but I see no reason to preempt that. If it was a real concern then I see it more as an argument to independently enshrine the succession rules for the Australian monarch in our own constitution.
 

Clay Davis

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I'm not sure I really follow. I'm talking about the protections attached to the constitutional role. The Australian monarch is a role in the Australian constitution. The UK parliament cannot change or alter that.

The only thing that the UK parliament does technically control is the person who fills that constitutional role. Even though they're not supposed to, they could theoretically change or abolish the succession without our consent.

If that happened it would obviously prompt a rethink, but I see no reason to preempt that. If it was a real concern then I see it more as an argument to independently enshrine the succession rules for the Australian monarch in our own constitution.
My point is that both countries are on different paths politically and culturally, such that assumptions of stability with the present arrangement seem askew. What do Australia and the UK look like in 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? 100 years? Your impression of stability is based on a very short run of history when regarding this kind of arrangement, and both countries futures look strongly divergent.

You talk about the Australian/British monarch as if they're separate things. They aren't. Maybe conceptually on paper, but the reality is different and events can supersede that.
 

wmvaux

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It probably will sometime down the track, but I would only say yes if there was a really valid reason, I haven't seen one yet. The current system isn't 100% spot on, but it's good enough.

Going to a Republic will cost the country millions of dollars, don't really see the benefit of that.
 

Caesar

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My impression of stability is based on the nature of power shifts in democracies. The broad constitutional structure is what's most relevant, rather than the specifics of our arrangement with the UK.

I really don't see why the UK's path is particularly relevant to our ongoing constitutional stability. Their control over the shared monarch doesn't extend to the monarchical role in Australia, and any attempt to change that would be met with resistance due to our inherent will to independence.

Like I said, I believe that constitutional stability is less about predicting the future and more about ensuring that the structure inherently protects itself - not through paper rules but by setting interests fundamentally against each other.

A disliked, undemocratic foreign monarch is a good repository for these powers because the fact they are disliked, undemocratic and foreign means that their exercise of them will always be strictly limited and highly accountable to the people. The fact they are disliked, undemocratic and foreign will also protect us if the UK start meddling with the role too much.
 

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Clay Davis

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My impression of stability is based on the nature of power shifts in democracies. The broad constitutional structure is what's most relevant, rather than the specifics of our arrangement with the UK.

I really don't see why the UK's path is particularly relevant to our ongoing constitutional stability. Their control over the shared monarch doesn't extend to the monarchical role in Australia, and any attempt to change that would be met with resistance due to our inherent will to independence.

Like I said, I believe that constitutional stability is less about predicting the future and more about ensuring that the structure inherently protects itself - not through paper rules but by setting interests fundamentally against each other.

A disliked, undemocratic foreign monarch is a good repository for these powers because the fact they are disliked, undemocratic and foreign means that their exercise of them will always be strictly limited and highly accountable to the people. The fact they are disliked, undemocratic and foreign will also protect us if the UK start meddling with the role too much.
This idea that it is a shared monarch does not fit with the reality. It is the UK's monarch, plainly and simply. This idea that if political instability hits the UK monarchy, the 'Australian monarchy' will march on as if nothing happened is an interesting little parlour game, but pretty absurd.

It is fairly amusing that you are accusing others of not learning from history when you wilfully ignore it yourself. There is every chance that if economic decay truly sets in for Europe, the political situation for many countries will change dramatically. The whole thing holding the continent together is the economic might of Germany, which itself is in deep demographic decline. There is always a chance for revolutionary change on that continent.

I don't see the value in Australia tying its political fortunes to a monarchy that is not ours. Sure, your arguments for a constitutional monarchy might work if it was solely Australia's. But it isn't. It solely rests on having a foreign monarch as head of state of a constitutional democracy. Bizarre, to say the least.
 

Caesar

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There is no real reason why we couldn't keep the monarch if the UK ditched them. We may not want to, but that would be up to us.

WRT ignoring history I am not claiming that the UK monarchy will be exempt from future upheaval, just that I think you vastly overrate the effect it would have on us.
 

Roylion

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This idea that it is a shared monarch does not fit with the reality. It is the UK's monarch, plainly and simply. This idea that if political instability hits the UK monarchy, the 'Australian monarchy' will march on as if nothing happened is an interesting little parlour game, but pretty absurd.
Nevertheless legally the Australian monarchy is separate to the British Monarchy. After Britain enacted the Statute of Westminster, incorporated into Australian law in 1942, Britain gave up its right to legislate for Commonwealth countries like Australia.

This means that any British amendment to any of its laws as it pertains to the British monarchy, such as the Act of Settlement regarding its succession, does not apply to the position of Australian monarch, unless the Australian parliament passes similar legislation. Likewise the Australian parliament can initiate legislation or Constitutional change to alter laws pertaining to the monarchy of Australia, such as the succession and that will not affect what happens in the UK.

The Governor General is now the representative of the Queen of Australia, not the Queen of the United Kingdom. The same person currently holds both offices but the offices are legally separate
 

Clay Davis

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I am not talking about changes to the law in the UK or Australia. I am talking about changes to the nature of Britain and the monarchy itself.

While a second coming of the Protectorate is unlikely, it is not a negligible risk. Nor is any massive change to the UK's monarchic structure. Forget legal changes - what would happen to Australia if both the royal family and the position of monarch in the UK ceased to exist? What if the UK had it's own French Revolution?

Furthermore, what if the allegiances and politics of the UK move in opposition to those of Australia's?

If the constitutional monarchy model is a sound one, then why can't it be one with an Australian monarch, that resides in Australia and has no ties to another state?
 

Roylion

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Forget legal changes - what would happen to Australia if both the royal family and the position of monarch in the UK ceased to exist? What if the UK had it's own French Revolution?
The Australian monarchy would continue to exist and the Australian Crown would be bestowed on the person next in the line of succession as defined by the Act of Settlement which is Australian law.

Furthermore, what if the allegiances and politics of the UK move in opposition to those of Australia's?
It would make no difference. The Australian monarchy is separate from that of the UK.

If the constitutional monarchy model is a sound one, then why can't it be one with an Australian monarch, that resides in Australia and has no ties to another state?
It can be. For example, if the Act of Settlement (1701) that sets out the order of succession to the throne was changed in the UK, but not in Australia say to abolish male primogeniture, and a future King William possessed an older daughter and younger son, then the daughter would ascend to the throne of the UK, while the son would become King of Australia.

Similar events have happened in the past.

The accession of Victoria to the British throne in 1837 severed the 130 year old links between Hanover and the UK, when the Queen's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, became King of Hanover because of the different succession laws.

In 1890 when the accession of Queen Wilhelmina in the Netherlands (where female succession occurs) caused a split with Luxembourg (where only male succession occurs). Prior to that, the King of the Netherlands and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg were the same person. After 1890, the two lines diverged.
 

tandino

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While a second coming of the Protectorate is unlikely, it is not a negligible risk. Nor is any massive change to the UK's monarchic structure. Forget legal changes - what would happen to Australia if both the royal family and the position of monarch in the UK ceased to exist? What if the UK had it's own French Revolution?
To the letter of the law, it's very simple. The line of succession goes back over 1000 spots.

Meet Ellen and Amy Lascelles. 56th and 57th to the throne. If heads start to roll in the Royal family, one of these two could be the next Queen of Australia.

 

Clay Davis

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The Australian monarchy would continue to exist and the Australian Crown would be bestowed on the person next in the line of succession as defined by the Act of Settlement which is Australian law.



It would make no difference. The Australian monarchy is separate from that of the UK.



It can be. For example, if the Act of Settlement (1701) that sets out the order of succession to the throne was changed in the UK, but not in Australia say to abolish male primogeniture, and a future King William possessed an older daughter and younger son, then the daughter would ascend to the throne of the UK, while the son would become King of Australia.

Similar events have happened in the past.

The accession of Victoria to the British throne in 1837 severed the 130 year old links between Hanover and the UK, when the Queen's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, became King of Hanover because of the different succession laws.

In 1890 when the accession of Queen Wilhelmina in the Netherlands (where female succession occurs) caused a split with Luxembourg (where only male succession occurs). Prior to that, the King of the Netherlands and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg were the same person. After 1890, the two lines diverged.
Then why not now? Why is there a current and future need to be tied to the monarchy of the UK?

Both countries are on divergent paths culturally and economically. To begin with, immigration from China surpassed that from the UK for the first time recently (and will likely only increase). What is the demographic and economic picture of Australia in 20 or 50 years time?

This diverging nature of both countries only creates a possible situation where Australians eventually look to create a more radical change that is more unstable.

If the constitutional monarchy is worth protecting for Australia, then why have it reside in a country with which a future populace shares no ties?
 

Roylion

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Then why not now? Why is there a current and future need to be tied to the monarchy of the UK?
There isn't a need. The monarchies are separate, except they are currently bound in a personal union. There's nothing to say that the personal union of the UK and Australian crowns needs to be maintained in the future.

If the constitutional monarchy is worth protecting for Australia, then why have it reside in a country with which a future populace shares no ties?
History and tradition I guess. There seems to be no pressing need at the moment to separate the personal union of the two Crowns, given that the current monarch has filled both offices well.
 

KUNG FU

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Yes to a minimalist republic. G-G to be replaced by a new "Australian Head of State" (I wouldn't even call the office "President") appointed on the same basis as what happens with the G-G.

The reason for our remarkable political stability has been Parliament and conventions under which it operates. I wouldn't want to change the political landscape by risking a popularly elected and politicised President who might take it upon themselves to start blocking or delaying assent to legislation from the Parliament.
Nod.

The conservatives who vehemently opposed the 98 referendum I think did their cause a great disservice. It is near inevitable that at some stage Australia will become a republic. It should have been the incremental model put forth in 98. Now, I expect in my lifetime we'll have a popularly elected President, which is really just a waste of time and money. What's the point of electing someone to a essentially powerless position? It will probably create another public figure with too many irrelevant opinions filling up the media space.
 

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