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Old 12-06-2009, 02:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should Australia become a republic?

I'm starting a thread on this because I've been hearing about it on the news a lot recently... and chances are nobody will read or reply to this because there aren't a lot of Australians on here but I just wanted to pose these issues to everybody not just regarding Australia but other countries in the world as well. I don't think I have a lot of knowledge on the topic so it'd be good to hear what other people's opinions are.

Australia currently operates as a Constitutional Monarchy under the rule of the British Commonwealth. And what I want to know is why people think we should become a republic? Although we are a part of the monarchy, the Governor General (The Queen's representative) has no power whatsoever and The Queen of England has no rule in Australia anymore - we elect our own government.

The Prime Minister we elect cannot rule the nation in the same way as the president can rule America, for example. And I think we are operating fine this way, it ensures that not too much power is given to one particular person or party and well basically, why try to change something when it has been working fine for over one hundred years?

I like being part of the British Commonwealth as it keeps our ties, whether they be figurative or not, with the UK and our history and heritage with them. That is who we are. And I just don't get why people are so intent with wanting to change the constitution when it hasn't caused any major problems.

What do you guys think?
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have to admit I'm not all that well versed in the ins and outs of the Australian government but if your relationship to the UK is anything like Canada's I would find it disturbing that there was a person beholden to another government who could dissolve my government whenever they felt like it, even if their position was usually regarded as ceremonial. So I guess that means if I were Australian I'd want to become a republic.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
I have to admit I'm not all that well versed in the ins and outs of the Australian government but if your relationship to the UK is anything like Canada's I would find it disturbing that there was a person beholden to another government who could dissolve my government whenever they felt like it, even if their position was usually regarded as ceremonial. So I guess that means if I were Australian I'd want to become a republic.
Well, apparently:

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The formal constitutional role of the monarchy in Australia differs from it's formal role in other Commonwealth realms such as Canada, in that the written constitution of Australia places most executive power in the hands of the Governor-General, while the written Constitution of Canada places the executive power in the hands of the monarchy.
I don't think another government can dissolve our government 'whenever they feel like it' in fact after all my research I don't think that has ever happened and doubt it would ever happen in such a way which would be dictatorial. Like I said, The Queen in her present state and in the state of how the government runs cannot speak for Australia or the people of Australia. We elect and run our own government which is not ruled by any other government.

Interesting input, though. Like you said, it is probably a reason why people would want to become a republic. Even though if they really look at how our government runs it is not the case. Hrm.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
I'm starting a thread on this because I've been hearing about it on the news a lot recently... and chances are nobody will read or reply to this because there aren't a lot of Australians on here but I just wanted to pose these issues to everybody not just regarding Australia but other countries in the world as well. I don't think I have a lot of knowledge on the topic so it'd be good to hear what other people's opinions are.

Australia currently operates as a Constitutional Monarchy under the rule of the British Commonwealth. And what I want to know is why people think we should become a republic? Although we are a part of the monarchy, the Governor General (The Queen's representative) has no power whatsoever and The Queen of England has no rule in Australia anymore - we elect our own government.

The Prime Minister we elect cannot rule the nation in the same way as the president can rule America, for example. And I think we are operating fine this way, it ensures that not too much power is given to one particular person or party and well basically, why try to change something when it has been working fine for over one hundred years?

I like being part of the British Commonwealth as it keeps our ties, whether they be figurative or not, with the UK and our history and heritage with them. That is who we are. And I just don't get why people are so intent with wanting to change the constitution when it hasn't caused any major problems.

What do you guys think?
I really don`t know why anybody from AUS, NZ or Canada really wants to keep anything other than maybe some cultural ties with the UK anyway. If AUS became a republic it would be a positive step.

Given the amount of British immigration into these countries, the vast majority of recent immigrants as well as old immigrants are British anyway. Most go to these countries for ease of language, they can, and in most cases to give themselves a better life, only the most patriotic among them would probably want AUS to remain part of the British Commonwealth.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm apathetic about the whole issue, but if it was put to a vote I'd probably side with the Republic. I guess, it just seems like an exercise in pointlessness to have a head of state which we don't really care about. I haven't really looked into how it would affect our government though.

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I don't think another government can dissolve our government 'whenever they feel like it' in fact after all my research I don't think that has ever happened and doubt it would ever happen in such a way which would be dictatorial.
It's not the same thing, but Governor Generals have some pretty absurd powers. Take the Whitlam affair, our elected Prime Minister was dismissed by someone whose position was not at all democratically decided.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As someone who staunchly opposes monarchy under any circumstances,feeling it is completely incompatable with democracy, I think Australia should, as should Britain.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
I like being part of the British Commonwealth as it keeps our ties, whether they be figurative or not, with the UK and our history and heritage with them. That is who we are. And I just don't get why people are so intent with wanting to change the constitution when it hasn't caused any major problems.
I have no real opinion on this matter, I just want to add that one can be a part of the Commonwealth without having the Queen as a monarch. Most of its members are republics.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't see any real benefit to become a Republic atm tbh. I would vote for it I guess just to get the **** out of the way, but I don't see what would dramatically change with a change in our current state.

The argument of heritage is about as old as MOST of the people who sprout it (no offence meant Lat).
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I can only speak for Canada, but I'm pretty sure that the relationship between the UK and Australia is similar. The Queen's only involvement in our government is through the Governor-General, who has the power to suspend and dissolve Parliament, and whose signature is required to permit amendments to any part of the constitution, because the Queen is the head of state. The Prime Minister has very little power - he is only the head of government. The PM needs permission from the GG in order to call an election and send the country to war. I think that it's time that we GROW UP and take care of ourselves. We can still have a government based off of the Westminster model, but we don't need a Governor General or the Queen, whose role is strictly ceremonial. Most people here (and probably in Aus as well) don't really care for the monarchy or what it stands for.

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Old 12-06-2009, 01:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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As someone who staunchly opposes monarchy under any circumstances,feeling it is completely incompatable with democracy, I think Australia should, as should Britain.
Being from a republic your stance is understandable.
Why you staunchly oppose any form of monarchy from someone who comes from a republic is beyond me however.
The monarchy in Britain isn't incompatible with democracy as we have proved since the end of the English civil war. The monarchy transcends politics in Britain as the Queen is the head of the church here.
How would you feel if I told you that the pope was incompatible with the Republic of Ireland?

btw I'm no monarchist.
And what Australia, Canada and the like choose to do with their future, is their business and for them to choose, but I'd appreciate you not telling the British what they ought to do.
Ta very much.
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