This is issue has recently come back into the spotlight due to an interview with the current Australian of the year, Simon McKeon. In the interview, he urged Australian’s to bring up the republican debate suggesting that now is the time to become a republic. This has sparked many people coming forward and debating the issue.
Australia is currently a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the Queen is our current head of state. We also have a written constitution, which limits the Queen and other authorities power. The governor general, who is appointed on the advice of the prime minister, represents the Queen.
In 1931, Britain passed the Statue of Westminster which gave independence to the Australian parliament. Australia, however, did not ratify this law until 1942. As this law only applied the federal parliament, Britain passed the Australia Act, which gave independence to the states as well. The High Court of Australia is now the final court in deciding constitutional matters and the final court of appeal. Due to these laws, Australia has become an independent nation. However, it is believed that we are not truly independent due to our link with the British crown.
Some Australians believe that the time is right, for Australia to become a republic. There are many arguments, both for and against, regarding this issue.
Arguments for a Republic
The main for a republic is that for Australia to be truly independent, it is essential to sever the ties with the British monarch. Currently the only person who can become the official head of state is the eldest male heir to the British throne. A republic would allow for equality in this respect, as any Australian would be eligible for the position. This is a very democratic way of doing things.
The crown is also inconsistent with Australia’s freedom of religion as the British Crown is the head of the Church of England. Australia is a very diverse country with many different religions and groups of people. The British monarch no longer represents the average Australian , therefore, republicans argue that the head of state needs to be able to represent all. They believe that allowing all Australians to aspire to becoming the head of state will create better opportunities for all, as the average Australian would be represented.
Some argue that becoming a republic has many benefits for Australian business and the economy. As the Queen represents and promotes Britain and British companies and trade, Australian businesses miss out on her promotion. International trade is extremely important for the Australian economy, therefore it is important to have someone to promote Australian businesses.
Arguments against a Republic
The main argument against becoming a republic is the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” argument. This means that Australia system of government is already working well, so why should it be changed? This is the mentality of many...