Well at least it’s clear we like talking about a republic
Here’s a heads up. If you really want to know what Aussies in 2010 think about our country becoming a republic just flip a coin.
According to the odds, there’s a 50-50 chance of turning up the head of Queen Elizabeth.
Eleven years since a referendum was held to settle the republic debate, Australians seem just as divided about cutting their ties to a monarch living on the other side of the world.
As many of us prepare to kick back in the park or on the beach to celebrate our national day today, most Aussies are not ready to flush our country’s royal connections just yet.
This was backed up by a Galaxy Poll in News Limited newspapers yesterday that found 44 per cent were in favour of a republic, 27 per cent were opposed and 29 per cent were undecided.
Prince William’s three-day visit last week might have charmed the crowds who pressed the flesh to catch a glimpse of royalty, but it didn’t resolve the debate.
Reader comments to online news sites over the past week revealed many people were cautious about change and didn’t think becoming a republic would necessarily improve their lives.
As Act Rationally commented on The Australian’s site: “Asking for a vote on a republic with a simple ‘yes/no’ criteria is a bit like asking someone if they want to get married. It depends on who you will end up with for the rest of your life! I am not pro-monarchy at all, but this is one area where the status quo is just fine by me.”
Courier-Mail reader Hawkeye said he did not trust politicians to change our Constitution to accommodate a republic: “Last referendum, whilst in favour of a republic, I voted against it. Why? Because I do not trust our politicians to rewrite our Constitution. We have lost so many rights as citizens. To lose a swag more in one hit would be too much. And we will. And if you think the commoners will have any input you are dreaming.”
Andrew of The Hot Planet added: “If the Queen is given the boot, would we have to rename Queensland?”
Bugalugs saw no problem with Australia having a British-resident monarch, commenting on the Canberra Times site: “The monarchy is just that. Prince William has never pretended to be Australian. Nor does he profess to be an honorary Australian for the purpose of our national holiday. He is a representative of our Queen and has carried himself with the greatest of dignity and class. After all, we are all the Queen’s soldiers, aren’t we?”
On the other hand, Jim saw a future where we would no longer hang off the coat-tails of British royalty, commenting on The Australian’s site: “Eventually, Australia will become a republic. The monarchists are an obsolete legacy from this country’s foundation. With immigration and the racial and cultural mix this nation is going through, it will eventually discard its role as a sidekick nation and come into its own: a confident, independent Australia.”
Steven Turner of Melbourne, writing in to Adelaide Now, said there was nothing new in the arguments for a republic and was adamant who should not be head of state: “It’s the tired, old republican pollies who seem to need reinvigorating … The republicans have no new arguments to aid their cause. Perhaps neither does the monarchy. But spare us from a political (or ex-pollie) head of state!”
Whatever your view about going down the path towards a republic, it’s sure to remain a hot topic around the barbie this Australia Day.
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