Will Australia ever become a Republic?

 
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth
USA, I believe the civil war was over their wish to have self rule and kick the British out! Australia already has this, it was done much later and more peacefully because the British knew they could not stop it and faced another USA style war if they tried but much further away and harder to support.
RTT_Rules

"The British"? Sounds like a modern mainstream perspective that makes them sound like foreigners, when they were not. In the 21st century we are accustomed to having distinct national identities (despite the persistent close ties, common history, language, culture and other massive similarities), but it wasn't always so. They may have been referred to as "The British" in non Anglo-Saxon territories like India and elsewhere, but the Anglo-Saxon colonists were British and mostly considered themselves as such, including in North America, and probably moreso in Australia and New Zealand. The American war of independence was a form of English civil war, not a case of all or even a majority of colonists versus "the British" as an evil, tyrannical foreign power. When British soldiers marched on North American soil they were usually referred to as "the regulars" or "redcoats", not "the British", because they were all British.

On the subject of self rule, to say that the British "knew they could not stop it" is probably not an accurate reflection of the time. Despite a republican movement of sorts that dates back many years, in the late 19th/early 20th century Britain was not seen as a foreign power that had to be escaped, except by a few crackpots on the fringes; the colonies had already had extensive autonomy for decades. If there was less than 50% active support for American independence in the 1770s, how many "Australians" do you think would have been willing to fight for a republic in 1900? Until 1949, "Australians" were British subjects only, not Australian citizens, i.e. they were British; many were born in the UK or only first or second generation colonials. Just when did Australia become independent, anyway? The Commonwealth of Australia was created as a British colony by an act of British parliament. It's a popular myth that Australia became an independent sovereign nation in 1901, but it was a largely self governing colony and a major part of the empire. Later, the links were mostly broken by the UK itself, such as when it joined the European Economic Community in 1973 and earlier passed legislation elevating the status of dominion governments without reason to believe it was necessary to avoid revolutionary wars.


So what happened to the ........ United States shortly after they became a republic?
alstom_888m
Overall taxation roughly tripled as it became "self evident" that running and defending a country was not so cheap after all (but at least the [wealthy / land owning male] citizens now had representation...Razz), the country was on economic shaky ground, the new federal government and the union was rather fragile and it was not clear that it would survive, Britain remained the primary trading partner, source of cultural influence and continued as a major source of immigrants. In 1790 the U.S. population was about 60% English, 10% Irish and 8% Scottish. It's probably true to say that the former colonists were less free under the new U.S. than they had been before the revolution, and it's now clearly the case, but freedom has been on the decline in advanced societies for some time as governments extend their reach. In the words of Gary North, The proponents of independence invoked British tyranny in North America. There was no British tyranny, and surely not in North America.

The Commonwealth government in Australia also had weak beginnings but became more powerful relative to the States with interpretation, reinterpretation and arguably misinterpretation of the constitution, coupled with (at State and Cth level) the proliferation and complexification of law and the growth of government bureaucracies to help keep individual freedom in check. Mission creep at its finest.

It doesn't do to say any of the above in certain circles, of course. Can't let freethinking get in the way of official creation myths.


Australia may become a republic one day, but the question is more commonly a political decoy, intended to cause an uproar big enough to hide whatever other embarrassing problem the asker of the question is responsible for.
Grantham
Agreed.

My view on the republic is that while it might sound good, even to me, it's essentially a waste of time at the moment because short of a revolution we will not be given a model that really benefits ordinary citizens. It won't really be more democratic. It won't really be more fair. Due to global economic and political ties, it won't even be more independent. It will, however, be expensive. The stirring of nationalistic sentiment and emotional arguments conceal the underwhelming reality of the Australian republic. My support for a republic is on theoretical, idealistic grounds, but my opposition is on practical grounds - grounds of real power that trump republican symbolism. It is not a question of the ability of an Australian to be head of state - that question only seems to rear its head in fallacious republican arguments.

As for the GG's comments, I accept that she is entitled to her opinion as a citizen. However, I don't think it is appropriate for such a view to be expressed in an official capacity as GG. Judging by comments online, Bryce has upset quite a few people.

Sponsored advertisement

  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
If it ain't broke then don't fix it.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
"The British"? ... Bryce has upset quite a few people.
MILW


Unfortunately that outpost of empire mindset is still evident in 2013. Historically some people who live here have resisted the evolution of a uniquely Australian society. The Anglophiles’ reaction to John Curtin’s ‘Look to America’ announcement in 1941 was hardly surprising back then. You wouldn't broadcast in 'stralian until well into the 60's. Didn't have an 'Australian' National Anthem until the 80's. Most children grew up learning more about British History than Australian. Rolling Eyes

Why is it so unpalatable that an Australian could be head of state Shocked.
Start by getting rid of dual citizenship and ensure that the PM and GG must be born in Australia.

It will happen as evolution is inevitable. Yes even England’s political system has changed over the centuries. Surprised
That doesn’t mean that New Idea and Womans Day can’t continue fill their pages with the goings on of English royalty Wink
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Unfortunately that outpost of empire mindset is still evident in 2013. Historically some people who live here have resisted the evolution of a uniquely Australian society. The Anglophiles’ reaction to John Curtin’s ‘Look to America’ announcement in 1941 was hardly surprising back then. You wouldn't broadcast in 'stralian until well into the 60's. Didn't have an 'Australian' National Anthem until the 80's. Most children grew up learning more about British History than Australian. Rolling Eyes
"Groundrelay"
Possibly because Australia effectively has no history...

Why is it so unpalatable that an Australian could be head of state Shocked.
"Groundrelay"
It's not unpalatable, but if we have an Australian GG, who cares if we keep the Queen/King? When was the last time she or he had any input into Australian policies or politics anyway?

Start by getting rid of dual citizenship and ensure that the PM and GG must be born in Australia.
"Groundrelay"
I actually 100% agree with later part of this, dual citizenship I have no problem with though.
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth
Why is it so unpalatable that an Australian could be head of state Shocked.
Groundrelay

It's not about the palatability of an Australian's doing the job. It's about looking past the superficialities to see the real outcome of change.

The only people who make the suggestion of an Australian head of state being unpalatable etc. are republicans with colonial inferiority chips on their shoulders, in their flawed and superficial arguments as to why change should occur. I don't think I've ever heard a monarchist say that an Australian couldn't do the job, except that they don't want to see a politician/lawyer/rich prick doing it and so on, which is a reference to the nature of the system, not the nationalities of the people in it.


Unfortunately that outpost of empire mindset is still evident in 2013. Historically some people who live here have resisted the evolution of a uniquely Australian society. The Anglophiles’ reaction to John Curtin’s ‘Look to America’ announcement in 1941 was hardly surprising back then. You wouldn't broadcast in 'stralian until well into the 60's. Didn't have an 'Australian' National Anthem until the 80's. Most children grew up learning more about British History than Australian. Rolling Eyes
Groundrelay
What exactly is the "outpost of empire mindset"?

Some of this stuff occurred when the Commonwealth of Australia was still effectively a British colony, assuming that is no longer the case in any way, shape or form. I don't think there's anything unusual about a colony sharing a huge amount of history with the imperial motherland. When it comes to school curricula, I've already touched on the problems with official creation myths in a previous post - Australia did not escape those problems and to my knowledge they still haven't been fixed. As for America, it was still seen as a white, Anglo-Saxon nation, as the writeups on the first visit of the American fleet to Sydney clearly show.

Many of the so called "problems" with Australia that have been identified by republicans with their late 20th / early 21st century perspective can be traced back to misconceptions about the gradual process of independence of the dominions. Decades later, the gradual process strikes them as odd, especially when they were taught at school that Australia became independent in 1901 but not much else, only to find out later that that was not quite true. Clearly, the gradual process wasn't a problem for the majority of the people at the time, or they likely would have done something to accelerate the process.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Of course, if we became a republic we'd need a new flag.

Now where did I put that popcorn, suitable food for distraction therapy. Wink

M
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Of course, if we became a republic we'd need a new flag.

Now where did I put that popcorn, suitable food for distraction therapy. Wink

M
Grantham
Sure do.  Preferably with a train on it!
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Sure do.  Preferably with a train on it!
djf01

We could put a high speed train on it! We were going to commit to building one of them in about eighty years or something, weren't we?

M
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

The burden of proof that constitutional change is necessary rests on the shoulders of the proponents of change.

In the absence of a strong republican argument, it is not really necessary for the opponents and unconvinced to state why change should not occur.

So far, I haven't seen anything particularly compelling in the case put forward by republicans.


Many of the so called "problems" with Australia that have been identified by republicans with their late 20th / early 21st century perspective can be traced back to misconceptions about the gradual process of independence of the dominions.
MILW


Rhetoric that relies heavily on the fabrication of problems with Australia and distortion of history to boost public support amounts to manipulation and is worthy of nothing other than condemnation. I resent being manipulated - it happens enough in the political arena already. For those who prefer real argument to manipulation and distortion of fact, their position still lacks substance.

The case for change is weak, and always was throughout the emergence of independent Australia. Nothing that Howard supposedly did to the referendum question in 1999 can change that salient fact, but the republican obsession lives on, even for the model that was voted out.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
The burden of proof that constitutional change is necessary rests on the shoulders of the proponents of change.

...
HeadShunt


No forgetting that the constitution is a relatively recent thing in our non existent history. The move to Federation was vigorously opposed but it did eventually happen. We didn't have Australian Citizenship until after WW2. Hardly surprising given,
"The idea that there was such a thing as an Australian nationality as distinct from a British one was considered by the High Court of Australia in 1906 to be a "novel idea" to which it was "not disposed to give any countenance". It was more than 80 years before the Court would rule that anyone who was not an Australian citizen, whether or not a subject of the Monarch of the United Kingdom, was an alien." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_nationality_law

It took the 1967 Referendum before Aboriginals were counted as Australians. Did it really matter? Did it make their lives better in 1968?

Changes happened and much of it was symbolic rather than to fix something broken. Even after that HSR eventuates, there will still be people here overly attached to England just like Australians are to Ireland, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, India, etc. For some of us there is only Australia and that's a work in progress Wink
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth
It was more than 80 years before the Court would rule that anyone who was not an Australian citizen, whether or not a subject of the Monarch of the United Kingdom, was an alien." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_nationality_law
Groundrelay
That followed the entrance of the UK to the European Economic Community, when it effectively had to declare itself independent of its own empire. It was only after this that Australians, New Zealanders etc. lost British subject status. Britain's membership of the EEC was delayed from its foundation in 1957, until 1973, partly because of the impact it would have on the relationship with Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand. So the push for change did not really come from within an increasingly independent Australia that was moving towards a republic - it started in the UK. Note the major revisions to nationality law in the UK and Australia that were made around the same time.


It took the 1967 Referendum before Aboriginals were counted as Australians. Did it really matter? Did it make their lives better in 1968? Changes happened and much of it was symbolic rather than to fix something broken. Even after that HSR eventuates, there will still be people here overly attached to England just like Australians are to Ireland, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, India, etc. For some of us there is only Australia and that's a work in progress Winkx
Groundrelay
Not reasons for change.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
I find it most ironic that a republican and a Liberal in Australia are usually the exact opposite of Republicans and liberals in the US. What an odd burden the English language is! Perhaps we should take up another language in our efforts to cast off "The British" from our system of government. Wink
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I would prefer that we dump all connections with the UK, as they effectively have done with us by joining the EEC. And I also do not easily forget the way the British treated our troops as cannon fodder in both world wars, and would not let our soldiers come home to defend Australia when it became necessary. Screw them.
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
I find it most ironic that a republican and a Liberal in Australia are usually the exact opposite of Republicans and liberals in the US.
Grantham
I used to wonder about that as well.  Apparently the Australian "Liberal" refers to economic liberalism, whereas most of us are aware that US version refers to social liberalism.  Every so often you'll hear mention of "small l" Liberals in Australia, but not too much.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I would prefer that we dump all connections with the UK, as they effectively have done with us by joining the EEC. And I also do not easily forget the way the British treated our troops as cannon fodder in both world wars, and would not let our soldiers come home to defend Australia when it became necessary. Screw them.
"TheBlacksmith"
I agree. According to the British Immigration Department, I am a foreigner. This is despite being born and bred in Australia which has the benighted Union Jack in the corner of its flag. A great start would be new flag as Canada did.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner


It's not unpalatable, but if we have an Australian GG, who cares if we keep the Queen/King? When was the last time she or he had any input into Australian policies or politics anyway?

Aaron

*I* do !!!!  And I'm certainly not the only one either.

And if the Queen of England doesn't have any input into Aussie politics or policies, why is anyone even the slightest bit against addressing what many (and not just Aussies) regard as a national abomination?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Of course, if we became a republic we'd need a new flag.

Now where did I put that popcorn, suitable food for distraction therapy. Wink

M
Grantham

Flag issue to me is a non issue. If there is something better do it! and before the pro-flaggers kick up.

1) What are some of the eye catching/everyone knows who that country is flags of the world?

No one gets the Canadian Maple leaf confused

2) Anyone remember the old Canadian flag with a Union jack?

No, anyone actually care?, No

Moral of the story, get the right flag and few get hung up on the old one.

I like this one, but with a brighter blue.
http://tedablogdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/aus-1.jpg

Oh yes for the record, the old Canadian flag (I think our current flag is a lot better and you can see why it was quickly dropped)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Canadian_Red_Ensign_1957-1965.svg
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
*I* do !!!!  And I'm certainly not the only one either.

And if the Queen of England doesn't have any input into Aussie politics or policies, why is anyone even the slightest bit against addressing what many (and not just Aussies) regard as a national abomination?
djf01

Find, she has no input into our politics. So cut the ceremonial umbilical cord and enable the GG to be head of state and have an Australia on the back of our coins.

You can still worship the Queen, you can still by the women's mags full of photos and royal gossip. Although I don't get what this all about, what are you worshipping? They do nothing, achieve nothing and are certainly not physically or intellectually more than us. They are just people with a birth right that if you were able to do a DNA blood line would shop its not even a pure royal blood line. (Harry anyone).
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Um, no, a referenda question COULD NOT be worded like that!
Aaron

I agree and was thinking when I typed it, but the question posed at the time was prone to failure.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

> Um, no, a referenda question COULD NOT be worded like that!

I agree and was thinking when I typed it, but the question posed at the time was prone to failure.
RTT_Rules

Given how many monarchists there are in Australia, I would be uncomfortable if any change were made without a referendum.  

But I doubt that one is even needed.  The rules of royal succession are - by and large - not part of Australian constitutional law, and can be enacted by parliament.  If these laws prescribed, or just allowed for, another process by which a new monarch is determined, then the Prime Minister of the day could advise the ruling monarch to abdicate (which they would be convention bound to do) and who the replacement should be.  

Where it's problematic is for the states, which are themselves sovereign realms, and sorting out that mess might require anything from a High Court test case to a full referendum - perhaps even in each state.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I wonder about the Monarchists, and want to ask them, "What is it that makes a monarchy so much better than a republic?"
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
I would prefer that we dump all connections with the UK, as they effectively have done with us by joining the EEC. And I also do not easily forget the way the British treated our troops as cannon fodder in both world wars, and would not let our soldiers come home to defend Australia when it became necessary. Screw them.
TheBlacksmith


Not all of us are in awe of the English.
More of our non existent history, in WW1 General Monash wasn't backward in challenging British military tactics and I regard him as a true hero who saved many allied lives whilst delivery outstanding results. Predictably his German Jewish ancestry was used against him. Then again the English have a way of letting people know they are foreign and inferior Rolling Eyes

Time to watch Breaker Morant again Wink
  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

Not all of us are in awe of the English.
Groundrelay

Yet some of us seem to be pretty strongly prejudiced.

Guys, you really aren't doing your cause any favours by stirring anti British sentiment. It's pretty distasteful and irrelevant to the practical question of what a republic means for average modern Australians. There shouldn't be any need to resort to these tactics and to my knowledge the Australian Republican Movement never does.

I also find it interesting that the people most vocal about the alleged atrocities committed by the British against Australians are far too young to have been there, desperately seizing on twisted scraps of history to make their case. I've known a lot of war vets in my time and never heard them carry on with this stuff (although individuals like Churchill do cop flack and probably rightly so). I'm pretty sure the majority of them do not agree with your views on a republic either, despite having lived through the "war crimes".




Predictably his German Jewish ancestry was used against him.
Groundrelay
Oh, so anti Semitism was restricted to England, was it?



Time to watch Breaker Morant again :wink
Groundrelay

Breaker Morant, who was of course a Pom himself.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I've known a lot of war vets in my time and never heard them carry on with this stuff. I'm pretty sure the majority of them do not agree with your views on a republic either, despite having lived through the "war crimes".
waxyzebu
Yeah, me too, like my father and his four brothers, three of whom were caught in the fall of Singapore. They are all dead now, but their opinion of the British and their ineptitude would have made your ears ring.


In any event, being there is not even necessary, history is well written and far from your simple dismissal of 'twisted scraps of history', and it condemns the British for their stupidity and their outright arrogance.
  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

Yeah, me too, like my father and his four brothers, three of whom were caught in the fall of Singapore. They are all dead now, but their opinion of the British and their ineptitude would have made your ears ring.


In any event, being there is not even necessary, history is well written and far from your simple dismissal of 'twisted scraps of history', and it condemns the British for their stupidity and their outright arrogance.
TheBlacksmith
So the entirety of the British people are condemned due to blunders in wartime leadership?

Sure, plenty of bad decisions have been made in war. I can list family members and friends who fought under British leadership in several wars, some were killed and I know them only from photos, others were POWs captured by the Japanese and Germans and survived. We all have war stories and they don't always lead to support for a republic.


Honestly, we couldn't get away with bashing any other nationality the way we bash the Poms. It's disgraceful and does nothing for the credibility of a republican position.


Get the chips off your shoulders and give us real reasons why Australia should become a republic and how it would be better for us. Because as it stands, there isn't much of a case being made here.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: RTT_Rules, speedemon08

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.