Thursday, January 31, 2008

Looking towards Australia's political future

The Governor-General, who is the Queen's representative in Australia, is due to be replaced in the next few months. This is a great opportunity for Prime Minister Rudd to begin to democratise the office of Governor-General through a wider consultation process before the appointment.

Australians need someone who can represent all the Australian people as their next Governor-General. However, the current process for chosing Australia's Head of State is simply 'genetic roulette'. This means Australia's next Head of State has already been chosen. This happened on Saturday, 14 February 1948 - nine months before the date of Prince Charles's birth when the gun was fired, the great race began, and the first sperm to cross the finish line was given the honour of deciding who will occupy the most powerful position under the Australian Constitution. During the next Governor-General's term it is likely that the Australian people will be asked to consider the question of having an Australian citizen as our Head of State - instead of a foreign monarch.

The new Governor-General should be someone who is open to all sides of the republican debate - unlike the current Governor-General who has declined to meet representatives of the Australian Republican Movement despite the fact that more Australians support a republic than a monarchy. Polls continue to show that only 1/3 of Australians support the monarchy.

As the Australia Day Weekend's patriotic glow wanes it is time to reflect upon Australia's political future and call upon Prime Minister Rudd to consult widely before recommending the next Governor-General to Queen Elizabeth for approval.

Three cheers for the coming republic!