As this long Federal election campaign starts to come to a head, it's worth recalling that Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten agree on at least one thing: an Australian republic with one of our own – an Australian – as head of state.
I love election day.
On Election Day, I usually help run the P&C sausage sizzle in the
mornings and hand out how-to-vote cards in the afternoon. It’s a great
chance to see the ebb and flow of your local community — and catch up with people you haven’t seen in ages.
Election Day is a community event; a common, civic enterprise. This
federal election you can extend that notion of civic enterprise by
making part of your selection process for your local politician whether
they support the establishment of an Australian republic.
A fair Australia is a republican Australia. What was confirmed in response to Tony Abbott’s restoration of Knights and Dames
and the granting of an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip is the
strength of republican values in contemporary Australia. That means
support for our independence, support for our own institutions and a
belief in our own capacity to govern. It also means a commitment to
equality and a fair go for all.
We know that realizing these values in their fullness needs an
Australian Head of State and we know too that many of our fellow
citizens agree with this.
The Australian Republican Movement
is proud to count Malcolm of Point Piper and Bill of Moonee Ponds among
thousands of ARM members across Australia. Of course, political
consensus is only the first step on the path to ensuring that no
Australian leader ever needs to write to a palace in London to ask for
permission to do anything again. But it's the first time we've had it
for a while!
Last year, Bill Shorten and Labor committed to achieving an
Australian head of state by 2025. The ARM welcomed Labor setting out a
timeline but encouraged Bill to be more ambitious! Why not 2020? they
asked. After all, Australians have waited 115 years already.
And since becoming prime minister,
Malcolm Turnbull has talked of needing to wait until the end of the
Queen's reign for Australia to become a republic. But why should we wait
until Charles III is crowned King of Australia?
As Malcolm knows, this is about Australia and Australians, not the
lives of a family of English aristocrats - that's the whole point!
And as we all know, even if we timed our run to coincide with the
succession arrangements of the English Royal family, a lot of work would
already need to have been done for a referendum to get up.
With this in mind the Australian Republican Movement team has been
getting in touch with federal MPs and Senators who haven't declared
either way, and researching the public record. As a result the Republican Register is now live on the ARM website. You can access it here:
As you'll see, the numbers are looking good for Australia’s
republican cause. But there are still many candidates who haven't
“fessed up” whether they support an Australian head of state.
Can you spare five minutes to email your local candidates to ask them where they stand? It’s easy — just follow the prompts here.