Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The movement for an Australian republic re-energised

It's a great time to be a republican in Australia. The political landscape in Australia is definitely changing. On Australia Day 2016, Australia's premiers and chief ministers made public declarations supporting an Australian head of state. The Prime Minister, Federal Opposition Leader, six premiers and the Chief Justice are now all declared republicans. The Australian Republican Movement has now confirmed most federal MPs and Senators want to ditch the monarchy.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife Lucy at ARM dinner
The Guardian states that in all, 81 out of 150 members of the House of Representatives, and 40 out of 76 members of the Senate have declared their support for an Australian republic, the movement says. According to ARM the number may be even higher as 58 lower house MPs have not stated a position on the republic, with only eleven lower house MPs listed as committed monarchists. In the upper house, 21 senators were undeclared or undecided and only 15 favour the monarchy. This Australian Federal Parliament has a 53.5% majority of declared support for the creation of an Australian republic.

The ARM figures show the Greens are the most pro-republic, with 100% in support, followed by Labor (93%). Just 19 Coalition parliamentarians are openly in support of a republic (17%) although most, 65, are undecided or undeclared. If Labor MPs are bound to support the republic, support climbs to 86 in the lower house and 42 in the Senate, or a 56.6% republican majority.

In a new poll released by the ANU Australian Electoral Study, support for an Australian head of state has hit 53 per cent (reflecting the position of the federal parliament) and outpointed the 51% result in a Newspoll earlier this year.
The new numbers and poll were revealed on the eve of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's highly anticipated speech to the ARM's 25th anniversary dinner. ARM national chair Peter FitzSimons said the dinner wouldhonour those who’ve got us to this point” and Mr Turnbull was “at the forefront of our founding fathers and mothers”.

The dinner is also a moment for the ARM to outline its vision for the future. A vision in which Australia takes the lead and completes the journey to full and final independence,” he said.

On Saturday, 17 December 2016 in the Great Hall at the University of Sydney, he outlined a road map toward an Australia head of state. If you haven't seen it, you can read the speech here.
ARM Mational Chair, Peter Fitzsimons and Turnbulls at Sydney Uni
As ARM National Chair, Peter FitzSimons said in response: 
"tonight we are re-energised as never before". 
However, the PM also made it clear in his speech that this journey should not begin until the end of the Queen's reign.

With respect to Prime Minister Turnbull, we disagree.

Becoming a republic is about Us, the Australian people. We can only assert our independence by ushering in an Australian head of state on our own terms and at a time of our choosing.  

Our challenge as republicans is to change Malcolm's mind. Luckily, the PM himself told us how we can do this

"house by house, street by street, and suburb by suburb, we must make the case to our fellow citizens."

So that is the plan for 2017. Recruit more members, enlist more volunteers, keep the polls shifting ever northward.

Here are three ways you can help:
  • If you're not already a member or your subscription has lapsed, you can join here
  • Buy an Australia Day gift membership for that special republican in your life
  • Chip in to help grow the campaign by donating here
Make no mistake, the Australian Republican Movement is back in business. With majority support in both houses of the federal parliament, Bill Shorten ready to go, and the PM announcing his road map to an Australian head of state, we are on the move.

Whether you sign-up as a member, register a friend  or donate, now is the moment to put your shoulder to the wheel.