Rudd's republican vision
In a recent interview the new federal opposition leader, Kevin Rudd stated he was "relatively relaxed" about the idea of a directly elected president of an Australian republic if that is what the majority of the voters want. He continued, "I am not ideologically committed to an appointed presidency. I'm open-minded on that question. It would be good if we could get to a stage soon where we could say that one of us was our head of state."
However, while supporting a plebiscite on whether Australia should become a republic if he wins government next year, Rudd described the issue as "way down my list of priorities" - behind a strong economy, fairness in the workplace and elsewhere, climate change and a hard line on national security.
As 2007 emerges, the issue of af an Australian republic certainly does not appear centre stage for Australia. It is not top of the agenda with the ALP, does not enjoy multi-partisan support and will probably not be the hot topic of debate for Aussie families when they get together over the Christmas break.
The road to a republic will not be for the faint hearted!