Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Republican Race is on

The race is on amongst Commonwealth countries to remove the monarchy and become republics in the Commonwealth. Australia had better move or we'll find ourselves the last of the colonial monarchies.

Link Canadian comic Rick Mercer in a signature rant about the Queen

Australia may hold another referendum depending on the outcome of the current Federal election, support in Canada has topped 50%, and in Jamaica a clear electoral mandate for reform has been given to the new government.

In five of the remaining Commonwealth members with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State, republican movements are gaining ground - a recent poll by Angus Reid Strategies in Canada indicates that 53% of Canadians support ending the monarchy, while only 35% support the status quo. Citizens for a Canadian Republic leader Tom Freda added "Republican support jumps to 55% versus 31% when respondents are asked about retaining the monarchy with Prince Charles as the successor to Queen Elizabeth II".

In Australia, ALP Federal opposition leader Kevin Rudd has announced that if elected his government would hold a new referendum on Australia dumping the monarchy. Commenting on the Australian announcement, Graham Smith of Republic UK said "We'll be watching the Australian situation with great interest. Seeing Australia become a republic will rock the monarchy back here in the UK, and will provide us with a shining example of what a modern democratic country can aspire to."

In Jamaica the newly elected government has been given a mandate to reform Jamaica's head of state. The new Jamaican Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has made a clear pledge in the party's election manifesto to "... [t]ake steps to amend the Constitution to replace the Queen with a Jamaican President who sumbolizes the unity of the nation. Such a President will be appointed by consensus through a two-thirds majority vote in each House of Parliament". Reform in Jamaica will influence smaller Caribbean countries. Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and Grenadines will all start to examine the value of reform to their heads of state.

In light of growing republican sentiment in New Zealand, the race to become the newest republic within the Commonwealth is definitely on.

Three cheers to all these coming republics.