Queen & Country: Elizabeth II’s place in post-colonial Australia

Jack Wilkie-Jans writes on the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II

In Australia there is much social political discussion (or a resurgence of) around the topics of Australia becoming a republic and of changing its national flag, as well as the growing movements of Aboriginal sovereignty versus the proposed changes to the Australian constitution to officially include First Peoples of Australia. Such topics seem mostly- if not only- prevalent on or near January 26th.  While such discussions continue to take place and precedence in the mainstream, populist press there also remains a great deal of war and famine around the globe and we are seeing a continuing and growing humanitarian crisis stemming from the Middle East.

Over decades we’ve seen historic paradigm changes in regards to numerous social conventions, such as race relations and most recently positive challenges around the issue of sexuality and marriage equality, taboos which have otherwise stood for centuries. We’ve also been witness to the resistance- some of it savage- such change often meets. The world has also seen in recent years the passing of so many great international leaders and great personalities who have helped shape the 20th and 21st Centuries. Through all of this and through all of the upheavals and positive changes over the past 89 years, 63 years and 11 months, there is one person representing an institution who and which remains a steadfast icon of stability, trust, diplomacy as well as tradition & progressiveness alike: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

 

While several Commonwealth nations no longer have the Queen as their Head of State, she still remains the Head of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth, of course, is perhaps one of the Queen’s most magnificent jewels in her long career. A diplomatic feat unheard of in a world where monarchies are overthrown and republicanism has swept into the populist nationalistic discourse; transitioning the British Crown’s kingdom (upon which the sun never set- a remarkable feat of the Queen’s Great-Great-Grandmother, Queen Victoria) peacefully and sustainably into the Commonwealth would have seemed impossible under any other reigning monarch.

 

Her Majesty’s altruism, insight and unmatched experience in world affairs has ensured the successful maintenance, albeit morphed, of not only the “empire” but more significantly her own House. Like in Australia, calls for a republic and independence have been heard loudly from the United Kingdom. The Queen weathered the storm of both Scottish and Irish secession, made it through the other side in one piece while also being able to not simply survive as the Head of State but also thrive due to her ability to heal and ‘make better’ as opposed to merely ‘making do’, ensuring her subjects gained more out of having her maintain. Arguably the two main benefits of maintaining the Queen as the Head of State ensures a nation’s stability and strategic ally in Great Britain amidst a world of turbulence; the other main benefit is the income generated by tourism to estates and also the general interest level there is in such a withstanding institution. Removing the Queen as the Head of State doesn’t so much gain something as it loses something never attainable again and the fact that places like Australia are reluctant to try out a new structure of governance/rule adds to the confidence in the understandable and manageable role of the Queen. Unlike a President of a republic, Vice Regals or the Queen, while assenting to legislative changes, do not sign executive orders. Unlike presidents, Monarchs and their Vice Regals are bound by conventions and preside above politics. The comfort in this security and unknowing of potential abuses of executive power by possibly elected figure heads is what keeps a minimally drafted republic at bay here in Australia. Continue reading

Royal Visit to Victoria

206763_10150137802876616_585816615_6556554_3219432_n (1) (1) Joshua Gibbins reflects on the Queen's visit to Victoria:

The Queen’s visit to Australian October, or to be even more specific, Melbourne, has proven to of been a success, just like in all the other states that their Majesties visited.

On the Queens Visit to Victoria the Queen opened the new Royal Children’s hospital building, gave a thrilling speech in the morning and then got to walk around the new building, meeting staff of the Royal children’s.

Then after Her Majesty opened the new Royal Children’s building it was onto Federation square in the Heart of Melbourne to see and great the people that wished to see Her Majesty.

People had been lined up at Federation square since 6am that morning so they could get in the front rows of the lines to see their Majesties and with flowers wrapped up in foil so not to be too damaged by the heat of the afternoon.

Even from the early hours of 11am with the royal visit scheduled for 1pm Federation square was packed with people lining up to see their Queen, people had come from all over Victoria just to come see the Queen for this one brief instance.

There was a man dressed in an old Tram, clippie uniform, from the 50s and 60s walking around giving out cards and old fashioned tram tickets asking people what they thought the Royal tram would look like. 

On the federation stage there was a jazz band that played music while the people waited for the Queen’s arrive, such as Dean Martin’s ‘Ain’t It A Kick in the head’, most probably directed at the republicans and the kick in the head they must of be feeling at the Queen’s successful visit. 

When the Queen had finely arrived to Federation square it was already as hot as a summers day and the Queen was a good 30 minutes late but the spirits were still as high as ever with more and more people coming there was simply thousands of people.

Everyone with either Union jack flags or Australian Flags flying in their hands or larger flags connected to the metal bars of the barricade giving room to the Queen to walk up and down the red carpet.

The community Spirit was as well, very different to normal on this occasion, everyone, no matter who they were all seemed to chatter to one another and act like they had been friends or known each other but in reality they had not been friends and had not met each other before that instances, community spirit seemed to be at high levels. 

When the Queen did arrive everyone was overjoyed, with flags flying, people in large groups were singing God Save the Queen, and in general, people in the lines that were 4 or 5 people deep were asking how far away the Queen was away from them.

The walk up and down the crowed only last for 30 odd minutes but in that time Children were allowed to hand their flowers to the Queen and the people in line and well wishers were allowed to show their love to their Queen.

At the end of the walk around federation square, the people lucky enough to hand out flowers to Her Majesty said how excited they were that they got to see Her Majesty and others that they actually got to touch the Queen's hand and looking like they were about to cry from the joy.

These events can be forgotten when the Queen is not in the country and the community spirit is at its regular levels and indifference.

 But when you see these events with so many people all coming together in a unity to greet the Queen, you can see that the republican cause truly is as far away as it ever was, and that the monarchy in Australia is just as loved as it ever was.

Joshua Gibbins is a 22 year old constitutional monarchist, studying a Diploma in Library and Cultural Studies

The quite convenient 1701 act of settlement

Camilla won't take the title of Queen, writes Mark Legge.

Recently I wrote an article challenging Barry Everingham on his article “Heads of state are out of date”.

Barry has responded with a new article “The inconvenient 1701 act of settlement”, where he attempts to attack a number of my points.

Barry disputes the claim that the Duchess of Cornwell will not take the title of Queen, as he puts it “That claim is crap – purely and simply”. However Camilla has stated on numerous occasions that she doesn’t want the title of Queen, and is happy with Princess Consort, Buckingham Palace has made this known, and the parliament supports it. In fact if you ever get the privilege of touring a royal residence, one of the guides is more than able to point this out to you.

Somehow a link is made between Camilla’s title choices and the abdication of Edward VIII to marry his American mistress. Edward however chose to abdicate not because his would-be wife wanted to take the title of Princess consort, but because Parliament would not allow him to marry her (parliament must approve of the marriage).

Often the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) likes to bring up the laws of succession, and enjoys nothing more than implying that they are somehow the monarch’s fault or even better, that the UK parliament has 100% control over them. They are wrong.

One quick look on Wikipedia and you will see that ARM is wrong. As Barry holds Wikipedia in such high regard I felt I would start there. Wikipedia states:

“Under the arrangements by which the Monarchy is shared by the 16 Realms of the Commonwealth, the British line of succession is separate from, but symmetrical to, the lines of succession in the 15 other Realms, unless that Realm's constitution specifically defers succession rules to the UK.”

As it appears even Barry’s quote supports the argument that the Australian parliament could change the act of succession:

“Since the implementation of the Statute of Westminster in each of the Commonwealth realms (on successive dates from 1931 onwards), the Act of Settlement cannot be altered in any realm except by that realm’s own parliament, and then, by convention, as it touches on the succession to the shared throne, only with the consent of all the other realms.”

Just because convention would normally have us consult the other realms, does not mean that the Australian Parliament could not change the act if it felt the current act was not in Australia’s interest.

Barry shows what most ARM members feel, and that’s that Australia isn’t taken seriously due to our Queen. As part of Barry’s reasoning for lacking respect for Australia he points to Richard Woolcott, a former diplomat. Richard was apparently embarrassed and had trouble when explaining our system to foreigners, as Barry puts it the “convoluted system under which we labor”. Well Richard Woolcott may have also had difficulty in explaining our system to someone from North Korea, they may have found the concept of voting quite laughable – but is that a reason to get rid of voting?

Mark Legge is a 20 year old student studying Animal and Veterinary Bioscience at the University of Sydney.

Criticised: Prince Charles to open Commonwealth Games

Jai-Martinkovits

Jai Martinkovits responds to comments about Prince Charles representing the Queen at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Prince Charles is to represent his mother, opening the 2010 Commonwealth Games. There has been criticism of this move, describing it as:

“Very odd when the 'Head of the Commonwealth' position is not a hereditary position relating to the Monarchy. Charles is not the Head of the Commonwealth in waiting.”

How is this of any relevance?

Although it is inconceivable that the position would be held by anyone other than the Monarch, they fail to recognise is that Prince Charles is not representing his mother simply because he is her heir apparent.

The Queen is perfectly within her rights to appoint anyone she likes as her representative. She would obviously appoint someone appropriate.

This is not the first time the Queen has appointed someone to represent her at an opening ceremony. One such example is her appoint of the Duke of Edinburgh as her representative to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

Jai is Spokesman for Young Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. Jai’s personal website is being launched by Senator Cory Bernardi on 22 October 2010 at NSW Parliament House. For more information on attending the launch click here

The Crown: rationally and logically better

Nicholas-TamRetaining the Crown at the heart of our constitutional system of government is the proper libertarian-conservative fusionist position, argues Nicholas Tam.
 
In his advocacy for liberal republicanism, Keith Topolski nauseatingly invokes multiculturalism amongst the tiresome set of clichés and platitudes that have come to typify the republican movement. What his vacuous rhetoric and legally illiterate counter-model fails to recognise, however, is the extent to which constitutional monarchy coheres philosophically with conservatism and libertarian or “fusionist” strands of political thought.
 

Superficially, the libertarian objection to monarchy is obvious: it does not meet theoretical standards of “democracy”. Topolski’s first egregious error is to conflate the legislature with the executive. The central doctrine of the Westminster system, responsible government, means in practice that the government is not composed of elected representatives in pure form. Voters elect local representatives, but have no direct control over who occupies the prime ministership. Nor do they have any real sway over who serves in Cabinet and controls decision-making in specific portfolio areas.
 
The second error is the conflation of republicanism and democracy. Removing our Sovereign and replacing him or her with a president of some form would not result in a “head of state” any more in tune with, or accountable to, the will of the people. Most history students of even modest ability come to understand the story of the French Revolution and the famous rejection of monarchy there, yet France in its latest republican incarnation under De Gaulle’s constitution creates a presidency that functions as if it is above politics. The same is true for the United States, who paradoxically admire the foreign monarchies they sought to repudiate in the American Revolution, and more recently, have come to instead obsequiously worship the political opportunists, sanctimonious hypocrites and possibly murderers of the Kennedy clan. The increasing trend toward governance by Executive Order and the loose use of the presidential veto highlights the grave risk of a republic resembling constitutional autocracy rather than democracy.
 
Much as this may offend the libertarian predilection for rationality, the populace has always needed, and will continue to need, persons and institutions they can look to as national unifying figures. People are biologically programmed to seek leadership atop a tribal hierarchy, and any practical consideration of our political structures should recognise the necessity of fulfilling this need. Undoubtedly it is better that this role be discharged by the Crown with dignity and poise without the ability to exploit the immense power that would otherwise accumulate to the occupant of that role rather than yet another political sycophant. This is the most principled libertarian means of satiating this inevitable instinctive human need.
 
The proposed means of presidential selection has no bearing on this argument. Direct election would simply create a competing source of democratic legitimacy that would conflict with the longstanding principle of parliamentary sovereignty. Alternatively, the 1999 model supported by Topolski has since been so thoroughly discredited as a practical or intellectually defensible option that even its initial proponent, George Williams, recognises the dangers long noted by monarchist campaigners that it would have allowed the prime minister of the day to dismiss the president more easily than the cleaner at Kirribilli House. The fact that parliamentary approval was required for dismissal, but lacked the power to reinstate a president if unjustly sacked, should be taken as cautionary counsel by those who assume that political stability can be taken for granted.
 
One would be mistaken to overlook the importance of symbolism in this debate. The rise of totalitarian regimes has always been associated with the misappropriation of the symbols of the state and the capturing of the military. The symbolism of characterising elected politicians as “Her Majesty’s Ministers of State”, who “serve at Her Majesty’s pleasure” reinforces the notion of politicians being servants of the Crown rather than the unchallenged masters of the populace. Even the most arrogant politician, being more conscious of symbols in politics than most, would feel the inherent constraints of this symbolism. The explicit allegiance of the armed forces to the Crown, rather than some vague and nebulous notion of “the people”, or a politician, is a substantial safeguard from the threat of military takeover. It is testament to the efficacy of this safeguard that most Australians find the suggestion of a coup both amusing and unthinkable.
 
Most baffling is the suggestion that Quentin Bryce might refuse to commission Tony Abbott as Prime Minister should the Coalition win the imminent 2010 federal election. This demonstrates an appalling misunderstanding of vice-regal power. The answer to this assertion can be found in examining the equally absurd claim that the Queen is “redundant” and unable to intervene. It was Her Majesty that refused to reappoint Sir Colin Hannah as Governor of Queensland after Sir Colin made inappropriately political comments about the Whitlam Government in the 1970s. Clearly there is precedent and scope for such intervention: but only in situations of extreme controversy, which is the strength of the constitutional monarchy. The recent meeting between the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, Stephen Brady, and Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace, which ran well over the allotted time, is further evidence both of Her Majesty’s knowledge and interest in affairs of concern to her Australian Realm, and the capacity of the monarch to counsel her vice-regal representative in any extraordinary circumstance.
 
Somewhat paradoxically, the dependence of royal authority upon public respect allows it to defend liberty whilst remaining immune to abuse.
 
More bizarre is the assertion that the Crown “does not promote … tolerance and diversity” in the allegedly multicultural society Australia should aspire to be. There is a certain amount of brazen hypocrisy in holding one’s cause out as multiculturalism yet in the next breath denigrating the Crown on the dubious premise that Her Majesty is a foreigner. Even worse is the utter disregard Topolski demonstrates for Australia’s heritage, which is derided as “outdated”.
 
It is an undeniable fact that Australia is a nation of the Anglosphere. We are a country built on the pillars of British institutions, values and peoples. The Crown, the common law, Westminster government, and the English language being the foremost of those pillars. Our British origins remain forever etched in our national identity. Removing the Crown to supposedly placate ethnic minorities would be as spurious a decision as to ban English as our national language. It is the stability, liberty and prosperity that Australia has enjoyed, predicated on the British institutions that define our cultural landscape, that have attracted immigrants from all over the world to become Australians. Little wonder then that ethnically diverse electorates such as Moreton, Parramatta and Reid all recorded majorities for the monarchists in the 1999 referendum.
 
To assert that the Crown is removable is to deny the existence of an Australian cultural tradition in favour of the empty and unsatisfying globalist conception of an Australian as someone who, in the words of Bob Hawke, “chooses to live here and pay taxes here”.
 
There is one significant practical hurdle that must be contemplated: how many Crowns are there? It is becoming increasingly apparent that, in light of the reforms of the Australia Acts, that there is not one but seven Crowns on the Australian constitutional landscape. The fact that State Premiers advise Her Majesty, unlike their provincial counterparts in Canada, supports the proposition that Her Majesty is not only Queen of Australia, but also Queen of Victoria and each of the six states independently. Thus there is the distinct possibility that, were a referendum to pass, there would be states that would remain constitutional monarchies within a republic, placing the integrity of the federation at risk. The lack of public awareness as to this aspect of the monarchy, among others, explains much of the misguided rhetoric that has come to be associated with this debate, and should be cause for caution amongst those who seek to spout republican platitudes without thinking.
 
Nicholas Tam is Federal Young Nationals Vice President. He was previously president of the Victorian Young Nationals, and has worked for politicians in Melbourne and Washington, DC. He is currently reading law, economics and finance at The University of Melbourne.

Why I am a Republican


Keith-Topolski
Keith Topolski explains why true liberalism means support for a republic, and not a non-democratic non-Australian institution.

Recently this website published an article explaining the virtues of the Queen of England fulfilling the role of Queen of Australia and, hence, our head of state.

What Jai Martinkovits fails to explain, in full, is why he supports the current constitutional monarchy. He instead goes through a history of failed Republican campaigns. Jai, however, does briefly address reasons he is a monarchist.

He begins by stating that “The Crown is our oldest institution, central to the constitution, and has served us extremely well. Throwing away something so integral to our peace, success and stability for a pointless and ill conceived change would be nothing short of idiotic.”

This statement is an abject failure of legal, historic and constitutional analysis. The crown is not central to our constitution, be it written or historic. As anyone who knows their political history is well aware, Section 64 of the constitution provides the Reserve Powers of the crown to the Governor-General, the Queen’s representative in Australia.

As a result of Section 64, the Governor-General enjoys the power to terminate and commission governments, which is a power the Queen/King has never enjoyed since Federation. The only role the Queen plays in this instance is as a symbol of British rule. It is, in practice, the Governor-General who is our Head of State when dealing with the day to day matters of the role, which entail ensuring the stability of our democracy.

Jai makes his second point by saying “Our Crowned Republic provides leadership beyond politics, important not so much for the power that it wields, but the power that it denies to others.”

Whilst Jai fails to define exactly which model of a republic he is advocating, we can assume he is pointing towards the direct election model. Yes, it is true that the direct election of a President would entail in the role some form of perceived power outside the traditional venue of political discussion, the Australian parliament.

However, this is only if you adopt the direct election model. If you actually adopted the model put forwarding 1999, where election of a President would be by a two thirds vote of the Parliament, this role would continue to be a non-partisan role where the stable management of our democracy would continue to be paramount. In fact, it is the current constitutional monarchical structure which is allowing politics to be introduced outside the traditional sphere.

Whilst the Liberal Party has never sought to make a political point with the appointment of the Governor-General, the current Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, was selected by the Labor Prime Minister for symbolic reasons. Bryce then made it her job to do not only the bidding of the feminist movement, but also that of the government in seeking a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. This allows the Federal Government of the day to use, if it so wishes, the role of Governor-General as a de-facto lobbyist, which is completely inappropriate, given the heritage of the role.

Finally, Jai claims “Australia is already a completely independent nation, with all constitutional ties to Britain already cut. The Queen is indeed The Queen of Australia, and happens to be shared with the other Realms – a multicultural crown.”

Yes, Australia IS a completely independent nation with no formal ties to the British government. However, this notion that Australia’s Head of State is a symbol of multiculturalism is a bit rich. The Queen of ‘Australia’ is actually not an Australian, but a British citizen. The Queen herself does not represent a multicultural society, but rather a symbol of British colonialism of times past. Whilst our symbols, especially our flag, should represent our past and our history, our political structure should be structured to allow for the preservation of a vibrant democracy in which all Australian citizens should play a role. Having an unelected foreigner as our Head of State does not promote the values, including tolerance and diversity, which are supposed to be the cornerstone of current Australian society.

I know many of you would by now be wondering exactly why I am a republican, except for the reasons of paying out on monarchists. This is simple.

1. The monarchy is a direct assault on democracy.

Australia’s government is based upon a two tier system of democracy. The first system is electoral democracy. This is found in our lower house, where Australians in geographically convenient locales come together to decide who they want to be their local representative in Australia’s premium debating forum. The second tier is proportional democracy. States and territories decide, as a whole, who they want to represent the interests of their state by electing their state representatives to the Senate.

The common theme in both houses is the will of the people. The Governor-General and the Head of State play vital roles within our constitution in ensuring the stable administration of our democracy. By reserving a role in our democracy for unelected representatives, we are effectively stamping on the very essence of what makes Australia’s government one of the oldest, proudest and most stable systems across the world.

The vert nature of a hereditary system of appointing our Head of State is in direct contradiction to these traditions. Only by removing an unelected Head of State are we able to ensure that Australia’s history of democracy continues without interference.

2. The monarchy serves no practical purpose.

As outlined by the previous analysis of Section 64, there is no role within our constitution for the monarchy to actually administer the matters of state. The Queen sits atop our system of government without any job to do. All administrative matters lie with the monarch’s representative, the Governor-General. This renders the position of Head of State, under our current structure, effectively redundant. This does not serve the stable administration of Australian government well whatsoever. By having an effectively redundant Queen, there is nothing, except the recall abilities of the Government of the day, to stop the Governor-General to commission and terminate governments of the day based upon their own personal political views. This might seem far-fetched to some, but given that tradition has now been broken by the appointment of a political campaigner and lobbyist to the role, there is nothing to stop Quentin Bryce from refusing to commission an Abbott government if Tony wins the next election. This lack of safeguard is a major problem.

3. The monarchy represents an outdated Australia

When Federation occurred in 1901, Australia was overwhelmingly British in heritage. This meant that, along with the precarious nature of the Australian government at the time, the best way to assure Governmental stability was to tie ourselves back to the British crown. However, we are a nation that is predominantly non-British in heritage, with Australians born overseas expected to outnumber Australians born here within the next couple of decades. If you want to use symbolism in this debate, then surely the structure of Australian democracy should reflect the nature and consistency of Australia at present, particularly those who have come to Australia looking for freedom, as opposed to unelected government.

Quite simply, there is no true Liberal defence of the monarchy that can be launched. Conservatives would absolutely support the monarchy, but true Liberals will support the establishment of a republic as soon as possible.

The solution

The problem arises, yes, of what model is to be used. Do we continue to allow politicians to use the role of Governor-General as a retirement job for ex-military personnel (As the Liberals do), or do we allow for the continued use of the Governor-General’s role as a job for the boys or an ideological sister (Like the ALP does)?

Firstly, we need to reform Section 64 of the constitution before we move forward with the changing of our Head of State. 

Section 64 allows the Governor-General to commission governments at their pleasure, and ministers serve at the pleasure of the Governor-General.

We must amend this section to only allow the Governor-General to commission governments based upon the support at a ballot of members within the House of Representatives. Merely asking a Labor or Liberal Party with 74 of 150 members to form government with the word of an independent is a recipe for instability. By only allowing the Governor-General to commission a government that has tested its support in the House of Representatives do we ensure stable government, but that the Governor-General cannot appoint a Government which does not suit the political flavour of Yarralumla.

Further, the Governor-General has the right to terminate the commission of the Government without reason. Given the role of the Governor-General is to ensure the stable administration of our democracy, provisions must be written in which only allow the termination of commission whereby continuation of such commission would lead to the financial instability or the democratic instability of Australia’s system of Government.

By writing in these provisions, we have removed any and all partisan opportunities for the Governor-General to become nothing more than a Government activist paid at the same level as senior government ministers.

Put aside the natural aversion to the British, or English as the case may be, by some. The monarchy is undemocratic. The appointment of Governor-General is undemocratic. The monarchy does not represent Australia as a nation. The monarchy serves no purpose, but continues to impose a financial requirement on Australia’s system of government, even though this may be negligible.

True Liberalism calls for true democracy, fiscal responsibility and a lean government. The monarchy provides for none of these. Therefore, all true Liberals will support efforts for an elected Head of State as soon as possible.

Keith Topolski is a former member of the NSW Young Liberal State Executive currently studying a Bachelor of Communications.

Why I am a Constitutional Monarchist

Jai-Martinkovits Jai Martinkovits explains why he is loyal to the Crown.

The Australian Republic debate is nothing new. There have been four clear waves of Republicanism in Australia, all attempting to remove the Crown from our Constitutional system. Republicans today try not to remember their predecessors who brought little honour to their cause.

The first republican campaign, in the nineteenth century, was to form a sort of “White Racist Republic” free of the liberal immigration policy of the British Empire. With Federation this faded away, Australia was now able to establish its own national immigration policy.

The second, and longest campaign, was to create a communist state similar to the East European Peoples’ Republics established after the Second World War. This gained next to no traction in Australia electorally despite its proponents controlling several key strategic unions.

The third, was initiated by the Australian Republican Movement, and promoted by Paul Keating when he was Prime Minister. It tried to graft a Republic onto the existing Constitution. The Republicans only had one serious argument, later called “Mate for Head of State”, although an ill-founded argument this hit home with some people. This lead to a serious debate, but as Bob Hawke once conceded the Monarchists won the intellectual argument.
 
This wave of republicanism came to a swift end in 1999 when Australians made their views very clear, voting down a republic in all states, and in 72% of electorates, an overwhelming defeat.
 
The final and current wave of republicanism lacks the detail that is predecessors had, with republicans less united now than in 1999, still unable to present a model of the republic they want. It is as if they are marching down the street chanting “We want a Republic!….but we haven’t the faintest clue what sort of a Republic we want.”
 
With this history of republicanism in mind there are three main reasons that I consider myself to be a Constitutional Monarchist.

  1. The Crown is our oldest institution, central to the constitution, and has served us extremely well. Throwing away something so integral to our peace, success and stability for a pointless and ill conceived change would be nothing short of idiotic.
  2. Our Crowned Republic provides leadership beyond politics, important not so much for the power that it wields, but the power that it denies to others.
  3. Australia is already a completely independent nation, with all constitutional ties to Britain already cut. The Queen is indeed The Queen of Australia, and happens to be shared with the other Realms – a multicultural crown.

On the 6th of November 2009 monarchists commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the 1999 landslide. John Howard spoke for the first time at length on the victory, when he delivered the 10th Annual Neville Bonner Oration.

Now monarchists are planning for their National Conference to be held in Sydney on November 26-28, under the theme “The Second Decade”.

The highlight of the conference will undoubtedly be Tony Abbott delivering the 11th Annual Neville Bonner Oration on Saturday 27th November. Whether he will appear as Leader of the Opposition or Prime Minister is in the hands of the people.
 
Jai Martinkovits is an IT graduate, specialising in e-Business and Business Informations Systems. He is Managing Director of a J.K. Managed Solutions, a Sydney based IT consulting firm. His website is http://jaimartinkovits.com.au/