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Republicanism in Australia is a movement to change Australia's system of government from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Republicanism was first espoused in Australia before Federation in 1901. After a period of decline after Federation, the movement again became prominent at the end of the 20th century after successive legal and socio-cultural changes loosened Australia's ties with the United Kingdom.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch.
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia. Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. Following federation, the six colonies that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia as states kept the systems of government that they had developed as separate colonies, but they also agreed to have a federal government that was responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Politically, republicanism is officially supported by the Labor Party and the Greens, and is also supported by some Liberal Party members of the Australian parliament. Australian voters rejected a proposal to establish a republic with a parliamentary appointed head of state in a referendum held in 1999.
The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.
The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, are a green political party in Australia.
The Liberal Party of Australia is a major centre-right political party in Australia, one of the two major parties in Australian politics, along with the centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP). It was founded in 1944 as the successor to the United Australia Party (UAP).
In his journal The Currency Lad, first published in Sydney in 1832, pastoralist and politician Horatio Wills was the first person to openly espouse Australian republicanism. Born to a convict father, Wills was devoted to the emancipist cause and promoted the interests of "currency lads and lasses" (Australian-born Europeans).
Horatio Spencer Howe Wills was an Australian pastoralist, politician and newspaper owner.
Between 1788 and 1868, about 162,000 convicts were transported from Britain to various penal colonies in Australia.
An emancipist was a convict sentenced and transported under the convict system to Australia, who had been given a conditional or absolute pardon. The term was also used to refer to those convicts whose sentences had expired, and might sometimes be used of free settlers who supported full civil rights for emancipated convicts.
Some leaders and participants of the revolt at the Eureka Stockade in 1854 held republican views and the incident has been used to encourage republicanism in subsequent years, with the Eureka Flag appearing in connection with some republican groups.The Australian Republican Association (ARA) was founded in response to the Eureka Stockade, advocating the abolition of governors and their titles, the revision of the penal code, payment of members of parliament, the nationalisation of land and an independent federal Australian republic outside of the British Empire. At the same time, a movement emerged in favour of a "White Australia" policy; however British authorities in Whitehall were opposed to segregational laws. To circumvent Westminster, those in favour of the discriminatory policies backed the proposed secession from the Empire as a republic. One attendee of the ARA meetings was the Australian-born poet Henry Lawson, who wrote his first poem, entitled A Song of the Republic, in The Republican journal.
The Eureka Flag is a flag design which features dark blue field 260 cm × 400 cm ; a horizontal stripe 37 cm (15 in) wide and a vertical line crossing it of 36 centimetres (14 in) wide; and 5 eight pointed stars, the central star being 65 cm (26 in) tall and the other stars 60 cm (24 in) tall, representing the Crux Australis constellation.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
The term White Australia policy was widely used to encapsulate a set of historical policies that aimed to forbid people of non-European ethnic origin, especially Asians and Pacific Islanders from immigrating to Australia. Governments progressively dismantled such policies between 1949 and 1973.
Banish from under your bonny skies
Those old-world errors and wrongs and lies— Henry Lawson, A Song of the Republic
At the Australian Federation Convention, which produced the first draft that was to become the Australian constitution 1891, a former Premier of New South Wales, George Dibbs, described as the "inevitable destiny of the people of this great country" the establishment of "the Republic of Australia".The fervour of republicanism tailed off in the 1890s as the labour movement became concerned with the Federation of Australia. The republican movement dwindled further during and after World War I. Emotionally, patriotic support for the war effort went hand in hand with a renewal of loyalty to the monarchy. The Bulletin abandoned republicanism and became a conservative, Empire loyalist paper. The Returned and Services League formed in 1916 and became an important bastion of monarchist sentiment.
Sir George Richard Dibbs KCMG was an Australian politician who was Premier of New South Wales on three occasions.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
The Bulletin was an Australian magazine first published in Sydney on 31 January 1880. The publication's focus was politics and business, with some literary content, and editions were often accompanied by cartoons and other illustrations. The views promoted by the magazine varied across different editors and owners, with the publication consequently considered either on the left or right of the political spectrum at various stages in its history. The Bulletin was highly influential in Australian culture and politics until after the First World War, and was then noted for its nationalist, pro-labour, and pro-republican writing. It was revived as a modern news magazine in the 1960s, and was Australia's longest running magazine publication until the final issue was published in January 2008.
The conservative parties were fervently monarchist and although the Labor Party campaigned for greater Australian independence within the Empire and generally supported the appointment of Australians as governor-general, it did not question the monarchy itself. Under the Labor government of John Curtin, a member of the Royal Family, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was appointed governor-general during World War II. The royal tour of Queen Elizabeth II in 1954 saw a reported 7 million Australians (out of a total population of 9 million) out to see her.
John Joseph Ambrose Curtin was an Australian politician who served as the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1941 until his death in 1945. He led the country for the majority of World War II, including all but the last few weeks of the war in the Pacific. He was the leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from 1935 to 1945, and its longest serving leader until Gough Whitlam. Curtin's leadership skills and personal character were acclaimed by his political contemporaries. He is frequently cited as one of Australia's greatest prime ministers, and is the only prime minister to represent a constituency in Western Australia.
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was the third son and fourth child of King George V and Queen Mary. He served as Governor-General of Australia from 1945 to 1947, the only member of the British royal family to hold the post.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
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Reflecting re-orientation of trade flows in the 1950s and 1960s, Britain had decided in the late 1960s to re-orientate its trade and economic policy from the Commonwealth of Nations to the European Economic Community, and the 1960s and early 1970s saw a corresponding further reduction in the economic relationship between Britain and the major realms, including Australia. In 1967, the pound sterling was devalued, but Australia did not follow suit, instead moving to a peg between the Australian dollar and the pound sterling at a different rate. In 1971, Australia switched its peg altogether, to the United States dollar, and in June 1972 Britain responded to this and other changes resulting from Britain's shrinking economic presence in the world by shrinking the sterling area, effectively ending the former monetary union.
The election of a Labor majority in 1972 marked the end of a period where Australians saw themselves principally as part of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Empire), with the Whitlam government implementing a number of reforms that strengthened Australia's independent nationhood.
The Whitlam government ended in 1975 with a constitutional crisis in which Governor-General John Kerr dismissed the ministry and appointed Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser as prime minister, an act in which the monarch herself was not consulted and, when approached after the event, pointedly refused to intervene, noting that she lacked authority to do so under the Australian constitution. The incident, though, raised questions about the value of maintaining a supposedly "symbolic" office that still possessed many key political powers and what an Australian president with the same reserve powers would do in a similar situation.
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Moves elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Nations continued to dilute the ties between its members, including between Britain and Australia. In 1982, Britain changed its citizenship laws to remove Commonwealth citizens (and United Kingdom citizens, now to be British citizens) from the definition of "British subject", which until then was a status shared by all Commonwealth citizens. Like its late acceptance of the Statute of Westminster, Australia was once again one of the last Commonwealth countries to adopt the change in its own laws: the category "British subjects" was abolished in Australian law only in 1987.
In 1986, the Australia Act was enacted, thereafter eliminating the remaining, mainly theoretical, ties between the legislature and judiciary of the United Kingdom and the Australian states. It was later determined by the High Court in Sue v Hill that this legislation established Britain and Australia as independent nations sharing the same person as their relevant sovereign.
At broadly the same time, references to the monarchy were being removed from various institutions. For example, in 1993, the Oath of Citizenship, which included an assertion of allegiance to the Australian monarch, was replaced by a pledge to be loyal to "Australia and its people". Further, the state of Queensland deleted all references to the monarchy from its legislation, with new laws being enacted by its parliament and "binding on the State of Queensland," not the Crown. (Other states, and the Commonwealth, later made similar changes.)
Barristers in New South Wales (from 1993), Queensland (from 1994), ACT (from 1995), Victoria (from 2000), Western Australia (from 2001), Tasmania (from 2005), Northern Territory (from 2007), Commonwealth (from March 2007) and South Australia (from 2008) were no longer appointed Queen's Counsel (QC), but as Senior Counsel (SC). Many monarchists condemned these changes as moves to a "republic by stealth". However beginning with Queensland in 2013 and then followed by Victoria and the Commonwealth in 2014, the title of Queen's Counsel (QC) has again been conferred. Currently South Australia and New South Wales are discussing the reintroduction.
Nevertheless, all Australian senators and members of the House of Representatives continue to swear "to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty" before taking their seats in parliament; as a part of the constitution, any changes to this oath could only be approved by a referendum.
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) first made republicanism its official policy in 1991,with then Prime Minister Bob Hawke describing a republic as "inevitable". Following the ALP decision, the Australian Republican Movement, the leading republican advocacy group, was born. Hawke's successor, Paul Keating, pursued the republican agenda much more actively than Hawke and established the Republic Advisory Committee to produce an options paper on issues relating to the possible transition to a republic to take effect on the centenary of federation: 1 January 2001. The committee produced its report in April 1993 and in it argued that "a republic is achievable without threatening Australia's cherished democratic institutions."
In response to the report, Keating promised a referendum on the establishment of a republic, replacing the governor-general with a president, and removing references to the Australian sovereign. The president was to be nominated by the prime minister and appointed by a two-thirds majority in a joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives. The referendum was to be held either in 1998 or 1999.However, Keating's party lost the 1996 federal election in a landslide and he was replaced by John Howard, a monarchist, as prime minister.
With the change in government in 1996, Prime Minister John Howard proceeded with an alternative policy of holding a constitutional convention. This was held over two weeks in February 1998 at Old Parliament House. Half of the 152 delegates were elected and half were appointed by the federal and state governments. Convention delegates were asked whether or not Australia should become a republic and which model for a republic is preferred. At the opening of the convention, Howard stated that if the convention could not decide on a model to be put to a referendum, then plebiscites would be held on the model preferred by the Australian public.
At the convention, a republic gained majority support (89 votes to 52 with 11 abstentions), but the question of what model for a republic should be put to the people at a referendum produced deep divisions among republicans.Four republican models were debated: two involving direct election of the head of state; one involving appointment on the advice of the prime minister (the McGarvie Model); and one involving appointment by a two-thirds majority of parliament (the bi-partisan appointment model).
The latter was eventually successful at the convention, even though it only obtained a majority because of 22 abstentions in the final vote (57 against delegates voted against the model and 73 voted for, three votes short of an actual majority of delegates).A number of those who abstained were republicans who supported direct election (such as Ted Mack, Phil Cleary, Clem Jones, and Andrew Gunter), thereby allowing the bi-partisan model to succeed. They reasoned that the model would be defeated at a referendum and a second referendum called with direct election as the model.
The convention also made recommendations about a preamble to the constitution and a proposed preamble was also put to referendum.
According to critics, the two-week timeline and quasi-democratic composition of the convention is evidence of an attempt by John Howard to frustrate the republican cause,a claim John Howard adamantly rejects.
The republic referendum was held on 6 November 1999, after a national advertising campaign and the distribution of 12.9 million 'Yes/No' case pamphlets. It comprised two questions: The first asked whether Australia should become a republic in which the governor-general and monarch would be replaced by one office, the President of the Commonwealth of Australia, the occupant elected by a two-thirds vote of the Australian parliament for a fixed term. The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the constitution to insert a preamble. Neither of the amendments passed, with 55% of all electors and all states voting 'no' to the proposed amendment; it was not carried in any state. The preamble referendum question was also defeated, with a Yes vote of only 39 per cent.
Many opinions were put forward for the defeat, some relating to perceived difficulties with the parliamentary appointment model, others relating to the lack of public engagement or that most Australians were simply happy to keep the status quo. Some republicans voted no because they did not agree with provisions such as the president being instantly dismissible by the prime minister.
On 26 June 2003, the Senate referred an inquiry into an Australian republic to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee. During 2004, the committee reviewed 730 submissions and conducted hearings in all state capitals. The committee tabled its report, called Road to a Republic, on 31 August 2004.
The report examined the contest between minimalist and direct-election models and gave attention to hybrid models such as the electoral college model, the constitutional council model, and models having both an elected president and a governor-general.
The bi-partisan recommendations of committee supported educational initiatives and holding a series of plebiscites to allow the public to choose which model they preferred, prior to a final draft and referendum, along the lines of plebiscites proposed by John Howard at the 1998 constitutional convention.
Issues related to republicanism were raised by the March 2006 tour of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II. Then John Howard, still serving as prime minister, was questioned by British journalists about the future of the monarchy in Australiaand there was debate about playing Australia's royal anthem, "God Save the Queen", during the opening of the that year's Commonwealth Games, at which the monarch was present.
In the lead-up to the 2010 federal election, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated "I believe that this nation should be a republic. I also believe that this nation has got a deep affection for Queen Elizabeth."It was her view that it would be appropriate for Australia to become a republic only once Queen Elizabeth II's reign ends. On the process for becoming a republic, Gillard said "What I would like to see as the prime minister is that we work our way through to an agreement on a republic." In 2010, then opposition leader Tony Abbott, who previously served as Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, supported the status quo. He opined: "While there may very well be further episodes of republicanism in this country, I am far from certain that, at least in our lifetimes, there's likely to be any significant change."
In early 2015, leading up to Australia Day, opposition leader Bill Shorten called for a new push for Australia to become a republic.Former ARM chair Malcolm Turnbull said upon his appointment as prime minister in September of the same year he would not pursue "his dream" of Australia becoming a republic until after the end of the Queen's reign, instead focusing his efforts toward the economy. A majority of parliamentarians currently support Australia becoming a republic.
In July 2017, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten revealed that should the Labor Party be elected to government at the 2019 federal election, they would legislate for a compulsory plebiscite on the issue. Should that plebiscite be supported by a majority of Australians, a second vote would be held, this time a referendum, asking the public for their support for a specific model of government.
A central argument made by Australian republicans is that, as Australia is an independent country, it is inappropriate and anomalous for Australia to share the person of its monarch with the United Kingdom. Republicans argue that the Australian monarch is not Australian and, as a national and resident of another country, cannot adequately represent Australia or Australian national aspirations, either to itself or to the rest of the world.Former Chief Justice Gerard Brennan stated that "so long as we retain the existing system our head of state is determined for us essentially by the parliament at Westminster". As Australian Republican Movement member Frank Cassidy put it in a speech on the issue: "In short, we want a resident for President."
Some republicans associate the monarchy with British identity and argue that Australia has changed demographically and culturally, from being "British to our bootstraps", as prime minister Sir Robert Menzies once put it, to being less British, albeit maintaining an "English Core". [ by whom? ] that there are some Aborigines and some Australians of Irish origin who see the Australian Crown as a symbol of British imperialism.For some Australians not of British ancestry, they argue, the idea of one person being both monarch of Australia and of the United Kingdom is an anomaly. It is also claimed
However, monarchists argue that immigrants who left unstable republics and have arrived in Australia since 1945 welcomed the social and political stability that they found in Australia under a constitutional monarchy. Further, some Aborigines, such as former Senator Neville Bonner, said a republican president would not "care one jot more for my people".
It has also been claimed monarchism and republicanism in Australia delineate historical and persistent sectarian tensions with, broadly speaking, Catholics more likely to be republicans and Protestants more likely to be monarchists.This developed out of a historical cleavage in 19th- and 20th-century Australia, in which republicans were predominantly of Irish Catholic background and loyalists were predominantly of British Protestant background. Whilst mass immigration since the Second World War has diluted this conflict, the Catholic–Protestant divide has been cited as a dynamic in the republic debate, particularly in relation to the referendum campaign in 1999. Nonetheless, others have stated that Catholic–Protestant tensions—at least in the sense of an Irish–British conflict—are at least forty years dead.
It has also been claimed, however, that the Catholic–Protestant divide is intermingled with class issues.Republicanism in Australia has traditionally been supported most strongly by members of the urban working class with Irish Catholic backgrounds, whereas monarchism is a core value associated with urban and rural inhabitants of British Protestant heritage and the middle class, to the extent that there were calls in 1999 for 300,000 exceptionally enfranchised British subjects who were not Australian citizens to be barred from voting on the grounds that they would vote as a loyalist bloc in a tight referendum.
From some perspectives, it has been argued that several characteristics of the monarchy are in conflict with modern Australian values.The hereditary nature of the monarchy is said to conflict with egalitarianism and dislike of inherited privilege. The laws of succession were, before amendment to them in 2015, held by some to be sexist and the links between the monarchy and the Church of England inconsistent with Australia's secular character. Under the Act of Settlement, the monarch is prohibited from being a Catholic. As it is constitutional, this Australian law over-rides anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit arrangements under which becoming a Catholic invalidates any legal rights.
A typical proposal for an Australian republic provides for the Queen and governor-general to be replaced by a president or an executive federal council. There is much debate on the appointment or election process that would be used and what role such an office would have.
An alternative minimalist approach to change provides for removing the sovereign and retaining the governor-general. The most notable model of this type is the McGarvie Model, while Copernican models replace the monarch with a directly-elected figurehead.These Copernican models allow for regular and periodic elections for the office of head of state while limiting the reserve powers to the appointed governor-general only. A popularly elected head of state would have the same powers as the monarch, but he or she could not dismiss the prime minister. If this were to happen, it would be a first, as all other former Commonwealth realms have created presidencies upon becoming republics.
Alternatively it has been proposed to abolish the roles of the governor-general and the monarchy and have their functions exercised by other constitutional officers such as the Speaker.
The Labor for an Australian Republic Group (LFAR) has undertaken work to explore and develop further possible models. One such model is the 50/50 model.This model is supported and created by Anthony Cianflone – LFAR Grassroots Member. A new President of Australia would become our Head of State after being elected under a 50-50 model i.e. 50 per cent of the vote would be elected by the Australian people and 50 per cent of the vote would be elected by a joint sitting of the Australian Parliament. The President of Australia would play a similar ceremonial role to our current Governor General. However under the 50-50 model the President would be more than just a ceremonial figure. The vision is for the Australian President to act as Australia’s ‘Social Conscience and Moral Compass’. The President would have the capacity to influence and campaign on non-partisan issues such as Aboriginal Policy, Veterans’ Affairs, Education, Health, Environment, Human Rights, Multiculturalism, Domestic Violence, Homelessness, Poverty, Disabilities, Youth, Women, Arts, Tourism, Families, Older Australians and Sport. Whilst not having the power to veto bills, prior to providing Presidential ascent, the Constitution could allow for the President to review and seek further clarification, and information on bills from the Parliament based on a ‘Social and Moral Conscience Charter’. The President’s annual ‘State of the Nation’ Address’ to Parliament would provide one of the key formal mechanisms for the President to relay to Parliamentarians the priorities and expectation of Australians in relation to the non-partisan issues, and help improve the quality and consistency of policy reforms, parliamentary debates and community outcomes over the lifetime of different governments.
A major problem for the popular election model has been that an election for a popularly elected head of state is likely to see the major political parties endorse partisan candidates. Gough Whitlam has observed, that this would almost guarantee the election of a politician as head of state.Some commentators have therefore sought to develop non-partisan popular electoral models. Dr Michael Duffy, along with co-authors Dr Steve Perryman and Anthony Cianflone, have floated the concept of 'tri-partisan endorsement' of a candidate by the three largest parties, who would then face a national popular vote. This idea, which is an evolution of a proposal by the late Professor George Winterton made after the failed 1999 referendum, seeks to deliver a politically neutral head of state who will be a symbol of unity. It involves constitutional provisions that would bind the major political parties to such endorsement. Another proposal is the ‘Jones-Pickering Model’ developed by Dr Benjamin Jones and Professor Paul Pickering. Under this model, eight different candidates are nominated by two-thirds of a joint sitting of each of the six state and two territory parliaments and then each go on to a popular national vote.
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and the Australian Monarchist League argue that no model is better than the present system and argue that the risk and difficulty of changing the constitution is best demonstrated by inability of republicans to back a definitive design.
From its foundation until the 1999 referendum, the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) supported the bi-partisan appointment model, which would result in a President elected by the Parliament of Australia, with the powers currently held by the Governor-General. It is argued that the requirement of a two-thirds majority in a vote of both houses of parliament would result in a bi-partisan appointment, preventing a party politician from becoming president.
The ARM now supports a non-binding plebiscite to decide the model, followed by a binding referendum to amend the Constitution, reflecting the model chosen.Opponents of holding non-binding plebiscites include monarchist David Flint, who described this process as "inviting a vote of no confidence in one of the most successful constitutions in the world," and minimalist republican Greg Craven, who states "a multi-option plebiscite inevitably will produce a direct election model, precisely for the reason that such a process favours models with shallow surface appeal and multiple flaws. Equally inevitably, such a model would be doomed at referendum."
It has been suggested that Australia should have a uniquely Australian monarch, whereby someone who is in line to the Australian throne, but who is not expected to become monarch of the United Kingdom, would become monarch of Australia, and reside in Australia. It has been claimed that this would be a suitable compromise between monarchists and republicans. This proposal, however, does not have mainstream political support.
|June 2012||Roy Morgan||35%||58%||7%|
|May 2011||Roy Morgan||34%||55%||11%|
Polls and surveys generate different responses depending on the wording of the questions, mostly in regards the type of republic, and often appear contradictory.
In 2009, the Australian Electoral Survey that is conducted following all elections by the Australian National University has found that support for a republic has remained reasonably static since 1987 at around 60%, if the type of republic is not part of the question. The Electoral Survey also shows that support or opposition is relatively weak: 31% strongly support a republic while only 10% strongly oppose.
An opinion poll held in November 2008 that separated the questions found support for a republic at 50% with 28% opposed. Asked how the president should be chosen if there were to be a republic, 80 percent said elected by the people, against 12 percent who favoured appointment by parliament.In October 2009 another poll by UMR found 59% support for a republic and 33% opposition. 73% supported direct election, versus 18% support for parliamentary appointment.
On 29 August 2010 The Sydney Morning Herald published a poll produced by Neilson, asking multiple questions on the future of the monarchy:
But when asked which of the following statements best described their view:
A survey of 1,000 readers of The Sun-Herald and The Sydney Morning Herald, published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 21 November 2010, found 68% of respondents were in favour of Australia becoming a republic, while 25% said it should not. More than half the respondents, 56%, said Australia should become a republic as soon as possible while 31% said it should happen after the Queen dies.
However, an opinion poll conducted in 2011 saw a sharp decline in the support for an Australian republic. The polling conducted by the Morgan Poll in May 2011 showed the support for the monarchy was now 55% (up 17% since 1999), whereas the support for a republic was at 34% (down 20%).The turnaround in support for a republic has been called the "strange death of Australian republicanism".
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Vote Compass during the 2013 Australian federal election found that 40.4% of respondents disagreed with the statement "Australia should end the monarchy and become a republic", whilst 38.1% agreed (23.1% strongly agreed) and 21.5% were neutral. Support for a republic was highest among those with a left-leaning political ideology. Younger people had the highest rate for those neutral towards the statement (27.8%) with their support for strongly agreed the lowest of all age groups at 17.1%. Support for a republic was highest in the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria and lowest in Queensland and Western Australia. More men than women said they support a republic.
In early 2014, a ReachTEL poll of 2,146 Australian conducted just after Australia Day showed only 39.4% supported a republic with 41.6% opposed. Lowest support was in the 65+ year cohort followed by the 18–34-year cohort. Geoff Gallop, the then chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, said higher support for a republic among Generation X and baby boomer voters could be explained by them having participated in the 1999 referendum and remembering the 1975 constitutional crisis.
In April 2014, a poll found that "support for an Australian republic has slumped to its lowest level in more than three decades"; namely, on the eve of the visit to Australia by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince George of Cambridge, 42% of those polled agreed with the statement that "Australia should become a republic", whereas 51% opposed.
ARM commissioned a poll to be conducted by Essential Research from 5 to 8 November in 2015, asking "When Prince Charles becomes King of Australia, will you support or oppose replacing the British monarch with an Australian citizen as Australia's head of state?" Of the 1008 participants, 51% said they would prefer an Australian head of state to "King Charles", 27% opposed and 22% were undecided.
The Australian has polled the same question "Are you personally in favour or against Australia becoming a republic?" multiple times since 1999 though it hadn't polled it since 2011. After Australia Day 2016 they found 51% support. This level of support was similar to levels found between 1999 and 2003 by the same newspaper. Total against was 37% which was an increase over the rates polled in all previous polls other than 2011. Uncommitted at 12% was the lowest ever polled. However support for a republic was again lowest in the 18–34-year cohort.
The Liberal Party is a conservative and classical liberal party. Proponents of republicanism in the Liberal Party include: its former leader (also former leader of the Australian Republican Movement) Malcolm Turnbull, as well as Joe Hockey and Peter Costello. Supporters of the status quo include former leader and former ACM Leader, Tony Abbott, former opposition leaders Alexander Downer and Brendan Nelson, and Sophie Mirabella.
Scott Morrison who replaced fellow Liberal Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister in August 2018 has declared himself to be a constitutional monarchist.
The National Party has few republicans, its former leader, Tim Fischer being the leading example.A conservative party with a rural base, its core constituency has always been strongly monarchist. As such, it remains against change as official policy.
Under former Prime Minister John Howard, a monarchist, the government initiated a process to settle the republican debate, involving a constitutional convention and a referendum. Howard, who supports the status quo, says the matter was resolved by the failure of the referendum.
Labor has supported constitutional change to become a republic since 1991and has incorporated republicanism into its platform. Labor is currently the only party that proposes a series of plebiscites to restart the republican process. Along with this, Labor spokesperson (and former federal attorney general) Nicola Roxon has previously said that reform will "always fail if we seek to inflict a certain option on the public without their involvement. This time round, the people must shape the debate".
The Australian Greens party is a strong proponent for an Australian republic, and this is reflected in the Greens 'Constitutional Reform & Democracy' policy. [ needs update ]In the Senate, the Greens proposed legislation to hold a plebiscite on the republic at the 2010 federal election.
The Australian Democrats, formerly Australia's third party, strongly supported a move towards a republic through a system of an elected Head of State through popular voting.However, the party was deregistered in 2015 due to a decline in membership.
The Republic Advisory Committee was a committee established by the then Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating in April 1993 to examine the constitutional and legal issues that would arise were Australia to become a republic. The committee's mandate was to "prepare an options paper describing 'the minimum constitutional changes necessary to achieve a viable Federal Republic of Australia, maintaining the effect of our current conventions and principles of government'." The committee was asked to consider issues such as
Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the political movement that seeks to replace the United Kingdom's monarchy with a republic. For those who want a non-hereditary head of state, the method by which one should be chosen is not agreed upon, with some favouring an elected president, some an appointed head of state with little power. Others support something akin to the Swiss model, with a directorate functioning as a collective head of state.
In Australian history, the term Constitutional Convention refers to four distinct gatherings.
The Australian Republic Movement (ARM) is a non-partisan member-based organisation campaigning for Australia to become an independent republic with an Australian as head of state. Australian constitutional law has provided since Federation in 1901 that the monarch of the United Kingdom is also the monarch of Australia. The Australian monarch is generally understood to be the head of state, although regal functions are ordinarily performed by a Governor-General and state Governors.
The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is also commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government.
The Australian republic referendum held on 6 November 1999 was a two-question referendum to amend the Constitution of Australia. The first question asked whether Australia should become a republic with a President appointed by Parliament following a bi-partisan appointment model which had been approved by a half-elected, half-appointed Constitutional Convention held in Canberra in February 1998. The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the Constitution to insert a preamble. For some years opinion polls had suggested that a majority of the electorate favoured a republic. Nonetheless, the republic referendum was defeated due to division among republicans on the method proposed for selection of the president and dissident republicans subsequently supporting the no campaign.
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) is a group that aims to preserve Australia's current constitutional monarchy, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Australia. The group states that it is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation whose role is "To preserve, to protect and to defend our heritage: the Australian constitutional system, the role of the Crown in it and our Flag".
New Zealand Republic Inc. is an organisation formed in 1994 whose object is to support the creation of a New Zealand republic.
Republicanism in New Zealand is a political position that holds that New Zealand's system of government should be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
The Australian Monarchist League is a non-profit organisation, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, promoting the monarchy of Australia, and providing information to members of the public about Australian history and the Australian Constitution. The organisation was part of the "no" campaign in the 1999 republic referendum, which asked whether Australia should become a republic and whether Australia should alter the constitution to insert a preamble. Neither of the amendments passed.
The Bi-partisan appointment republican model is a proposal for Australian constitutional reform. If approved at referendum, the model would have established Australia as a republic with a Head of State appointed by the Australian Federal Parliament. The model was put to the people at the November 1999 republican referendum and was defeated by 54.4% of voters.
A direct election republican model is a proposal for Australian constitutional reform. If a proposal of this type were approved at a referendum, it would establish Australia as a republic with a head of state chosen directly by the Australian electorate.
A process model is, in the context of the republic debate in Australia, a model for the process by which the questions surrounding whether and how Australia should become a republic may be answered. A number of process models have been processed. Proposed process models are a subject of debate within the Republicanism movement. Such debate usually surrounds whether the people should be asked to choose between the current system and a general republican system of government, one specific republican system of government, or multiple alternative republican systems of government.
Canadian monarchism is a movement among Canadian monarchists for raising awareness of Canada's constitutional monarchy among the Canadian public, and advocating for its retention, countering republican and anti-monarchical reform as being generally revisionist, idealistic, and ultimately impracticable. Generally, Canadian monarchism runs counter to anti-monarchist republicanism, but not necessarily to the classical form of republicanism itself, as most monarchists in Canada support the constitutional variety of monarchy, sometimes referred to as a crowned republic. These beliefs can be expressed either individually—generally in academic circles—or through what are known as loyal societies, which include monarchist leagues, legions, historical groups, ethnic organizations, and sometimes police and scout bodies. Though there may be overlap, this concept should not be confused with royalism, the support of a particular monarch or dynasty; Canadian monarchists may appreciate the monarchy without thinking highly of the monarch. There have also been, from time to time, suggestions in favour of a uniquely Canadian monarch, either one headed by a descendant of the present monarch and resident in Canada or one based on a First Nations royal house.
Debate between monarchists and republicans in Canada has been taking place since before the country's confederation in 1867, though it has rarely been of significance since the rebellions of 1837. Open support for republicanism only came from the Patriotes in the early 19th century, the Red River Métis in 1869, and minor actions by the Fenians throughout the 19th century. However, paralleling the changes in constitutional law that saw the creation of a distinct Canadian monarchy, the emergence in the 1960s of Quebec nationalism, and the evolution of Canadian nationalism, the cultural role and relevance of the monarchy altered and was sometimes questioned in certain circles, while continuing to receive support in others.
Australia is a constitutional monarchy whose Sovereign also serves as Monarch of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and eleven other former dependencies of the United Kingdom including Papua New Guinea, which was formerly a dependency of Australia. These countries operate as independent nations, and are known as Commonwealth realms. The history of the Australian monarchy has involved a shifting relationship with both the distant monarch and also the British government.
Scottish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that Scotland should be a republic, as opposed to being under the monarchy of the United Kingdom. This is usually proposed through either Scotland becoming an independent republic, or being part of a reformed Britain.
The 1998 Australian Constitutional Convention was a Constitutional Convention which gathered at Old Parliament House, Canberra from 2 to 3 February 1998. It was called by the Howard Government to discuss whether Australia should become a republic. The convention concluded with "in principle support" for an Australian republic and proposed a model involving appointment of the head of state by Parliament. The model was put to a referendum in November 1999 and rejected by the Australian electorate.
Republicanism in Spain is a political position that holds that Spain's system of government should be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
Republicanism in Jamaica is a position which advocates that Jamaica's system of government be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Both major political parties – the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party – subscribe to the position, and the current Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has announced that transitioning to a republic will be a priority of his government.