The Australian Republican debate has recently been reignited, but thanks to HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s recent visit to Australia and the Royal Baby announcement, the Monarch is now more popular than ever down under. I want to explore why I believe the Monarchy is the best thing for Australia.
In my books, ‘Australia’ and ‘Republic’ just don’t mix. I do not want a head of state who is partisan, gratuitously powerful, and a person who is not elected by the Australian people, as was proposed in the ’99 referendum. Such a change could also give rise to more radical change in the future, which could lead to instability, a break down of democracy, or (perhaps an extreme) a dictatorship!
Our Constitution allows for an apolitical Govener-General to act as a sort of ‘umpire’ of democracy. Without the Monarchy, the only constitutional figure keeping watch on our precious democracy would be the ‘Prez’ (Most probably a staunch Liberal/ALP politician). Our Constitution provides for a separation of powers, ensuring the so-and-so’s are kept honest. I must declare my vested interest in my praise of the Constitution. My Great (x4) Grandfather is Sir Henry Parkes, the ‘Father of Federation,’ A man instrumental in the drafting of the Australia Constitution, and responsible for the term ‘Commonwealth of Australia’ (How’s that for a name drop?). I don’t even mind that Parkes Place in Canberra will be renamed Queen Elizabeth Terrace; maybe the fact that he has an entire township in NSW named after him will restrain me from looking askance upon the renaming, and it is a fitting sentiment of thanks to Her Majesty.
I consider myself, more than anything, a pragmatic monarchist. A change in our head of state and system will cost millions, if not billions of dollars. From changing the currency, to the renaming of government departments, amending legislation to change ‘The Crown’ to ‘The State’. These small changes would collectively be costly to the country’s coffers for no benefit. Thus, a change would not be practical; it ain’t broke, so there’s no need to fix it.
Of course, there is also a sentimental element to my besottedness with the Royals. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see the pomp and ceremony that is a Royal outing on TV, I can not help but smile
God Save the Queen and the Australia Constitutional Monarchy!