Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has suggested that Australia should turn to a postal survey, if or when they break ties as a constitutional monarchy.
The comments came after former Prime Minister Paul Keating criticised Turnbull for not addressing the issue of an Australian republic.
Peter Fitzsimons, Chair of the Australian Republic Movement (ARM) was delighted at the possibility of the vote and urged for a commitment for a national vote on becoming a republic after the next election.
In a statement, Fitzsimons said: “We are thrilled with the return of the PM — long the most passionate republican in the country — to moving forward the process of becoming a republic,”
“The leaders on both sides of politics clearly want this to happen.
“Now it’s not a question of if, but how.”
ARM suggests that the public should vote in two parts- if they want a head of state and how should that head of state be picked?
Speaking to The Australian Keating called out Turnbull’s actions: “He has little or no policy ambition and commensurably little imagination, no system of prevailing beliefs,
“Was (his republicanism) just Malcolm being another chameleon doing another chameleon act as he has on so many other things? You know, I was real but is Malcolm real?”
Turnbull responded by calling the Keating “barely coherent”.
As for the issue of Australia no longer becoming a constitutional monarchy, he said: “I expect it will become an issue again after the end of the Queen’s reign, but I don’t think it will become a frontline issue before then.”
Queen Elizabeth is currently Head of State of 16 Commonwealth Realms. The issue of how many will keep Prince Charles as Head of State once he ascends the throne has been raised many times. Many worry that his lack of popularity could be the undoing of what we know as the commonwealth today.
New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern is also an outspoken critic of the monarchy and has said they should remove Queen Elizabeth as Head of State.