This is an appeal to the young people from the Central Coast.
We need an Australian Republic.
Before you say “I think there are more important issues around at the moment”, I would like you to have a quick read.
I have been a supporter of the Republican movement since University about 50 years ago but it is only in my work for the movement on the Coast in the last 20 years that I have come upon this rejoinder constantly. Why is it mostly Central Coast young people who make this rejoinder? You are certainly very capable of thinking about more than one thing at a time.
Of course there are more important issues around that rightly worry you. World peace, health care and climate change are examples of what worry many of us. I think, however, that under an Australian Republic we would be more fitted to deal with these issues, particularly in our region, than the present conglomerate emotional situation most people are in regarding our homeland as being as one with another country on the other side of the world. “Let the other adult countries fix it” seems to be an opinion.
Our Constitution was written in some difficulty. The states, proud of their original settlements as British colonies, wanted to retain their links to the “mother country”, particularly as a guard against our Commonwealth government. There was distrust and competition between the states. Witness the settlement of Canberra as National Capitol situated between Melbourne and Sydney.
For many years if any state and the Commonwealth were opposed to one another, the decision of our High Court could be taken to the English “Privy Council” on appeal. This virtually cannot happen now but the attitude still hangs over our head.
We are not always comfortable in our own identities as Australian. We flaunt our overseas lineage ( even if we do not renounce it properly before moving into parliament).
We can continue to respect our ex- monarch, but we can become a republic, remain in the Commonwealth of Nations and think for ourselves. We no longer need to think like the out of date Britain, with its still prominent class system and lack of connection with the rest of the world – increased by the recent Brexit exit.
We can take a look at other stable countries that are republics, for example France, Spain, South Africa and even Ireland. And very close to home we have Singapore and Fiji, our neighbouring Republics. We can become like the other 31 ex British colonies who are republics within the Commonwealth of Nations.
Let’s get trendy and let go of some of our old fashioned ties. That might allow us to make decisions, a great deal more easily, about some the very big questions that face us and the world.