The continuing existence of a powerless unelected monarch as head of state in a democracy, is not only a silly anachronism, but now serves solely as a Disneyland feature of Britain’s booming tourism industry. Take it away with all of its trimmings and like removing the Eiffel tower from Paris, a winning tourism industry would suffer.
But regardless of my view the only opinion that actually counts is that of the Brits and despite growing muted Republican mutterings from many prominent citizens, doubtless the public, at least currently, would substantially vote for its continuation.
But in New Zealand and Australia? Probably not and rightly so as the monarchy’s token head of state role for both countries, now each a kaleidoscope of different migrant non-British nationalities, would doubtless mark its demise, and rightly so.
The current furore over Harry and Meghan is ridiculous. That said, I don’t blame them. Meghan has been the subject of sustained vicious attacks from the sleazy British redtop press. Why? I suspect because her sexy beauty has overwhelmingly trumped William’s wife Kate’s more mundane appearance. The usual cry of racism has been predictably delivered, nonsense of course in multi-racial contemporary Britain. That said, their marriage seems odds-on not to last, but again, so what?
The Queen cops continuing admiration. God knows why as in over nine decades she’s never done or uttered a single notable thing. But so be it. As said, if that’s what the Brits want then that’s enough.
Ask every one of our top politicians and they will say yes to the Republican proposition, then sensitive to offending royalist voters, add but not just yet.
Following the Queens’ demise, the Aussies will lead the way with a referendum, hopefully couched more honestly than the previous one, and duly become a Republic.
Two of our past Prime Ministers sought to end the current silly situation of the British Monarch as our nominal head of state. First was Bolger but he never did anything about it, although ironically he advanced the proposition of a second chamber. Britain’s House of Lords is much worse than the monarchy democracy-wise. The monarchy is a powerless charade whereas the House of Lords, compromising a mix of heredity-based members and political appointees can stymie the elected government’s legislation. Then followed Helen who chipped away at the edges, such as abandoning our use of the Privy Council as our ultimate Court of Appeal. She also wiped knighthoods, but that too was ill-thought as they’re simply the historic name of an honour. The public didn’t like that, evidenced by their return under Key being publicly embraced.
Abandoning the Privy Council was a huge mistake as in our small country, our ultimate Appellant Court should be off-shore, albeit it doesn’t have to be the Privy Council. One QC suggested to me at the time, we could propose swapping ultimate Appellant Courts with an Australian state to achieve true independence for both parties.
The standard political procrastination line is we should visit the issue on the Queen’s demise. Doubtless that will happen in Australia whereupon we will probably copycat with a referendum.
Current polling according to our Republican movement favours a change by about 60% to 40%. Others say it’s nearer 50% each way. I suspect we will find the reality within a decade but as will happen and Australia, like most Commonwealth countries opts for an Aussie Head of State, we will follow suit.