It’s an important question for Australians, with ramifications for New Zealand. Australian Green Senator Bob Brown has introduced legislation requiring a simple yes or no referendum at the 2010 election. The last time a referendum was held in 1999, it was soundly defeated, but Brown claims that this was because the government of the day altered the question in a way that most people objected to.
Brown proposes a simple question; Should Australia become a republic, yes or no? This is more open ended than the last referendum, which asked; Should Australia become a republic, with a president appointed by parliament? Brown claims that most Australians at the time wanted to directly elect a president rather than leave it to parliament.
It is a very interesting question, which is easier to discuss when it is someone else’s government we are talking about. Click here to listen to the RadioNZ Interview with Green Senator Bob Brown.
A sense of pride in country. Having an Australian as head of state, this does manifestly change the way we feel about ourselves.
Indeed it would. As Brown says, putting a republic in place takes a long, long time, so putting off the day you start is just wasting time. What do you think about Australia becoming a Republic? And New Zealand? When we answer the first question, it becomes much easier to discuss the second.