Many times over the last decade I have heard people say “I’m a republican but…”.
Usually followed by excuses why not to fight for our own Head of State, this phrase has become the calling card of the closet republican.
It’s true that for some a downturn in support for the cause has affected motivation.
But as republicans it is imperative we continue to set the groundwork and keep making the case for a republic, because quite simply the views of non-believers will not change if we fall silent.
When Australians are questioned about their priorities, when it comes to politics the republic rates lowly. We need to make it a priority issue.
To do this the republican campaign must act as a unifying force for Australia’s future.
We need to unite Australians, not divide them. The only way to achieve this is to focus on our modern identity and our future. We need to demonstrate the benefits for our nation and our people from having one of our own as Head of State.
We are a leading nation of the Asia Pacific region, with a multicultural society and a modern economy. We have a strong security relationship firmly based in our region.
We are one of only a few countries on earth who can lay claim to this, and not have our own Head of State.
I recently asked a group of people in my community why we should become a republic? When one person answered that we should have an Australian as our Head of State, another person asked “Isn’t the Prime Minister our Head of State?”
We are rightly proud of the system of government and the nation we have built together.
We need to explain that a republic will not change the way we are governed.
It is important to acknowledge that negative politics will not inspire Australians to think of their future and the shape of our modern nation. We will not become a republic by tearing down the Monarchy.
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