Kate and Wills Fever Down Under

Well, we’ve just finished a FIVE day break, last Thursday being the last serious work day here in Australia for many people. With Tuesday being declared an extra bank holiday because of the clash of Easter Monday and Anzac Day, this may just have been the longest weekend in Australian history.

But we get stuck back into the hard grind today, Wednesday and tomorrow, Thursday and then…..

The Royal Wedding: Kate and Wills Get Hitched!

Kate and Wills engagement picture

The Official Engagement Picture

With the wedding due to start at 11 am in the UK, that’s going to be 8 pm here in Oz. Whoopee! Prime time TV. And party time again here in Australia.

For further details, let’s go to our Royal Correspondent, Mrs BobinOz. She’s been watching endless “Kate and Wills” TV programs since most of her favourite cooking shows have ended.

“Mrs BobinOz, how do you see the Royal wedding panning out?”

“Well, TV coverage starts at six o’clock in the evening here on Friday and about five or six of us girls are all going round Annette’s house armed with bottles of wine.”

There you have it.

But I know during my post on The Comedy Club, I promised you a look at an occasional yet ongoing debate here. Today seems like a good day for that. So, here is the BobinOz brief guide to…

Australia: Monarchy or Republic?

The question:

Should Australia ditch the monarchy and become a republic?

The current setup:

Australia is a constitutional monarchy. Technically, Queen Elizabeth II is Australia’s head of state. But, as Australia has its own constitution, the Queen doesn’t really have any power here, she’s more for show really.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

But as the Queen is v busy and lives 11,000 miles away, she is represented here by the Governor-General, currently Quentin Bryce…

Quentin_Bryce

Quentin Bryce: Australia’s Governor-General

The Governor-General is appointed by The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, so you can read into that what you like. I suspect the Prime Minister chooses and the Queen rubber stamps it. But maybe it’s the other way round.

For the Monarchy

Pro monarchists say by staying as a monarchy…

  • We continue our strong relationship with England.
  • We can get all excited and wave flags at Royal weddings.
  • And, well, the system has been good for us so far. It works.

But the republicans argue that a republic…

  • Would give Australia greater independence.
  • Would be good for business and the economy.
  • Would allow an Australian born citizen to be Australia’s head of state. Currently, that can’t happen.

The debate is clearly bigger than this, but as I said, it’s a brief guide.

Challenges of changing.

  • What kind of republic would Australia be?
  • Who or how do we choose our President?
  • All our coinage and notes would have to change to replace the Queen’s head.
  • And then there’s all the effort of going through a national referendum.

Which Australia did in 1999. The question was, take a deep breath…..

‘….should Australia alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament’

Result: 55% no, 45% yes.

The no’s won the day.

But this royal wedding has certainly given the monarchy a big boost in this country as it is probably has in many parts of the rest of the world. And if Prince William and Kate Middleton end up honeymooning here in Australia, as some have predicted, then that might just swing the debate even further in favour of a continued monarchy.

Either way, my congratulations to Friday’s newlyweds and I hope they find a level of happiness and contentment that appears to have eluded so many of their close relatives.

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • biddy November 22, 2016, 11:35 am | Link

    i am doing a debate aboutn tit and i was wondering if anyone could help plz??

    • BobinOz November 22, 2016, 8:37 pm | Link

      You don’t need help biddy, you can do this! You can win this debate. We are all behind you here 🙂

  • John Gibson September 17, 2016, 2:29 am | Link

    There is no official evidence to say the economy would grow or the business’s would be better so don’t just assume and be ignorant. People aren’t just going to spend more money and we aren’t going to get more international investment in Australia if we got rid of the monarchy. Also considering its a constitutional monarchy we are already independent meaning we cant gain anymore. And finally the Prime Minister of Australia is actually a dual Head Of State with the queen. Once again a lot of misinformation and assumptions that is often seen in this topic.

    • BobinOz September 19, 2016, 1:44 pm | Link

      What a shame, it seems the humour in this article has completely passed you by. Never mind.

  • Corey February 18, 2014, 7:27 pm | Link

    Hi,

    I’m doing a school essay on the topic of whether Australia should become a Republic, or stay as a Constitutional Monarchy, and I was wondering if I could have your opinion. 🙂

    Corey

    P.S. Who said the quote in 1999?

    • BobinOz February 19, 2014, 4:39 pm | Link

      Hi Corey

      You are probably not going to like this, but I don’t really have a very strong opinion either way. That’s not because I don’t care, it’s because I really don’t understand fully the implications of going from a monarchy to a republic.

      I’m not a big fan of the Royal family, but it’s nice to have strong ties between Australia and the UK. Some say that if Australia became a republic it would be good business and the economy, but I’m not sure why or how. Maybe if someone could convince me of the why’s or how’s, then maybe I would favour a republic here.

      So, in summary, I have not yet formed an opinion on the matter, based on not knowing enough about the effects.

      I don’t know specifically whose idea it was to hold that referendum in 1999, but it was under a Howard government and I do know that Malcolm Turnbull was a significant figure at the time trying to make Australia a republic.

      Good luck with your essay. Cheers, Bob

      • Corey February 19, 2014, 4:44 pm | Link

        It’s ok, I undestand.

        Thanks Bob 🙂

  • Kayleigh Slack April 28, 2011, 2:17 am | Link

    My family are having a huge street party on Friday! Literally all the shops here are covered in red white and blue decorations!

    Me however, I’m celebrating in style by partying at Blackpool Pleasure Beach 😀 Can’t wait!

    Congrats Will & Kate!!

    • BobinOz April 29, 2011, 9:02 pm | Link

      Hi Kayleigh

      There’s a pretty awesome roller coaster ride there, I’m sure you’ll give it a go. I imagine there will be quite a few street parties going on today as well. Hope the weather holds, I hear it’s been good so far this week.

      Have fun!

      Bob

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