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