I need to confess something. I am a royalist. Yes, I know, not a popular stance in this day and age but there you go. The debate has been revisited because of the Royal Wedding and some of the arguments put forward by those for a republic have amused and confused me somewhat.
* We need an elected head of state because the Royal Family is dysfunctional and full of scandal.
* Ummmmm, yes. Because there has never been an elected person who had a scandalous affair in the history of the world.
* We need an elected head of state because Prince Philip says racist, embarrassing and ill informed things sometimes.
* Yes, because there has never been an elected person who said stupid things (why do you think comedians all voted Bush in for a second term in the States?)
* We need an elected head of state because the Royal Family's role is largely ceremonial.
* And what, exactly, are you proposing an elected head of state does that is different to a largely ceremonial role? Come back to me on that one when you have a good answer.
* We need to have an elected head of state because the Royal Family costs us money.
* Yes, an elected head of state will work for free I'm sure. They will live in a housing commission house, drive a Ford Fiesta and never, ever need to travel internationally.
* We need an elected head of state because the Monarchy has done some dreadful things in the past.
* So has Parliament. White Australia Policy anyone? Stolen Generation? Vietnam? If we are going to get rid of the monarchy based on the choices of past Monarchs, we need to get rid of Parliament based on past Parliaments.
* We need an Australian head of state because the Royal Family are FOREIGNERS and do not reflect Australian Values.
* Perhaps instead of debating the Republic issue at this time, we need to put our time and energy into working out what those Australian Values are and exactly how Australians are going to behave toward foreigners. Seeing as there is a section of our society that can't seem to tell the difference between an Indian Student who brings thousands (collectively millions) to our economy and Osama Bin Ladin perhaps we need to be putting funds in to PAYING TEACHERS and BUYING MAPS FOR SCHOOLS rather than changing the head on our coins.
Do I believe that a Constitutional Monarchy is the BEST model for Australia? No, I do not. I do, however, believe that it is the best model that we have AT THIS TIME. And until we are moving toward a values rich, positive model that reflects an Australia that I can be proud of, I am not moving anywhere. The Republican Movement is all to quick to point out the problems with our current model but it is rare to see any solutions offered. Rather than running away I want to be, at the risk of sounding like a certain obnoxious red-head, moving forward. To an Australia I can be proud of.
Personally, I love and admire the Queen. I think she is a role model for women, leaders and Christians all over the world. She quietly worked with others to enable them to end apartheid in South Africa, something she gets very little credit for and expects no credit for. Her work in world politics goes largely unnoticed. She is like Dr. Who but in a nice frock with corgis. Prince Charles is highly underestimated and he works HARD to serve the people of the Commonwealth. He earned a great deal of respect from me when he and his current wife publicly repented of their sins before marrying. That could not have been easy. William seems to be shaping up to be quite a nice young man too. HOWEVER, rather than whose bottom is on the throne my concern is with the political model under which my country currently operates which I believe is one of the very best in the world. And although we benefit from a "good" monarch our laws largely protect us from a "bad" one. Perhaps one day our country will have grown up enough to stand on its own, but I believe that the massive issues we are currently facing (racism, our treatment of asylum seekers, the crisis within the Aboriginal population to name a few) show that we ARE NOT READY to formulate our own political system.
Perhaps one day we will be, but not yet.