I find it a little strange that Australia still has the Union Jack on the flag, and the British queen’s head on the coins. I’m not totally bent out of shape about it, but I just wonder what would be so bad about moving on from these antiquated things.
Don’t think it’s any skin off QEII’s nose either way.
We simply lack viable alternatives
Gawd knows how many “Design a New Flag” competitions we’ve had since Federation. Exactly none of the designs has garnered any popular support. Mind you, if popular support was the lone criteria we’d have Fatso as our national mascot.
IMHO the best of the flags, and the only one with any historical authenticity is the Eureka flag.
Unfortunately it’s long association with the BLF is a problem.
QEII would be off the coinage now if the Australian Republican Movement had the slightest practical bone and political judgement in their collective skulls. Not sure who’d be the replacement but it would be hard to go past the the founders of Parkes, Barton, Deakin, Reid etc.
There’s nothing *wrong *with moving on from the rule of the monarchy, but the thing to remember is that essentially we’re a fucking lazy bunch of cunts around these parts. The question is not “Why not?” it’s “Why bother?”. Sure, if the republican movement would get off their arses and actually do something worthwhile instead of just whining, we’d eventually get to a point where something different would be chosen, but as it stands there’s been no compelling reason to change anything. Nobody has come up with a more stirring reason than “it’s antiquidated”. We haven’t had a war of independence, the Monarchy is a figurehead more than anything else, and there’d be a whole lot of arsing about in changing anything, so why bother?
I and most of the people I know wouldn’t vote against becoming a republic due to any sort of loyalty to the throne, it’s just more that when the republican issue has come up, there’s been no real focus behind it other than a slightly disgruntled “But it’s oooooold”.
It’s the Australian queen’s head on the coins!
Other than apathy, the 1999 referendum shows the other main reason for there not having been a change: deciding on what to replace the monarchy with.
Getting federal constitutional amendments passed is also something that’s proven to be exceptionally different, because of how the referendum results have to work. Less than 1 in 5 amendments that have passed through Parliament have been approved by the people!
Who the head of state is has absolutely zero effect on the daily life of any Australian.
Changing the head of state would cost, conservatively, hundreds of millions of dollars.
It’s simply not worth it. Why spend potentially billions of dollars to achieve a purely cosmetic change that has no effect on anything? I can think of about a thousand more worthwhile uses for the money. It’s not even a case of apathy or lack of alternative. It manifestly not worth it in simple, monetary terms.
The only way it could possibly be worth it is if it wasn’t just a cosmetic change. If the new head of state had powers notably different form the monarch’s. And the chances of getting even a simple majority of the population to agree on any proposal for that is as close to nil as makes no difference.
Except for the flag, the same could be asked of Canada. There is no answer except that it is virtually impossible to change the constitution. And why bother?
A ridiculously expensive re-branding exercise that ends up with us paying for some person to be president … save the money for the hospitals I say!!
Same for New Zealand.
You still have to pay someone to be Governor General.
In Canada, the problem is that any attempt to open up the Constitution to amendment would result in an unholy shitstorm of Constitutional demands and arguments.
It is almost impossible to overstate how delicate the issue of our Constitution is; the Constitution of Canada is not so much a founding document as it is a Jenga-like tower of compromises, backroom deals, patchworked and borrowed stuff, regional grievances, historical grudges, century-old temporary solutions, barriers of mistrust, and anachronistic solutions that barely worked even when they were devised. Any attempt to findamentally change it would instantly open up more arguments, demands, whining and bitter conflict than your last family reunion.
So it might make sense to get rid of the Queen (and with King Charles on the horizon people are starting to think about it more) but for the most part the overriding desire in Canadians politics is to stay the fuck away from Constitutional amendments.
More importantly there cost of a presidential election every 5-7 years to deal with. A direct-election would be the most expensive option and how much do you really want to spend on an election for an office that’s almost entirely ceremonial?
Any Australians and Canadians actually like the monarch as an insitution?
There are a few staunch loyalists over here. Mostly older folks who emigrated from the UK, or grandparents and suchlike. Most people just don’t care either way.
And while we’re at it, what’s with those 13 stripes on the U.S. flag? That’s so 18th century.
Yup. I wonder if the US is more scared of a constitutional convention?
I’m an immigrant to Canada from the US. Having watched the US [del] get wierder and wierder [/del] seem to lose track of who we, or maybe now who they are, I wonder whether the monarchy exerts some sort of small-c conservative, anti-extremist influence on the country, partly by separating the head of state from the head of government, partly by connecting us with a longer and older political tradition (so we don’t spend all our time talking about what the framers meant), and partly by having a little old lady who would look at us in a disapproving manner if we did something stupid.
I’ve asked this before, but I wonder if pure democracies have much of a lifespan, relative to monarchies - and if a constitutional monarchy might not be the most stable form of democratic government.
That is a problem. You can’t use an emu, 'cause no one knows how to pronounce it. Is it ee-myu or em-you or ee-moo or whatever. Then if you use a emu, the cassowary will get all mad. And Cass is one bird you don’t want to get hacked off at you. Cass has a 'tude, like you won’t believe.
You can’t use a kangaroo, 'cause it is just stupid. Besides the wombats don’t like it and the koala is too busy being pissed off at QANTAS to be on the flag.
And then you have the Sydney Opera House, which is odd, 'cause apparently every show set in Sydney has the opera house visible from every set on the TV show
You can’t use Mel Gibson, Olivia Newton-John or the Bee Gees, the most famous Aussies as they are not Australian. And Helen Reddy, who is Australian doesn’t speak with an accent, so she’s out. That leaves Rove who is hysterical, but who’d want his mug on a flag.
Sydneysiders hate Melbourners and Western Australia hates the rest of Australia. Northern Territorians hate the feds as they won’t let them be a state unless they have less senators than other states. Perth is always trying to sneak up on Brisbane as the 3rd city and Adelaide thinks it’s better than the other capitals because it was founded by free people not deported convicts.
The word is “ee-myou”
“ee-moo” is wrong, and you all need to stop saying that because it’s fucking retarded.
I’m pretty sure that those crazy aussies just refuse to change flags because that would mean that they admit that they copied the New Zealand one and not vice-versa. And of course it follows that you can’t become a republic without changing the flag.
PS MarkXXX, do you get Rove live in the US? Love 'im! (and your thread about old style telephones reminded me of a bit of his show where he obtained an fullsize old style handset that plugged in to your mobile)
That’d be me. I’m a Monarchist.
Some of the reasons for me (just to answer the next question) are a combination of “History & Tradition” along with “I think having an impartial and neutral Figurehead of State is an eminently sensible idea that ensures stability in Government” (basically what Attack From The 3rd Dimension said).
If you judged this by the wall-to-wall coverage of some upcoming wedding then either the greater Australian populace is far more devoutly monarchist than they would admit or they still believe in fairy tales.
Have no truck with Bessie Windsor, Phil the Greek, Big Ears and clan, but as a McGarvie Model republican, I like the institutions they have overseen.
Shhh! Don’t tell the Hawaiians!!