Australia’s feckless, ‘all about me’ Republican movement has shown its true colours with its disgraceful reaction to the Queen’s passing English Headline

In recent months, three material events have occurred in Australia and the UK: the Australian Labor Party won the federal election and both the British parliament and its monarchy witnessed a changing of the guard.

What was most notable about these events was the quiet, seamless and perfectly executed transition of power.

It is an uneventfulness which onlookers from around the world can only dream of.

For us, it is the ordinary course of business. 

What has been instructive since the passing of the Queen has been the noisy coterie longing to put a bulldozer through our Constitution, traditions and institutions because they are apparently archaic and intractable, or something like that.

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them, or they don’t care, that it is the certainty of our system which affords us that seamless transition of power.

And while there may be occasion to tinker with the rules at the edges, we must always be mindful of the net impact of any reform agenda.

Some Republicans such as former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, have shown an elegant respect for the death of the Queen and have restrained themselves from mentioning the R-word.

Other high-profile proponents of the movement, such as Anthony Albanese and Daniel Andrews, have been equally respectful of the Queen’s passing and kicked the Republican can down the road for the time being.

They have read the room perfectly and realised that any immediate discussion about the Republic will only be counter-productive.

It has been a masterclass in political manoeuvring.

Yet there are those staunch Republicans who are so ideological in their views, and so ill-disciplined in their behaviour, they cannot be decent enough even to wait until after the Queen’s funeral before launching a full-frontal attack against the Monarchy.

Remember, these are the people who think they know what’s best for the rest of us in advocating for a republic.

Frankly, if they don’t have the patience, care and respect to wait until Her Majesty is laid to rest, then you have to question how much they actually want to benefit the broader community with their grand plans for a new government.

Change for the sake or change or change to launch a vanity project should always be carefully scrutinised.

And we must ask ourselves: will a republic materially and practically improve the lives of our people and our democracy?

The Republican debate has never seemed as feckless as it is now in answering this question. 

The passing of the Queen has illustrated to us the power of lifelong apolitical service and duty.

If we move to a republic and our president is politicised, then it is inevitable that servicing the public good – the centre-focus of the monarchy – will fall by the wayside in the pursuit of political ends.

There is not an ounce of altruism in the Republican movement.

And this is where the issue lies: when we make changes to our Constitution the consequences can reverberate for decades.

The proposed republic model has changed and it appears the proponents aren’t fussed what the model actually looks like – so long as the monarchy is removed.

There appears to be little regard as to whether the net effect is a positive or negative one.

But just because there is some new fan-dangle sparkly political toy, doesn’t mean we trade off a functional and stable system to indulge an ideological preference.

What the last few months has shown is how a system designed to serve the national interest has in fact served us very well. 

We have the benefit from it and we should be grateful for it.

We should certainly not be changing it.

English Headline

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