Monday, June 3, 2013
Arguing with Australian Republicans
Furthermore, if this point of the Queen not being a native-born Australian is so important; why does it not extend to others? Australia is a member of the United Nations despite the Secretary-General being a Korean and not an Australian. How can any Australian be a Catholic when the Pope is an Argentine and not an Australian? The republicans cannot answer it of course because, as has been said, they are trying to make a nationalist argument while being fundamentally inter-nationalist in their core beliefs. Aside from the background of the socialist principles most uphold there is the positions they advocate in favor of greater power going to international organizations, few to no restrictions on immigration and their whole mindset of being “citizens of the world” rather than being “Australia for the Australians” which is an attitude they would no doubt abhor. Likewise, even if they tried, they would be unable to make such an argument, not only because it goes against their core beliefs but also because they would be unable to concretely define what an “Australian” is when trying to exclude any member of the Royal Family. After all, the royals share the same ethnic background as most Australians, certainly as the early settlers and builders of modern Australia which is a product of the British Empire. In excluding any member of the Royal Family as being “foreign” to Australia would also necessarily exclude anyone of English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish background who was born and raised in Australia. After all, the blood that runs in the veins of any human being does not change because of what patch of ground they happen to be born on.
One common but tired tactic is to use the argument of democracy. The monarchy, after all, in un-democratic. It makes the highest “office” in the land something beyond the reach of popularity. Yet, as un-democratic as the monarchy might be, this argument does not hold water either. No one votes for the monarch, true enough, yet the very fact that Australia has already had one referendum on republicanism and with the Queen having stated that she will cheerfully abide by any referendum on the future of the monarchy means that the Queen can be voted out of office if the Australian people wish it. In this way, the Australian monarchy is actually more democratic than most of the major democratic republics of the world. Even in the United States a simple popular vote is not sufficient to remove a sitting president from office nor can any popular vote do anything so drastic as to change the very form of government and the basis for government authority. In the same way, in the United States the Supreme Court can overrule a president and the popular will and not one member of that body is elected or accountable to popular opinion. The fact that Australians can decide whether they want a monarchy or a republic means that they already have more freedom and popular power than republics like France or Germany where it is actually illegal to change the form of government in any way.
There is also not much reason to believe republicans when they claim such great devotion for democracy in the first place. In large part these are the same people who empower unelected judges to rule on social issues rather than leaving it to the public to decide. The same people who support international organizations like the UN or the EU, neither of whom have a top leadership that is elected by the ordinary people but most of all we can see the republican contempt for democracy in their own reaction to the referendum on the monarchy. There was a vote for switching to a republic, Australians voted “no” and the republicans swiftly decided to ignore that vote and immediately began working for another referendum and no doubt if that one comes back in favor of the monarchy they will wish for a third and a fourth until the public returns the answer that the republicans desire. This is certainly not respecting the will of the majority, it is no more than a charade. Furthermore, the republicans have made no secret of their desire to pose the question at a time when emotional factors or, in other words, an irrational mentality, would make the public more likely to vote the way they wish them to vote. This leads to another argument; how good a job the monarchy has done for Australia.
Even the most ardent republican has been forced to admit that the Queen has done a superb job and is extremely popular. Therefore, they admit that it is rather futile to try to get rid of the Australian monarchy while the Queen is still alive. Instead, they want to wait for a tragedy, circling like so many vultures, to swoop down with a referendum when the less popular Prince of Wales comes to the throne. Think about what that means. The Queen has done such a good job they have admitted that opposing her is useless. So their only hope is to get rid of the monarchy under Prince Charles before he has been given a chance to prove himself. In effect, their fear is that the Prince of Wales might prove to be just as capable and popular a King of Australia as his mother was Queen. That should tell the public all they need to know about the character of the republicans. They admit that Australia has a great monarch in the person of the Queen and are terrified that the next monarch might be just as great. They would rather have an inept politician in place of the sovereign than successful monarch. They can’t take the risk that Australia might actually do well and Australians might actually love and admire their sovereign. That is their nightmare and it is one that only an especially despicable person could ever have.