Monday, June 3, 2013

Arguing with Australian Republicans

Republicans are quite a nonsensical bunch no matter where in the world you find them and those infecting the great Commonwealth of Australia are certainly no different. Their arguments are so full of holes and lack any credibility to such a great extent that they have been so far unsuccessful in their treasonous efforts in spite of having virtually the entire mainstream media, political establishment and university system all helping them push their agenda. It would be like losing a football match to a man with only one leg. Part of the problem is that the republican position is being championed by people, more often than not, on the far-left fringe of the political spectrum and yet they instinctively try to use a conservative, nationalistic sort of argument which they are singularly unsuited to make. They end up sounding like Karl Marx trying to explain the merits of capitalism; they do not do a very poor job of it, come off as being terribly insincere and are extremely unconvincing. They try, like most traitors, to cloak their cause in the mantle of patriotism and love of country and yet, again, this comes off as very insincere when they are advocating basically doing away with the country as it has always been, establishing a totally new form of government and probably even scrapping the national flag for a younger, more stylish model. Saying you love your country but want to change the very foundation of it, the symbols of it and deny nearly the whole history of it would leave anyone doubtful about your honesty.

Yet, that is the first argument republicans tend to make; the nationalistic argument. They claim that it is wrong for someone who is the sovereign of the United Kingdom and who lives predominately in Great Britain to also be the sovereign of Australia. They claim that Australia should not have a “foreign” sovereign (sometimes they will say “Head of State” but, in actuality, the Queen is not the Australian “Head of State” but the “Sovereign” of Australia). The first absurdity of this argument is that, not too many years ago, no one in Australia would have considered anyone from Great Britain, or Canada or South Africa or New Zealand to be “foreign” at all. It takes an odd sort of person to view the Queen of Australia as being “foreign” to the Land Down Under. She looks the same as most of them, speaks the same language, worships the same God and has much the same history. Yet, for most of those making this argument, their double-standard is so blatantly obvious it is a wonder they do not trip over it. After all, just like the UK, Australia is a parliamentary democracy with a population of people from every race, nationality and ethnic group under the sun. There are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and people of various other religions and no religion at all that are accepted as Australians and, indeed, the people making the republican argument are often the same ones demanding that it be so. They seem to be trying to argue at the same time that anyone can be an Australian, except for the Queen or any other Windsor royals.

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.

Even if the republicans were to then make a more rigidly exclusive cultural argument to base nationality on, their case would still hold no water since immigrants are being welcomed into Australia every day and allowed and even encouraged to maintain their own ethnic traditions, beliefs and culture. So, there is really no way in which the royals could be excluded from the idea of being Australian. They cannot be excluded based on history, for their history is bound up with Australia, nor on blood as it is the same as many Australians and no one, certainly not Australian republicans, would ever dream of basing nationality on ethnicity anyway. Finally, on the legal side of things, which bases nationality on the legality of government documents, the royals are, by that standard, Australian already. No matter how one looks at the republican argument, there is simply no basis for saying that the monarchy should be abolished because the royals are British and not Australian. The Royal Family is British of course but they are no more or less British than they are also Australian, Canadian or any other number of legal rather than ethnic nationalities. So, if the republicans are to persist in their campaign, and they certainly are, that argument is simply not sufficient. What else do they have to offer?

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.

It is also worth mentioning that just because a government is democratic and a leader is democratically chosen does not mean it will be better. The most common “worst case scenario” cited is usually Adolf Hitler who rose to power by democratic means after failing to take power by force. However, if that is unfair, perhaps Adolf should be given a rest and we look to a less extreme example such as the United States; the most prominent republic and one of the oldest republics in the world. President Andrew Jackson was democratically elected and quite popular yet he was someone who carried out ethnic cleansing in his own country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was democratically elected, numerous times, was quite popular and he put thousands of innocent American citizens in concentration camps simply because of their race or ethnicity. An elected tyrant is a tyrant all the same and the tyranny of the mob is often even more gruesome than the tyranny of one man. However, we all should know that the “will of the people” is something everyone cites when it coincides with their own opinions and denounces when it does not.

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.

Whatever one thinks of the current system of constitutional monarchy in Australia, few could doubt that it has served quite well. No system is perfect of course but there are certainly a great many more countries with a variety of forms of government that are worse off than Australia and not that many that are better off or even equal to life in Australia. It may seem odd to some to judge just how good a job the Queen of Australia is doing considering that the Queen is rarely in Australia to act for herself. Her part is played by what most republicans claim to want; an Australian head of state and the Queen through the Governor-General invariably follows the advice of the elected government. However, it would seem even more ridiculous to advocate someone losing their job without even evaluating how that person is doing in his or her job. The ironic thing about the republicans is that, intentionally or not, they admit that the Queen of Australia has done a most excellent job in her role as sovereign of the country. This can be seen in what many republicans say they want for the next referendum. They want to wait until the current monarch dies and the Crown passes to the Prince of Wales to put the issue before the Australian voters yet again. Why would they do this? The answer is simple and quite telling.

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.


  1. And they say monarchy is illogical...

  2. You must understand the problem of the anglo-irish conflict and how that transplants itself to the Issue Down Under

    1. I understand that the entire population of Australia isn't Irish and I also understand that not even all Irish people oppose the monarchy.

    2. I never meant to imply those things. Just meant from a general viewpoint that due to the sectarian issue in the north you know in the catholic-protestant tradition. Of course there are catholics who do support the monarchy, I needed to point out the list does show a dominance of Irish surnames

    3. Well if you're going to stride in and say, "You must understand X before you can understand Y" it might help avoid confusion if you said what the heck X is in the first place. I fail to see the relevance of any of this to the article above at all. It was a response to the most common republican talking points that I have seen, not a dissertation on the roots of republicanism in Australia.

  3. Great article! (By the way is there any other way to contact you besides commenting, M.M.?)

  4. Sorry if this is a little off topic, but I have been attempting to find out if the British royal family has any Bagrationi blood, would you happen to know?

  5. Have any people who are against "foreign" monarchs reigning over their country ever suggested a gavelkind succession between the children of the British royal family for the titles of the Commonwealth?

    Like for instance if William had four children his eldest would become the King/Queen of the United Kingdom, his second would be monarch of Canada, third: monarch of Australia, fourth: New Zeeland.

    I'd think that solve the problem of a "foreign" monarch, and we'd get three extra monarchs out of it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...