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ACM Home arrow Prince Charles arrow National debate over Prince Charles - but why won't the republicans come clean?

National debate over Prince Charles - but why won't the republicans come clean? Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Monday, 12 November 2012
"Top monarchist Jai Martinkovits" and "head republican David Morris" go head to head today about the succession to the throne.
 
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But David Morris uses UMR research which claims support for some vague politicians' republic is 48%. This is much higher than all  other polls which show significantlyy lower support for that vague politicians' republic. 

But Mr. Morris doesn't refer to them.

It's worse than that. The UMR research was actually commissioned by the ARM.

And this is the organisation which is saying to the Australian people - trust us with constitutional change - but we can't tell you what sort of republic, or indeed what new new flag we are actually planning.

In this debate The Telegraph asks "Should this man be our next king?"
"The visit of Prince Charles and Camilla has wowed crowds and won hearts, so has the royal resurgence killed off the mood for an Australian republic?" asks The Daily Telegraph, Sydney's leading newspaper.

The editor continues: "Head republican David Morris and top monarchist Jai Martinkovits go head to head".
The visit of Prince Charles and Camilla has wowed crowds and won hearts, so has the royal resurgence killed off the mood for an Australian republic? Head republican David Morris and top monarchist Jai Martinkovits go head to head:

David Morris

Australia always puts on a good welcome for celebrity visitors, whether pop stars, presidents or princes. But there is one thing about having a visitor that always rings true. It's great while they are here but it also feels good to have the house back to ourselves when they are gone.

Having a visitor can also make us appreciate our own home.

The home that we have built here on this continent is very different from where our visitors call home. We don't in this country elevate people above us just because they were born into a particular family, class or title. We have our own unique, egalitarian culture in which that just doesn't fit.

Although we resisted it for a long time, we now have a mature identity, a strong sense of who we are. We no longer describe ourselves, as many once did, as "British to the bootstraps". We are all Australians. We now acknowledge indigenous Australians and include migrants from all over the world as part of the family.

Sometimes it takes a visitor to bring home just how different we are.

It's long overdue that we put our name on the title deeds to our own home instead of an inherited monarchy that represents another country on the other side of the world.

We should take full responsibility for our home, as a republic. We could stay in the Commonwealth, most of which are republics, and enjoy a more mature, equal relationship with our traditional friends.

As a republic we would strengthen our standing, here in our neck of the woods, with new respect from our neighbours as a mature nation. The republic would be proof we are comfortable with who we are, that we have moved on from the old days when people from one background were privileged above others. Celebrating our independence as a republic would be proof that we feel at home, here where we live. After all, it is here in this part of the world that our future prosperity lies, as well as our future security.

According to recent UMR research, 48 per cent of us support Australia becoming a republic, while only 39 per cent are opposed.

We are already a republic in our hearts; we are a democratic, egalitarian and unique place. But we have been let down by politicians, who prefer to divide and argue than find commonsense agreement among Australians.

The current crop of politicians have not given us the second chance that many expected after the divisive result of the republic referendum in 1999.

Yet it took two attempts to achieve Federation, Australian citizenship and even to adopt an Australian national anthem. It will take a second attempt to become a republic.

Some say it's all too hard. Taking responsibility for ourselves is never easy but Australia is all grown up, so it's our patriotic duty. Let's bypass the politicians and have a community conversation about who we want to be. Australians always take steps forward in our nationhood through discussion, free and fair exchange of ideas. This final step in our national journey should be no different.

Can't we all agree, regardless of what other links we might have, that we are first and foremost Australian?

So the next time we are visited by someone from another country, we can welcome them to ours. Yes, ours.

David Morris is the new National Director of the Australian Republican Movement and recently launched a new "conversation" about a republic at ouridentity.org.au

***

Jai Martinkovits

At a time when most are considering retirement Prince Charles, at 63, raises over a quarter of a billion dollars for charity annually. That's right - not million, a billion.

The highly successful visit of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall was not only an integral part of the diamond jubilee celebrations but an important opportunity for Australians, particularly the young, to connect with their future king.

As to Camilla, Australians are increasingly warming to her charm and her caring nature. It is clear that she and Prince Charles share a deep love for one another. The ultimate litmus test is whether Princes William and Harry have accepted her. And they clearly have.

Although Australians for Constitutional Monarchy is primarily concerned with our constitutional system and the flag, we recognise that Queen Elizabeth II has been a remarkable monarch and expect that Prince Charles will follow in a similar fashion.

Let's not forget that Prince Charles has a special affinity with Australia and Australians. This visit has reminded us of these close links and his strong interest in our nation.

He has long been outspoken on issues of the environment, conservation of old buildings and herbal and alternative medicine. Although these issues are now fashionable, they were not always so. He is very much a ground-breaker.

The Prince has such a passion for the disadvantaged, particularly the young, that some consider him to be no more than a bleeding heart. He is far too practical and effective to be so dismissed. For example, The Prince's Trust, operating under the slogan "Inspiring young lives", works with 13- to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law, equipping them with key workplace skills.

So has the royal visit bolstered support for our constitutional monarchy?

The contrast offered by the crown with partisan and bitter divisions in the political arm of government is more and more confirming to Australians the wisdom of their decision in 1999 not to substitute a politician's republic for our crowned republic.

Australians instinctively realise that a sovereign who has not campaigned to be chosen for that role but who instead patiently accepts his destiny with a sense of service and duty is ideal. This sets the tone for our governors-general and governors, distinguishing them from mere political loyalists and partisans.

Young people are not only uninterested in a republic but increasingly like the royals.

The success of this visit hasn't stopped some media outlets from reporting low attendance while at the same time not publishing details of where and then they can be seen. Despite claims to the contrary, the state government did provide information on where to see them. The Telegraph published this, and ACM posted this to its site, norepublic.com.au, and its Facebook page, which now has more fans than both major political parties.

While a minority tried to undermine Their Royal Highnesses' visit, the vast majority of Australians saw it as a chance to become better acquainted with their future king.In the meantime, we have a remarkable monarch in Queen Elizabeth II. And long may she reign!

Jai Martinkovits is the executive director for Australians for Constitutional Monarchy

 
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