Republican ardour dims in Australia

Australians are even less inclined to clip their links to the British monarchy and dump
their governor-general than they were five years ago, according to an Australia
Day survey commissioned by
The Australian newspaper.

Less than half the 20 million population would support a constitutional change to
allow a local to take over as head of state and to get their own flag.

Just 46 per cent want Australia to become a republic – the
lowest level of support since 1999 when a referendum on the issue was
soundly defeated.

Leading monarchist David Flint said the Newspoll survey didn’t
surprise him. “There’s been a trend over some time which indicates a
disinterest, I think, in the republic and a greater confidence among
Australians,” he said.

On Australia Day citizens across the country mark the anniversary
of the January 26, 1788, landing in Sydney of the first colonists
aboard the First Fleet from England.

It’s a public holiday although not everyone was celebrating the
anniversary of the start of colonisation. Aboriginal activist and
lawyer Michael Mansell and around 100 other demonstrators came together
for an Invasion Day rally.

“Australia Day celebrates the coming to power of whites over
blacks,” Mansell said. “Australia Day perpetuates the myth that
Australia was peacefully settled. It’s the equivalent of celebrating
the coming to power of the Nazis at the expense of the Jews.”

  • maca

    Barbados have announced plans to make their island a republic, replacing the Queen as head of state with a locally elected president.

    Also, It was on this day in 1950 that the Republic of India was born.

    Just some useless related info for you.

  • Alan2

    You mean the break up of British India dont you?

    “British Prime Minister Clement Atlee declared that the British would
    grant India its independence, negotiations were commenced with all the
    major political parties and communities, including the Sikhs, the
    Congress, and the Muslim League. In launching Direct Action Day in 1946,
    which led to immense communal killings in Calcutta, the Muslim League
    sought to convey the idea that an undivided India was no longer a
    possibility; and the eventual attainment of independence from British
    rule on 15 August 1947 was accompanied not only by the creation of the
    new state of Pakistan, comprised of Muslim-majority areas in both the
    eastern and western parts of India, but by the unprecedented horrors of
    partition. At least 500,000 people are estimated to have been killed,
    and many women were abducted or raped; and it is estimated that no fewer
    than 11 million Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs crossed borders, which to
    this day remains the single largest episode of migration in history.”

  • mogg

    But the Aussies will get their republic eventually. Disillusionment with the model offered was high and many people spoilt their papers.

    They would have voted for something like the Irish model where the people not the politicians vote for the Head of State, and where the functions are just a modern update on the British situation – and which would fit in well as the replacement for the Governor-General.

    I guess that the current low recorded enthusiasm for the monarchy in Oz is a record of low esteem for politicians in general.