A wide ranging statement from the Republican Democrats has put an Australian republic central to the aims of the new party, saying "[nothing] is more important than the transformation of Australia into an independent republic".
REPUBLICAN Democrats CEO, Peter Pyke, said in a statement that the new party is willing to put the issue to the people before 2013 and look to "radically" reshape the Constitution to create a ‘true’ separation of powers.
“Neither the ALP nor the Coalition have the courage to say the ‘R’ word and that’s stopping Australia from taking what is probably the most important step we need to take right now," said Mr Pyke.
“The opportunity can exist to have competent federal ministers who aren’t MPs appointed by a head of state, rather than factional political mates or cronies selected on the basis of their support for a party leader or by faceless party bosses behind the scenes,” he said.
The following is the press release in full:
MEDIA RELEASE: REPUBLICAN DEMOCRATS
8 July 2010
It’s time to talk about the ‘R’ word.
Australia’s political parties are avoiding the ‘R’ word - that is, apart from the Republican Democrats. They might be a ‘cheeky’ new party but they’ve got some big-ticket agenda items on their list and they say none is more important than the transformation of Australia into an independent republic.
In this federal election, the Republican Democrats are the only party with the political will to put the republic question to the people. They see moving to the Republic of Australia as an essential over-arching step which must be taken quickly to bring Australia’s structure of government and public administration into the 21st Century.
“Neither the ALP nor the Coalition have the courage to say the ‘R’ word and that’s stopping Australia from taking what is probably the most important step we need to take right now,” says Peter Pyke, Republican Democrats CEO. “It’s like driving around in a great car but with the handbrake on.”
Republican Democrats say that with reform there is the opportunity to get it right and change the shape of Australia’s public administration and create ‘true’ separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
“The opportunity can exist to have competent federal ministers who aren’t MPs appointed by a head of state, rather than factional political mates or cronies selected on the basis of their support for a party leader or by faceless party bosses behind the scenes. With respect to our chief law officer and defence minister for example, the benefits should be clear,” says Pyke.
“All the current talk about asylum seekers, Big Brother, citizens’ rights, euthanasia, gun control, immigration, Indigenous land rights, internet censorship, mining versus farming, the Nanny State, population, religion, states and taxation is important; put it all together, though, and Republican Democrats say it means Australians really need to talk about who we are as a nation, and where we want to go,” they say. “Anything else is tinkering with a vintage car on a dirt track when we really want to be cruising on a super-highway in a modern eco-limousine.”
The new centrist party says policy support for the transition of our clever country to the Republic of Australia has been published on its website since the Republican Democrats’ launch on 22 June 2010 and the name of the party was purposely chosen to put the republican message forward.
“The polls indicate that the Australian people are way ahead of last election’s crop of politicians on this score,” says Peter Pyke. “A majority of Australians want our nation to make the step up to a republic, but – as the recent asylum-seeker debate race-to-the-bottom has proven - because the leaders of both the Holden and Ford camps have ceded all policy-making to their powerful fringe elements, both the ALP and Coalition are too frightened to even mention the ‘R’ word, despite it now being 2010.”
“In this election someone needs to have the political courage to say: “Now is the right time for Australia to become a republic.” Republican Democrats owe nothing to fringe elements and can go further and say:“Let’s make the 2010 federal election a referendum on Australia becoming a republic before the next election in 2013!””
The opportunity to become the Republic of Australia brings with it exciting opportunities for other ‘great big positive changes’, Peter Pyke says.
“If we embrace the up-shift to a new identity as a republic,” Pyke says, “taking that vital step opens the door to a modern new constitution. This offers our nation a chance to take giant steps forward! A new constitution founded on 2013 knowledge and law offers the opportunity to look at all options to refine or improve our type of constitutional democracy. Aspects of the American democratic model could greatly improve separation of powers plus many people tell us they like the European idea of citizen initiated referenda which our party supports.”
“Unless we grasp the opportunity to become a republic we cannot take advantage of these and other exciting opportunities to redefine our constitutional identity and to lay down our collective vision for our future,” Pyke says.
For example, he says, both major parties’ ‘cheap talk’ about sustainable population growth ducks an important underlying issue which is the concern many reasonable Australians now voice that they do not want our country to ever become conflicted by any religion, be that Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, or anything else.
“Australians are telling Republican Democrats emphatically that they want all intending immigrants to formally accept our system of law, the separation of church and state, and equality between women and men,” Pyke says.
It is because we are a nation which has a highly-valued tolerance of religious and political belief, Australians are telling Republican Democrats, it is essential we have a Constitution which says that and insists new citizens share our values.
“Getting these new ideas into our present Constitution would be a nightmarish, likely impossible task. Republican Democrats support these ideas,” Pyke says, “and a new constitution can incorporate them and many others.”
“This is a great opportunity. I can think of no other country which has a similar opportunity to undertake such positive radical reshaping at this important time,” he says.
“Australians are telling us they are ready to move to a republic and are hungry to have a frank discussion about all opportunities to improve our systems of constitutional democracy. They say they want a new Constitution which values and sets out honourable entitlements for First Australians, enshrines a secular spirit for our clever country, and establishes our shared vision for our future,” Republican Democrats say.
“How Australia is governed is an issue and constitutional reform is inevitable. We are the only party talking about the Republic of Australia because we have a solution. When you vote in this federal election, vote to take the handbrake off this clever country of ours! Make sure you know where your candidates stand on this very important issue,” Republican Democrats say.
For further information contact Peter Pyke CEO Republican Democrats on 0427 388 598