Despite 59 per cent or more of Australians expressing support for an Australian republic in the last major survey done on the subject* neither of the major political parties have been willing to take up the issue during this campaign.
“THE LEADERS of the major parties are uninterested in the republic as an issue for the election because their advisers cannot convince themselves how they can turn the issue to party political advantage,” said the Chair of the Australian Republican Movement, Major General Michael Keating.
“However, the issue is very important to a great many Australian voters and is not a party political issue” he said.
“Without a republic, Australia is unable to project an unambiguous sense of itself to the world and no Australian can aspire to the highest office in the land.”
“All those elected on 21 August will, in fact, be elected by voters who want a republic and they should be interested in the issues that the people are interested in.”
In the lead up to the 2010 election, the Australian Republican Movement is sending a brief survey to all candidates and sitting members to record their attitude towards an Australian republic.
Together with two other republican groups, Real Republic and Women for an Australian Republic, the ARM is also releasing a Policy Statement on the Republic for the 2010 Election calling on all the major parties and all candidates to lift their game.
“We believe that all the major parties must have a policy on an Australian republic, and a plan to implement a process that will lead to the people being able to vote on the issue again in a referendum,” said Major General Keating.
“2015 will be the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. It will be most disappointing for Australians if we have not cut the umbilical cord to Britain by then.”
*Research by independent research body UMR, October 2009
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