Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, is calling once more for a republic in his country, but says the movement will hold off until after the death of The Queen.
The 29th PM even founded the republican movement in Australia, and has given his first speech on the topic since taking office last year.
“Our head of state should be one of us,” he said. “Our president should be a resident… We have no other motive, no other reason than love of country,” he told the Australian Republican Movement in Sydney on Saturday night. He said his belief in the cause was based on ‘patriotism, pure and simple’.
But he was sceptical of any success while The Queen is still Head of State, implying the campaign will launch when Charles ascends the throne: “The vast majority of Australians have known no other head of the state than the Queen. I do not believe Australians would welcome, let alone support, another republic referendum during her reign.”
“She is so admired and respected that few of us can say – whether monarchists or republicans – that we are not Elizabethans.”
Turnbull is calling for a two-stage voting process, with a plebiscite (where all citizens must vote) to determine the election model before a referendum on the big question of a republic.
The Prime Minister said lack of answers to questions about how an Australian head of state would be elected weakened the support for the change in the 1999 referendum. A Fairfax-Ipsos poll earlier this year showed just 42% support to remove the Monarchy in Australia, while 47% wanted to keep the system currently in place.
The issue for many politicians is that The Queen resides in London and therefore is not at the heart of Australian business; she does however have a Governor-General who acts on her behalf when she is not there. Her Majesty is kept up to date with the goings on in her realms and the Commonwealth, as a personal interest and as Head of State.