Is an elected republican head of state desirable in Australia’s system of responsible government?
During the 2007 then Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd stated “another referendum on whether Australia should become a republic will be held if Labor wins office.” Then during the 2020 Summit in 2008, the now Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signaled he would consider fast-tracking plans for an Australian head of state. The subject received a unanimous decision from the 100 participants and issued as’ top priority''. The creation of an Australian republic was key ambition of the voters, followed by strong support for a bill or charter of rights. The idea of an Australian Republic has been long debated, dating back to the Whitlam era. This debate was put toward the people in the 1999 Referendum. The 1999 Australian republic referendum was a two question referendum. The first question asked whether Australia should become a republic with a President appointed by Parliament, a model that had previously been decided at a Constitutional Convention in February 1998. The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the constitution to insert a preamble. Neither of the amendments passed, with 55% of all electors and all states voting 'no' to the proposed amendment. In a recent poll, the results indicated that 45% of Australians want a Republic with an elected President, while 42% support Australia remaining a Monarchy and 13% are undecided. Furthermore majority ALP supporters want a Republic with an elected President compared to only 30% who would prefer to continue with the Monarchy. The question still remains however, whether or not Australians would be fairly represented and would this be applicable to the current form of responsible government.
Responsible Government is the term used to describe a political system where the executive government, the Cabinet and...