Republic Versus Monarchy - part two, section four
[Arguments for the Monarchy & the answers to them]
The system works, why change it?
("If it ain't broke, don't fix it")
George Winterton calls this "probably the most effective argument in the monarchists' armoury"(48). In effect, it is argued that people will receive no material benefits from such a change, that the system works well, and that the issue is really only a trivial matter.
Of course, there are very good reasons to change the Monarchical system: to achieve true independence, obtain full democracy, and encourage indigenous cultural development. These ideals will not necessarily give people materialistic benefits, but this is often the way with many ideals; for example, love, courage, truth, and honesty.
If the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" argument had been followed in the past, then we would have:
All in all, its a poor excuse for an argument.
- Never become a democracy, instead of an autocracy.
- Never given the vote to women.
- Never stopped the slave-like child labour conditions of the early 1880s.
- Never made any advancement in politics, society or science.
The fact is that it is a "status quo argument", that is, "the status quo is working alright, so leave it alone". People that use this argument would maintain that the fact that they happen to agree with the status quo is just a coincidence, and unrelated to them using the "keep the status quo" argument.
The truth is that, for Australia, the Monarchical system is "broke" and is not "working alright". The Queen does not, in any true sense, represent Australia. The situation of having a foreign Queen acting as our Head of State, instead of having an Australian as Head of State, is as ridiculous as having the King of Norway acting as the British Head of State. Would the British be prepared to have such an absentee Monarch?
Even when a system is, or appears to be, working, a change can still be desirable. The change to an Australian republic is very desirable, as it is a change for the better.
NOTE: Currently, King Harald V of Norway is 47th in the line of succession to the British throne (in 1920, Crown Prince Olav of Norway was 11th in line).(49) In the unlikely event of a terrible mishap befalling those preceding King Harald V (perhaps a terrorist bombing of a gathering of the extended Royal Family, such as at a Royal Wedding), we could then see Britain and Norway being ruled by a single Monarchy.
In fact, this sort of situation did occur when King Canute (c995-1035) was King of Denmark, England and Norway.(50) It could be said that the idea of a modern British-Norwegian Monarchy arising should not be opposed by the British, as not only is there an historical precedent, but also because the two countries share many demographic and historical links.
But, of course, most British people would oppose the idea of having a Norwegian Monarch "ruling" over them, despite their many links with Norway. Why? Because it would be a "foreign" Monarchy - which would be incompatible with British sovereignty and identity. For those same reasons, a "foreign" Monarchy is also unacceptable for Australia.
Republic Versus Monarchy
Australian Nationalism Information Database - www.ausnatinfo.angelfire.com/~natinfo