Australian GG suggests the country should become a republic

Representative of the Queen suggests break from British Monarchy



Australian Governor General Quentin Bryce is making headlines Friday for suggesting the country should break its ties with the British Monarchy and become a republic.

It’s revolutionary talk, coming from the woman chosen to represent the Queen in what is, traditionally, a very non-political role. It’s nearly impossible to imagine her Canadian counterpart—Governor General David Johnston—doing the same thing.

Bryce made the comments Friday night as she delivered a lecture in Sydney, which was hosted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Speaking about the country she envisioned, she described the Australia of the future as a place “where perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation’s first head of state.”

That statement has the potential to re-open constitutional debate in the country. The Sydney Morning Herald writes: “It is the first time an Australian governor-general has offered such a clear statement of support for a future republic, and appears designed to re-open the debate, from the highest level, on the nation’s constitutional arrangements.”

Bryce’s comments on Australia as a republic weren’t the only controversial thing she said in her speech. She also implied her support for same-sex marriage, saying she envisioned a state where “people are free to love and marry whom they choose.”

This opinion goes against the views of the current Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is challenging the legitimacy of same-sex marriage in court. In October, one Australian territory legalized same-sex marriage, becoming the first part of the country where same-sex marriage is legal—or not legal, depending on what the court decides.

Appointed Governor General in 2008, Bryce was the first woman in Australia to hold the position. Her term ends in March 2014.


Australian GG suggests the country should become a republic

  1. Good idea….we should do the same.

    • Ick and have a slimy politician be head of state? No thanks. :)

      Gotta admin Em, I was a pretty hard-core republican (small r !!) until I lived in the US for a couple of years. I’ve come to appreciate a constitutional monarchy.

      • The idea is NOT to have a politician as head of state. The head of state is supposed to be ‘above the fray’. Countries have presidents over and above the PM for this ceremonial and referee role.

        We already have a GG….we should keep that position….but Canadian, not British.

        • I will be just fine with declaring another royal the King/Queen of Canada, and leaving the British Crown for Charles. ;)

          But you cannot elect/appoint someone to the position and still have them be above politics. Only the lottery of birth can do that.

          • Nope….no more royals. Time to move on from feudalism.

            Of course you can have people above politics. Not everybody is partisan….or even a member of a party.

            For that matter the Queen could be a raving Tory in private life. Or any other party.

        • That makes a lot of sense.

  2. Good to see people appointed to positions acting like they know best. She is entitled to her opinion, but obviously she does not take her job seriously and her opinion means nothing as she never earned the position through an election.
    The monarchy is good because it is the last resort. Our government has a lot of power, and if it ever misused it, then there is the ability to bring the government down through the queen. That is a safety gap to keep politicians from going too far.

    • Ahem….cough cough….the monarch isn’t elected either.

      Nor can any monarch ‘bring the govt down’

        • Temporary dismissal for an election was last done in Canada for the King-Byng affair in 1926. GG Jean refused to do it with Harper. An unused power disappears.

    • “… there is the ability to bring the government down through the queen.”

      Nope. Sorry.

    • I think your argument rests on the idea that somehow the Queen knows what is best for another country… from her seat in England…. oceans away and entirely removed from the processes and day to day existence of its people. What exactly qualifies -anyone- in the monarchy to make policy decisions? The virtue of their “noble blood”? What a joke. The Queen’s involvement in Commonwealth countries is, in my opinion, an attempt at some nostalgic illusion of the power of the former British Empire. It is a historical relic with little relevance other than tradition and tradition, I believe, is not reason enough to justify it. The people are, and always will be the ‘last resort’. We retain the ability to obey or disobey, and always will, provided we are willing to work together to define our own societies as we see fit.

      • No. The queen is not involved in policy at all. All the queen does is step in when there is the possibility of the government doing harm to the country.
        If the powers never get used that is good, but if a reigning government tried to manipulate their powers to get around democracy then they need to be stopped.
        Our elected leaders in Canada have a lot of power and there needs to be a last resort.
        For instance a government could invoke the war measures act for the sole purpose of circumventing democracy and in cases like this they need to be brought down.

        • The fact that she isn’t involved in policy is exactly my point. What can the Queen do that the population of a country cannot? Do you suppose she is going to deploy the British Military to intervene? I’m pretty sure NATO or the UN could handle that. The Queen’s powers are a relic of a different time, and the role of the monarchy is ornamental, and impotent, except on paper. In reality she is simply a rich citizen clutching the paper power of a deceased empire. I have far more faith in the common man to stand up against the type of tyranny you suggest the Queen would protect us from. The people will always be the last resort – they can do for themselves what a rich woman across the sea cannot. I recognize that these powers you speak of do indeed exist for the Monarch, but I think it’s nothing more than paper, and not truly reflective of reality.

          • It may stop a revolution.

  3. Why did she take the post if she doesn’t believe in it?

    • because it pays well, is esteemed, and provides excellent connections? I’m not saying those are good moral reasons… but let’s face it, morality in politics is pretty ambiguous.

  4. Its about time. Remove your country from an expensive and obsolete institution that is immersed in ill gotten gains (taxes from the poor) and offers nothing to any of its subjects apart from publicly funded pomp and pagentry. Time for the monarchy to get real jobs and start paying taxes like their subjects(slaves). Selling off all their assets and redistributing the wealth would be a worthy goal.

    • The idea of redistributing the wealth was already tested in Russia a hundred years ago. The result is well known, may be you have to read about it to refresh your memory.

      • Government IS the redistribution of wealth. Russia’s stupid communist government was certainly bad at it, I’ll grant you that.

  5. th

  6. the question is not should a politician be the head of state ratherdo we need a head of state at all?