I’m a republican. I always have been – Although I shy away from the word these days because of the connotations it carries in a world dominated by American culture. I find the idea that people can be born into positions of power and privilege while others are excluded repugnant. But, having said that I’m a little bit in two minds about Keith Locke’s bill on republicanism being pulled from the ballot. I’ve come to the conclusion that, interesting as they are, debates about the head of state, the flag and even entrenching the constitution are not likely to make a significant difference to people’s lives, or to the state of the planet. I think I’d rather have seen any of the other Green MP’s bills drawn than this one. I haven’t read all of them but from their titles they all appear to address issues I consider more urgent. (especially Kevin Hague’s Fisheries Precautionary Approach Amendment Bill)
On the other hand this republican bill probably has the potential to generate the most debate of all of them. That could prove a distraction for parliament and, as Ari noted in his earlier post:
Distraction from what, exactly? The only thing they seem to be doing is cutting funding to things. I’m perfectly happy for the government to be distracted from that.
So, yeah, let’s waste some time rather than have this Parliament continue to use its time trashing the environment and sabotaging our social framework. let’s spend several months talking about whether Prince William and Kate will come to visit us if we snub them like this, or whether Colin Meads would wear a rugby club tie if he were president, or whether we suffer from colonial cringe because we let the English pick up the bill for our head of state. What will happen to our women’s magazines? Will Buckingham Palace loan us some beefeater hats for our new head of state? What will Australia think? I’m all for having all these debates for the next three years rather than having John Key’s government debating and deciding on ACC, emissions trading or mining.