Statement by the National Director, Michael Cooney
I believe Australia should become a republic with an Australian as our head of state. Here's why.
I believe that every one who holds public office in Australia should be an Australian citizen. I believe that everyone who holds a position of authority in Australia should be chosen by Australians. I believe that everyone who leads Australia and Australians should state allegiance to our people and to this place.
It is just not acceptable that any public position in our country be hereditary. The whole promise of Australia is that here we don't care who your Mum and Dad were.
It is just not acceptable that any public position in our country be subject to a religious test. Our head of state should not be the head of the Church of England.
It is just not acceptable that the highest place in our constitution be reserved to the descendants of imperial privilege. Our next head of state should not be promised as a bequest in a will dividing an inheritance of $500 million.
A society in which people believe that they may be better off than someone else, but they are no better than someone else, does not curtsy or bow.
If our system isn't broken, it's clearly breaking. Australian public life has problems no King of England can solve for us - problems we can only solve ourselves.
We desperately need to restore a balance between power and prestige, between dignity and efficiency, between the partisan government and the democratic state. We should have a robust public square and there are worse things than Question Time and doorstops. But in the absence of an Australian as our Head of State that is all we have.
We need an Australian as our head of state who can go to Beersheba on the centenary of Chauvel's charge while the PM stays at home and sorts out scandals and does some reading of his briefs. A person above politics who can make a statement to the nation on New Year's Day or a National Day without someone in her ear saying "get the line up".
And we desperately need not just symbols of the best nation of our imagination - but democratic, inclusive, patriotic institutions that give all Australians a voice and to lend every Australian an ear.
That means we need an Australian as our head of state.
In 2020 Australians should be asked two simple questions in a national vote: Do you want Australia to have an Australian as our head of state? How do you want Australia's head of state to be chosen? In that vote, the ARM plans to campaign for a yes vote on the first and pledges to be bound by the outcome of the second.
With those two questions answered, a referendum question should be prepared and put to the people in 2022.
A referendum to change our politics, to modernise our constitution, to remove alien traditions of heredity and prejudice. A vote to have an Australian as our head of state and to become an Australian Republic.
Sign up. Join up. See you on the campaign trail.
ARM National Director
17 February 2018