Future of the Commonwealth of Nations - Statement from the Australian Republic Movement

BBC News reports overnight indicate the Commonwealth of Nations has set up a "high level group" to decide whether they want Prince Charles to become the head of the Commonwealth when the Queen, who turns 92 in April, dies.

The position of Head of the Commonwealth is not hereditary; the majority of Commonwealth countries are republics and there is no guarantee the position will pass to her son Prince Charles. The BBC reports concerns have been raised by member nations about the “democratic credibility” of the Commonwealth if the head role continues to be hereditary in practice.

This news reveals the absurd, disgraceful and dishonest position of monarchists in this debate. Why should Australians have no say in choosing our head of state, and be forced to rely on a foreign hereditary monarchy? Even the Commonwealth itself will allow its members to decide their future for themselves.

It is disgraceful that the citizens of Australia will not be consulted on our next head of state, when even the members of the Commonwealth of Nations are consulted on the appointment of their next head.

In fact, if Australia is still a monarchy when the Queen dies, the new King Charles will be head of state in only 16 of the 53 member nations that now make up the Commonwealth.

The Australian Republic Movement wants a national vote in 2020 for Australians to say whether we want an Australian head of state and how an Australian head of state should be chosen.

This should be followed by a full referendum in 2022 to put the necessary constitutional changes to the people for their approval.

Australians should decide our own national future, in our own time.