At least J Marc Schmidt has a new approach to the Monarchy in Australia. Where Monarchists and republicans struggle on either keeping or changing the status quo, he suggests “Prince Harry should become an Australian citizen and become our first king.”
“We don't want another dark-suited, distant bureaucrat who won't listen to us once elected. We have plenty of those. We want something else, but what? In 1999, many supported the idea of a popularly elected president, a leader chosen by and representing the people rather than the government.”
Marc is not in the least worried that so far His Royal Highness has been on Australian soil for a comparatively short period:
“Our king must be Australian. It is a simple matter to give Prince Harry Australian citizenship. Of course he will have to acquaint himself with Australian culture and history. That should be no problem for an Eton-educated prince, who has also already spent some time living and working on a farm in Australia."Proclaiming Prince Harry King of Australia would not be a big thing, Marc has a simple solution:
“We don't even need a referendum to make this change. Our constitution requires that our heads of state be the 'heirs and successors of Queen Victoria', and Prince Harry already is.”People like Monarchies
“Republicans argue that the people alone should choose their head of state, that monarchies are unfair. I disagree. Choice is overrated. In America in 2004, for example, the choice was limited to George Bush and John Kerry, and in 2008 it was limited to Barack Obama and John McCain. Monarchies use a far older, wiser, and fairer arbitrator than any election: Fate.The idea of a resident Australian Monarch is not new and has some support, especially from Melbourne theologian David Schütz.
Anyway, people like monarchies. We humans are drawn to certain ways of organising our society, and try as we might, we can't shake our biological heritage. Is there any other reason why the marriage of Mary Donaldson to a Danish prince, and their visit, made the front pages of newspapers and magazines all across the country?"
May be the republicans should add a question to their proposed plebiscite catalogue. At The Senate hearing on a (non-binding and unconstitutional) “plebiscite for an Australian Republic Bill 2008” Klass Woldring and others held the position "that at some point in the process, multiple questions were required to get more information from the public to then enable the referendum question to be specific:
It is particularly in a plebiscite that the public mood can be gauged reasonably accurately and comprehensively but the Government need to ask multiple questions. This is extremely important especially because Section 128 of the Constitution has proven to be such a major obstacle in the way of having constitutional referendums passed in Australia.This single question does not provide opportunity for making these points and yet they are important when it comes to formulating Referendum questions."
However, I doubt that republicans are broadminded enough to include the question: “Do you favour a resident Monarch?"
Nor will the Australian Monarchists raise the question, because they are not interested in splitting the Monarchist vote.
But does this stop us contemplating King Henry I of Australia?