Thursday, 2 April 2009

Monarchy, Gender and Religion

Let’s get this out of the way straight away.

I am not a monarchist.

That does not mean I don’t support the fundamentals of a Westminster system of Government because I do and also believe it has served us well.

I just don’t think our Head of State should be the Queen.

In short, I believe the Governor General should be our Head of State and he or she should be elected for a term of 7 years by a two thirds majority of both houses of the Federal Government.

Further, I think the State Governments should be responsible for nominating not more than one candidate each 7 years and that each nomination should be endorsed by a two thirds majority of both Houses of the State Parliaments (except for Queensland which does not have an Upper House)

But this is not the issue here.

I was surprised in a conversation in the office today when a 28 year old male member of staff declared himself to be a staunch Monarchist. I simply don’t know of many young people who hold such a view.

But it got me thinking maybe I am out of touch with the 20 something’s in our community.

Why shouldn’t people in their 20’s be Monarchists? After all, the surge in patriotism around such traditional historical events such as ANZAC day has been huge in recent years, and Long Tan day is starting to gain traction and will hopefully continue to grow.

Maybe the young adults in our community are also returning to King and Queen and Mother England.

Maybe I should re-consider the relevance of the Monarchy and challenge my own views as I may be badly out of touch.

That was at least until I turned on the radio an hour or so ago and decided not to challenge my anti Monarchist views.

The radio story surrounded a private members bill introduced into the Chamber of Commons to commence the process to change the rules of Monarchial succession.

The 300 year old succession rules are such that the first born male child of the ruling King or Queen assumes the Throne when the ruler passes away or abdicates. If there are no male children, the oldest daughter takes over the crown. If there are no children at all, there is a process to determine the next in line however in all cases, the males take precedence over the females.

Oh, and by the way, Roman Catholics are excluded completely. Male or Female.

The Private Members Bill was to change the succession rules to give Males and Females equal status.

Now how radical is the thought that Males and Females are equals. After all, we even allow females to vote and own land now a days.

But horror of horrors, the Bill went further than that and proposed allowing Roman Catholics to become King or Queen. Now that would never do.

Ok, I know the argument that only a Muslim would be allowed to be King of Saudi Arabia and no Women would ever be allowed the throne so why cannot we have similar rules. But Saudi Arabia and other such cultures are hardly the barometer by which we set our standards in society. Are they?

I should add, the Bill was defeated when the Brown Government refused to add its support. This was despite comprehensive polling that over 70% of Great Britain supports the changes.

Extraordinary – it is 2009 isn’t it?
I make no apologies for reaffirming my anti Monarchist views. In fact, I am now of the belief the Monarchy is also inappropriate under current rules for Great Britain whereas previously, I didn’t really give a toss what they did

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