Contemporary Issues in Australian Politics

Essay by Rainbow_GalUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2008

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This essay will critically analyse four propositions, each a key issue in contemporary Australian politics. Each question will be answered with a short response to develop relevant arguments that are reflective of my personal political position.

Should Australia become a Republic?The idea that Australia should become a Republic was passionately debated long before the 'dump the Queen' referendum (Australian Republican Movement, 2008) which was held in November 1999. Dividing a nation with 45.13% of voting Australians favouring a newly elected Head of State (Australian Democracy Magazine, April 2007) , the rest of the country preferring to retain the status quo.

Previous to studying this unit, I did not realise how much power the Queen has over Australia and its institutions and I am uncomfortable with the fact that the Queen has more power in Australia than in Britain (Butler, 1973, p.28) where she both reigns and resides. An example of how the Queen's power can be used would be the double dissolution of 1975, when the then Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed the Whitlam government due to the disagreement over a bill between the senate and the House of Representatives (Whitlam, 1983).

My parents voted for the Whitlam government and yet the Australian constitution allowed the Queen's representative to ignore both their vote and the peoples' 'democratic' electoral choice. Would the British government have allowed the Queen to do in England what she did here?From this event onwards I find it difficult to imagine why a progressive country such as our own insists on being ruled by another. The Queen of Australia depends on the constitutional arrangements of another country and considering Australia's independence in all other ways, this remains as an anomaly. I also believe the Queen has a conflict of interest in being the Head of State...