Britain’s decision to break out of the European Union has renewed the drive for an Australian republic, Peter FitzSimons says.
It coincided with Google figures showing an increase in searches for “Australian republic”, as well as a flurry of #Ausexit tweets.
Speaking on 702 ABC Sydney this morning, FitzSimons said ARM was not advocating Brexit as a model, but as a catalyst for Australia’s own change.
“Brexit was a very divisive, horrible campaign, and if I was in Britain I certainly wouldn’t have voted for Brexit, I would have voted to remain,” he said.
“The issue is, it’s one thing for the monarchists to say ‘we should be staying so very closely aligned to Great Britain’ … but how do you feel about staying so closely aligned to little Britain?
“The whole game has changed with our membership.
“From the moment that Brexit came through, social media came alive, with people saying ‘this is ridiculous, let us be our own people, let us get away from this’.
“[We’re] not looking to Brexit as the model at all.
“We’re just saying that it’s ludicrous in the 21st century to say that Australia cannot do better than find our heads of state from one family of English aristocrats living in a palace in London. We’re better than that as a people.”
FitzSimons said it was time for Australians to have another say on whether to become a republic.
“There are 3.5 million Australian electors now who didn’t get a chance to vote in the 1999 [referendum],” he said.
“It’s time. It’s another generation. We’ve got a hell of a case to sell.”
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