Aussies call for vote on republicanism…

Treasurer Hockey said to be at forefront of renewed push for referendum about republic within five years.
Fitzsimons said: "Hopefully the stars will align and we will get an Australian prime minister and an Australian opposition leader who are both republicans." Photo / Supplied
Fitzsimons said: “Hopefully the stars will align and we will get an Australian prime minister and an Australian opposition leader who are both republicans.” Photo / Supplied

Australian campaigners are calling for a vote on breaking away from the British monarchy within five years as the country’s federal Treasurer leads a renewed push for a republic.

Peter FitzSimons, the newly appointed chairman of the Australian Republican Movement (Arm), argued for a national plebiscite within five years, to be followed by a constitutional referendum, in a rousing speech in Canberra. FitzSimons said that Joe Hockey, the federal Treasurer, was co-convener of a new parliamentary advocacy group supporting an Australian republic – which will pit him against his Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, once leader of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

He said a referendum asking for a simple “yes” or “no” about having an Australian head of state would produce a powerful “yes” result.

Recent polling suggests 47 per cent of Australians support replacing the Queen as head of state.

Hockey, who belongs to the ruling Liberal Party, is a long-time member of Arm and supported the failed republican bid in the 1999 referendum.

 

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Acknowledgements: – NZ Herald

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11504031&ref=NZH_FBpage

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