Peter Dutton Is Beefing With Labor Over The Queen
"For Richard to give her praise and then elbow her off the stage. That is rough."
Opposition leader Peter Dutton and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles are butting heads over the government’s decision to appoint an Assistant Minister for a Republic right when Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee (platinum jubbly, if you will).
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appointed Matt Thistlethwaite as Assistant Minister for a Republic, making it clear that the idea of becoming a republic is at least being considered by the Labor Government. Thistlethwaite previously served as Shadow Assistant Minister for the same portfolio.
While the prospect of an Australian republic is thrown around by media figures like Peter Fitzsimons on the reg, it hasn’t really been a large part of mainstream political discourse since 1999 — when a referendum was held.
But the conversation has livened up again this week, with Marles commending the Queen’s lengthy reign, asserting the conversation as to when Australia should become a republic should be had at a later date.
“I am a Republican, but it is a conversation for another day; 70 years on the throne is a remarkable moment,” said Marles on The Today Show.
But Dutton was having absolutely none of it, condemning the plan to “brutally sack” Lizzy.
“For Richard to give her praise and then elbow her off the stage. That is rough,” said Dutton.
It is, however, worth noting that Labor has no plans to hold another referendum on ditching the monarchy until its — hypothetical — second term in office, which means there’s no real chance of Australia becoming a republic until at least 2025.
And considering a referendum is only considered successful if more than half of the voting population votes in favour of it, including a majority of voters in at least 4/6 states (excluding territories), referendums are actually pretty hard to pass — as we saw in 1999.
As it currently stands, 34 of 54 Commonwealth countries have become a republic, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for Australia to follow suit. But we still have a whole parliamentary term before we have to worry about that.