Letter: Australia's choice

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Howard Jacobson ("Why Australia needs the monarchy", 4 November) seems to think that "infantile" Australians need the joke of the English monarchy in order to complete a kind of national self-parody. It is this kind of belittling attitude that republican Australians are trying to get rid of.

As for the method of selection of a future president, given the strong bicameralism of Australia's present constitution, a popularly elected president would be an unnecessary adjunct to the elected representatives and senators of Australia's parliament.

Australia is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society. Not all Australians endorse multiculturalism. Opponents of multiculturalism tend to be opposed to the republic as well.

Aborigines are right to question the relevance of the debate to them. There is still not enough being done to reverse the terrible injustices of the last 200 years. However, Aboriginal interests are finally beginning to be represented by Aborigines at the highest levels. If Australians vote to retain the Queen as head of state, the eventual possibility of an Aboriginal head of state will have been dealt a severe blow.

PHILIP G W JONES

Politics Department

University of Newcastle upon Tyne

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