Sunday, January 22, 2006

Australians Want A Republic If Charles Is King

Most Australians would support severing their country’s constitutional ties with Britain if Prince Charles becomes King, according to survey results published this weekend. The poll report published in The Weekend Australian said 46 per cent of Australians polled supported their country becoming a republic, while 34 per cent wanted the British monarch to remain Australia’s head of state. But if Prince Charles—the first in line for the throne replaces his mother Queen Elizabeth II, who turns 80 in April, support for a republic would rise to 52 per cent and opposition would slide to 29 per cent, the poll report said.
A proposal to make Australia a republic with a president replacing the British monarch as head of state, an idea opposed by center-right. Prime Minister John Howard, was defeated in a 1999 referendum. The poll, conducted by market research company Newspoll, which is part-owned by the newspaper’s parent company, News Corp., was based on a random nationwide telephone survey of 1,200 adults last weekend. It had a 3 percentage point margin of error. Prince Charles’ popularity has suffered since he divorced the mother of his two sons, Princess Diana, who blamed his current wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, for ruining their marriage. Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997. Australia is a former British colony which was granted independence in 1901 but retained the British monarch as head of state.