An Australian Republic? 5. Campaigning for a Republic

The 1998 Constitutional Convention considered three possible models for an Australian republic, with the main differences concerning how to appointi the head of state. Currently, the Governor-General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the prime minister. The models considered at the Constitutional Convention were:

  • appointment by two-thirds of the parliament
  • appointment by a committee of eminent people
  • directly elected by the people.

The first model was proposed by the Convention after much deliberation. As it turned out, however, this was not the model that had most of the support in the national polling conducted by researchers. The republic proposal would eventually fail at the 1999 referendum.

Task

During this unit you have considered the effects becoming a republic might have on Australian identity, you have investigated potential implications for the Constitution, and you have considered the level of support in the Australian community for a republic.

Your task now is, in groups or individually, to design a campaign for one of the three models considered by the Australian Constitutional Convention in 1998 or the models you produced in this research unit.

In this activity you are asked to:

  • consider the features of each model, and then take responsibility for designing a campaign for the adoption of one of the models.

    or

  • after considering the merits of the proposed models, design a campaign for Australia to remain a constitutional monarchy.

Format

You may present your campaign as a television advertisement, a poster, a radio advertisement, a campaign brochure or a speech.

Peer Assessment

Before beginning your campaign, as a class complete the Campaign Assessment Rubric by negotiating the descriptions along the horizontal axis of what constitutes 'satisfactory', 'developing', 'good' and 'very good' in a campaign that deals with the criteria along the vertical axis. The rubric should then be used to rate the campaigns designed by the various groups of students to promote the models.

Remember to conduct a class poll again to judge the sentiment in the class for or against the republic. Compare the new result to the results of the poll conducted at the beginning of this unit.

The list of resources will assist you in refining your campaign.