Thursday, July 31, 2008

My take on the Republican movement

TheRepublican Movement has announced its top 10 nominees for the first President of New Zealand.

It's hard to articulate why I favour our current status quo i.e. Queen as head of state.  My opinion is evolving over time.
The advantages of kinship and  friendship have been debunked.  Just ask anyone who have tired to get a UK visa. 
Economically there doesn't appear to be any advantage for being a sovereign nation.  Great Britain's trade agreement with the European Economic Community put an end to that. 
Traditionally the UK is the first port of call for any New Zealanders heading overseas, but since the EU enlargement many of the jobs we use to get have been taken by the Polish.
So what reasons does that leave for why NZ should stay a sovereign nation? 
1.  Everyone knows the Queen and the British royals.  This gives a small country like NZ prominence of the world stage when they visit.
2.  Uniqueness.  Republics are a dime a dozen.  Only 16 nations can claim to be a realm of the commonwealth; it adds to our character.
3.  Politics.  Having a head of state above political influence is refreshing.  Even though the Government General is appointed by the government (with the Queen's approval).  Governments come and go, having a fixed family as head of state is like a constitutional anchor.
4.  History. 
5.  The New Zealand's fascination with the royals; better inside than out. 
The reasons above are not as good as the used to be i.e. economic and immigration wise.  But they are good enough to justify remaining a sovereign nation.  I don't accept David Farrar's reasoning that we should become a republic in order to enhance our constitution (due to Labour's disregard for convention) because we can do this anyway through entrenching certain laws.