Why we need a republic
All of these proposals for change would of course be squashed by the Crown under the current system.
A republic is a country where the supreme power of the state is dependent on the consent of the citizens it governs. In a republic it is commonly said that political power operates only with the ongoing consent of the people. This is usually expressed through elections. The citizens elect representatives who are in turn responsible to the citizens who have elected them.
The majority of the world’s nations are republics. Not all of them are fully democratic, although two-thirds of fully democratic countries are republics. In a republic the head of state is not a hereditary leader. The head of state is either directly elected or is appointed by an elected assembly. They are most often called the president.
The arguments for a republic fall into three categories:
- Independence — New Zealand should have a New Zealander as the head of state;
- Nationhood — the constitution and head of state of New Zealand should reflect New Zealand’s national identity, culture and heritage;
- Democracy — New Zealand should have a democratic and accountable head of state.
New Zealand will not be fully independent until we have a New Zealander as head of state. New Zealand likes to think of itself as an independent country. However, it cannot objectively be argued New Zealand’s current head of state represents this.
Democracy. New Zealand’s Head of state is our Governor General. This person has considerable powers and should be elected rather than appointed by a monarch on the recommendation of a Prime Minister.
This is in line with the principle that all systems with integrity must have semi-permeable borders.