- Head of State debate
- The case for a New Zealand republic
- Defending the monarchy
- The facts
- Constitutional review
- The Treaty of Waitangi
- Commonwealth membership
- Common Cause
Project Republic is the most important contribution to the Aussie republic debate in a decade. It takes in a range of views from the debate and doesn't take any position on them. The book opens with forewords by Malcolm Turnbull, former ARM chairman and now Liberal MP, and Wayne Swan, former deputy Prime Minister and has contributions from Henry Reynolds, Thomas Keneally, Larissa Behrendt, John Hirst, Julian Morrow, Helen Irving, Mark Tredinnick, John Warhurst, David Morris, George Williams, Joy McCann, Erika Smith, Anthony Dillon, Paul Pickering, James Curran, David Donovan and George Winterton.
With such a wide range of views it's hard to pin down the core themes in the book, but the main ones (and we can learn from them) are:
- The "popularity" of the Royals isn't the reason the republic debate hasn't progressed much since the referendum 1999 - it comes down to politicians not wanting to tackle the issue because...
- ...there's still disagreement over parliamentary appointment vs direct election among republicans. Generally politicians (according to Turnbull) don't support direct election so don't want to progress the issue;
- That said, there is agreement that the issue of election vs appointment be resolved by a vote (a plebiscite, similar to our policy), possibly using internet voting, again suggested by Turnbull. Only one author, David Donovan, suggests that the ARM should abandon this policy;
- The contradiction the British monarch as Australian head of State poses - in terms of equality, democracy and independence - is not enough to bring about change. It focuses on the British monarch, rather than the core issue which is, according to current ARM campaign director David Morris, identity.
- Hence the focus of many of the articles are on the issue of identity.
All in all, another must read in the debate.