‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ - Ex-Australian PM plays down chances of a republic in boost for King Charles

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ - Ex-Australian PM plays down chances of a republic in boost for King Charles

John Howard has praised King Charles

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 29/10/2023

- 13:48

Updated: 30/10/2023

- 08:23

John Howard joined Camilla Tominey to discuss the future of the monarchy

The former Prime Minister of Australia says he does not expect a vote on the future of the monarchy for “years”.

John Howard spoke on GB News in gushing terms for King Charles, who he says has done a “wonderful job” in his first year on the throne.

It comes after Australians overwhelmingly rejected a referendum on the Indigenous Voice, further quelling the prospect on the chances of other referendum to make the Australian president head of state instead of the British monarch.

Assistant Minister for the Republic Matt Thistlethwaite admitted on Sky News that it makes the prospect “a lot harder”.

John Howard

John Howard says the republic movement is not likely to succeed any time soon


Howard told Camilla Tominey that most Australians are not enticed by the idea of a republic, with many taking on the view of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Speaking on the vote, he said: “I don’t think there will be a vote on the monarchy for years.”


King Charles

Howard praised King Charles' first year


Questioned about whether the creation of a Minister for the Republic role in the Australian government is perhaps a sign of the country creeping towards a republic, Howard says he does not expect it to be a brief for too long.

“I think we can pension him off at a very early age”, he said.

“I think the King has done a wonderful job. It’s the system of government that matters.

“We have seen in recent weeks and months some of the difficulties in the US of the alternative to the parliamentary system.

“I think the whole package comes together rather well. I think the attitude of many Australians is, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.”

Queen Elizabeth II’s death last year was seen as a possible turning point for how the Australians view the monarchy, with a possible push for constitutional change mooted.

Australians rejected a republic at their last referendum in 1999 and no referendum has succeeded since 1977.

Figures have spoken out in support of a republic, including actor Hugh Jackman who says “it’s inevitable”.

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