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Democrats reignite republic debate

The Australian Democrats have weighed into the election trail with republic issues adding to an overall political campaign that has seen the major parties traverse everything from education to interest rates to houses for the homeless.

In the only original campaign issue to surface thus far, the party believes that Australians should have another vote on the issue in 2009, coinciding with on the 10th anniversary of the first referendum and John Howard’s proposed Reconciliation Referendum.
“It’s very concerning that the two major parties are too scared to comment on issues affecting our constitutional future,” said Democrats spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja. She accused the Coalition and Labor of focusing on “small target” strategies.
"The 1999 referendum rejected a model for an Australian republic – it was not a rejection of an Australian Head of State,” she said. “The plebiscite would be non-binding, and conditional upon the public being consulted about different forms of republic models before a referendum occurs.”
Today marks the 8th anniversary of the 1999 Republic Referendum, which was defeated.

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