Waleed: Indigenous elder should replace King

Just three days after the funeral of the Queen – who served as monarch for 70 years – and as Australia commemorated her life with a public holiday, Aly said it was time for change.In a lengthy speech on The Project, Aly said the Royal Family was undemocratic and outlined his plans for an Aboriginal leader to usurp them.“An Australian President doesn’t offer the sense of constancy, history or ritual we’ll be replacing,” Aly, who is a republican, said.“If we’re going to do this, we need to draw on our own sources of tradition, ceremony and spirituality.“In short, monarchy becomes a kind of foil to government. It works specifically because it’s undemocratic and imposes relatively little on citizens.“It’s powerful precisely because it has no real power. The Queen was loved because she was so frequently silent, so often a blank canvas.”He said the pomp and ceremony associated with the royals could be continued, in a different way, with an indigenous head of state.“One of the great things about some indigenous ceremonies like Welcome to Country, is they’re often informal,” Aly said.“This extraordinary mix of ceremony and informality capture something unique and charming about the Australian character.“We could even call our elder Uncle or Aunty and when our Aunty dies, deep rituals of mourning would already exist, ready for us to embrace as a nation.”The Channel 10 host admitted the office would be “racially closed”, but said the Royal Family was essentially the same as it is “always going to be white” and Catholics cannot become king or queen.Both the sixth and seventh-in-line to the throne, Archie and Lilibet, are mixed race, and there are no laws that require the monarch to be white.“It’s also undemocratic which replicates precisely one of the monarchy’s virtues,” Aly went on.“Sure, I can see problems. For example, how would the elder be chosen from among the hundreds of First Nations we have? Does it rotate in a predetermined way? “Our head of state has to be an apolitical figure, confining itself to speaking on areas of mere total agreement. Would the elder face too much pressure to become an activist? “I admit it’s rough but it captures something of the richness and magic of monarchy while being indisputably ours.”Co-host Carrie Bickmore disagreed with Aly’s idea, saying it was “too soon” after the Queen’s death to be having this debate.“We’ve had a Queen for 70 years so all the words of dignity and consistency and all that, it’s all about her for a lot of people,” she said.Anthony Albanese, who is a republican, has ruled out holding a referendum on the future of the Royal Family in Australia for the next three years.During the election campaign, he did not rule out holding such a vote.Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has said he wants Australia to continue as a constitutional monarchy.“We need a King as much as we did a Queen, because we have a stability in our system that served us well and I don’t believe in disrupting that,” he said.Australia voted in favour of remaining a constitutional monarchy in a referendum in 1999.

Originally published at www.news.com.au

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