We were having this discussion at work today.
Do you think it's time Australia cut the apron strings and became a republic?
Personally I think the biggest issue if they/we do this is who becomes the head of state if not the Queen? IMHO those people that put themselves up for election to public position tend to be those who want to rule, rather than serve (look at the sorry bunch we've got to choose from as politicians!) so the only option I can see is for someone to be nominated for the role for a fixed period of time, rather than elected.... but then that's not particularly democratic is it? Who does the nominating, and how do we stop it becoming a "reward for services rendered in the past" if someone like the Prime Minister nominates, ending up with a "jobs for the boys" culture.
Perhaps we should just pick an Australian family, and make them the next Australian Royals! But then, damn, we'd end up with someone like Rickie Ponting (where's the vomiting smiley when I need one!)
I do feel it's a little daft to have as our country's Head of State someone that lives on the other side of the world, but not sure what alternatives we have! Does Australia benefit in any way by staying part of the Commonwealth? Could the trade/defence advantages be replaced with treaties? Is keeping the right to join in at the Commonwealth Games a big enough advantage? I'm pretty sure Britain doesn't provide any monetary support to Australia (feel that would be kind of like asking one's retired parent to support their fully working offspring), but I could be wrong...
I've got nothing against the Queen and Royal Family and feel they do an excellent job for Britain, but isn't it time Australia grew up and left home?