POLITICS

If The Conservatives Won't Let Malcolm Have The Republic, What Can He Have?

You know he wants one.

17/12/2016 1:07 PM AEDT | Updated 17/12/2016 1:29 PM AEDT
Andrew Meares/Fairfax
Malcolm Turnbull will speak at the Australian Republican Movement's 25th anniversary gala dinner on Saturday night.

CANBERRA – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will speak in Sydney on Saturday night on one of his favourite and signature topics; an Australian Republic.

He wants one. We all know it.

He's wanted one for a long time and, as a former chair of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), was instrumental in the last, great push for one; the spectacular failing of the 1999 republic referendum.

His passion, we are told, is still there and as one of his last official acts for 2016, Turnbull will speak at the ARM's 25th anniversary gala dinner. He's billed by the ARM as being at the "forefront of our founding fathers and mothers".

But before he has uttered a word, the outrage machine has been has in overdrive.

Monarchists have labelled the move "provocative", conservative backbenchers are "pissed off" and columnists are actually writing, "What on earth is Malcolm Turnbull thinking?"

This comes even as the ARM finds a majority support in both houses of federal parliament for an Australian republic.

According to the ARM, a minimum 81 MPs favour a republic in the House of Representatives, while there are 40 in the Senate.

Well, continuing to support a republic is Turnbull's least surprising position as PM.

To stay in power, he has been forced to backflip on very public positions on climate change policy, serious gambling reform and – to this day – same sex marriage.

Yes, even as 2017 draws near and Australia is the last remaining English speaking developed nation not to have marriage equality, the Prime Minister has declared the plebiscite is still government policy.

Questions about the "real" Malcolm Turnbull have been more than bubbling since he toppled Tony Abbott in September 2015.

So it begs the question, if conservatives won't let Malcolm have the republic, what can he have?

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