Unlike his firmly monarchist predecessor, Australian PM Kevin Rudd is an enthusiastic republican who would like his country to be independent of the British crown. But Australians won’t be voting on the issue until Queen Elizabeth's reign is over, says the leader of the republican movement. That's because while the majority favor becoming a republic, many Australians still have great affection for the monarch.
The best moment for a vote, argues John Turnbull, "is at the end of the queen's reign—when she dies or when she abdicates." Her departure would be a "watershed event that would galvanize the population" into settling the issue. The last republican initiative, in 1999, failed because Australians couldn't agree on whether they wanted their head of state elected by voters or by parliament, reports Reuters.