Waleed Aly says Australia should have Indigenous elder as Head of State instead of King Charles
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The Project's Waleed Aly made a long speech about the Royal Family and the monarchy on September 22's episode of the programme,
As the official mourning period for the Queen comes to an end, talk is turning to Australia's monarchy vs republic debate. But what if there was another way? Waleed Aly explains.#TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/8KVYIk8GQ0— The Project (@theprojecttv) September 22, 2022
The host explained how he believed Britain's rule over Australia to be 'undemocratic' and also outlined his idea for an Indigenous elder to usurp the royals.
"An Australian President doesn’t offer the sense of constancy, history or ritual we’ll be replacing," Aly 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."
He added: "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."
Aly went on to point out that the pomp and circumstance that goes with the Royal Family may as well be the thousand years old traditions and ceremony of Australia's own First Nation people.
"One of the great things about some Indigenous ceremonies like Welcome to Country, is they’re often informal," Aly said during the episode that aired on the Queen's remembrance public holiday.
"This extraordinary mix of ceremony and informality capture something unique and charming about the Australian character."
He suggested: "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."
On social media, several Twitter users voiced their support for Aly's suggestion.
I agree, an indigenous elder would make a great head of state. And another alternative is both the existing monarchy and elder— Kathryn Keogh (@KKt2022) September 22, 2022
A First Nations Elder couple— Mary Darly (@Mary__Darly) September 22, 2022
I’d vote for that
Selected at random and nurtured into the role
It’s obvious racism.— Paceman (@thecouchcoach05) September 22, 2022
Why shouldn’t my Australian children, who were born here and are as Australian as ANY aboriginal, have a chance at becoming head of state?
One user said: "Thank you Waleed for bringing a great idea to the table tonight."
A second added: "I agree, an indigenous elder would make a great Head of State. Another alternative is both the existing monarchy and elder."
A third added: "Yes, it needs some work, [but a] great idea."
Some lashed out and dubbed the idea as 'racist' towards Australia's white community.
One user said: "It’s obvious racism. Why shouldn’t my Australian children, who were born here and are as Australian as any aboriginal, have a chance at becoming Head of State?"
Another added: "And how many Australians would feel represented by the 'Elder statesman' ... If you want to unite the country behind something that 'represents us all', that's not it."
A third said: "Yeah, nah. But would be good if an Elder became governor some day."