In recent years, every January the Australia Day date is debated by our politicians, our local councils and even amongst daily conversations.
But it seems that most Aussies just want the date to stay as is.
A 1000-participant poll conducted by the Institute of Public Affair shows that only 10% want to change the date of Australia’s national holiday.
Three in four people think 26 January should remain the celebratory tank.
But what is most surprising of all is that our major Australian political parties seem to also agree that the date of Australia day shouldn’t be moved, as AAP reports.
All on board for 26 January
With Australia day just 10 days away, the Greens have decided to piggy-back on Scott Morrison’s forceful push on local councils to conduct citizenship ceremonies on 26 January.
The Greens have offered to host citizenship ceremonies on behalf of any local council who refuse to hold the events, on the basis that they would be disrespectful to the Indigenous community.
Clearly some agree with ScoMo’s logic, which is that if there’s ever a day to commemorate someone’s true Australian status, it’s the day of the country’s namesake.
Even Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has promised never to move the date if he ever became Prime Minister.
Of course, to maintain his ‘butting-head’ status, Shorten doesn’t agree with Morrison’s insistence on a strict dress code at official citizenship events. His appreciation of the integrity of Australia Day ends with any possibility of him becoming the ‘fashion police’.
Shorten told Nine Network this week:
‘I just think we’ve got to leave the politics alone, catch up with our family and friends, and on Australia Day my wish is for all Australians to realise what a great country we live in.’
Surely we can do just that in a shirt and tie, but hey, at least he’s somewhat on board.
Key word: somewhat.
Shorten sees politics in citizenship ceremonies
Shorten won’t have a bar of the Green’s citizenship ceremonies idea, thinking it somehow adds political fuel to the barbie:
‘Some days I’d like to put the Greens with Tony Abbott and a few of the right-wing in the Liberal Party in the same room, tell them to sort it out, and the rest of us can just get on and cook a snag on the barbie.
‘What happens in Australian politics is sometimes the extremes – because they say radical things – grab a headline.
‘I’m not going to get distracted by that – the Greens can say or do what they want – Labor is not going to go down that path. We’re not going to have big political debates about the day of Australia Day.’
We think he may have missed the memo that forcing ceremonies to occur doesn’t necessarily force participants to choose 26 January as their day of citizenship. It just gives them the option.
After all, isn’t ‘refusal’ another form of political agenda? Indeed, a more oppressive one?
Health Minister Greg Hunt seems to hit it on the head with the strong belief that Australians have the right intentions when it comes to our national celebration:
‘It celebrates what we are as a contemporary nation and this game that’s played out every year is simply a diversion and self-serving.
‘Australia Day is about celebrating a nation that is a multi-ethnic success, with all of the challenges of any country.’
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.
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