Can we overthrow the King and how?
Although the last time a British monarch was overthrown happened in 1648, the question of how Australia might appoint its own head of state is a much more recent one.
As the King is specified as Australia’s head of state in the Australian Constitution, any change to the Australian head of state would require a referendum – a vote to change the Constitution – to be held.
For the Constitution to be changed, the majority of people in a majority of states, and a majority of people across Australia as a whole are required to vote ‘yes’.
Australian voters were asked if Australia should become a republic during a referendum in 1999. Of the 11.785 million votes cast, 55 per cent voted ‘no’, and 45 per cent voted ‘yes’.
Changing the Australian Constitution – double majority.
Parliamentary Education Office (peo.gov.au)
This image shows how the Australian Constitution can only be changed with the support of the majority of Australian voters and the majority of voters in the majority of states (ie at least 4 states).
Votes from the ACT, NT and other territories are counted in the national majority only.
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