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Australia's republican movement said it has received a surge of support since Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles announced their engagement.
The Australian Republican Movement (ARM) said it was the biggest growth in support since Charles' son, Prince Harry, visited Australia partially at the expense of the Australian taxpayer 18 months ago.
The first definition of a republic is, "A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them. A nation that has such a political order."
By this measure Australia is, undeniably, already a republic. Writing in 1867, Walter Bagehot described the Westminster system of government as "disguised republicanism". While the symbols of monarchy had been preserved, the substance of executive government had been republicanised through the practices of representative and responsible government.
More recently, the High Court of Australia has determined that, in our system of Government, ultimate sovereignty rests with the people (cf. Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Wills (1992) 177 CLR 1 at para 17 per Deane and Toohey JJ; Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth (1992) 177 CLR 106 at para 37 per Mason CJ; Theophanous v Herald & Weekly Times Ltd (1994) 182 CLR 104 at para 13 per Deane J).