referendum

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Half of respondents in a recent poll said they were in favour of Australia becoming a republic. But there are still lots of hurdles in the path of those who wish to make such an historic break with the British monarchy.

Holding hands

It's been argued Australia should follow Ireland's lead on same-sex marriage and hold a referendum to bypass an unwilling Parliament. While the sentiment is positive, the idea is flawed, writes George Williams.

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The Australian Constitution reflects our history of white settlement, but fails to mention the much longer occupation of the continent by Aboriginal peoples, writes George Williams.

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To avoid defeat of a referendum to recognise Aboriginal peoples in the constitution, Tony Abbott needs to champion a community-led path to the ballot box, writes George Williams.  

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The referendum campaign on local government is likely to leave voters confused, bored or both. But there are better ways to communicate the cases for and against, write Jackie Hartley and Paul Kildea.

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The local government referendum to change the Constitution on September 14 is a small-target strategy that could backfire, argues Rosalind Dixon.

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The Federal Government's announcement of a referendum on recognition of local councils in the constitution is a sensible one, but that is not enough to guarantee success, write Nicola McGarrity and Lyndon Goddard.

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The role of local government has expanded over the last century, assuming greater responsibilities in service-delivery. In light of this, formal recognition in the Constitution is seen by many as a must, writes Shipra Chordia.

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Recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution can ensure that direct federal funding for local community infrastructure and services continues, writes George Williams.

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Rather than uniting Australians, a plebiscite on gay marriage is likely to deepen divisions and further polarise the community, writes George Williams.

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