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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rulers of the Commonwealth

Fifty four independent countries belong to the illustrious intergovernmental organisation known as the Commonwealth of Nations. It is not a political union, but an organisation through which member nations with diverse political, social and economic systems, treat each other as equals even though they are plainly not. Via various government agencies the member states seek to promote democracy, human rights, individual liberty, rule of law, free trade and world peace. There are 2.1 million people who are citizens of Commonwealth nations and just over half of them live in India.

Interest in the Commonwealth of Nations peaks every four years when the organisation's most visible activity occurs. The Commonwealth Games are seen as the poor relation to the Olympics, and achievements by athletes at the games are considered by many to be less noteworthy because the Games do not feature all the best athletes in the world competing. Significant absences include Europe, America and of course, the soon to be economic ruler of the globe: China. There is less competition, fewer events and less interest which leads to the cyclical debate about the relevance of the Games. This discussion was brought into sharp focus in Delhi recently due to overblown concerns about possible terrorism, and inadequate or incomplete facilities.

Personally, my only gripe with the Commonwealth games is that because Channel Ten hosted the television coverage in Australia, I missed out on two weeks of Neighbours. Otherwise, it was great, especially because Australia is plainly the ruler of the Commonwealth in relation to sport. We kicked butt in Delhi. It was Australia first in the medal tally and daylight second. There was very little equality on show at these games. It was the Masters of the Commonwealth universe crushing the feeble minions from the rest of the nations. We didn't win everything but only because we didn't compete in everything. We must have let the others win so as to not humiliate them. Although we like to win, we also show great sportsmanship: wrestlers throwing fridges out of windows, boxers mooning judges, and cyclists flipping the bird to them.

We have no competition in sport, no equal (in the mighty Commonwealth of Nations - please don't talk about the cricket), our economy is the strongest, and our political system is superior. The biggest scandal in politics is the Federal Opposition Leader claiming the Prime Minster was playing dirty because she invited him to visit our soldiers in Afghanistan with her. We champion free trade and are the epitome of flourishing democracy. If countries had middle names, Australia's would be peace.

With all this is mind, I propose that, following the expiration of our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth (may she live long and prosper,) Australia not only become a republic but also the ruler of the Commonwealth. According to the London Declaration, the head of the Commonwealth of Nations is a symbolic position which does not have to filled by England's ruling monarch. Try this on for size then, President Kevin Rudd, Lord of the Commonwealth. (I foresee Julia Gillard remaining Prime Minister by the way, otherwise she could do the job.)

We'll see all you loser Commonwealth nations in Glasgow in 2014.Go Australia!

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