By Rod Mcguirk THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANBERRA, Australia (AP)-Many regarded Australians’ respect and affection for the late Queen Elizabeth II as the biggest obstacle to the country becoming a republic with its own head of state. Now after her death and with a pro-republic Labor Party government in power, Australia’s constitutional ties to the British monarchy will again be open to first-order debate for the first time since change was rejected at a 1999 referendum. During her long reign, the queen connected to Australia in ways that no monarch before her had done. In 1954 she became the only reigning British monarch to visit Australia. Such was her star power, an estimated 70% of Australia’s population turned out to see her during a punishing two-month itinerary that took her and
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