A Conversation for Talking Point: Monarchy or Republic you Decide!


Post 1

Is mise Duncan

There's a lot of hoohah about the Queen doing a good job and bringing in toursist and the like. This is all an irelevance.
Whilst we have a monarchy we are all British "Subjects" not British Citizens.
This means that we cannot have a constitution, that we commit crimes against "Regina" not society, that our legal system is distorted (with abhorrent laws like the law of succession still on the books), that a large percentage (probably a majority) of UK citizens do not share the official religion of the state.
Of course this is all a nonsense, because the powers that be (in the UK, not H2G2 ones) will never let us actually vote on the future of the monarchy.


Post 2

Lisa the Freak // Poet by the Toga

democracy is better because we get the say in what happens to us.

Sort of.


Post 3

Captain Kebab

Democracy might just work a bit better if there weren't people who nobody ever elected or voted for with real and considerable residual constitutional powers, not to mention huge and unaccountable influence.

I don't doubt things would still be far from perfect without them, but I really can't see how having a monarch and an aristocracy add to the general democraticfulness of things.

Mind you, I'm not kidding myself - we're stuck with them for the forseeable future - the best we might hope for is that they drag themselves into the last century and slim down a bit.


Post 4

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

Having a largely ceremonial non-political figurehead for Head of State has certain advantages. Politicians come and go but the Head of State sails regally on.

As a rallying point the monarchy gives a sense of nationhood - important for a country such as Britain faced with the insidious, creeping, inevitable, European Union takeover of more and more areas of parts of government that were once thought as integral parts of a sovereign nation. The justice system, the money supply etc.

Democracy is not all it is cracked up to be. In a democracy the minority often ends up governing the majority - in part because many people don't bother voting (others are not allowed to). Look at the recent American presidential election. I suggest democracy was not the winner.

Australia, head of state Britain's Queen Elizabeth who is also Queen of New Zealand, Canada etc, recently voted on whether to become a republic. The monachists won with quite a large majority. If it's good for Australia, it's gotta be good for Britain smiley - bigeyes


Post 5

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

As for the cost of the monarchy, a president would be just as expensive. Look at the circus surrounding the American president.

British politicians would love to emulate the American systems trappings of power. All paid for by the taxpayer with none of the payback of tourist-related monies generated by the monarchy.


Post 6


Some may argue that there is nothing wrong with a monarch if they have no actual powers whatsoever (i.e. while someone may technically be subject to the Queen, she doesn't in practice get to order you around), but in that case if you were to replace the monarch with a head of state with this same level of personal authority, you'd get someone who merely has to shake the hands of visiting dignitaries, etc. etc. So quite clearly, the best candidate for such a position wouldn't be some has-been ex-politician (where can we stick this old duffer where they thinks they're important, but are out of harms way? Ah yes, give them the presidency), but rather an actor of some sort.

Then there is another problem of course - what if national governments become so sidelined by big business that it doesn't matter either way?


Post 7

Uber Phreak

But at least here in america we are allowed SOME say in what our government does. and by haveing elections, our money that WE spend is spent on a leader that is still young enought to lead a country. By the way, how old IS your queen? just wondering.


Post 8

Huw (ACE)

Who said anything about replacing the monarchy? Just abolish it and let the PM continue. This would appear to solve the financial problem Loonytunes raised.

Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily believe that the country would be much better off leaving everything to a PM, I just hate the fact we pour in all our money to support these old farts who do bugger all. I mean, they're rich beyond my wildest dreams and they did nothing to merit it except to be born! Is it just me or is that stupid beyond belief?


Post 9

Prez HS (All seems relatively quiet here)

In many monarchies, the question is not really whether there should be either republic or monarchy, since in many monarchies the role of the monarch is strictly ceremonial anyway. In practice then the policy is already made in a republican way and the question remaining is then: do we want to spend all that money on a ceremonial institution. I think that should be realised.

Regarding that question then: I myself have no need for the figurehead that is my queen (Bea of the Netherlands) but there are plenty people here in my country that think otherwise, believe you me.


Post 10

The Dancing Tree

The fact that we have a monarchy doesn't really affect our political process that much. The fact that we are a parliamentary democracy rather than a true democracy instead is to do with our politicians’ need to hang onto all shreds of power. The fact that we are subjects instead of citizens does not mean we can’t have a constitution either, it’s just that’s how most nations have been historically. There’s no reason why this couldn’t change in Britain; after all, our government are able to set laws and the Monarch doesn’t have a great deal of choice but to agree to them. (Okay, so she has a veto, but when was the last time it was used?)

If we want change in the UK, we should do it by lobbying parliament, not by criticising a family and institution that is obviously in the process of winding down anyway. Quite frankly, I’d imagine by choice, the Royal Family will be a rather more distant thing by the time William is the Monarch.

I find it amazing that for a country that spends so much time moaning about Europe (and mostly due to misinformation) that we still find time to have a go at our own traditions, too.


Post 11

Mr Skiver

Yeah, sort of.

I haven't seen any body quote this yet so I may as well...

'It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in'

Sorry, I don't have the source of that. It may be one of those sayings that is as old as the hills. It deserves to be, IMO.


Post 12

Huw (ACE)

The Dancing Tree said:

"If we want change in the UK, we should do it by lobbying parliament, not by criticising a family and institution that is obviously in the process of winding down anyway."

Well, no offence but we're not trying to change anything here, we're debating the validity of the monarchy!


Post 13

Almighty Rob - mourning the old h2g2

Here in Australia, around 70% (conservative estimate) of people support becoming a republic.

Unfortunately, that number is divided on the issue of what *type* of republic we should have. So, when last year the question of becoming a republic was put to the people, many republicans argued for a no vote, because they preferred a directly-elected president to the bipartisan, parliamentary selection of the model proposed.

Therefore the republic referendum failed, and Australia is stuck with the Queen of England as its head of state.

Personally, I support the model that was offered last year, but was too young to vote at the time. Grr..


Post 14

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

Ireland has got a pretty good system. An elected president who holds largely ceremonial powers.

When a foreign dignity arrives in Ireland one of the first things they do is pop around to the president's residence to pay their respects. No doubt they also indulge in a nice cup of tea.

Political power resides with the party(s) holding a majority of seats in Parliament. These political party(s) appoint, from among their members, a Prime Minister.


Post 15

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

...who heads the government.


Post 16

Prez HS (All seems relatively quiet here)

That sounds awfully nice, Loony. Really very agreeable.
But then there are a lot of things awfully agreeable about Ireland, don't you agree.


Post 17

Prez HS (All seems relatively quiet here)

though I do think your foreign dignity would rather appreciate it being called dignitary... smiley - silly


Post 18


Just to do a bit of Devil's Advocate: On the Royal Family having shedloads of dosh. Do you believe that you shouldn't be able to inherit your dad's money and property upon his death, or is it just the Queen who should give it away? Is it fair that you get to keep it while she, by an accident of birth, doesn't?

(Just stirring smiley - smiley)


Post 19

Captain Kebab

Let the Royal Family keep their shedloads of dosh. But that doesn't mean we have to give them any more. I don't expect any money from the tax-payer - I'm old enough and fit enough to work, and I've got a job. When I didn't have one I was expected to find one. I know that the Queen does a 'job' meeting all those dignitaries and so on, but it seems to me that her salary is a bit on the high side in view of the duties required, and the perks provided. Nor is there any reason inherent in the nature of the 'job' why it should be for life, or why it should be passed on to Charles simply by virtue of the fact that he's her eldest son.

While I'm ranting about the Queen's job, I'm always being told what a good job the Queen does, and asked would I rather have President Thatcher or President Blair. Well, no, I wouldn't, but the whole point is that we don't get to choose the Queen, and if she was lousy at her job we'd still be stuck with her. I think that the Head of State should be subject to the same rules as the rest of the population, and if they stink at their job we should be able to remove them. I realise that ultimately you can decapitate a king if you're not satisfied but I feel that this is a little extreme.

I read recently (in connection with that business with Sophie and the fake sheik) that Princess Margeret's son (Viscount Linley?) has a high class furniture business which doesn't rely on his royal connections and that he's doing very nicely, thank you. That would seem a to be more equitable way of carrying on. Let the Royal Family live like any other family and let's choose our Head of State.

How about the Speaker of the House of Commons? They're usually harmless, they're elected by an arcane representative pseudo-democratic process which nobody can understand and in which the people have no say, which is an authentically British compromise and in keeping with our Parliamentary traditions. They have loads of pomp and tradition and stuff and wear fancy dress which should keep the tourists and traditionalists happy. And I presume, as they are elected from Members of the Commons, that they cannot be a member of the Royal Family or the aristocracy - hooray!


Post 20

Huw (ACE)

Munchkin said:

"Just to do a bit of Devil's Advocate: On the Royal Family having shedloads of dosh. Do you believe that you shouldn't be able to inherit your dad's money and property upon his death, or is it just the Queen who should give it away? Is it fair that you get to keep it while she, by an accident of birth, doesn't?"

I knew someone would say that smiley - winkeye

If I were to inherit a shedload of dosh from my father, then he still would have had to earn it. No royal has ever earned the outrageously high amounts of money they get. Furthermore, I don't think a lot of fathers would give their children a fortune if the children had done nothing to deserve it.

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