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

Monarchy!

Post 21

Huw (ACE)

What? No Father Christmas?! Who's been eating my mince pies then? smiley - sadface

There's no point in discussing American politics with me, I haven't a clue. As for this sacking the government thing - why don't we just agree to disagree? It's obvious we aren't going to be able to change each others' minds.


Monarchy!

Post 22

Shiner

If a republic, who whould be president? I trust most politicans even less than I do the Royals - at least, those Royals who were brought up as Royals


Monarchy!

Post 23

Huw (ACE)

Well, me, of course! Who else?


Monarchy!

Post 24

Sol

With referance to the civil list. I believe it came about as an exchange. The crown donated a fair amount of their personal lands to the state, and got a 'rent' on them in return. At the time, the lands brought in more revenue than was paid out in the civil list. I am not sure what the state of play is now.

Personally, I always feel that people want to get rid of the monarchy for the wrong reasons. When the whole annus horriblus thing kicked off, I'd been ranting about the royals for years. For a while it looked as though people would actually gear up to chuck in the monarchy just because of their personal lives, which got me hopping irritated.

And you can't just nip the royals off the top of our system and leave the system in place. As someone pointed out with whatsit the govoner general, he was able to do this because of the power conferred on him by the queen. In Britain, the power of the government is conferred (for the moment) on Tony Blair from the same source. It is, essentially, a top down approach rather than a bottom up approach which is far more offensive than anything else. Furthermore, have you ever noticed what sweeping powers those are? Frankly, the only reason for getting rid of the royals that makes sense is so that we can finally get around to sorting out the absolute priministery that is our present system.


Monarchy!

Post 25

Martin Harper

The real residual power of the UK queen (as opposed to theoretical ones which would lead to beheading in short order) would be in a hung parliament - the queen has to choose the party or coalition she judges to be the most stable and likely to succeed, and invite them to form a government.

That's quite an important power - and one we'll almost certainly have to get rid of when we *finally* make the switch to proportional representation - but its as good an interim system as there is.


Monarchy!

Post 26

Rehash

There's one important thing missing from this discussion; to illustrate I'll use Germany as an example. (Extreme I know but the extreme examples are usually the best.)

Let's consider how Herr Hitler came to power:-
Firstly Germany was a Republic with a President and Chancellor. What Hitler did was get elected as President then he appointed himself as chancellor. He then abolished parliment by presidental decree and filled the goverment with his supporters.


Now consider whether the above is easier to do in the USA, or in the UK.

In the USA it's perfectly possible to get elected president (just bribe the oil companies.)and be elected to the senate.

In the UK you can not be 'elected' head of state. That comes through birth only. You can become PM but the PM would have a hard time appointing himself King. Even if you are born into the royal family you CAN'T become PM since members of the royal family aren't even allowed into the House of Commons.


The point is that the Monarch in the UK acts as counterweight to parliament and vice versa. The King/Queen can't become a dictator and neither can the 'first lord to the treasury' (PM). What worries me about getting rid of the Monarchy is that this finely balanced system might destroy itself ,like a propeller with one blade, if a part is removed.


Monarchy!

Post 27

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

In the USA it's perfectly possible to get elected president (just bribe the oil companies.)and be elected to the senate.

Is not quite correct. It should read....

In the USA it's perfectly possible to get appointed president (just get your father elected president at a time when new judges are due to be appointed to the Supreme Court then become the front man for the multinationals) and be elected to the senate.

By doing this the President of the United States also becomes defacto President of the Western World.

Which of course is what happened when Dubya got appointed President


Useless Fact!

Post 28

Researcher 172133

Did you know that one of the only crimes still punishable by the Death sentence in the UK is Arson in a Royal Dockyard? This dates from the Armada times and has never been repealed. Hmmm....

Also I think we need people like Prince Phillip, just to reming ourselves that we are NOT going mad and there is still someone madder than us!

Sean


Useless Fact!

Post 29

Emily 'Twa Bui' Ultramarine

The monarchy as is in Britain, I don't particularly hold with. Whist the monarch does have certain important constitutional powers, in reality it isn't really the Queen that decides on issues such as a hung parliament, but a horde of backstage bureaucrats. In Britain, I think the monarchy is a) rather too large, and b) perhaps too self-important. I would prefer the monarchy to be scaled down to something closer resembling the Dutch monarchy, for example; cliched though it is, the British monarchy comes across as somewhat aloof. If this were the case, important constitutional powers could be preserved, and the monarch could be called upon as needed.

The monarch can have certain benefits which a president could not give; the Commonwealth, for example, is held together in some places by royalists. However, I'm mixed race with background in Malaysia, and attitude towards the condescending and conquering British isn't exactly friendly. British soldiers for example were apt to leave several "Madam Butterflies", as it were, whilst missionaries did and continue to try and tell us that we'll all go to hell unless we smash our ancestral tablets and stop going to the temples.

If the monarchy were to be down-sized, we wuld not then have such controversies as the furore over the Prince and Princess Michael of Kents' extensive foreign trips (essentially holidays) coming out of the public purse. Or the ubiquitous Wessex saga.

As for the Republican argument, it is all too easy for the president to become a pseudo-monarch. Look at the Kennedys, for example - the US answer to the royal family in terms of tabloid interest. And Bush... ARRGH! Doesn't actually do anything, except try and poison the planet - no, I'm not a member of Greenpeace but even I can see that this situation is starting to look like a dystopian novel.

Essentially I think we have to come to erms with the fact that theres is as yet no ideal governmental system - there is room for corruption and exploitation within the monarchy (we're paying for the queen's dog food) and the republic (look at Marcos in the Philippines. As for the Florida recounts...).

Sorry for the vomit and bucket approach, but I had a lot to say... smiley - smiley


Useless Fact!

Post 30

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

St Emily, nice to see another Commonwealth citizen in the thread.

As an interesting side-point to the monarchy/republican issue, when Queen Elizabeth dies there is no guarantee that the newly crowned King Charles will replace her as Head Of The Commonwealth. It is not a heriditary position.

What will happen is that the leaders of the Commonwealth will gather and appoint a leader. They may appoint the newly crowned King Charles and then again they may not.

I suggest that if he is not appointed then that will give a lot of encouragement to the Pom (Brit) republican movement.


Useless Fact!

Post 31

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

In the US, it is impossible to hold both the presidency and another elective office. Bob Dole had to resign from the Senate to run for president (he was trounced by Clinton). Joe Liebermann maintained his Senate seat, but would have had to abdicate it had he been elected as vice president this last election. But even if a president was a member of Congress, he'd just be one voice among the throng. The US has no office to match the job of chancellor in Germany.

I've said this before in my journal... monarchy is a better form of government, provided you get the right monarch. How can you choose? Currently the choice is by birth. Can anyone else see what a bad idea that is? If my family were the royal line, my oldest brother would be your king. He's in jail right now. Not exactly king material, eh? It seems to me that you have a better chance of picking a good king by lottery than by accident of birth.

So how do you choose one? By vote? I think the recent farces in democracy have taught us better than that. The most popular kid in school isn't necessarily the one best qualified to lead, and that becomes even less effective when the choice goes national. You end up with some muppet who is good at telling you what you want to hear... or at least better at it than their opponent.

I'm out of ideas. How should we choose a monarch? Appoint by committee? Grab one at random off the streets? Take some talented youngster and train him for it?


Useless Fact!

Post 32

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

Well, as you say, voting can't work, because there are so many examples where it doesn't, especially as there are always thousands of stupid people to vote in the real idiot.
How about training, and extensive examination by various means; ideal person should be accademically sufficient to understand to a reasonible level the types of issues to confront them when in power, the best example of this failing being UK foot and mouth disease thing; where the polititions clearly haven't got the slighest idea of what they are talking about, and none appear to even know what a "virus" is.
Following election based on examination/training, they nshould be forced to retake examination regularly, say once each year, to make sure they are up to date, this could of course be linked with some form of voting from the "public"; with no campaign from prospective candidates, but publish their results in accademic tests, plus set of responses to certain what we could call "morral " question, plus synopsis of how they have performed in their life previously, to give something to compair such answer against..
Just an idea, probably won't work..


Useless Fact!

Post 33

Martin Harper

Surely selection by birth is just as good (and just as bad) as selection by lottery? Both may give you criminals, and both may give you excellent choices... the only bonus of birth is that you get to keep it in the 'upper classes' - which means, statistically, you're less likely to get a drug addict and such... (but more likely to get a foxhunter)

I thought that monarchs abdicated in avour of people, so the succession could skip people? That'd be the (theoretical) way we'd avoid having your brother in power, I guess.


Useless Fact!

Post 34

Rehash

What ever happened to the priciple that anyone capable of getting the job should on no account be allowed to do it?smiley - smiley


Useless Fact!

Post 35

Emily 'Twa Bui' Ultramarine

In the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. the president is effectively chosen by lottery, and they end up with a guy who wants to nuke the evil commies in Russia and China.

Not unlike George W. Bush then.


Useless Fact!

Post 36

Emily 'Twa Bui' Ultramarine

Lucinda - monarchs can abdicate in favour of others, but there is as yet nothing to compel them to do so. In the early nineties it was quite widely suggested that Elizabeth II should abdicate in favour of Charles, but in her own words she reckons its "a job for life", continues to refuse and no one can force her to change her mind. In some ways it's a pity she didn't, since the royal family might have been spared a lot of its bad press in the last decade or so. Nothing like a coronation to pep up public opinion.


Useless Fact!

Post 37

Martin Harper

Later on, it was equally widely suggested she should skip Charles as he's (shock horror) had a divorce... people do talk so... smiley - smiley When she does die/abdicate, the royal family will get the PR boost then - but the polls say support is still at the 70% mark, so there's nothing to suggest that they need an emergency abdication to stave off the republicans...


Useless Fact!

Post 38

Emily 'Twa Bui' Ultramarine

And then there's the funerals... Queen Mother or Margaret next? That'll be the next PR boost, I think; even though the former is an evil ***** ***** **** ****, no one's ever nasty about the dead.


Useless Fact!

Post 39

Inkwash

I'm gald to see Dubbya popping up time and time again in this thread.
In my opinion it stands as proof alone that a republic would not necessarily be the answer.


Useless Fact!

Post 40

Inkwash

Incidentally why isn't the rest of the world allowed the chance to vote for him, since he has the power to poison us all?


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