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  #221  
Old 09-19-2015, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
The idea that the Head of State of a country should always be the firstborn son or daughter of a given family may sound outdated or even absurd in the 21st century.
More than that, it's a feudal concept. It's a vestige of caste/class systems. It's slavery in a gilded cage.
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  #222  
Old 09-19-2015, 10:04 PM
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More than that, it's a feudal concept. It's a vestige of caste/class systems. It's slavery in a gilded cage.
The origin of the monarchies of countries like England, France or Spain certainly fits your description, but, over time, they either "modernized" and adapted to representative government, or disappeared and were replaced by republics. In countries like Belgium, on the other hand, the monarchy was already born from the start as a popular, constitutional monarchy (chiefly because it is a 19th century monarchy actually originating from a liberal revolution, and not a monarchy dating back to the Middle Age).

In any case, modern monarchies are by no means incompatible with democracy. Furthermore, my point again was that, in a system where the ceremonial role of the Head of State is strictly separate from the executive government, a constitutional monarch may be a better alternative than an elected president.
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  #223  
Old 09-20-2015, 03:44 AM
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In any case, modern monarchies are by no means incompatible with democracy.
If you mean that it can work, yes. But at what a price, because there is a human cost. Anyone reading this chat site (and this is a fairly civil chat site) can see that the people born into those families are bound by strictures. Albeit cushioned by great privilege, growing up with a healthy sense of self and the world becomes a monumental achievement, rather than a norm. IMO it remains a vestige of a backwards economic model and blinkered political wisdom.
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  #224  
Old 09-20-2015, 03:53 AM
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The most liberal, democratic, tolerant, often also most wealthy, happy and peaceful nations are monarchies by accident: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, etc. So it is a paradox that the most democractic and egalitarian societies are "ruled" (only in name) by the historic dynasty.
  #225  
Old 09-20-2015, 04:07 AM
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The most liberal, democratic, tolerant, often also most wealthy, happy and peaceful nations are monarchies by accident: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, etc. So it is a paradox that the most democractic and egalitarian societies are "ruled" (only in name) by the historic dynasty.
There may be something to be said for the stability of one-family rule (though my back shivers at the thought for the US) when the heirs do not inherit actual power and have personally been a happy mix of duty bound acceptance, with a dose of sound ethics. However, monarchial rule across the globe does not fare well in comparison.

In short, it's more an issue of fair systems being upheld by ethical public servants (monarchs are one such type of public servant). In the US we have had political family dynasties, and they do well: the Adamses, the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers, the Udalls, the Kennedys - not all are perfect in every respect, but there is a sense of service and often very high calibre service, indeed. More recently we have had the Bushes, now the nuveau Clintons. But its better it all be by election than an inherited title. That feels so very creaky and antique, hard to envision for a country whose ethos is equality and anyone can be President.
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  #226  
Old 09-20-2015, 11:00 AM
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There may be something to be said for the stability of one-family rule (though my back shivers at the thought for the US) when the heirs do not inherit actual power and have personally been a happy mix of duty bound acceptance, with a dose of sound ethics. However, monarchial rule across the globe does not fare well in comparison.

In short, it's more an issue of fair systems being upheld by ethical public servants (monarchs are one such type of public servant). In the US we have had political family dynasties, and they do well: the Adamses, the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers, the Udalls, the Kennedys - not all are perfect in every respect, but there is a sense of service and often very high calibre service, indeed. More recently we have had the Bushes, now the nuveau Clintons. But its better it all be by election than an inherited title. That feels so very creaky and antique, hard to envision for a country whose ethos is equality and anyone can be President.

To you, an citizen of a democratic republic, it seems that way. To me, a citizen of a constitutional monarchy, it doesn't. What works for own country does not mean it's best for any other country.

Further, looking at the Democracy Index, 7 of the 10 most democratic countries in the world are constitutional monarchies - and of the top 5 spots, 4 of them are monarchies. The index sites only 24 "full" democracies in the world, 11 of which are constitutional monarchies.

Of the 24 "full" democracies, the US ranks 19th - with only 2 of the constitutional monarchies (Japan and Spain) falling lower.
  #227  
Old 09-20-2015, 11:24 AM
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The U.S. is a representative democracy. People election people to run the government. People elect people to service in parliament and run the government in a constitutional monarchy. The monarch can't go against the elected parliament wishes.

Not everyone can become President of the United States. If you aren't a certain age or a natural born citizen you can't be President.

There has been one minority President, one Catholic president, no female Presidents, no Jewish Presidents. So the idea that everyone can be president is a good idea, in reality it will help you immensely if you are a rich, white, Protestant male.


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  #228  
Old 09-20-2015, 11:26 AM
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Ish - Keep in mind the US is a pretty big country. It ranks third in the world in population, right behind the two behemoths of China at 1.4 billion people, and India at 1.2 billion. The US is at 3.5 million, a pipsqueak compared to those two, but far bigger than any of those constitutional monarchies you name. I think the 'success' of those constitutional monarchies is a function of many things, size being one, and a fairly homogeneous population. JMO. I'm sure there are more factors involved.
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  #229  
Old 09-20-2015, 12:39 PM
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There are considerably more factors involved. In compiling the Democracy Index 60 questions are asked of a question and are compiled to give a country a score out of 10 - with 10 being very democratic and 1 being very authoritarian. While it's large population can work against the US in some regards - particularly in regards to political participation - there are aspects of the American government and electoral process that work against it in terms of democracy - i.e. the two party system.

That's not to say that the US's democracy isn't successful. It ranks 19th on a list of 167 countries, which is no small feat. But saying that monarchical rule across the world doesn't fair well in comparison to a system like the US's is verifiably inaccurate - there are 9 countries with monarchies that rank higher in terms of democracy. Monarchies can be very successful at being democracies. So can republics. Neither one nor the other is inherently better.
  #230  
Old 01-17-2016, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post
Ish - Keep in mind the US is a pretty big country. It ranks third in the world in population, right behind the two behemoths of China at 1.4 billion people, and India at 1.2 billion. The US is at 3.5 million, a pipsqueak compared to those two, but far bigger than any of those constitutional monarchies you name. I think the 'success' of those constitutional monarchies is a function of many things, size being one, and a fairly homogeneous population. JMO. I'm sure there are more factors involved.
"Homogeneous" is the key word - too many ethnicities/races (=differences) in the US for king or queen at the helm, even if that person doesn't hold any real power. The US population, at this point in history, is too fractured and diverse for any one person to run it from within or represent it to the rest of the world.
  #231  
Old 01-17-2016, 02:33 AM
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"Homogeneous" is the key word - too many ethnicities/races (=differences) in the US for king or queen at the helm, even if that person doesn't hold any real power. The US population, at this point in history, is too fractured and diverse for any one person to run it from within or represent it to the rest of the world.
The presidential role does a pretty good job on the whole. I don't see the necessity for anything else.

Fact is, methinks the European monarchies (inclusive of the British) will be facing extinction (dethronement) within this century. The current political realities, with emerging regional interests, and the influx of immigrants across Europe, are the harbingers of changes to governance that I think are inevitable. Europe is destined to become more 'Americanized' in the way of diversity.

I'm introducing 'big-picture' politics here, but the day-in-the-sun of the nation-state is on the wane imo, as regions emerge. It's global corporations that are the merging power centers now. All else (monarchy) is artifact.
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  #232  
Old 01-17-2016, 05:59 AM
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The presidential role does a pretty good job on the whole. I don't see the necessity for anything else.
On the contrary, I think the presidential system of government is notoriously bad. The role of Head of State, which is mostly ceremonial in nature and should be ideally non-partisan, should not be merged with the role of Head of Government, which, in a democracy, is necessarily political and partisan.

Quote:

Fact is, methinks the European monarchies (inclusive of the British) will be facing extinction (dethronement) within this century. The current political realities, with emerging regional interests, and the influx of immigrants across Europe, are the harbingers of changes to governance that I think are inevitable. Europe is destined to become more 'Americanized' in the way of diversity.
I fail to see what diversity of the population has to do with a country being a monarchy or a republic. In fact, looking at recent real-world examples, the European royal families, e.g. in Sweden, have been the state institution that seems to have best connected with newly arrived immigrants since the current refugee crisis began. Furthermore, there are also monarchies like Australia and Canada with very diverse populations (over 20 % of the population actually born overseas).

Being just a figurehead, the monarch is not involved in policy decisions, e.g. on immigration, health care, education, employment, etc. that may be divisive and cause friction between different social groups. The monarch can be a symbol that unites persons of all social classes, races or ethnic backgrounds, in a way that a controversial elected politician like a president or a prime minister could never be. In that sense, the more diverse a country is, the more it makes sense for tha country to be a constitutional monarchy, not the opposite.

In countries like Australia and Canada, things are more complicated since the monarchy could only be abolished by a constitutional amendment. In Australia, a constitutional amendment is automatically submitted to a popular referendum and must be approved by a majority of voters nationwide and by a majority of voters in a majority of states. In Canada, there is no formal referendum requirement a priori , but a constitutional amendment to abolish the monarchy would have to be passed by the Senate and the House of Commons (the two houses of the federal parliament) and by the Legislative Assemblies of all 10 Canadian provinces. Again, that is a very high bar.
  #233  
Old 01-17-2016, 12:38 PM
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The US would never have a monarchy, our country was founded as a revolution against a monarch!
The American loyalists who opposed the revolution founded their own country: it is called (English) Canada !
  #234  
Old 01-18-2016, 02:55 AM
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Several off-topic posts have either been deleted or edited. This thread is not about the reluctancy or suitability of heirs to the British throne. Further off-topic posts will be deleted without notice.
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  #235  
Old 01-18-2016, 03:26 AM
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The American loyalists who opposed the revolution founded their own country: it is called (English) Canada !
Speaking from the viewpoint of a person that was born, bred and buttered in Detroit, Michigan, and using my own time warp in my brain, back then, it wasn't Canada, US, British. Detroit was originally a French colony and the city was named by French colonists, referring to the Detroit River (French: le détroit du lac Érié, meaning the strait of Lake Erie), linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie; in the historical context, the strait included the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. More simply put, the three rivers.

There was no Americans back then. There were different sides to different factors. French vs. Native tribes. British forces vs colonists, Colonists vs. Native tribes and making alliances when needed for the greater good and all the while it was the French vs. the system and the French vs. Britain. Europeans brought to North America the allies and adversaries of the continent. Coupled with the dog eat dog survival mindset, this affected all the land we now know as the US and Canada. Much more can be said about the US and Mexico but that's another history lesson I'm still to learn more about.

It was a time when the French revolted against monarchy as much as the founding fathers of the US revolted against the laws and the monarchy of the British's George III and Parliament.

Canada and the US evolved from all of this. Each in their own time and their own space and in their own convictions.

There is a series of books that really encompasses the history and the different feelings and emotions of that time era. Although a well researched historical saga that is fictional, its easy to grasp what actually happened historically back then. Check out Diana Galbadon's series of books starting with Outlander. You won't be disappointed. BTW: in the early books it also delves deeply into the Scottish side of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the battle of Culloden. The entire series encapsulates one couple's dealings with the world around them. The time travel part is the whimsical.

I don't know how old you are or what you've grown up with but I do know that with 20/20 hindsight vision, we need to be objective and seek to understand how things were at the time.
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  #236  
Old 01-19-2016, 07:46 PM
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The American loyalists who opposed the revolution founded their own country: it is called (English) Canada !
Not true, Mbruno - many of my ancestors were founders of Acadia. Their descendants were thrown out of what is now Nova Scotia in 1755 at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, aka the French and Indian War. The British did not want them there because they were Roman Catholic and would not swear allegiance to King George III. They made there way to pro-Catholic Spanish territory in what is now the state of Louisiana in the US. So not exactly true - many of my ancestors were thrown out of Canada.
  #237  
Old 01-19-2016, 07:58 PM
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Not true, Mbruno - many of my ancestors were founders of Acadia. Their descendants were thrown out of what is now Nova Scotia in 1755 at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, aka the French and Indian War. The British did not want them there because they were Roman Catholic and would not swear allegiance to King George III. They made there way to pro-Catholic Spanish territory in what is now the state of Louisiana in the US. So not exactly true - many of my ancestors were thrown out of Canada.
Yes, you are right. Our gain.
  #238  
Old 01-19-2016, 09:01 PM
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Yes, you are right. Our gain.
Yes it was
  #239  
Old 01-19-2016, 09:10 PM
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On the contrary, I think the presidential system of government is notoriously bad. The role of Head of State, which is mostly ceremonial in nature and should be ideally non-partisan, should not be merged with the role of Head of Government, which, in a democracy, is necessarily political and partisan.
I watched "The West Wing" for the first time last year. I have never studied American politics, formally or informally, and my knowledge of how the US presidential system operates is largely based on that show. Though I had previously been aware that the US President was a much more powerful person than heads of state under different forms of presidential system, the details were hazy.

The thing that struck me watching "The West Wing" - and please remember that this is my perception formed watching a TV show - is that the US seems to be run by one man and a cabinet of people who are appointed by the president but not elected by the people, and a lot of other unelected advisors. I find that very strange. I find the election process for president very confusing with its electoral colleges, and primaries and caucuses varying from state to state and stretching out over several months. It seems to be a hellishly expensive process and confuses me terribly.

I am used to a monarchy with a government run by elected representatives. Our head of state and her representative here are benign and their role is largely ceremonial. They don't interfere with the running of the country. I find it very difficult to wrap my brain around the concept of a US type presidential system, and I think it is unlikely to ever happen here. I am sure that we will always have a Westminster System.
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  #240  
Old 01-20-2016, 01:17 PM
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You have to remember that a good many things you see from the American government are not according to the Constitution. Government has usurped more power than it was ever intended to, at least some things that are going on are in direct conflict to the Constitution.

A study of the Constitution might be less confusing as a means to understand how it's supposed to work.


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