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  #61  
Old 01-21-2008, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KelliB View Post
The Australian (and New Zealand, Canadian etc) situation is complicated by the fact that our Queen doesn't live in our country and isn't a "citizen" of our nation. However, my personal opinion is that a constitutional monarchy has more reliable checks and balances, offers tradition and ritual (necessary for the functioning of a healthy society) and isn't prey to, or influenced by, the lure of the mighty dollar in the way that some republics seem to be.
I'm Canadian and I agree with you KelliB.
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  #62  
Old 05-03-2008, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RoyallyRich View Post
Well Emperor,I think that this arrangement resembles the Malaysian Monarchical Federation.It might work.But it will create several mini Royal Families.And what qualifications does the citizen have to have in order to be elected as the Monarch Sovereign?Patriotism? Wealth?Lineage?Good looks?Right education?
I've pushed this idea before, and I have no problem trying again: I really think the United States would do well under an elective monarchy. Hear me out: Each state would elect a duke (or any other title you prefer) from its own citizens. Each duke would be elected to serve four years terms, and would carry out all of the ceremonial duties that governors usually do (awards, ribbon-cuttings, recognizing local achievement, etc.), and sign bills passed by the state legislatures into law. These dukes would have no political power, and as such could not belong to or support any political party. This will keep them neutral, non-political, and good embodiments of the people of their states.

Well, there would be a ceremonial emperor on the national level, acting as head of state for the entire country. Unlike the dukes who serve terms, the position of emperor is for life. Whenever the emperor dies or abdicates, all the democratically elected dukes come together and elect a new emperor from their number (like how the cardinals elect a new pope in a papal concalve). Since the dukes carried out many of the duties the emperor does, only on a state level, any duke chosen would already be somewhat trained for the job. And since they can't belong to any political parties, this assures that the position of the country's head of state is kept neutral and non-political. And since any citizen can be elected as duke of their state, which would make that citizen eligible to be chosen as emperor by their fellow duke-electors, this means that any U.S. citizen could also theoretically become emperor as well.

And to add even a little more royal flair to it, we could give the emperor's wife the title of empress-consort, the children could be called princes and princesses, so this would give us a royal family as well. The royal family would obviously change whenever an emperor died and a new one was chosen, and none of the royal family's titles would be inherited, but we'd still always have one. And our royals could of course go all out with any jewels, regalia, and pomp and circumstance we decide to give them. Think about it: it would combine the virtues of both a democratically-elected republic and an impartial monarchy into one system, while continuing to maintain the American belief that "all men are created equal". So what do you guys think?
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  #63  
Old 05-03-2008, 10:19 PM
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I think that overall setup would work well for the US, I just don't think that the specific titles of Duke and Emperor would go over well.
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  #64  
Old 05-03-2008, 11:28 PM
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I'm not sure about the position for life, though. It would have to be totally divorced from any executive powers if that were the case, and that's a major change from the current situation.
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  #65  
Old 05-03-2008, 11:43 PM
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Ooh, I didn't see the for life bit. I don't think that would go over all that well, either. I think it'll be a cold day in hell either way, though.
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  #66  
Old 05-04-2008, 12:30 AM
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I'm not sure about the position for life, though. It would have to be totally divorced from any executive powers if that were the case, and that's a major change from the current situation.
Well, if the position isn't for life, then it wouldn't really be a monarchy. For the most part, a life term is the only thing that separates a constitutional monarch from a ceremonial president.

And I also don't think that Americans are opposed to someone holding a position for life, as long as it's at least democratically appointed and not inherited. After all, we appoint Supreme Court justices for life terms and few are upset about that. I don't see how that is any different than a head of state for life, especially if the position which would hold continue to hold the real power, the U.S. President, is still elected directly by the people for fixed terms.

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Originally Posted by wbenson View Post
I think that overall setup would work well for the US, I just don't think that the specific titles of Duke and Emperor would go over well.
I appreciate the input, but I am curious about why you don't think those titles would sit too well with Americans, as well as what titles you think they would prefer for an elective monarchy.
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  #67  
Old 06-01-2008, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Because the president, however s/he gets there, is usually representing a political party. Whether it's overt like in the USA or indirect when a government (which usually consists of the majority party) elects an elder statesman, who's often a retired politician, your head of state reflects the mood of the moment far more than a monarch does. And I for one wouldn't want to swear loyalty to a president who supported a political party I didn't support, because I think that forces a person's conscience. Once a country becomes a reflection of the political party that happens to be in power, you're in for some very divisive experiences.

But what do you mean by swearing loyalty to a country? There has to be a symbol that represents the country, whether it's a flag, a monarch, a supposed national characteristic, or something. Personally I'd prefer to swear loyalty to a monarch than to some superannuated politician posing as a statesman and pretending to represent people we all know he doesn't really represent. Yes, I'm sure there are exceptions, but you're in for deep trouble if you depend on having the system throw up the exceptions rather than the run-of-the-mill party hacks.
This sums up my own views on the topic. A President of the Republic may be good or bad, however at the end of the day one realizes that the person is a political animal. They belong and adhere to a set of principles and doctrines that you may not necessairly agree with. They are someone that YOU put into office (either directly or indirectly) and you have a right to remove them. Whereas in a monarchy the office of Head of State is non-political, non-arbirtrary and without term limits.

As far as pledging alliegence, it is always pledged to a country and not a person. A monarch symbolizes the country at any given time in his or her person; whereas an elected head of state symbolizes the views of only a majority of the population that put them in power.

Re: The United States becoming a Monarchy.

The US, IMO, has only one option if it choose to become a constitutional monarchy. It would have to ask someone from the House of Windsor to take the throne. This is because they were the rulers pre-independence. You just cannot go out and create a Royal Family in this day and age. There will be too many disagreements and discord over the chosen family; unless they are a family that can prove some right to the throne.
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  #68  
Old 06-01-2008, 01:34 PM
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Whereas in a monarchy the office of Head of State is non-political, non-arbirtrary and without term limits.
That's precisely it. Anyone who thinks it's possible to elect a non-partisan person in the USA is woefully misguided as to how politics work there-indeed, how politics work in most places.
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  #69  
Old 06-01-2008, 03:20 PM
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Of course, you will never elect a non-partisan person. That is politics. But to me a whole lot better than a for life "King". We have had fools for presidents and we have had wise men, but their tenure is limited. Supreme Court Justices act in a goup of 9. The last thing we would ever need is a member of the House of Windsor as anything in this country. 1776 was a long time ago and well worth the effort.
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  #70  
Old 06-01-2008, 03:32 PM
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I take it you're not aware that the USA very nearly was a monarchy after 1776? George Washington was offered the role of King.

And please, don't even get me started on the Supreme Court. A bunch of right-wing dinosaurs, they are.

The point about a hereditary monarchy is that they are the figurehead--they don't make the decisions themselves.
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  #71  
Old 06-01-2008, 03:42 PM
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I take it you're not aware that the USA very nearly was a monarchy after 1776? George Washington was offered the role of King.
Interesting - never heard about this. Do you know when & where it happened & the reasoning behind it?
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  #72  
Old 06-01-2008, 03:44 PM
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I've heard quite a few people in Britain point to the current state of the US presidency as one of the best advertisements for a constitutional monarchy available at the moment. Which means I suppose that you and I should both be grateful for being citizens of countries whose systems are congenial to us.

IMO, as long as the people who actually do the governing are elected, that's the important thing. If a head of state is basically a national symbol and ceremonial figurehead, election doesn't make any difference to the democracy quotient and can, in unscrupulous hands, be counterproductive - as we've seen here with John Bolton's stunning statement that George Bush is the president of those who voted for him, as well as the whole "dissent is unpatriotic" atmosphere of the last few years. If Tony Blair had tried the "I am Britain and Britain is me, and if you don't support me you aren't a True Brit" act, he'd have been laughed at in much the same way Margaret Thatcher was when she forgot herself enough to try it.
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  #73  
Old 06-01-2008, 04:04 PM
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We laugh at Bush, too. He has been a terrible president. 8 years wasted. The majority of the country disapproves of him. Elections are coming. How they play out is up for grabs. And yes, the Constituional Monarch, is basically window dressing. Really nice for looks , but not much else. And, the Supreme Court just tipped to the right with the Bush appointees. Sandra Day O'Connor, was never what Reagan had hoped. Now, hopefully, we several coming to retirement age, a Democrat can moderate the right. Yes, a few wanted to call Washington "King". He was appalled. So, were most of the others. It is nice conversation, but has little substance.
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  #74  
Old 06-01-2008, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I've heard quite a few people in Britain point to the current state of the US presidency as one of the best advertisements for a constitutional monarchy available at the moment. Which means I suppose that you and I should both be grateful for being citizens of countries whose systems are congenial to us.

IMO, as long as the people who actually do the governing are elected, that's the important thing. If a head of state is basically a national symbol and ceremonial figurehead, election doesn't make any difference to the democracy quotient and can, in unscrupulous hands, be counterproductive - as we've seen here with John Bolton's stunning statement that George Bush is the president of those who voted for him, as well as the whole "dissent is unpatriotic" atmosphere of the last few years. If Tony Blair had tried the "I am Britain and Britain is me, and if you don't support me you aren't a True Brit" act, he'd have been laughed at in much the same way Margaret Thatcher was when she forgot herself enough to try it.
Didn't she succeed with the Falklands though? I think that's what Blair tried with Iraq and it backfired. She really knew how to pull off the "Only Tories are British" thing and make it work.
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  #75  
Old 06-01-2008, 04:36 PM
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Some people are better politicians than others. She was tough ad smart.
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  #76  
Old 06-01-2008, 08:48 PM
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Didn't she succeed with the Falklands though? I think that's what Blair tried with Iraq and it backfired. She really knew how to pull off the "Only Tories are British" thing and make it work.
Remember the ridicule she attracted with the "We are a Grandmother" comment? To say nothing of her assertion that she was an institution - sort of a permanent fixture? That gave a lot of people a "hang on a minute - I thought that was the Queen's job" moment.
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  #77  
Old 06-02-2008, 01:20 AM
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And, the Supreme Court just tipped to the right with the Bush appointees

Well, yes. And that's kind of my point. Any sort of appointment or electoral process will become hopelessly politicized. There is no way around it. While it's true that with a genetic roll of the dice you could end up with a total douchebag, it's equally possible that you won't. (Whereas with politics, you're pretty much guaranteed to get an enormous douche, no matter what.) However, the scales are tipped somewhat anti-douche: those in monarchies who stand to inherit are brought up with the notion that they have to think for now and for the long future, while taking cues from the past. Politicians very, very rarely think past the next election. Some do, and they are noted by history: Abraham Lincoln, for example. Consider this thought experiment: slavery is still legal in the USA. Do you really think any of your politicians would come out against it? Of course not.

A monarch, by contrast, is brought up to think of the longevity of their country well beyond their reign. And while I think that a much stronger monarchy is needed in Royal countries (let's give them some real power) is a very good idea, I know it won't happen.

To bring it to much more prosaic terms.. I have read one argument in favour of (speficially UK) monarchy that really, really works for me. (Paraphrased) "Because Queen Elizabeth holds power as the Royal Preogative, nobody else can steal it for her. With her in [nominal] power, nobody else can stage a coup and be viewed legitimately." In other words, the Sovereign holds the (formal) power so that nobody else can take it. Having an elected sovereign would invalidate large portions of that--throw a rigged election (2000, 2004 USA?) and you get the legitimacy.
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  #78  
Old 06-02-2008, 07:52 PM
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Consider this thought experiment: slavery is still legal in the USA. Do you really think any of your politicians would come out against it? Of course not.
Any of them? Absolutely. There were abolitionist politicians in the US from the moment it was founded. It wasn't as if slavery was loved by all and then all of a sudden the civil war happened and the 13th Amendment was passed and people were like "oh, I guess it was wrong."
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  #79  
Old 06-02-2008, 08:39 PM
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I guess you never heard of the "Civil Rights Movement". Sorry, you missed that. Plenty of politicians stuck their necks out. Decency has nothing to do with politrics. Jack Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Teddy Kennedy even Lyndon Johnson. President Eisenhower sent Federal troops to open all white school houses in Arkansas. Emmanuel Celler, Mike Mansfield, Hubert Humphrey and Everett Dirksen, just to name a few Senators and Congressmen who worked for the passage of that bill. Democracy works, sometimes slowly and not always perfectly, but it does work. Monarchy has nothing better.
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  #80  
Old 06-02-2008, 08:52 PM
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I guess you never heard of the "Civil Rights Movement". Sorry, you missed that. Plenty of politicians stuck their necks out.
Hey lady, you can make your point without being insulting about it. Of course I have heard of the Civil Rights Movement; there was absolutely no need for the condescending tone.

Especially since you completely missed the point of what I was saying. Assume for the moment that slavery was never abolished, and that many people--especially in the South, of course--continue to own slaves, and indeed get rich from doing so. Do you really think that politicians would look at an enormous voting bloc like that, and think to themselves, "Self, I think I'm going to alienate everyone who can get me elected! WOO!".

Of course not. The politicians who actually make principled stands are so few and far between as to be practically nonexistent.


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Truer words have never been spoken.
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