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  #101  
Old 05-27-2009, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by sylla View Post
I never know if I should feel sorry for them for their meaningless and largely entertainment-like existence or envious because they get paid so much for doing so little.
It is obvious that you are not from a monarchy
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  #102  
Old 05-28-2009, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sylla View Post
Good points were made in the previous posts, but I have to stick to my opinion. It is true that in a democracy there are families resembling royalty-like structures (Bush, kennedy etc), however their sons and daughters will still have to go through the election processes for various political jobs. Just because Daddy is the president does not automatically mean junior will be president. And should the public have an unfortunate lapse in judgement, there is the consolation that the reign of the elected official will come to an end and a more qualified candidate will have a chance.

In contrast, children of monarchs are born to a job and have that job for life, no pesky election process, no fear of losing their place. I never know if I should feel sorry for them for their meaningless and largely entertainment-like existence or envious because they get paid so much for doing so little.
Actually there are many republics in the world in which people who hold the most power were never elected by the public at all. Gordon Brown was never elected by the British people as a whole. Caroline Kennedy was not considering running for the senate, she just announced she would have liked to be appointed. Bush was not elected by the majority -the first time anyway. President Ford was never elected and then you have the republics that hardly even pretend to have elections at all. Many seats in the US Senate have been held by the same family for many generations -it is extremely hard to get someone out of the senate once they are in.

Also, I would beg to differ that royals don't have to worry about losing their positions. In fact, they may have to worry more than politicians. If the people get unhappy with a president they simply replace him but if the people get unhappy with a monarch said monarch has often ended up dead. They also, in most cases anyway, don't get paid nearly as much as what people think. Most of the money that goes to "the monarch" goes to expenses and not their own pocket. In most cases they are independently wealthy and in some cases they give more than they take. Some take nothing at all. The Prince of Liechtenstein has no salary and I think even contributes his own money to help running the government and I've heard before that the money the Queen of the UK surrenders from her estates is more than the allowance she is given for his expenses.
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  #103  
Old 05-28-2009, 12:01 PM
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but if the people get unhappy with a monarch said monarch has often ended up dead.
Not something I'd invision we'd be confronted with in this, the 21st century.
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  #104  
Old 05-28-2009, 01:46 PM
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It is obvious that you are not from a monarchy
You are right, Lilla, I am not. Born German -long after the Kaiser's dismissal- and currently residing in the US, my interest in monarchs are the usual: fashion, jewels and grand balls. Okay, gossip as well. I do tend to equate them with ordinary celebrities, particularly if they behave like them. With no political power for the European monarchs, it is difficult for me to understand their purpose other than provide some sort of Brüder Grimm-like entertainment. To me todays monarchs are just a reminder of a time gone by and I feel no reverence for them. They are ordinary people playing a part.
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  #105  
Old 05-28-2009, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sylla View Post
They are ordinary people playing a part.
I agree they are ordinary people. But then again they are not. To be honest I don't think it is possible for someone like me - living in a monarchy as old as the Danish one and with the same bloodline on the throne since 860 AC - to explaine to someone not living in a monarchy, what the Royal Family means to me or to the Danes.

For me they are identyfying who I am as a Dane and what Denmark is in both the past and the present. Denmark without this specific Royal Family would be like a tree without roots. It would wither and die.
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  #106  
Old 05-28-2009, 04:42 PM
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Not something I'd invision we'd be confronted with in this, the 21st century.
Well, my basic point is that they don't risk losing an election they risk losing their entire political system for themselves and all their descendants. However, let me just add that we are not that far into the 21st Century and there were certainly a large number of monarchs who lost their lives in the 20th Century. Personally, I don't think humanity has progressed beyond assassinations in that short span of time. I'm sure it wouldn't happen in Europe but I was a little worried for the safety of the last King of Nepal. There are other monarchies I will refrain from naming but in which I would think that if the monarchy fell the monarch would have to flee or would likely be killed.

Anyway, my basic point was that monarchs have more to lose than a politician who loses an election. And I personally don't buy the argument that that is warranted because royals live so much better. The whole British Royal Family does not get as much tax money as one living President of the US does.
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  #107  
Old 06-01-2009, 04:05 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.
I'm from Australia and apart from the sentimental aspect, this is the main reason why I don't support a republic. Having someone like QEII - an apolitical figurehead who, along with her represenatives HE the Governor-General and TE The State Governors, is removed from the political scene is a much better option that a party-hack president who only represent the values of their party (eg. Liberal, Labour). In my opinion, a Head of State should be the embodiment of values such as hard work, effort, service, persevenence and a representation of the past and the hope of the future and the Queen offers that. Most royals do work hard and use their position to do good for the people they represent in a range of areas and I think that is a a key part of what Australia is and is best represented by a royal head of state nthat we can all feel proud of pledging alliegence to.

The chaos cause by a parliament and executive of differing political persuasions would be too heard to imagine. In 1975, the Governor General dissolved parliament after the Senate/Upper House refused to pass the Budget Bills for that year, sparking a constitutional debate over the wisdom of an unelected Head of State that vests their powers in an unelected represenative. I think this works against republicans - do they wanrt political stability and national prosperity under the reign of a hard-working, exemplary figure who represents the past and the future or a party hack doing the bidding of his backers.

I hope is provides another perspective to the eternal monarchy-republic debate!
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  #108  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:14 AM
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I have had an enlightenment

Hi All

I have just got back from visiting many third world countries and it really opened my eyes. Why should countries be funding royal families when there are people living in poverty? I have been an avid royal watcher for some time now and all of a sudden I have had an enlightenment. Why should there be such things as royal houses these days? What makes royals better than commoners? Why should people fund crazy royal lifestyles? I know this is the way of the world. There will always be rich and poor people.

I just am questioning my royal interest now.
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  #109  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:32 AM
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They make up part of a nations cultural fabric. A connection with the past and a focus for the future. Figureheads that are, for the most part, trusted and thought of with much affection.

When talking of the money granted for maintaining the institution of monarchy, then it's all relative to the form of government. When you have some republican governments soaking up its countries wealth while it's inhabitants live in horrid poverty, then shouldn't the very same question be asked? That is a global question of ethics.

And you are right. People will always be wealthy, and people will always be less fortunate. But supporting a royal lifestyle is no different to suporting some presidential lifestyles.

At least royals give back with their patronage and maintain a hands on approach. Interacting with the masses every other day.
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  #110  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Madame Royale View Post

At least royals give back with their patronage.
I am afraid that the fact they give their patronage doesn´t convince me.
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  #111  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:39 AM
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I've no interest to convince you. It's a simple fact that they undertake a good deal of charity works and interact with the community on a regular, if not nearly daily, basis. Moreso than any President.
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  #112  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:54 AM
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The fact that some royals may do a lot of charity work is not a good enough reason to keep them...in my opinion...anyone can do charity work, celebrities do, and they work for their money.
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  #113  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:54 AM
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It is not you I want to convince me, it is the royal family that I would like to convince me that they are really giving back more than they are taking. Presidents, depending of course on the powers they have, run their countries and this affects the lives of their people far more than someone giving patronage to charity.
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  #114  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:12 AM
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Living in a country with a liking for decapitated monarchs and a strong republican ideology, I can assure you that it's not different here. We have poor people and yes, we pay taxes for the government and the president, no matter what they want to do with it: either a social plan or financing Mr. President's sunny visit to the Caribbean.
Republics, Monarchies and the likes will always be financed independently of the way they use the money.
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  #115  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Australian View Post
Hi All

I have just got back from visiting many third world countries and it really opened my eyes. Why should countries be funding royal families when there are people living in poverty? I have been an avid royal watcher for some time now and all of a sudden I have had an enlightenment. Why should there be such things as royal houses these days? What makes royals better than commoners? Why should people fund crazy royal lifestyles? I know this is the way of the world. There will always be rich and poor people.

I just am questioning my royal interest now.
I understand where you are coming from but answer this question for me. You are an Australian and are therefore quite wealthy. What are you doing to help the poor in third world countries. Monarchies are a form of government which exist in a small number of countries. It really is up ot he citizens of those countries to decide if they are valuable or not. However getting rid of monarchies becaude they use money while people live in poverty is a false argument. If all the monarchies in the world suddenly became republics, the majority of the worlds poor are not suddenly going to get richer. If you feel that you cannot ethically support a monarchy because of this reason then become active in ridding your country of its monarch. join a republican group, convince your federal member to raise the issue in parliment, raise a petition and so on.
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  #116  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:25 AM
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What are you doing to help the poor in third world countries.
Well I just got back from visiting third world countries and I went on a missionary program. I don't want to talk myself up...but you asked. I am going away for 6 months next year to work in African countries too.
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  #117  
Old 09-20-2009, 08:21 AM
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If all the monarchies in the world suddenly became republics, the majority of the worlds poor are not suddenly going to get richer
So true! This isn't an issue concerning the relevance of the monarchy, or how well they are funded. Its an ethical issue which all nations the world over are answerable for.
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  #118  
Old 09-20-2009, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Australian View Post
Hi All

I have just got back from visiting many third world countries and it really opened my eyes. Why should countries be funding royal families when there are people living in poverty? I have been an avid royal watcher for some time now and all of a sudden I have had an enlightenment. Why should there be such things as royal houses these days? What makes royals better than commoners? Why should people fund crazy royal lifestyles? I know this is the way of the world. There will always be rich and poor people.

I just am questioning my royal interest now.
I guess that's the same reason why we,in democratic countries,pay for huge public buildings,for governments that don't really govern,for our First Lady's awful outfits or for state employees that sit all day and don't really bother to work...C'est la vie
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  #119  
Old 09-20-2009, 01:42 PM
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Australian, I really don't think that monarchies are the problem here. A President is not cheaper than a King, and heads of state will always cost a lot of money.
There are problems in third world countries, definitely, but abolishing monarchies won't make a difference. In many (most?) of those countries, there are Presidents as Head of State, not Kings or Queens, and often these (democratically) elected presidents don't live all that poorly, while the average citizen in their country has difficulties earning their bread.

Of course this is an injustice people should do something about. But simply abolishing monarchies is not the solution. And lavishly as some royals may live, I'm rather sure there are many private citizens who live even more lavish, crazy lifestyles.
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  #120  
Old 09-20-2009, 02:19 PM
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This is one of those philosophical questions that will never be fully and satisfactorily answered and will keep people talking and arguing forever! The basic question being asked is why should the taxpayer fund royal families when there are many people in the world living in poverty? The question could easily be expanded to ask why should the tax payer fund anything until worldwide poverty has been resolved. It could be expanded further by stating that all revenue from taxpayers should be given directly to people living in poverty. A further statement could be that all people who lived in poverty are now rich having had all the taxpayers money and all the taxpayers are now living in poverty....
So there is no answer except to say that the problem lies with the distribution of wealth throughout the world. If royal families were no longer funded by the taxpayer and the money is redistributed to people throughout the world living in poverty, I doubt there would be much of a difference to their lives.
All I can say, Australian, (after all the above) is that if you question your interest in royalty, then you must question your interest in all things in life where money is concerned - clothes, the arts (think how much money the tax payer has to pay for security for museums and art galleries), alcohol, Christmas presents, public buildings, your personal computer...! Many of us give money to aid charities to to help the poor (much more money than the 61p I give each year through tax to upkeep the royal family), few of us actually go out there to help poor people in a more practical way and so I think you are doing a great job on your travels. However, you can only do as much as you can as a human being and you should allow yourself some selfish habits such as an interest in royalty.
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