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  #141  
Old 05-23-2010, 03:03 AM
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Saved by the crown - The Boston Globe

The tumultuous past two months in world politics have brought a surprise with them: Suddenly, monarchy seems relevant again.
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  #142  
Old 05-29-2010, 12:36 AM
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This is a topic dear to my heart. I think the above Boston Globe article says much that needs to be said- that the monarchy, above party politics, can serve as a unifying symbol and representative of a nation's heritage, as well as a guarantor of stability. Add to that, constitutional monarchy in various forms- like other government systems- in fact go back into antiquity, if you could consider states like Sparta to be such.

People's criticisms of monarchy such as costs and lifestyle... for one, why not ask about the costs of politicians, including retired politicians (especially in the USA, Mexico, et al)? Or the fact that many of those rulers who lived the most outlandish lifestyles weren't even royals- like Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. And many people who aren't even royals, aristocrats or politicians, can be accused of living more outrageous lifestyles- sometimes even beyond their own means.

No one system can solve all the world's problems, but neither are they the cause of the world's problems. Interesting to see Africa being brought up- in Africa (and maybe parts of Asia too), you find traditional sub-national monarchies still existing, coexisting with modern republican nation-states which have been superimposed on them. The fact is that the traditional kingships of Africa have endured both through colonial rule and post-colonial statehood, and have been an institution of continuity when nation-states above them fail. They serve important historical, cultural and community roles, and in some cases also a spiritual role (especially among Muslims of West Africa). In a country like Botswana or Samoa, the traditional monarchical (or chiefly) power structure works in tandem with the national government and are intertwined in those particular examples.

Why not point out the historical irony of Latin American countries? The countries of Hispanoamerica, emulating the United States, prided themselves on being republics and on their rejection of monarchy and titled nobility, yet most of these countries proved to be anything but shining beacons of democracy, liberty, equality or stability- something that has only began to change, really, in the last generation. The term "aristocratic republic" can apply here, as it did to those pre-1789 republics in Europe (like Venice or those of Ancient Greece). A republic does not always represent a step forward- Brazilian historians even argue, with validity, that the First Republic in Brazil was in many ways a backward step both socially and politically from the Empire it had replaced.

At the same time, one has to be able to distinguish between the good and bad and we can see examples close together- Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy which is non-political, whereas in Swaziland, Mswati III rules the country as a personal fiefdom. In Tonga, likewise, the Palace has had to cave into pressures for reform and democratisation. In Nepal, Gyanendra's direct intervention and assumption of power cost him the throne, whereas in Bhutan the monarchy has been protective of the country's culture and traditions while also introducing democracy. While in Morocco the monarchy actively wields political power, it has also overseen a process of political liberalisation (relative to the much of the Arab world).

Then the calls for deposed monarchies to be restored, particularly in the Balkans and Georgia. In Serbia and Georgia, monarchist sentiments are not difficult to understand from a more recent historical context. Firstly, the monarchies of Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia were deposed in a dubious manner, and these countries then endured four decades of Communist rule. More recently, these countries as well as Georgia have endured many problems, and to a degree demoralisation stemming from conflict. This explains why support for a monarchist restoration exists among not insignificant segments of the population and even among the political class.

I've tried to cover everything as best as I can here. Or at least I hope so!
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  #143  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:31 PM
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So, I finally found a forum where I can present my thoughts to those who advocate a monarchy.
First of all it makes me kinda sad when I read posts about, how people would love to live under a monarchy. I mean you embrace it, that someone calls you a "subject" which graduates you to be an inferior person. You see those people to be chosen by god. I ask you, would Jesus have wanted someone to appoint himself to be chosen by god, just because he conquered some land? I guess not. Was it not Moses who released a nation from his pharao, who is equatable with a king?
What I want to say with it is I cannot agree with those people who embrace their kings to be chosen by god, nor can I agree with people who say the pope is chosen by god. To be honest, I see myself as an agnostic. So don't think I am some religious fanatic.
Back to the topic. Having a monarchy is like living in the past. Personally, I would not want to be represented by someone who was just born to be a representative. I want to vote my representative. Furthermore I cannot understand why, obviously, people come to terms with paying taxes which enrich the monarch. Do you never heard of Robin Hood?
Wouldn't you people want to be part of a republic, where every individual is on a par with everybody else (I know there are social disparities all over the world but I mean on an ethnical level), so nobody can claim he is chosen by god and by that automatically outranks everybody else?
Besides that all, how come you back such a big event as the recent wedding in sweden? It only costs the population money.
I am enraged about having to pay a broadcasting fee because it is regulated by public law. How can you people live with the fact, you are forced to pay something you maybe even decline?
For example, look at this: http://www.republic.org.uk/What%20we...nces/index.php Doesn't that ring a bell?
Please do not see my post as an insult. Furthermore, forgive me my bad english.
Greetings, juanson
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  #144  
Old 06-26-2010, 08:36 AM
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This is a piece I wrote in my own time on the matter

Why Monarchy Still Rules
As I watched the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling, I reflected on a topic dear to my heart, and no doubt that of many more, be they historians, political scientists, or royal watchers: the value of constitutional monarchy in modern society. In this day and age, there are people who question the value and relevance of constitutional monarchy in today’s democracies and our ever more complicated (and troubled) world. Why should constitutional monarchies continue to exist in this day and age and what benefit to they bring to their countries? More importantly, why the alternatives are not always better. I’m used to it by now, I live in Australia, where this (monarchy v republic) is always a hotly debated issue. However, I believe the informed voter needs to weigh up both sides of the argument. I am also passionate about history, always keen to highlight ironies of historical and current facts. And in the age old debate of “monarchy or republic”, irony never rings truer- irony too often lost on critics of existing monarchies. More specifically, the constitutional monarchies of Europe, of which there are currently 10 reigning royal houses- 7 Kings, a Grand Duke and 2 Princes. This does not mean we should overlook the world’s other monarchies, those of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, including existing monarchies within modern-day nation-states (particularly in Africa).

The usual arguments in favour of monarchy are about the “romance of monarchy”, or the benefits it brings to tourism among other things, and while they may carry weight, they by no means make a case themselves for constitutional monarchy. But more powerful social and political arguments do: that the monarchies of Europe symbolise a nation’s heritage, continuity and unity. That monarchy is an institution above politics and politicised institutions. And in many ways, that the monarchy is very much tied to the very identity, the heart and soul of the nation, and that kind of emotional connection cannot be easily replaced. As we live in times of great uncertainty, a situation easily exploitable by those who may not always have the people’s best interests at heart, the need for an institution that provides unity, continuity and impartiality, a rallying point for a nation when the need arises, has never been greater. The most important role a constitutional monarch plays, above all else, is to be the impartial arbitrator and custodian of the nation’s political system.
One finds it hard to imagine many of these countries without their monarchies- whether it’s in Denmark, where the monarchy represents over a millennium of the nation’s history, or Luxembourg, the world’s only Grand Duchy, or the little principalities of Monaco and Liechtenstein. And how can one not have admiration for a royal family as warm, discreet and down-to-earth as that of Luxembourg?


Progress?
Maybe something to ask yourselves is this: is a republic necessarily a forward step from a monarchy, in terms of equality and democracy? Does it always represent “progress”? Not always, or in many cases not at all. It’s something to be reflected on in this bicentenary year for Latin America. This year, the countries of who had been part of Spanish America, are celebrating 200 years since their independence struggle began. Out of this struggle was born the present-day republics of Latin America, who like the United States and unlike Brazil, Canada, or the former British colonies of the Caribbean, gained their independence through revolutionary struggle. They looked to the French and American revolutions for inspiration. And it’s in this that we find an irony that is all too often lost on critics of monarchy.
In a 19th century world where monarchies still ruled the roost (and increasingly constitutional ones at that), the newly independent nation-states of Latin America (except Brazil and, for two brief periods, Mexico) were republics, like the United States they took after. They prided themselves on their rejection of monarchy, titled nobility, and privilege. They took great pride in republicanism. Yet these countries were to be anything but models of democracy, freedom, equality or, quite often, stability. The socioeconomic and political structures of most Latin American republics came to be highly undemocratic and inegalitarian. As the 20th century dawned, few could claim to have stable, let alone democratic, government. Indeed, democracy, free elections, let alone a move towards greater social justice and human rights, only became the rule rather than the exception in the Americas within our lifetime. There was a time when the number of actual democracies in Latin America could be counted on one hand. The term “aristocratic republic” applied, but this evolved into more despotic and often military-dominated power structures.

By contrast, all of Britain’s former Caribbean colonies as well as Belize (its last mainland colony) attained independence peacefully and remained stable democracies ever since.

Many countries at the time, whether monarchies or republics, took pride in written constitutions and the liberal democratic principles they enshrined, but veneration of constitutions did not necessarily translate to actual adherence of its principles. Mexico is a particularly salient example of this. And while republics existed in pre-1789 Europe- those of Venice, Genoa and San Marino being examples- they did not at the time offer any pretension of offering greater liberty or equality than monarchies, for they were in effect aristocratic republics (San Marino remained so until 1906).
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  #145  
Old 06-26-2010, 08:36 AM
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Brazil presents an interesting case for political scientists. It inherited the traditions and institutions of Portugal, and became an independent Empire in its own right. Brazil maintained constitutional government continuously until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1889, at that time a record unequalled in Latin America. Dom Pedro II was seen as a reformist who strongly opposed slavery (abolished late in his reign), and believed that improving education and literacy would strengthen democracy. He was seen as too radical by many of the country’s elites of the time, and this contributed to the downfall of the Brazilian monarchy. Brazilian historians have come to believe that the First Republic that replaced the Empire was not a forward step, and in many ways it was even a backward step that entrenched its elites. Indeed, the sort of progress desired by the Emperor is really only now being realised in Brazil.

Similarly, nobody can reasonably believe that the Weimar Republic was any improvement on the German Empire it replaced, and its dismal failure politically and otherwise, paved the way for totalitarianism and war. Ditto Portugal. In Afghanistan, the 40-year reign of Zahir Shah is now seen as a Golden Age by many Afghans, of peace, stability and progress the country has not had before or since. Similarly in Ethiopia, Haile Selassie’s reign compares favourably to the Derg regime that followed.

It may be in this context that talk of restoration of the monarchy enters the political debate in countries like Serbia and Georgia, where it figures in mainstream political discourse. The Karadjordjevic and Bagrationi dynasties are both home-grown dynasties- the former originating in Serbia’s early 19th century independence struggle, the latter dating back to antiquity. Why monarchist sentiment runs strong among the populace and political class in those countries are easy to understand- these are countries that have been looking for a rallying point above politics, in a time when both countries have been embroiled in demoralising regional conflicts. The royal houses of Montenegro (Petrovic-Njegos) and Albania (Zogu) are similarly indigenous to those countries. In Romania and Bulgaria, likewise, a degree of sentiment exists in favour of restoration- although not as strong as in Serbia or Georgia. But all of these countries endured decades of oppression from which they only emerged in recent times, and in all of these cases the deposition of the monarchy was dubious in both legality and legitimacy.

Indeed, successful restorations have taken place in both Spain and Cambodia. In Spain, Juan Carlos oversaw a transition to democracy and indeed intervened to preserve democracy, serving as a figurehead of national reconciliation. In Cambodia, the restoration of Norodom Sihanouk as King enabled him to fulfil a similar role in a much traumatised country.

Critics of monarchy frequently cite the costs involved of maintaining the monarchy. Yet, the numbers out there tell the story- a monarchy should not cost a great deal to maintain (albeit varying considerably), when compared to the price paid in countries for elected leaders (and retired ones, for that matter), not least in countries like the United States or similar presidential systems. Elections are not exactly cheap to run- and the cost per head of an election is likely to be higher in the US than in Western Europe, and higher still in more recently established democracies, like those of Latin America and Eastern Europe- and these are countries where people are most grateful for being able to exercise their democratic rights.

Also noteworthy is the symbolic historical and cultural, and in some cases religious, functions served by traditional monarchies in post-colonial nation-states of Africa. Here again, we see the merits of an institution which has endured colonialism and post-colonial states, which Africa’s traditional monarchies have. In Uganda, the abolition of traditional kingdoms by Milton Obote in 1967 was a power grab that ushered in a dark period for the country, only ended by Yoweri Musevini’s coup of 1986 (Musevini himself is a native of Ankole), with monarchies being restored in 1993. Elsewhere, the institution of traditional monarchy has perhaps been the most stable institution of post-colonial states, whereas in Botswana the institution is closely tied to the national power structure- although this convergence of traditional and modern institutions is by no means unique.

Outside of Europe, sovereign monarchies vary from absolutist to constitutional, to somewhere in between. We have seen examples of where they need to be acutely aware that their use or misuse of powers can damage the credibility of the institution, like Nepal- even though the failure of the present government since the abolition of the monarchy has led some to question the wisdom of abolition. Some have been criticised both for their lifestyles and autocratic way of ruling (Swaziland), while others (Bhutan) have overseen their country’s transition to democracy while maintaining tradition. But non-European monarchies operate, generally, in a different social, cultural and historical context that has to be taken into account.

You don’t know how good you’ve got it!

And the lessons to be learned? Those who live in constitutional monarchies of today, particularly in Europe, don’t know how good they have it. They have an institution that can stand above party politics and politicised institutions, a guarantor of unity, stability and continuity. History has shown that you don’t appreciate what you have, until it’s gone. And constitutional monarchy has not only proven a workable and venerable model, it’s also here to stay. History has proven that republics do not always represent a forward step or a better way of governing than monarchy, and the majority of us are loathe to make any radical change, out of having learned the lessons of modern history. And some countries just wouldn’t be the same! This is not to say that one system is inherently more failure prone than others, because in today’s Europe you find both monarchies and republics that work well, but the fact that republics prove no better in their real world functioning coupled with the above historical examples is often lost on critics of monarchy.
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  #146  
Old 06-26-2010, 08:47 PM
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Nothing in Latin America took after the United States, whose traditions were English and stable. Unfortunately, many Latin American nations never invested in education and kept their populations as an underclass. The United States who put vast resources into education, so its populations were not unable to shift to the rising demands of new opportunites and lifestyles. Not that other countries did not posess the ability to raise a great middle class, with vast horizons. Weimar came at the wrong time, led by the wrong people after a terrible war and unequitable sanctions against them. Do you think Wilhelm II was a good leader, although he had basically unlimited power. Nicholas II was an ineffectual and weak leader, who held autocratic power. Hitler was not an abberation, he was a direct extention to autocracy and distrust of "outsiders", thus the Jews. Germany was educated, yet had no real concept of a "Republic". It was an outside invention, so to speak.

An educated and mutinational melting pot made the United States what it is today. We have been able to benefit from so many different people and ideas melding together. The others were mononational, unable to grow from outside ideas.

American elections are costly and elections are not cheap to run, but moinachies are far more expensive than they allow on the surface. Yes, we pay for past president's, but we don't "supply endless support" for their familes, who cut ribbons at functions and doi little else. Yet monarchies, such as England have benefitted the most, having been able to keep monies and property not allowed to the average citizen. Not until recent times have the Windsors paid income tax. And still they have loopholes that other do not get to take vast posessions without tax. Monarch to monarch, a big tax loophole. Others do not get that. Their PR always makes it seem like they are a bargain, pennies, but ask youself how they live the lifestyles they do, with so little from the outside. Constitutional monarchies still have elections, which cost money, too.

I, believe, that all have a right to live as they please, but I thank my lucky stars that my ancestors left Russia and Austria for "a better life". Actually, I probably would not be here if they stayed there.
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  #147  
Old 06-27-2010, 02:02 AM
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The founding fathers of independent Latin American countries did look to the US, and more specifically the US constitution, for inspiration (especially Argentina, whose 1853 constitution is still in force today, albeit heavily amended)- but this failed to take into account things like land title systems, legal traditions, or the fueros of the military- hence the military came to see itself as a privileged elite.

Yes elections everywhere cost, that's the point.
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  #148  
Old 06-27-2010, 02:22 PM
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That's just it. The military was far too powerful in those nations, military juntas running countries. They didn't have the tradition of English Common Law, which was predicated on good sense and titles were immediately discarded. Argentina has amended its constitution beyond recognition to ours.
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  #149  
Old 07-09-2010, 02:42 AM
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Also i think if the Monarchy vill survive it is important that they do a good job...
In my country of Sweden the head of state The King hasn't got any power on paper, but he has some very good connections when he travels around the would and doing promotion for the country of Sweden.
Due to his very good connections with head of state in many countries he helps for instance Swedish companies to establish in new countries.

He also helps our Minister for foreign affairs with the country's politic issues -and has also helped to negotiating peace.

The King and also the queen of Sweden helps a lot to promote for humanity organisations ,collecting funds and divide them to help organisations like World Childhood Foundation
Welcome to Childhood

I think the Royal house of Sweden is doing a very great work for Sweden and they are doing themselves use full and serves Sweden and humanity in the very best way possible

If the Monarchy and nobility want to survive in a modern world we must make ourselves use full.... and earn respect from society by doing important work by doing good deeds !!

Also we need organisations like this maybe.. to work together ...
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  #150  
Old 08-17-2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David V View Post
Critics of monarchy frequently cite the costs involved of maintaining the monarchy. Yet, the numbers out there tell the story- a monarchy should not cost a great deal to maintain (albeit varying considerably), when compared to the price paid in countries for elected leaders (and retired ones, for that matter), not least in countries like the United States or similar presidential systems. Elections are not exactly cheap to run- and the cost per head of an election is likely to be higher in the US than in Western Europe, and higher still in more recently established democracies, like those of Latin America and Eastern Europe- and these are countries where people are most grateful for being able to exercise their democratic rights.
Heard a program on radio a few weeks ago about the financial situation in France. The reporter made a comment something along these lines: "And as a note to republicans in Denmark, that the monarchy is expensive* I might add, that the French presidency costs 7 billion kroner (1 billion euros) annually." (He was commenting on the newly passed french finance.)

*the complete, aggregated cost of the Danish monarchy, a Danish republican newspaper claimed, was around 400 mio dkk (55 mio. Euro). This included maintenance of the castles, several large military investments etc. - costs that would have to be maintained anyway. On the Danish finance, the monarchy gets around 140M dkk (20M euro) IIRC, making the french republican system 50 times as expensive.
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  #151  
Old 08-17-2010, 09:19 PM
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I don't think it is always the exact cost, but the lives in which the monachy lives, always. Elected officials, come and go. Costs rise and fall. Elected (high officials, presidents, ect) work. They do not cut ribbons and wave. Every American Preisdent that has left office looked years older than when he entered, not just because time passed. The weight of the problems are on their shoulders. And in countries with monarchies, they still have elections and pay Prime Minsters, Presidents and real working officials. It is not just a monarch and their families. I, think, if you started to add the real costs in, for all the people, besides the monarchs, such as the prime minsters, presidents and other real functioning officials, they are not such a bargain.
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  #152  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
I don't think it is always the exact cost, but the lives in which the monachy lives, always. Elected officials, come and go. Costs rise and fall. Elected (high officials, presidents, ect) work. They do not cut ribbons and wave. Every American Preisdent that has left office looked years older than when he entered, not just because time passed. The weight of the problems are on their shoulders. And in countries with monarchies, they still have elections and pay Prime Minsters, Presidents and real working officials. It is not just a monarch and their families. I, think, if you started to add the real costs in, for all the people, besides the monarchs, such as the prime minsters, presidents and other real functioning officials, they are not such a bargain.
Eh? Monarchs only wave and cut ribbons? Presidents "work real hard"?
  • First of all, monarchs (most often) do other things than cut ribbons. In Denmark they are involved in governance - although formally - but still.
  • Secondly, plenty of presidents are ribbon-cutters etc. Look at Germany, Italy etc. etc.
  • Thirdly, USA (and a few other countries) are special cases, where the president is not only HoS, but also HoG. And US plays a very big role diplomatically etc. compared to - say - Belgium or Denmark. This is US own choice to do things that way.
  • Fourthly, presidents, like the US president, has an agenda and usually want to make a lot of big reforms - if for nothing else, then to leave a mark on history. Obama tried to let the legislators do some of the hard work, but was forced into to battle and came out quite battered. That'd leave a mark on anybody.
  • Fifthly, the US population look at the presidential position as something close to omnipotent and responsible for almost anything (I read somewhere, that the weather in China is a political matter there - bad weather is blamed on the politicians in China). Anything goes amiss - like the hurricane Katrina - the president is to blame. That's not a constitutional or politological issue, but a cultural one.
  • Sixthly, if you want to add all the additional costs of parliament, government etc. etc. to the monarchies, you have to add it to the republic as well. Thus, difference in aggregated cost would remain the same, whether you count non-HoS expenses or not.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:22 AM
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A case against monarchy by thomas paine

Hi
I am not posting this to offend anyone but if you may want to know that reasons for a republic and not a monarchy please read the worlds first bestseller book titled"a common sense" by Thomas Paine.

In the 21st century it is atavistic to have a unelected person governing a sovereign state.The recent middle east crises where there have been uprising against monarchies, prove that we need a govt of the people,for the people and by the people.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine


It is said that the biggest advantage of having a monarchy is stability;fair enough but the king\queen is answerable to to one and cannot be impeached.An alternative is to have a president elected by the people or appointed by the parliament.The president will be a nominal\ceremonial head unlike the monarchy which says it is ceremonial but has vast undemocratic powers.

The monarchy has done undemocratic actions like allowing the prorogation of the Canadian parliament even though the govt lost majority,removing a elected prime minister of Australia in 1975 and in UK
Reserve power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



If you are replying plz state that have you read common sense by thomas paine.

A quote from common sense
"Let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die. This necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessing of which, would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other; and this remissness, will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

Some convenient tree will afford them a State-House, under the branches of which, the whole colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of REGULATIONS, and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man, by natural right, will have a seat. But as the colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continues increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of the representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number; and that the elected might never form to themselves an interest separate from theelectors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often; because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflexion of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this (not on the unmeaning name of king) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed.



Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with snow, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and of reason will say, it is right. I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered; and with this maxim in view, I offer a few remarks on the so much boasted constitution of England. That it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was over run with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise, is easily demonstrated. Absolute governments (tho' the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, that they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs, know likewise the remedy, and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies, some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine. I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new republican materials.

First.The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king.
Secondly.The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the peers.
Thirdly.The new republican materials, in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England. The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people; wherefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state.



To say that the constitution of England is a union of three powers reciprocally checking each other, is farcical, either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions. To say that the commons is a check upon the king, presupposes two things.

First.That the king is not to be trusted without being looked after, or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy.

Secondly.That the commons, by being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of confidence than the crown. But as the same constitution which gives the commons a power to check the king by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the king a power to check the commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills; it again supposes that the king is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him. A mere absurdity! There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required.

The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless. Some writers have explained the English constitution thus; the king, say they, is one, the people another; the peers are an house in behalf of the king; the commons in behalf of the people; but this hath all the distinctions of an house divided against itself; and though the expressions be pleasantly arranged, yet when examined they appear idle and ambiguous; and it will always happen, that the nicest construction that words are capable of, when applied to the description of some thing which either cannot exist, or is too incomprehensible to be within the compass of description, will be words of sound only, and though they may amuse the ear, they cannot inform the mind, for this explanation includes a previous question,
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  #154  
Old 02-26-2011, 01:40 AM
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viz. How came the king by a power which the people are afraid to trust, and always obliged to check? Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, which needs checking, be from God; yet the provision, which the constitution makes, supposes such a power to exist. But the provision is unequal to the task; the means either cannot or will not accomplish the end, and the whole affair is a felo de se; for as the


greater weight will always carry up the less, and as all the wheels of a machine are put in motion by one, it only remains to know which power in the constitution has the most weight, for that will govern; and though the others, or a part of them, may clog, or, as the phrase is, check the rapidity of its motion, yet so long as they cannot stop it, their endeavors will be ineffectual; the first moving power will at last have its way, and what it wants in speed is supplied by time. That the crown is this overbearing part in the English constitution needs not be mentioned, and that it derives its whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and pensions is self-evident; wherefore, though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute monarchy, we at the same time have been foolish enough to put the crown in possession of the key. The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of their own government by king, lords and commons, arises as much or more from national pride than reason. Individuals are undoubtedly safer in England than in some other countries, but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the more formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate of Charles the first, hath only made kings more subtle?not more just. Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is, that it is wholly owing to the constitution of the people, and not to the constitution of the government that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey. An inquiry into the constitutional errors in the English form of government is at this time highly necessary; for as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.
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  #155  
Old 02-26-2011, 02:45 AM
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I gave up reading when a basic fact was wrong.

The Australian government was dismissed in 1975 not 1974.

I am now a republican but in 1999 when Australia voted to retain the monarchy that referendum was defeated.

I am not opposed to monarchies as such (and if there was a way for Australia to be a monarchy but have the monarch living here e.g. have Beatrice as Queen of Australia living here, raising the children here etc - I would vote for it) but I am opposed to having a foreigner in that position. A foreigner who lives overseas and whose descendents actively support another country against Australia.
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  #156  
Old 02-26-2011, 05:23 AM
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Just for mistyping you are not going to read it?,anyways that is what democracy is:
Democracy is mob rule where 51% can take away the rights of 49%-thomas jefferson.
(aka lisbon treaty by ireland which was forced to them and where Aussies rejected to become a republic).

Democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting whats for dinner-ben franklin.

The word democracy does not exist in the US constitution nor its 50 state constitution.

Republic is generally thought of a head of state but the definition is rule of law as opposed to democracy as rule of the majority.

here a video on it


Anyways what i don't like about the Australian constitution ,is that all amendments are referred to a peblicite.

In 1988 the Aussies rejected a bill of rights.
In 1999 the Aussies rejected to become a republic.

Australia is the only soo called western democracy which does not have a bill of rights.All rights in aus are privileges.


I hope and pray and Australia,Canada,New zealand and finally UK become a republic and UK has a written constitution as constitution are there to restrict the powers of the govt.

Under the current UK constitution no one can say for sure where does the power lie.Just because the queen doesn't exercise her powers,it does not mean that she is a ceremonial head.

I hope by 2012 UK becomes a constitutional republic as well all commonwealth countries.

A quote from common sense
"In monarchy the King is the law whereas in a republic the Law is the King"
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:10 AM
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Eeh, what is your point? Apart from promoting your book.

You are against monarchy. Or at least the British monarchy, because that's the one you seem to be focusing on.

Your text contains several contradictions.

You are dismissing the three basic pillars of government. - Which in most modern monarchies does not even involve the monarch, except on a formal basis.

You are dismissing democracy, when challenged, as mob rule of the majority. While at the same time stating that republic is rule by law.
Eeh, these laws were introduced and are being accepted either because a majority voted in favour or because someone with enough political muscle enforced it.
May I remind you that the first republics were hardly democratic, let alone allowed everyone to take part in decisions.
May I also remind you that most monarchies in a historical context where very careful to rule within the law, as the law provided the very basis for their power. - Even those who were genuinely tyrannical kept an eye on the letter of the law.

You are taking things out of their historical context and forgetting that things and forms of government change continually and will also keep evolving in the future.

Modern monarchies in democratic countries exist because that's the will of the people. Ergo monarchies in such countries are democratic.
And surely ensuring the will of the people is the main purpose of a republic?
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:19 AM
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First the definition of a constitutional republic means that even if 51% of the people force the govt to ban smoking,it will be declared unconstitutional as it violates fundamental rights.

Constitutional republic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"John Adams defined a constitutional republic as "a government of laws, and not of men." Constitutional republics are a deliberate attempt to diminish the perceived threat of majoritarianism, thereby protecting dissenting individuals and minority groups from the "tyranny of the majority" by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population. The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who are required to legislate with limits of overarching constitutional law which a simple majority cannot modify.
Also, the power of government officials is checked by allowing no single individual to hold executive, legislative and judicial powers. Instead these powers are separated into distinct branches that serve as a check and balance on each other. A constitutional republic is designed so that "no person or group [can] rise to absolute power."

Your assumption of stating the democracy=law=republic is a contradiction
Secondly UK monarchy is not democratic at all or any other monarchy.The house of commons is only answerable to the people.The Queen can disregard any laws she wants by not signing or if she doesn't like the ruling party she can remove them.


Your point stating that monarchies are not tyrants is another contradiction.Over time they have not openly disregarded the will of the people and now do it covertly via governor generals and other diplomatic means.

How many of you know that the Queen was responsible of removal of a duly elected PM kevin Rudd?
I urge you to read common sense and think that Does the British people truly want a unelected,unaccountable(tyrant like) system of govt where the royal family is not British.They are German aka house of Hanover.
King George III was the first king to speak in English,they just dont speak in German.

I find it ironic and laughable.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:38 AM
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No single form of government or head of state works perfectly or is the best one to choose. Some work well in some countries and some do not. Some I object to outright and some I think are very good. I think the main issue is whether the constitution of a country is sound enough to protect people from their government or head of state taking advantage of the situation. Where you have dictators such as in Libya, Zimbabwe, Burma or formerly in Iraq, it is quite obvious that the people of those countries are generally repressed and live in fear. They either democratically voted for someone who it turns out has wielded too much power and will do anything to their people to stay in power, or the form of government has been forced upon those people by the military (wheras the military is supposed to protect the people not rule over them). Some monarchies are just as bad because whilst their people live close to poverty, their monarch lives a life of luxury etc.
Some forms of presidency seem undemocratic to me because they are political. How can the French or US president be in such a position where upon election times they tell their own people that they should vote for them based on their political thoughts. That's no better than having an unelected head of state. Voting for a president should be a popular vote not a political one. Some systems are so deliberately complicated that a president (or in the case of a British prime minister) who is not popular will get to power because of the system and not because he or she gained the most votes.
People who seek power and high office are not always (and rarely in my opinion) the most suitable people to be in that position. Frankly, the same could also be said of unelected monarchs.
If Britain became a republic, what qualifications and experience will my presidential candidate have that would allow him or her the right to place themselves in a position where they could be voted for? Where am I left, if my preferred candidate doesn’t get voted for? I have enough trouble choosing a decent prime minister out of the frankly ghastly choices I have had over the years. Even choosing a government once every four or five years only to find the other party got in or the one I voted for turns out to be useless often leaves me feeling that my democratic rights are not as sound as I thought!
The only answer I can give is that the will of the people MUST ALWAYS be protected and what constitues a majority must always be of a higher percentage that in most countries it currently is. ALL heads of state, people in power, politicians, military commanders, royalty, members of parliament etc etc should carry out their duties with humility and respect for the their people.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:45 AM
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Yes and the countries that you have mentioned are either presidential system(aka one man tyranny) or semi presidential system.
The best example that Canada and Australia Can apply is the India model.India was a British colony and a was a member of the commonwealth realm from 1947-1950.It is still a member of commonwealth of nations.

See the beauty of parliamentary system is that the govt is not only answerable to the people but to the opposition.One no confidence vote is enough to shake the foundations,The real leg of the stool is the ceremonial head aka the president.

Since UK is a unitary state it can apply the model where the president is chosen via bipartisan support.I repeat that the president is the nominal head and really has no powers other than rejecting the bill once and choosing which party will form the govt(generally given to the single largest party)

Take a look at this article
President of India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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