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  #121  
Old 10-26-2007, 04:10 PM
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BeatrixFan said the system has worked well in the past, which I think is true. I'm still not clear why things have changed to the point where all of a sudden the system won't work in the future, and I think in this particular case it has quite a bit to do with the fact that BeatrixFan
doesn't think much of William as a person.
And that's true. Given a choice between William and Kermit the Frog I'd become Miss Piggy tomorrow but that has nothing to do with this. William, Harry, Eugenie and Beatrice and Zara and Peter are all living the celebrity lifestyle. They can't be professional Royals as well, it just won't work. They've turned the Royal Family into the soap opera it was in the 80s and how anyone can imagine William falling out a club one day and sitting on a throne as our Lord and Master the next, is a gorgeous thing to look foreward to. It's the 21st century, the British people now deserve the chance to elect their Head of State. We're supposed to be a democracy that exports democracy to oppressed peoples but how can we do that when we still have institutions that restrict the will of the people. The Monarchy and the Lords go hand in hand. They're undemocratic, they're old-fashioned and they deny us our right to elect our representatives. That has to change.

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I think it's idealistic in the extreme to look at some of these small Baltic states as good role models for a presidency since those countries and Britain seem to have very different values. In Britain education isn't valued all that highly and you aren't going to find philosophers and intellectuals in the presidency, you're going to find far more the calibre of person you find in the USA - rich people who know how to play the party politics game. I'd far prefer to keep the system we have at the moment than risk introducing something like the US system, largely because some people aren't impressed by William at his current stage of development.
We do have different values thats true but I'm not suggesting Britain become Little Lithuania. I'm just saying that those nations have recently had to make decisions concerning their national structure and the choices they've made and the institutions they've set up are democratic and modern. Why shouldn't Britain have the same rights as our European cousins?
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  #122  
Old 10-26-2007, 04:16 PM
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As a gay man I have a duty to keep an eye on Royal fashion. Whilst I've got 'em they may as well pass my criteria for looking good.
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  #123  
Old 10-26-2007, 05:12 PM
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Because, as you say, it's worked in the past. No reason why it can't carry on working - we've had worse kings than William over the centuries, but the system has survived them. These days a bad president can do a lot more damage than a bad king - maybe it has something to do with the lack of training.
That's because kings no longer make decisions. Bad leaders are just that. Kings or presidents. We have survived bad presidents before, too. Remember, in our case, they only stay 8 years. A king can be a disaster for many more. Either way, it is up to the nation to decide what to.
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  #124  
Old 10-26-2007, 06:36 PM
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Well, he could do like the Romans and opted for adoption, preferably Pres. Martin van Buren . It worked for Augustus and Tiberius, so why not in the Pax Americanum? But you are right of course, the monarchy would not work nowadays if it isn't rooted in a country.

I don't think the US is alone in re-inventing its history, I think most countries do that, albeit maybe in a smaller scale. At the moment there is a reinvention thing going on in my own country as we seem to have lost our identity somewhere along the way...
Perhaps because Rome was at first a democracy that changed to a dictatorship?

When it comes to re-inventing a national identity no one could beat the old Chinese emperor who ordered burned all the books written before his reign so that it appeared as if Chinese history began with him. Of course it didn't work, he forgot some books.
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  #125  
Old 10-26-2007, 06:45 PM
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Well there were various Greek city states with the occasional tirant, I am sure some of them should have come after a democracy, Pisistratus and his sons Hippias and Hipparchus come to mind in Athens for example. Anyway, I am not hoping for a Pisistratus for either the US or the UK , though he did a lot of good for the people of Athens.

And in Augustus´ defence, he didn´t replace the democracy in Rome as everything was lawfull and the end of a process, and Rome never was a democracy to begin with (just had an exam today about the Greeks and Romans, so....)
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  #126  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:11 PM
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Someone ruling over us because they land the right side of the bed sheets when they're spawned? Deference given because of an accident of birth? Surely meritocracy is the way to go?
But meritocracy is not as widespread even in the US as you imagine. Right now we may say that Kings and Queens are irrelevant but government in general is making itself irrelevant and the real fountain of power is business. They're the ones that have the most control over who gets to be President; the campaigns of candidates they decide to fund get more money for airtime, theu pay for public opinion polls studies that can predict exactly what button the candidate should press, better public relations managers and coaches to insure that the candidate can indeed push those buttons when his 30 second slickly produced commercial comes up, etc., etc. all giving the common man the illusion that the people have chosen their leader. In a sense they have but only after big money has determined which 2 or 3 candidates they should choose from.

Its getting to the point that a lot of qualified people are refusing to go into politics at all and would rather go into business because the money is better and where they are more powerful because business leaders can wield a lot more power than a politician without having to answer to an electorate. A lot of these businesses are still family-run and are not based on a meritocracy at all, even the ones that on paper are public corporations and the media business is perhaps the most family-run in that sense. Rupert Murdoch puts his sons in as editors, when my marketing teacher was hired at Forbes the interviewer told him that if his last name wasn't Forbes he wasn't going anywhere fast in the company. When I first started in New York, I worked for a lot of clothing and fashion companies and they were all family-run businesses where the sons and daughters got cushy jobs, company paid travel expenses and were definitely not the most responsible for the job.

The most famous example here in New York is the New York Yankees baseball team that has been a powerhouse for several decades and a permanent fixture on the New York landscape. George Steinbrenner owns the Yankees, it is his to do what he wants, and for several years he has decided that he wanted his son-in-law to run the business for him. The son-in-law was relatively competent but not that much; however all of Steinbrenner's sons refused to go into business with their father and the most competent and interested person in the Yankees organization is Steinbrenner's daughter who was married to the son-in-law. Yet Steinbrenner refused to consider putting a woman in the top job even if she was objectively the most qualified in the role and it was his company so he could do what he wanted. Now, the daughter and son-in-law have divorced and Steinbrenner has had to pull the reins of command from his former son-in-law. Here in New York, a lot of people say that the confusion in the back office was behind the Yankees downfall this season.

The advantage of an inheritance-based monarchy is that this type of nepotism which is so common to human endeavours is put out in the open so there are no secrets about it and no illusion that anyone can get the job but it is contained to a role that while it can be inspiring and advisatory towards the government at hand but is not involved in the day to day business of government, leaving the rest of government and society free to a more meritocratic system. Putting a family in charge of one's day to day government is rather foolhardy as a lot of feeble minded and insane rulers have shown us, but putting a family in charge of sustaining a national identity for all citizens no matter who they voted for is well within the possibility of reason and can work I think as long as the nation has a history of identifying with the family and the family is still ready and willing to take on the task of identifying with its people.

William doesn't seem that ready and willing, I agree with you, but its going to be awhile until he has to worry about taking over the crown, don't you think?
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  #127  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:15 PM
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Well there were various Greek city states with the occasional tirant, I am sure some of them should have come after a democracy, Pisistratus and his sons Hippias and Hipparchus come to mind in Athens for example. Anyway, I am not hoping for a Pisistratus for either the US or the UK , though he did a lot of good for the people of Athens.

And in Augustus´ defence, he didn´t replace the democracy in Rome as everything was lawfull and the end of a process, and Rome never was a democracy to begin with (just had an exam today about the Greeks and Romans, so....)

Well your knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman history is more recent and probably a lot more accurate than mine, Marengo.

I think the Greeks had a pretty good system in a crisis. They knew the democratic process was slow, so when they were in a crisis, they elected a dictator for one year. He was totally unreproachable during that time, after which he had to give up his power and return it to the city. That way they got through the crisis but they didn't give up any of their liberties over the long term because they quite consciously gave them up for a period of one year.
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  #128  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:28 PM
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As a gay man I have a duty to keep an eye on Royal fashion. Whilst I've got 'em they may as well pass my criteria for looking good.




Because with out royal fashion, royals would be nothing, right?
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  #129  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:32 PM
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By the way, in answer to another post, Washinton hated the idea of a monarchy for the same reson Beatrix Fan stated. His lack of progeny was not his concern. His distaste for monarchy was because he felt birth gave you no right to rule. .
The post you refer to is mine and you would perhaps be interested to read a book about George Washington called For King and Country. It detailed his career as a loyal British soldier during the French and Indian war and the forces that caused him to switch to the American side.

His main concern with the British was that although the Continental Army had fought bravely and sometimes better than their British counterparts, they were not recognized as British as they thought they were and were treated as second class soldiers by the British Army and the King. They were not given their right military titles and they were not honored in the general handing out of medals and awards to the victorious armies after the war. The feeling of the Continental Army after that war was that despite their heroic efforts for King and Country, they were never going to be considered British so why should they continue fighting for the same King and country? In his early career, he disagreed quite strongly with some of Jefferson's democratic writings and the two men had strong differences of opinions even late in life.

Washington was loyal but he was pragmatic and no idealist like Jefferson was. During his first run at President he approved of the restrictions against letting some segments of the population vote and was criticized for King-like behavior.

His main opposition to a term as King or even as President is that he considered himself a soldier and not a governor. As a military commander, he could dictate to his troops in such a manner than even as King he could not do. He disliked the necessary politics that was inherent in the role of a King or even a President.

Who knows, he may have put forth the inability to have children as an argument against the Kingship because a term as President at least would come to an end and he could go back to his beloved Mount Vernon. But he wasn't all that fond of either position for himself.
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  #130  
Old 10-26-2007, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
They're undemocratic, they're old-fashioned and they deny us our right to elect our representatives. That has to change.
Guess I missed the news report where people don't elect MPs any more.

You realise there are more MPs than there are US senators and congressmen combined, right? And for a population one fifth the size of the USA. You aren't short of elected representatives.

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We do have different values thats true but I'm not suggesting Britain become Little Lithuania. I'm just saying that those nations have recently had to make decisions concerning their national structure and the choices they've made and the institutions they've set up are democratic and modern. Why shouldn't Britain have the same rights as our European cousins?
We do. And more so than some.
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  #131  
Old 10-26-2007, 11:50 PM
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That's because kings no longer make decisions. Bad leaders are just that. Kings or presidents.
Indeed. However, bad monarchs aren't disastrous because they don't make the executive decisions. The world takes a lot longer these days to get over the effects of 8 years of a bad US president than 40 years of a bad British king. In constitutional monarchies, there's a severe limit on the amount of damage a bad monarch can do; unfortunately in some republics, there's not a lot which can be done about a president who decides to remake the world in his image at whatever cost to other people.

One of the reasons why Tony Blair wasn't given the same sort of leeway to dabble in remaking the Middle East as George Bush is that in a constitutional monarchy, people tend to recognise the Prime Minister for what he is: a political leader, not a national symbol. People could speak out against the Iraq war because they knew that the Queen, not the Prime Minister, was the national focus and that it was acceptable to contradict Mr Blair without being branded a traitor. Any system where a party politician is also the Head of State is a dangerously flawed system that's open to the worst sort of abuse. If we have to put up with a lightweight monarch in order to avoid that sort of setup, I think it'll be well worth it.
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  #132  
Old 10-27-2007, 02:50 PM
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One of the reasons why Tony Blair wasn't given the same sort of leeway to dabble in remaking the Middle East as George Bush is that in a constitutional monarchy, people tend to recognise the Prime Minister for what he is: a political leader, not a national symbol. People could speak out against the Iraq war because they knew that the Queen, not the Prime Minister, was the national focus and that it was acceptable to contradict Mr Blair without being branded a traitor. Any system where a party politician is also the Head of State is a dangerously flawed system that's open to the worst sort of abuse. If we have to put up with a lightweight monarch in order to avoid that sort of setup, I think it'll be well worth it.
I think it may have more to do with the fact that the UK has a well-informed constituent who pays attention to the world around them. They held Tony Blair accountable because the press does its job by providing all the facts to the public. In the US, the press is part of the problem [they are owned by corporate interests], which is a great example of the brilliant assertion by BeatrixFan, that there are very few democracies in the world.
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The seven pages of this brilliant history lesson are awesome! I can see both sides of the debate. Although BeatrixFan expressed some very persuasive arguments and has the advantage of being British, I have to acknowledge that diamondBrg also has a point that unless there is a movement or a majority supporting your views, not much will or should change.

I am curious to find out what is at the core of your discontent with the RF, BeatrixFan. I’m also shocked that you are a man because your writing style and linear thinking had me convinced you were a woman – I don’t value your opinion any less, by the way.
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  #133  
Old 10-27-2007, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Chimene View Post
I think it may have more to do with the fact that the UK has a well-informed constituent who pays attention to the world around them. They held Tony Blair accountable because the press does its job by providing all the facts to the public. In the US, the press is part of the problem [they are owned by corporate interests], which is a great example of the brilliant assertion by BeatrixFan, that there are very few democracies in the world.
_____________________________________________________

The seven pages of this brilliant history lesson are awesome! I can see both sides of the argument. Although BeatrixFan expressed some very persuasive points and has the advantage of being British, I have to acknowledge that diamondBrg also makes the correct assumption that unless there is a movement or a majority supporting your views, not much will or should change.

I am curious to find out what is at the core of your discontent with the RF, BeatrixFan. I’m also shocked that you are a man because your writing style and linear thinking had me convinced you were a woman – I don’t value your opinion any less, by the way.
Well I am a gay male as well, 51 years old, MARRIED to another man (we went to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and got married in 2005.) I think some have assumed that I am female, I am not. Hey Beatrixfan, seems we have alot in common after all, but I still disagree with ya on the RF.
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  #134  
Old 10-27-2007, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Chimene View Post
I think it may have more to do with the fact that the UK has a well-informed constituent who pays attention to the world around them. They held Tony Blair accountable because the press does its job by providing all the facts to the public. In the US, the press is part of the problem [they are owned by corporate interests], which is a great example of the brilliant assertion by BeatrixFan, that there are very few democracies in the world.
_____________________________________________________

The seven pages of this brilliant history lesson are awesome! I can see both sides of the argument. Although BeatrixFan expressed some very persuasive points and has the advantage of being British, I have to acknowledge that diamondBrg also makes the correct assumption that unless there is a movement or a majority supporting your views, not much will or should change.

I am curious to find out what is at the core of your discontent with the RF, BeatrixFan. I’m also shocked that you are a man because your writing style and linear thinking had me convinced you were a woman – I don’t value your opinion any less, by the way.
Well the press in the US and in Great Britain are pretty much owned by an Australian Rupert Murdoch, who has set as his life's goal the tearing down of the inherited class system. Obviously it doesn't apply to him since he shamelessly plugs his sons into editor in chief jobs regardless of whether or not they are qualified.

I think someone rightly said that instead of wanting to tear down the privilege based class system, he wants to replace its symbols of power with himself and become a kingmaker with Murdoch deciding who stays and who goes on the national scene. The guy is such an egomaniac, he makes Bush or the old Henry VIII look like positive children next to him.
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  #135  
Old 10-27-2007, 03:57 PM
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Well the press in the US and in Great Britain are pretty much owned by an Australian Rupert Murdoch, who has set as his life's goal the tearing down of the inherited class system. Obviously it doesn't apply to him since he shamelessly plugs his sons into editor in chief jobs regardless of whether or not they are qualified.

I think someone rightly said that instead of wanting to tear down the privilege based class system, he wants to replace its symbols of power with himself and become a kingmaker with Murdoch deciding who stays and who goes on the national scene. The guy is such an egomaniac, he makes Bush or the old Henry VIII look like positive children next to him.
Sounds like all the money is going to his head, egomeniac is an understatement. He’s even more delusional than the aforementioned individuals combined.

Congratualtions on your marriage diamondBrg!
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  #136  
Old 10-27-2007, 05:20 PM
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Sounds like all the money is going to his head, egomeniac is an understatement. He’s even more delusional than the aforementioned individuals combined.

Congratualtions on your marriage diamondBrg!
Thank You very much, now if we could just get this REDNECK State of Texas and US Federal Government to RECOGNIZE the marriage......
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  #137  
Old 10-27-2007, 07:48 PM
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Guess I missed the news report where people don't elect MPs any more.

You realise there are more MPs than there are US senators and congressmen combined, right? And for a population one fifth the size of the USA. You aren't short of elected representatives.



We do. And more so than some.
As long as their Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat. We elect our MPs and our Prime Minister yet our Head of State we're not allowed to? If we can be trusted to make the right decision with MPs then we should be trusted to make the right decision with a Head of State. And for every MP we have, there's a Lord. One unelected Lord to undo everything the elected MP can do. Very democratic.

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Hey Beatrixfan, seems we have alot in common after all, but I still disagree with ya on the RF.
Congratulations but I don't really see sexuality as a common ground. Unless you happen to be Jason Lewis in which case we shall be the best of friends.
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  #138  
Old 10-27-2007, 07:57 PM
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I am curious to find out what is at the core of your discontent with the RF, BeatrixFan. I’m also shocked that you are a man because your writing style and linear thinking had me convinced you were a woman – I don’t value your opinion any less, by the way.
How very sweet. I'm very often taken for a woman but that's the down side to having fabulous cheekbones. However, the question in hand is what is the core of my discontent with the Royal Family? Well, were we looking at a gang of regal upstanding role-models who lived as befitting Royalty, who handled their role with professionalism and the odd camp phrade, I would let my dislike of hereditary priveledge drop and wave a flag at them. The reality is very different. The top four are fine - they can do the job well and they can provide consistency. When they go, we're left with a gaggle of chavs that'd make Phyllis Diller look like Mother Teresa. So that's the first charge, that the future generations aren't fit for purpose. The second is that I dislike the idea of being given the top job on a plate because you're born with it when I and so many others have to scrimp and save in order to get a basic foothold in this mad thing we call life. I dislike the idea of being told "You can be anything you want except..." and a monarchy enforces that. I can be anything I want but Head of State - and I find that not only unfair but a message that they are better than me. And call it diva arrogance but I refuse to believe that the Windsors are better than me. I did but that's until I discovered the wonders of the establishment putting obstacles in my way. I intend to be whatever I want to be - and no sweet old girl in a crown and a pair of "I Love Val Doonican" slippers is gonna tell me different.
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  #139  
Old 10-27-2007, 07:57 PM
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Well the press in the US and in Great Britain are pretty much owned by an Australian Rupert Murdoch, who has set as his life's goal the tearing down of the inherited class system. Obviously it doesn't apply to him since he shamelessly plugs his sons into editor in chief jobs regardless of whether or not they are qualified.

I think someone rightly said that instead of wanting to tear down the privilege based class system, he wants to replace its symbols of power with himself and become a kingmaker with Murdoch deciding who stays and who goes on the national scene. The guy is such an egomaniac, he makes Bush or the old Henry VIII look like positive children next to him.
What is even worse in my opinion is that Rupert didn't even create the Murdoch empire from scratch - he inherited it from his father. He has taken it further but the basis was started by earlier generations.

Seems strange to me that he wants to destroy an inherited empire while benefitting from an inheritance and wanting to have his children inherit his empire. Seems to be double standards to me.
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  #140  
Old 10-27-2007, 08:02 PM
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As long as their Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat. We elect our MPs and our Prime Minister yet our Head of State we're not allowed to? If we can be trusted to make the right decision with MPs then we should be trusted to make the right decision with a Head of State. And for every MP we have, there's a Lord. One unelected Lord to undo everything the elected MP can do. Very democratic.



Congratulations but I don't really see sexuality as a common ground. Unless you happen to be Jason Lewis in which case we shall be the best of friends.
I did some checking, please view the following link, is it correct?

BBC - h2g2 - The British Parliamentary System

If it is, the House of Lords are not required to assent to tax and spending bills and those are the most important and it seems even for other bills after one year and a new session of Parliament is sitting, bills previously rejected by the Lords can be sent to the sitting Monarch for assent without the approval of the House of Lords?

But I will say, I do agree with you, most especially the LEGISLATIVE branch of government should be elected.
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