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  #141  
Old 11-07-2006, 12:35 PM
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Also, we have decent people to represent us. I know that 99.9% of people would prefer Princess Anne representing us at a UN Conference than Cherie Blair - who was not elected and was forced on us just as Laura Bush was forced on the Americans (You got the better deal there didnt you?). We don't have to worry about being well represented at big international events because there's always one of the family to do it and they do it extremely well. Why? Because they've built up a knowledge over their lifetime - not just over 4 years. Ask yourself this. Which Head of State rules over a more stable country? Our Queen, 50 odd years in the job, has seen world leaders come and go, knows everything there is to know about global affairs - or George W Bush who is likely to barred entry to certain countries or he'll face war crime charges in the future? Exactly. A President can't possibly know what's best for the people of his country being in the job for 4/8 years. A Queen knows exactly what's right for us because she's seen it all, she knows it all. It may look as if she has no power, but she does. She'll always have the upper hand on a Prime Minister, her reserve powers are still there and real. If she wants to bring a Government down, she's the only woman in the country who can and we trust her only to do that when it's totally nessecary. Would you trust a man in the job for five minutes with that responsibility? We don't see her dissolving Parliament every 5 minutes - well, doesn't that show that our system is totally stable and that it works for us?

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Then, that money from all the Crown Estates and Jewels could be sold and put back into the country. Maybe it could be put into the Health System for the British people.
And that is totally condescending. Britain has a Health System. It might not be as fantastic as it could be but thats the way money is spent, not how much money there is to spend. I think Britain wins on the Health Care System anyway. "Oh, I've been knocked down by a bus but I haven't got insurance. Oh well, guess it's a wheelchair for me". And as Chrissy57 said, the Crown Estate and Jewels are the private property of the Sovereign. If you want to see that confiscated, you're advocating the theft of private property which is a crime and as we've seen with the Greeks, an EU court could order us to give it back anyway.
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  #142  
Old 11-07-2006, 02:22 PM
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Skydragon, Elspeth and BeatrixFan, despite your arguments, I stand by my words. Do you really think people would want a ruler based solely upon being born into the right family? Come on! If so, then why are many of the Royal Families that were active (and alive) pre World War I abolished, deposed or held in a much smaller capacity than they once were? Because people don't want an institution where no one is held accountable and the only reason a person is there is because of their birthright. I'm not saying elected officials don't have their problems, but you're trying to tell me that a monarchy would have none of the same issues because Daddy was king and now I am. At least with elected officials the People have a Choice. There is No Choice in monarchy, which has been the problem over the centuries. Even with the BRF, look at how their empire has dwindled since Queen Victoria's day. And even with politicians with family connections (which is quite true), it's the People who vote for them. And there are those who succeed on their own merit. John F. Kennedy had NO connections ~ an Irish Catholic. Nor did Bill Clinton. Nor did Abraham Lincoln for that matter. So there are opportunities that just aren't there in the ancient feudal system. We can agree to disagree. Time will show us what's in store for the BRF as well as others. I highly doubt royalty will ever return to their glory days, though. It might be a nice thought in theory for die-hard monarchists, but in reality most people aren't monarchists.
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  #143  
Old 11-07-2006, 02:37 PM
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You're very keen on this birth right thing but you forget - Britain isn't an absolute monarchy. Our system is so complex and based around a constitution that has been formed over many years that Monarch needs Parliament and Parliament needs Monarch. Thats the way we do things. You say that royalty won't ever return it's glory days - well, it's in it. Our Monarch enjoys amazing popularity and everyone recognises what a great Monarch she's been.

I'm sorry but if all you can do after the logical arguments put forward is to use birth right as the deciding reason why monarchy is totally bad then IMO, you're clutching at straws.
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  #144  
Old 11-07-2006, 02:41 PM
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Not being British or American, I can hardly answer part of your post. But I can answer your question about abolished monarchies.
True, many Monarchies met their downfall before or right after the World War I. Most of them were abolished because of political reasons: they were absolute monarchies and the time for absolute monarchies was gone.

Those Monarchies that survived, however, became in a way stronger. They adapted to the new world, while carrying the traditions of the hundreds of years.
If British, Danish, Dutch (or other) people felt that they were not satisfied with their monarchy, that they 'waste' money on the Royals, do you think there would still be any Monarchies at all? The answer is that British, Danish (etc) people value their monarchy and appreciate it, admire the way the Royals represent their nation. Royals were born to serve their people, doing constant public duties, representing it in the best way they can and that's for lifetime.

Elected President is concerned only of the 4 (or 8) years he/she is in the office. A great deal of time is spent to learn actually representing your country, behaving, diplomacy... Royals are born with that (or rather taught during their whole life).
I don't say Monarchy is a better system of governing then Presidential (or other) countries: each person is entitled to his opinion. I just say that if British (or other) people are still satisfied, are loyal to and feel fond of their Monarchy, then they definitely see the positive side of it. And besides, the Monarchy and Parliament are too connected in most of current Monarchies, especially Britain, that it would be pretty hard to imagine them existing without each other.


I would prefer a Monarch, representing my country for a lifetime, rather then a President (and First Lady), who learn to represent my country, any time.

There were, of course, not too good Monarchs (most absolute) but I guess you could find a couple of 'not too good' Presidents in any country as well.
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  #145  
Old 11-07-2006, 02:46 PM
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I think that certain Republics are good examples of how a Republic can work but interestingly, they tend to be the ones where the Presidents behave like Monarchs. Vaira Vike-Freiberga for example, is a good President of Latvia and seems to show how well a Republic can work. I just wouldn't like the gamble of having a President like her, toppled by a military coup and ending up with a President like Ferdinand Marcos, which - without the safety net of Monarchy, could happen.
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  #146  
Old 11-07-2006, 04:02 PM
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I would like to add a story about a former politician in Australia.

His name was/is Bill Hayden.

In the late 70s and early 80s he was a passionate republican.

So strong was his republican beliefs that people were concerned about how he would do his job when appointed by his Labor colleagues to be the Queen's representative here (Governor-General).

He himself admitted that he thought he was a strange choice as he was convinced that Australia should become a republic and the sooner the better.

During his term he came to realise just why the monarch is a better system - the complete division between Head of State and Head of Government being superior, in his opinion, to combining the two posts.

As others have said he found that he truly could represent all Australians and that his role was crucial to the wellfare of our system and therefore to all the people.

By the time he ended his term of office he was an avowed monarchist and, unlike most Labor politicians in this country, suppported the NO vote in our republican referendum - based on his personal experience of seeing just how wonderful our system works with the monarch in it.
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  #147  
Old 11-07-2006, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella
Skydragon, Elspeth and BeatrixFan, despite your arguments, I stand by my words. Do you really think people would want a ruler based solely upon being born into the right family?
Clearly they do, as has been pointed out by Elspeth, BeatrixFan and Avalon. These people 'born into the right family' know from an early age, all about their country, how it works and it's history.
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At least with elected officials the People have a Choice.
According to some (Michael Moore, Al Gore) some people made their choice but, it was ignored.
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And there are those who succeed on their own merit. John F. Kennedy had NO connections ~ an Irish Catholic. Nor did Bill Clinton.
Or was it just that some were backed by the unions and some were backed by the big bucks?
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Time will show us what's in store for the BRF as well as others. I highly doubt royalty will ever return to their glory days, though. It might be a nice thought in theory for die-hard monarchists, but in reality most people aren't monarchists.
Time will show us what's in store for everyone, including long forgotten politicians and in reality most people in the UK, IMO, would not support a republic, can you imagine a president Blair?
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  #148  
Old 11-07-2006, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella
Skydragon, Elspeth and BeatrixFan, despite your arguments, I stand by my words. Do you really think people would want a ruler based solely upon being born into the right family? Come on! If so, then why are many of the Royal Families that were active (and alive) pre World War I abolished, deposed or held in a much smaller capacity than they once were?

The main reason these countries lost their monarchies was that they were on the losing side in the war and the victors, both republics and monarcies, refused to consider an armistice while the monarch remained in place.

A further study will tell you that the first President of Germany was very upset at the announcement of the republic because he, and most of his colleagues, wanted to sort out which member of the Royal Family would replace the Kaiser and become a constitutional monarch such as the Brits had. Unfortunately Phillippe Schiedemman pre-empted these actions and announced a republic.

The Tsar was overthrown due to conditions in his own country should have happened as he wouldn't accept a parliament.

Others who lost their thrones after WWII did so because they were behind the Iron Curtain or, in the case of Greece, because of the massive influence of the communists and the military (remember the Greeks were in and out of power but they didn't have 1000 years of tradition behind them).

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Because people don't want an institution where no one is held accountable and the only reason a person is there is because of their birthright.
In a constitutional monarchy there are limits on their actions and that makes them accountable. The British monarchs have been constitutional for many years unlike say the Russians, or Germans. That is why the monarchs that exist today do so - they are actually part of the constitution and have a role to play.

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I'm not saying elected officials don't have their problems, but you're trying to tell me that a monarchy would have none of the same issues because Daddy was king and now I am. At least with elected officials the People have a Choice. There is No Choice in monarchy, which has been the problem over the centuries.
Yes we have a choice - in Australia and Britain we have a chioce when we vote for our government - we just don't choose our Head of State - which means that our Head of State represents ALL of us and is concerned with ALL of us, unlike elected officials whose only reason for doing anything is to keep their job. The Queen knows her job is for life so she doesn't have to pander to interest groups to get their votes whereas our politicians have to come up with policies that will get them votes and that is all that they care about - keeping their job.

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Even with the BRF, look at how their empire has dwindled since Queen Victoria's day.
Yes - and look what the empire has turned into - a wonderful Commonwealth of Nations that continue to talk to each other and make decisions that support each other. What this shows is that Britain was capable of listening to the people of the countries of their empire and when they wanted to govern themselves let them do so (sure one or two had problems reaching that state but overall the empire merged into the Commonwealth with little bloodshed).

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And even with politicians with family connections (which is quite true), it's the People who vote for them. And there are those who succeed on their own merit. John F. Kennedy had NO connections ~ an Irish Catholic.
Except for the mafia that stole votes to get him elected

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Nor did Bill Clinton. Nor did Abraham Lincoln for that matter. So there are opportunities that just aren't there in the ancient feudal system.
Which European monarchy still operates the ancient feudal system. Britain certainly doesn't and really hasn't been since the 1300s when they started electing people to the House of Commons and calling it parliament. Some kings used it less but it was still there and increased its role in the system as more and more people were wealthy enough to be educated and by the early 20th century had everyone voting. Power rested clearly with the House of Commons from the 1911 Reform Act so to describe Britain as part of 'the ancient feudal system' is just totally wrong.

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We can agree to disagree.
No problem

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Time will show us what's in store for the BRF as well as others. I highly doubt royalty will ever return to their glory days, though. It might be a nice thought in theory for die-hard monarchists, but in reality most people aren't monarchists.
In the countries with monarchies in Europe the majority of people are in fact monarchists. As they are the people who matter it doesn't matter what other people think anyway. An intersting poll taken in April of this year http://www.ipsos-mori.com/polls/2006/s060422a.shtml indicates that 72% of Britain's want to keep their monarchy, 85% think the Queen is doing a great job and even 52% think Charles will make a good king. In Denmark the figures are even higher.
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  #149  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:04 PM
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella
Skydragon, Elspeth and BeatrixFan, despite your arguments, I stand by my words. Do you really think people would want a ruler based solely upon being born into the right family?
Given the fact that the republican movements in most of the European monarchies are pretty small and without much influence, clearly people do want to keep their monarchies.

Quote:
Come on! If so, then why are many of the Royal Families that were active (and alive) pre World War I abolished, deposed or held in a much smaller capacity than they once were?
Because most of them were'nt constitutional monarchies and many of them were on the losing side of the war. Most people in Europe seem to be able to understand that a constitutional monarchy is as democratic as a lot of republics and quite a bit more so than some. The German principalities and the Italian and Russian monarchies weren't democratic and had little interest in becoming so.

Quote:
Because people don't want an institution where no one is held accountable and the only reason a person is there is because of their birthright.
Nope. Because people don't want an institution where no one is held accountable regardless of whether he's elected, appointed, or inherited. A constitutional monarch is a far more popular proposition than a president for life backed by the army and by none of the people.

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I'm not saying elected officials don't have their problems, but you're trying to tell me that a monarchy would have none of the same issues because Daddy was king and now I am.
You're describing the United States, right?


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At least with elected officials the People have a Choice. There is No Choice in monarchy, which has been the problem over the centuries.
I don't know how much more simply I can say this, but I don't know what you mean by not having a choice. We elect our head of goverment; that feels like having a choice to me at any rate.We simply don't elect our head of state. As a result of not having to get into party politics, a constitutional monarch is the symbol and representative of the entire country in a way that the US President - whoever it is and whichever party he's from - can never be.


Quote:
Even with the BRF, look at how their empire has dwindled since Queen Victoria's day.
You think that wouldn't have happened if we'd had a republic from the moment Queen Victoria died? I'd be interested to know your reasons.

Quote:
And even with politicians with family connections (which is quite true), it's the People who vote for them. And there are those who succeed on their own merit. John F. Kennedy had NO connections ~ an Irish Catholic. Nor did Bill Clinton. Nor did Abraham Lincoln for that matter.
Margaret Thatcher's father was a shopkeeper. John Major's father was a circus acrobat. Your point?

Quote:
So there are opportunities that just aren't there in the ancient feudal system. We can agree to disagree. Time will show us what's in store for the BRF as well as others. I highly doubt royalty will ever return to their glory days, though. It might be a nice thought in theory for die-hard monarchists, but in reality most people aren't monarchists.
Most Americans aren't. Most Britons are.
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  #150  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:06 PM
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Even with the BRF, look at how their empire has dwindled since Queen Victoria's day.
The Empire was lost by politicians. Not by the Monarchy. It wasn't their Empire. It was ours.
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  #151  
Old 11-07-2006, 07:11 PM
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You're all very knowledgable about this subject and I have been both educated and impressed with what you all have said. I do understand several things differently now, which I believe is one of the reasons for these threads. I may not agree with everything you have to say yet I will admit I do agree with some things and I appreciate them being pointed out in a way I can easily understand. Hope there's no hard feelings. What strikes me most (besides how much you all seem to know) is your loyalty to your beliefs. I respect your opinions and I've enjoyed (and learned from) the debate and I do look at monarchies a little bit differently now.
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  #152  
Old 11-08-2006, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella
You're all very knowledgable about this subject and I have been both educated and impressed with what you all have said. I do understand several things differently now, which I believe is one of the reasons for these threads. I may not agree with everything you have to say yet I will admit I do agree with some things and I appreciate them being pointed out in a way I can easily understand. Hope there's no hard feelings. What strikes me most (besides how much you all seem to know) is your loyalty to your beliefs. I respect your opinions and I've enjoyed (and learned from) the debate and I do look at monarchies a little bit differently now.

I am glad that that has happened Bella as we are then able to all learn from these boards.
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  #153  
Old 11-08-2006, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatrixFan
The Queen isn't just a promotion tool - she's a monarch. One of the last proper monarchs left in the world with the exception of the Emperor of Japan.
Just wondered what you mean by "proper monarch."

I think if any monarchy in Europe is going to be abolished it will probably be the U.K. I can't see it lasting for very long after Elizabeth dies. It doesn't enjoy the same high approval rates among it's people like the other monarchies do.

Even if the monarchy lasts the United Kingdom will not. The latest opinion polls in Scotland show a majority in favour of independence so it looks as if it's days are numbered.
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  #154  
Old 11-08-2006, 11:43 AM
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Not this old chestnut again, Iain. Can we see a link to these opinion polls?

Lets guess the poll was done by the SNP, how many did they ask this time, 1000, 1200.
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  #155  
Old 11-08-2006, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissy57

In the countries with monarchies in Europe the majority of people are in fact monarchists.
When most monarchies were abolished, it was not the question of monarchy or republic but absolutism or democracy (or dictatorship, like in the communist countries).

Today the question in the remaining monarchies would be: a monarch or a president as head of a democratic state. I'm convinced you won't find a majority of people to vote for a simple replacement, when they personally have nothing to gain from it, as presidents are even more expensive in their keep (you have to pay pension for each of them and change them so often!) than a monarch and his family but don't attract tourism or interest people worldwide in a nation's fashion like princess Mary of Denmark does on wearing Danish designer clothes.

So where should the energy for a change come from?
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  #156  
Old 11-08-2006, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Just wondered what you mean by "proper monarch."
I mean a monarch who has actual constitutional or absolute power, not just a figurehead. I'd be interested to see these opinion polls you talk of because I for one really doubt the outcome. And anyway, why is it vital to have Scotland for the Monarchy to continue? She could just be our Queen if you lot don't want her.

Quote:
So where should the energy for a change come from?
You've hit the nail on the head Jo. Whenever someone says, "Change", anyone with an ounce of sense asks, "What with?". If we get rid of the monarchy, what do we have in it's place? It's not as simple as just having a President. So much would have to change and we'd have nothing to work from. Looking through history, countries that lost their monarchies went to an extreme as Jo says. Look at Romania - that went from monarchy to communism. So, do we go to an extreme or do we struggle to find something new?
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  #157  
Old 11-08-2006, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatrixFan
I think that certain Republics are good examples of how a Republic can work but interestingly, they tend to be the ones where the Presidents behave like Monarchs. Vaira Vike-Freiberga for example, is a good President of Latvia and seems to show how well a Republic can work. I just wouldn't like the gamble of having a President like her, toppled by a military coup and ending up with a President like Ferdinand Marcos, which - without the safety net of Monarchy, could happen.
Vaira, though born in Riga, left in 1945 was educated in Canada and worked there until 1998- and Canada is a monarchy and I agree with you- I think she acts more like our Governor- General. She has grown up with the stability of a monarchy for the majority of her life.
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  #158  
Old 11-08-2006, 12:16 PM
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That might be it juliana. It might be that she has tried to bring in the same feeling of having a monarchy without actually having one.
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  #159  
Old 11-08-2006, 12:18 PM
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It could be a nightmare if she decided to crown herself of course- good idea to stabilise Latvia as she is doing.
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  #160  
Old 11-08-2006, 12:26 PM
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Oh I don't know. Queen Vaira has a ring to it.
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