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  #21  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Madame Royale View Post
I see it as incredibly functional and worthwhile and not at all broke.
Perhaps because you don't have to live the life. One factor that stands out for me is how intensely the royals' lives are controlled - in a sense - by their subjects. The 'ownership' can seem pleasant enough - but ask any celebrity who finds themselves with a large and devout fan base, and they will tell you it is no way to live.

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Because ultimately, there still remains choice. Edward had a choice and he made it. His brother was proclaimed King and the monarchy went from strength to strength. There is an undoubted method in the, as some would no doubt suggest, "madness", and it works most effectively and efficiently.
That's new - because what I have gotten in the course of conversations here and there is that the monarchy will not survive another abdication crisis. You bring a different sensibility to the matter.

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What if, indeed.
You didn't answer the proposition.

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Again, this is why there is procedure in place to deal with such an issue. And let us not speak of it flippantly or lightly for no one would abdicate such responsibility lightly. It would undoubtedly be a process of considered thought and consultation. Certainly in this day and age.
Just to say, I don't think anyone on this thread has been flippant. Its been a very interesting conversation and I'm grateful to those who have engaged.
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  #22  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:09 PM
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Scotland's Monarchy was once elective

Elected by a small group of influential people, not the whole country. This was in the days before the Stuarts came to the throne. In the history books I read on it, the monarch was elected every generation. The "Stuarts" were not monarchs at that time, but were "Hereditary Stewards", which I suppose is like a Prime Minister. There was some worry about making a Stuart king, I read, in the history book, because the Stuarts did not have much Flemish blood, and the king-makers were highly Flemish (book did not explain). However, when a Stewart married Marjorie Bruce, son of " Robert the Bruce', and had a son who had some Flemish blood, then the idea stuck of having a hereditary Stuart king.
Incidentally Marjorie Bruce died from a fall off a horse while pregnant, and a Caesarian was performed to save her child, in a monastery near where she fell.

I hope this is accurate--it is what I read when I was researching history of that time, looking for my ancestors who were followers of the Stuarts.
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  #23  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
Perhaps because you don't have to live the life. One factor that stands out for me is how intensely the royals' lives are controlled - in a sense - by their subjects. The 'ownership' can seem pleasant enough - but ask any celebrity who finds themselves with a large and devout fan base, and they will tell you it is no way to live.
Or how heavily the life of the President of the United States is controlled by secret service for fear he shall be assassinated by either finatics and other deranged indaviduals? I don't recall having ever heard of the Queen having viles of her own blood in the trunk of her Bentley..

And my opinion is based on the fact that I live within a constitutional and hereditary monarchy and believe in what it represents and stands for.

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That's new - because what I have gotten in the course of conversations here and there is that the monarchy will not survive another abdication crisis. You bring a different sensibility to the matter.
It may not, but the fact remains there is procedure in place to accommodate any such situation. It's not that I bring a different sensibility to the matter, it's just fact.


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You didn't answer the proposition.
Because I didn't find it worthwhile elaborating on. Such 'what if's' seem a rather futile prospect in conversation. Addressing any such uncertainty as though probable makes little sense.

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Just to say, I don't think anyone on this thread has been flippant. Its been a very interesting conversation and I'm grateful to those who have engaged.
It was reiterating a point that an abdication would not be enacted without heavy consultation both within the family, the government and the governments of all antipodean realms.
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  #24  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mariel1 View Post
Elected by a small group of influential people, not the whole country. This was in the days before the Stuarts came to the throne. In the history books I read on it, the monarch was elected every generation. The "Stuarts" were not monarchs at that time, but were "Hereditary Stewards", which I suppose is like a Prime Minister. There was some worry about making a Stuart king, I read, in the history book, because the Stuarts did not have much Flemish blood, and the king-makers were highly Flemish (book did not explain). However, when a Stewart married Marjorie Bruce, son of " Robert the Bruce', and had a son who had some Flemish blood, then the idea stuck of having a hereditary Stuart king.
Incidentally Marjorie Bruce died from a fall off a horse while pregnant, and a Caesarian was performed to save her child, in a monastery near where she fell.

I hope this is accurate--it is what I read when I was researching history of that time, looking for my ancestors who were followers of the Stuarts.
So elections did occur in more recent times.

Just a side note: in fact all US Presidents prior to the 1970's were also - although certainly elected by the populace in a general election - were vetted by a very small group of power brokers. This vetting occurred in the back rooms of the party nominating conventions. I have observed that it is a human tendency to create small cabals that control - so having a small body determining the next sovereign would be in keeping with human nature - and probably a better crap shoot than accident of birth.
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  #25  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:31 PM
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An elective monarchy doesn't feel like a proper monarchy! You might aswell have a president.
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  #26  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:36 PM
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The Malaysian monarchy is not so much elective as rotational.
The nine traditional rulers take their turn serving as Head of State unless circumstrances intervene (eg age, illness, infirmity, unfitness).
The "election", such as it is, is made by the rulers themselves.

Selecton of a Saudi Crown Prince (and thus future King) is made from within and by a very tight and small inner circle of Princes, not from amongst the estimated 7000 Princes belonging to the House of Saud. The most recent, Crown Prince Salman (appointed last week), like all previous Crown Princes is a son of the Founder of the Saudi State, King Abdul-Aziz.

As AmericanDane has pointed out, the Vatican City State is the best example of an elective monarchy and it is the College of Cardinals who form the electorate. It is only relatively recently that the formal and grand ceremony of Papal coronation (with a crown, aka the Papal Tiara) was dispensed with.

The Papacy bears a similarity to the position of the Dalai Lama, the god-king of Tibet, who is selected (albeit at a much younger age!) by the High Lamas.
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  #27  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:37 PM
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Monarchy would be less interesting if elected. Iwould find it very difficult to say "Your Majesty" to a monarch who has been elected in some form!
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  #28  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Madame Royale View Post
Or how heavily the life of the President of the United States is controlled by secret service for fear he shall be assassinated by either fanatics and other deranged individuals? I don't recall having ever heard of the Queen having viles of her own blood in the trunk of her Bentley..
Not an equal comparison. The POTUS is very much a political position - also one with tremendous power and wealth behind it and therefore of great consequence to many people everywhere. Unfortunately - as even celebrities can attest - such fame (in his case power) brings out the crazies.

The British sovereign does not have power so is not a threat in fact or in any one's imaginings. However, the constraints placed on her for her entire life are enormous. Something unfair about the scenario.

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And my opinion is based on the fact that I live within a constitutional and hereditary monarchy and believe in what it represents and stands for.
What I am bringing to the foreground is that the system traps people in lives that perhaps brings them great unhappiness - and that there might be a better way to have both a monarchy but not be a gilded system of servitude.

US Presidents endure their restricted lives for 4 to 8 years. It is also a personal choice they can walk away from. The position is far from being ceremonial - and the perks far outweigh the constraints - for the personalities who seek such power and position.

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It may not, but the fact remains there is procedure in place to accommodate any such situation. It's not that I bring a different sensibility to the matter, it's just fact.
You made it sound like a 'no problem' situation were someone to decide to take another path rather than become sovereign - hence my comment to you. Others seem to feel that even though there is an abdication mechanism - to go that route again would end the monarchy. A point of view, by the way, that I don't understand - I don't get why another abdication would spell the end of the monarchy. Like everyone is saying - it seems to me that it is the very mechanism that ensures the monarchy would go on.

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Because I didn't find it worthwhile elaborating on. Such 'what if's' seem a rather futile prospect in conversation. Addressing any such uncertainty as though probable makes little sense.
Oh. I see it as part of the conversation - and very much so. How are those eventualities dealt with? The Prince Regent had quite a yo-yo experience around just such a problem - and it wasn't anything as gentle as a neurosis. Would the monarchy be able to deal with such now in the same way?
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  #29  
Old 06-23-2012, 11:04 PM
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Unless we are referring to "electing" a line of monarchs to pass the Crown from one generation to another according to an order of succession like the way the Act of Settlement of 1701 operates as Iluvbertie said, then I really don't see the point of an elective monarchy.


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Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
Is that the case always, though, or just where arranged like that? There have been lots of monarchies where the heir was chosen by the reigning sovereign - China comes to mind.

The above scenario would allow a royal family - perhaps in council, not just the current King or Queen - to choose that person from the next generation (or even same generation) that most exhibits the requisite attributes and willingness to fulfill the function.

This might truly be a more modern way to address the function of sovereign.
I'm afraid that this idea is quite ridiculous from where I see the issue. I really can't imagine the Royal Family sitting around a table saying "Well, Mummy/Granny is going to die soon, I think I should be the next King. You, my brother/sister/niece/nephew/cousin, will get the job over my dead body!". And how often would they have this discussion? I'm sure 30 or so years ago Charles would have been elected by this little family convention as the best person to lead the monarchy into the modern era, but what would they have all been thinking when his first marriage went awry and he was recorded wanting to be reincarnated as his mistress's tampon? Who would the heir presumptive been then? How often would they change their minds based on the latest opinion polls? Living in a country where government policy is changing everytime the latest Newspoll is published in the newspapers makes me hostile to such a futile change.

The only "modern" thing to come from such an arrangement is the curse of popularity that plagues modern politics for worse, not better. Even if it was to be an elective monarchy along the Vatican lines with some sort of college/conclave selecting the monarch, who would make up this conclave? The Commons? The Lords? The Hereditary Peers? And what about the Commonwealth Realms, as Madame Royale rightly pointed out?

I also highly dispute this idea that the monarchy would end if there was another abdication. If the monarch was doing more harm than good I think it would strengthen the institution, as happened after Edward VIII abdicated.
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  #30  
Old 06-23-2012, 11:53 PM
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You made it sound like a 'no problem' situation were someone to decide to take another path rather than become sovereign
I don't believe I did, no.

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However, the constraints placed on her for her entire life are enormous. Something unfair about the scenario.
Fortunately, my Queen appears a woman of sensible reason. This is her life and she gets on with the business of it accordingly. We are all accidents of birth, and some are born into positions of immense privelege, wealth and responsibility. Others climb the social and political ladder, some buy their way and then there are those who are elected (perhaps also a question of having bought their way to the top).

It would not matter who sat on the throne, the burden of responsibility remains much the same as abdication is not an eventual pre-requisite to reign and is thus considered a lifelong term otherwise.

I affirm my belief that in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth, that this model of government is a success. Constitutional hereditary monarchy works and it works very well for the countries that have it.

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It is also a personal choice they can walk away from.
As can a sovereign should they choose to do so for whatever personal reason/s. It's not ideal, obviously, just as it would not be ideal for any President to discharge his term in office, but it's happened and people get on with it whether it be a constitutional hereditary monarchy or a federal constitutional republic.
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  #31  
Old 06-24-2012, 05:28 PM
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Sweden was for a long time an elective monarchy, it was first after the accession of Gustav Vasa to the throne in 1523 Sweden became a hereditary monarchy. Even if it before then often was the son of the former king who became king, there were several occasions when a non-relative became the next king. It was even written in an old Swedish law, Västgötalagen, that Svear (Swedes) had the right to choose as well as oust their king. The new king had to be acknowledged at Mora Stenar, where also some kings were elected: Stones of Mora - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and to do a Eriksgata and visit the different provinces to be accepted as king. The name Eriksgata is still used for the first visit a new king makes to a Swedish province.
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  #32  
Old 06-24-2012, 05:49 PM
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To me the main attraction of Western European-style monarchy is that it is not political. Making it elective would make it political.
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  #33  
Old 06-24-2012, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CSENYC View Post
To me the main attraction of Western European-style monarchy is that it is not political. Making it elective would make it political.

I agree with the bolded above, but an elective monarchy can be apolitical: the monarch or a council of royal family members decide on the heir (and their decision can change due to circumstances) and not the public.
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  #34  
Old 06-24-2012, 09:12 PM
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Let's say a son and a daughter was born to a royal. The son came first and then the daughter. Because of being first born and a son, the son would be the heir to the throne in most countries in the world. It wouldn't be by vote, but by birth order.

You could have a situation where you have an male heir to the throne who was a party animal or someone who could care less about current events in the world, or someone who could care less about things that someone to who is the heir to the throne should be concerned about. Or the person might not be capable of being a Monarch for various other reasons.

Today if you had a situation like that, others would step up to the plate and protect the Monarch or try to conceal the fact that this person isn't suited for the job. In the old days, this could be a threat to the Monarch's life or throne.

On the other hand, his sister or a younger brother could be more suited to the job. In this situation arose, an elective monarch would be the best.

There are pitfalls to elective Monarchy as the most popular male (usually male) would be the Monarch but that doesn't mean that they are suited to the job or capable of doing the job. Another pitful would be if someone was elected and others felt like they had been robbed of the opportunity. At least with Hereditary Monarchy, you can't claim this.

There are some good and bad points to both but I'm leaning towards Hereditary Monarchy.
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  #35  
Old 06-24-2012, 09:31 PM
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Once you make it elective, it is political. Why would you need a monarch? At best, it is because they inherit their position, which is, cermonial. If you elected someone, they would, I assume, responsibility and decision making.
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  #36  
Old 07-14-2012, 08:31 PM
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Ive read about situations where the next in line is chosen from a group of potential candidates. It is an interesting situation for me because especially in England the one who is not the heir is often portrayed and treated like the naughty bad kid brother or sister while the oldest is regarded as a saint. What would the situaiton be like if the heir title wasn't automatically given to the first born and instead it wouldn't be known who would be the next monarch until the current monarch died. All the children are treated equally and given the same opportunities, just perhaps one will emerge as a better candidate.
I also wonder if such a situation had taken place in Sweden if Carl Philip would have acted differently and focused more time on issues rather than racing cars. JW
The bad side to this is that elections can be corrupt, manipulated and bought.
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  #37  
Old 07-14-2012, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
Ive read about situations where the next in line is chosen from a group of potential candidates. [...] What would the situaiton be like if the heir title wasn't automatically given to the first born and instead it wouldn't be known who would be the next monarch until the current monarch died. All the children are treated equally and given the same opportunities, just perhaps one will emerge as a better candidate.[...] The bad side to this is that elections can be corrupt, manipulated and bought.
Agree. It would mean that someone clearly not suited could be politely passed over. It also means that someone who very much does not want to be the monarch, who would find the lifestyle onerous and the cause for great personal discomfort and even unhappiness, could graciously withdraw without causing a crisis. What makes this an appealing option is that it means a person is free to choose their destiny. They are not 'enslaved' - and in this time of the world I think that is important.

The politics you mention perhaps could be avoided by weighted votes - for example, the previous monarch's vote (recorded as in a Will) might count more. The monarch's spouse might be weighted second - then the vote of the siblings and then the State Councillors (I may be naming them incorrectly). Anyway, it could be worked out - and there could be checks and balances. It could even be the 'election' takes place before the monarch dies and there is a period of training. IMO this would be a significant modernization - and when one considers it - it's more humane.
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