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  #121  
Old 08-04-2014, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ish View Post
I will be the first to admit that as a non-American, I really don't understand how the US Government works. The US politics and law that I've studied in my life has always been in relation to either Canadian or world events, so my thoughts are biased in that way.

That said, however the US system actually works - or fails to do so - isn't really the problem. It's a system that has worked for more than 200 years, and while there have certainly been problems to overcome, the system has shown that it does actually work. Furthermore, you really can't just start over with a blank slate as the legacy of this system will exist for a long time. Even if you could, other forms of democracy - be they republics or monarchies - have their own flaws as well. I live under a constitutional monarchy and I can say that while I expect to be a monarchist and a proud Canadian until the day I die, the system of government that exists in Canada is not perfect. Nor is any other system of government. The trick is not to go "x is better than y, we have x but we need to make it y" but rather "this part of x doesn't work, this is how y and z do it, how can we adapt that for x?"

From what I've seen of Americans, they are very divisive, and that seeps into the government. The problems within the US aren't the system of government, but rather the way the people in power work, or fail to work together. Having a monarch wouldn't change that at all. There is also the idea that the US as a whole is almost afraid of change. It's kind of like Britain 100 years ago in that it has spent a long time struggling to be number 1, and now it's number 1 and clinging to older ways because that's what made it great - when the old ways don't necessarily work anymore. People have a habit of fearing the unknown and glorifying the only partially known, and as such Americans look at things that could really help their country with fear, while glorifying the successes of systems they themselves don't fully understand. Before you think I'm taking a shot at Americans, understand that this is something that every group of people seem to do, regardless of national, ethnic, religious, etc, origins.
Not at all, always good to have a well-reasoned opinion from a non-American - helps to have distance, I think.

Our divisiveness is fairly new, as was pointed out, and troubling. I agree that if this divisiveness continues, we will need to rethink some things - but monarchy will not enter into the mix, I am virtually certain of that. As I've said before, the idea of monarchy is virtually a sacrilege for Americans.

If we elect a monarch, and it would HAVE to be an American - I doubt it will represent us, our ideas, our values, overall. This would divide us even more.
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  #122  
Old 08-05-2014, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
I think you are very much on the mark. And the last thing we need is a head of state that lasts for life time, from a foreign government. I, actually, do not understand how Canadians, whom I respect, very much would have a head of state who is not Canadian. Monarch are good and bad, Queen Victoria was a selfish woman who lived a very long time. The average American would like no part of monarchy.
First of all, the head of state of Canada is a Canadian. She may not have been born in Canada or lived in Canada, but her position as the head of state of Canada and the head of the Canadian royal family makes her Canadian. In Canada, unlike in the US, we don't hold any fears about our head of state, political leaders, etc, being foreign born. You would never see a Canadian election focus on where a politician was born or demands to see a Prime Minister or Governor General's birth certificate. In fact, while our current Governor General was born and raised in Canada, the two immediately prior to him - Adrienne Clarkson and Michaëlle Jean were both women who came to Canada as refugees when they were children; Clarkson from Hong Kong at about age 2, and Jean from Haiti at about age 11. This isn't to say that we necessarily have better things to argue about when it comes to our politicians, but rather that we have different focuses - where they're born isn't an issue so much as whether or not they speak English and French, and if they're from Quebec whether or not they're separatists.

As to the idea that "Monarch are good and bad, Queen Victoria was a selfish woman who lived a very long time," as you put it, I think you're missing a very important point here. Yes, monarchs can be good, and yes they can be bad, but you're failing to realize how much, or rather how little, real power the monarch is able to wield. Queen Victoria was a selfish woman who lived a very long time, and in her life the British Empire prospered. For some time prior to her reign, but even more so during it, the monarch had been transitioning into becoming a symbol representing the people, the history, the culture, and the traditions of a realm than an actual source of power. The monarch's role is not really to rule so much as to represent.

The Queen said, in 1973, "I want the Crown to be seen as a symbol of national sovereignty belonging to all. It is not only a link between Commonwealth nations, but between Canadian citizens of every national origin and ancestry [….] I want the Crown in Canada to represent everything that is best and most admired in the Canadian ideal. I will continue to make it so during my lifetime. I hope you will all continue to give me your help in this task."

I think this could probably be applied to every realm, but it hasn't always worked out that way. Some people and some realms no longer feel that the Queen really represents them, and that is their right. I could see a point when Canada begins to see things that way - while I think the Queen raised her children to have a strong sense of the Commonwealth, I'm not always convinced that the message has been passed on to William and Harry, which won't serve the Commonwealth well in the next generation. That said, the monarch has representatives in Canada, and just how well the monarchy represents Canada depends on those people as much, if not more so, than the actual royal family. Personally, I think the last three GGs of Canada have done a rather good job of representing both Canada and the Queen - at times, even better than the Prime Minister, although I will admit a bias in that regards as I don't have a particularly high opinion of our current PM.

Henry Jackman, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario said "For the monarchy is much more than a person. It embodies the constitutional framework of our freedoms, the set of beliefs and attitudes of tolerance that make up this great country and make it distinctive. The Queen is the symbol of what we are today and the history of which we are the result and which is part of us. If Canada were to abolish the monarchy we would be abolishing the symbol of our distinctiveness."
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  #123  
Old 08-05-2014, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by GracieGiraffe View Post
Not at all, always good to have a well-reasoned opinion from a non-American - helps to have distance, I think.

Our divisiveness is fairly new, as was pointed out, and troubling. I agree that if this divisiveness continues, we will need to rethink some things - but monarchy will not enter into the mix, I am virtually certain of that. As I've said before, the idea of monarchy is virtually a sacrilege for Americans.

If we elect a monarch, and it would HAVE to be an American - I doubt it will represent us, our ideas, our values, overall. This would divide us even more.
In the late-19th, early 20th centuries when European countries were gaining independence and choosing to be, or being forced to become, monarchs, the tradition was pretty much that a lesser member of a foreign royal family be installed as the monarch of the new realm. This is what happened in Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania got their monarchies, and how Norway got its current royal family. The idea was that you couldn't simply make a royal, people were born as such.

I wouldn't say that this idea is right. I don't think that simply because he was born a royal and I was not that Prince George of Cambridge is any better than I am. However I would argue that those who are raised to be royal are more likely to be better at being a member of a royal family or even a monarch than those who are not - for the pure and simple reason that it is something they're taught from their earliest moments, or at least it should be. If the US chose to become a monarchy and selected a younger child or siblings of a European monarch, or even a high-ish member of a non-reigning family, there is potential for success - depending on how well the monarch and his/her family is able to adapt to representing the US instead of their native country.

That said, if Obama has taught me anything about American culture it's that Americans are weirdly xenophobic when it comes to just who their head of state is. I'm still amazed about how big of an issue of where Obama was born during his campaigns. I think that kind of mentality, the idea that no one but a natural born citizen can hold the position of president, is what would ultimately prevent the US from being able to accept a foreign born royal as being the monarch of the US.
  #124  
Old 08-05-2014, 06:43 AM
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We are not 'weirdly xenophobic' about our head of state. We have a document called a Constitution that is the guidelines of what our country does/does not, can/cannot do in certain things. Most all counties have some sort of charter or Constitution that outlines things.

I don't know of any countries that have a foreigner as a head of state. Don't think Harper is from Norway last I checked. So you can just apply that 'weirdly xenophobic' title to about everyone else as well.


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  #125  
Old 08-05-2014, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
We are not 'weirdly xenophobic' about our head of state. We have a document called a Constitution that is the guidelines of what our country does/does not, can/cannot do in certain things. Most all counties have some sort of charter or Constitution that outlines things.

I don't know of any countries that have a foreigner as a head of state. Don't think Harper is from Norway last I checked. So you can just apply that 'weirdly xenophobic' title to about everyone else as well.


LaRae

In my opinion it is one thing to require politicians to be citizens of a country and another thing to require the head of state/head of government to be a natural born citizen. One is expecting members of a government to be citizens of the country, the other is saying that people who immigrated to the country and later became citizens are less than those who were born in the country. This to me is xenophobic.

The head of state of Canada is not Harper, it is the Queen. While she is Canadian from a technical standpoint, she's also British. And Jamaican, Australian, etc.

The head of government is Harper, and while he was born in Canada there is no requirement that he be born in Canada. He just has to be a Canadian citizen.

There is also the Governor General, who once again has to be Canadian but does not have to have been born in Canada - as two of our most recent GGs, Adrienne Clarkson and Michaëlle Jean showed. In the case of Jean it was established that a GG cannot hold dual citizenship - she had to give up dual French citizenship before accepting the post - but we didn't care that she wasn't born in Canada.
  #126  
Old 08-05-2014, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Ish View Post
In the late-19th, early 20th centuries when European countries were gaining independence and choosing to be, or being forced to become, monarchs, the tradition was pretty much that a lesser member of a foreign royal family be installed as the monarch of the new realm. This is what happened in Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania got their monarchies, and how Norway got its current royal family. The idea was that you couldn't simply make a royal, people were born as such.

I wouldn't say that this idea is right. I don't think that simply because he was born a royal and I was not that Prince George of Cambridge is any better than I am. However I would argue that those who are raised to be royal are more likely to be better at being a member of a royal family or even a monarch than those who are not - for the pure and simple reason that it is something they're taught from their earliest moments, or at least it should be. If the US chose to become a monarchy and selected a younger child or siblings of a European monarch, or even a high-ish member of a non-reigning family, there is potential for success - depending on how well the monarch and his/her family is able to adapt to representing the US instead of their native country.

That said, if Obama has taught me anything about American culture it's that Americans are weirdly xenophobic when it comes to just who their head of state is. I'm still amazed about how big of an issue of where Obama was born during his campaigns. I think that kind of mentality, the idea that no one but a natural born citizen can hold the position of president, is what would ultimately prevent the US from being able to accept a foreign born royal as being the monarch of the US.
I think everyone and their great-grandmother knew President Obama was born in America but it was the far right that decided to mess with him and have him present proof again and again that he's American born. It all boiled down to race, IMO.

If America decided to install a Monarchy, most likely they would want a person born in this country to be it's head of state.
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  #127  
Old 08-05-2014, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CSENYC View Post
I wouldn't want to have a Westminster-system style of governance, though; having one party with a majority of the lower house of the legislature being able to have basically unlimited power seems frightening.
That is not necessarily the case in all Westminster-style systems. In Canada, for example, power is shared between the federal government and the provinces, which can be quite influential, especially when they constantly threat to leave the country if their demands are not met, as it is the case of Quebec. In addition, since 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Canada's constitutionally entrenched bill of rights) has also limited the sovereignty of the House of Commons and, accordingly, of the party with a majority therein.

I guess your concerns about the "tyranny" of the majority in the Lower House would apply in theory to the United Kingdom, but, even in the UK, that is not always the case in practice anymore since a great deal of British law and regulations now come from the European Union, rather than Westminster.
  #128  
Old 08-05-2014, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
I think you are very much on the mark. And the last thing we need is a head of state that lasts for life time, from a foreign government. I, actually, do not understand how Canadians, whom I respect, very much would have a head of state who is not Canadian.
I will leave that for Canadians to respond, but my impression is that, apart from staunch republicans, most Canadians are indifferent to the question of a " head of state who is not Canadian" because the head of state is not a direct part of their daily lives. The government is run by the prime minister, who is an elected politician accountable to the people, and the ceremonial role that a head of state would have, like giving out condecorations or hosting state visits, is actually performed by the Governor-General who, for more than 60 years now, has always been a Canadian resident and citizen, though not necessarily Canadian-born.

Although technically a surrogate, the GG is a "de facto" acting head of state in many people's eyes in Canada. Pragmatically, considering that the system works well, there is a concern that trying to replace the GG with an elected president would be divisive and introduce partisanship in the office of HoS, leading to the potential conflicts with the prime minister or parliament, and upsetting the constitutional balance to which Canadians have become used.

In addition, for a minority perhaps of Canadians, mostly monarchists, the Queen represents historical continuity with the country's past, including its early English-speaking loyalist settlers, and is also a living link to a broader international family of nations, namely the Commonwealth, that is much valued.
  #129  
Old 08-05-2014, 05:04 PM
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I will leave that for Canadians to respond, but my impression is that, apart from staunch republicans, most Canadians are indifferent to the question of a " head of state who is not Canadian" because the head of state is not a direct part of their daily lives. The government is run by the prime minister, who is an elected politician accountable to the people, and the ceremonial role that a head of state would have, like giving out condecorations or hosting state visits, is actually performed by the Governor-General who, for more than 60 years now, has always been a Canadian resident and citizen, though not necessarily Canadian-born.

Although technically a surrogate, the GG is a "de facto" acting head of state in many people's eyes in Canada. Pragmatically, considering that the system works well, there is a concern that trying to replace the GG with an elected president would be divisive and introduce partisanship in the office of HoS, leading to the potential conflicts with the prime minister or parliament, and upsetting the constitutional balance to which Canadians have become used.

In addition, for a minority perhaps of Canadians, in this case, mostly monarchists, the Queen represents historical continuity with the country's past, including its early English-speaking loyalist settlers, and is also a living link to a broader international family of nations, namely the Commonwealth, that is much valued.

I would say that the issue of the monarchy is something considered greatly by staunch republicans and staunch monarchists, with the vast majority of Canadians being somewhat indifferent. They know who the Queen is and that she is Queen of Canada, they might know who the GG or LG of their province is (which, I admit, even as a monarchist I can't remember who the LG of my province is right now), but for most the Queen is just the woman on the money and the guy in charge is the PM.
  #130  
Old 08-05-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ish View Post
In my opinion it is one thing to require politicians to be citizens of a country and another thing to require the head of state/head of government to be a natural born citizen. One is expecting members of a government to be citizens of the country, the other is saying that people who immigrated to the country and later became citizens are less than those who were born in the country. This to me is xenophobic.

The head of state of Canada is not Harper, it is the Queen. While she is Canadian from a technical standpoint, she's also British. And Jamaican, Australian, etc.

The head of government is Harper, and while he was born in Canada there is no requirement that he be born in Canada. He just has to be a Canadian citizen.

There is also the Governor General, who once again has to be Canadian but does not have to have been born in Canada - as two of our most recent GGs, Adrienne Clarkson and Michaëlle Jean showed. In the case of Jean it was established that a GG cannot hold dual citizenship - she had to give up dual French citizenship before accepting the post - but we didn't care that she wasn't born in Canada.
I agree with the idea that citizenship is enough. I was so surprised when I found out that former Governor of California Arnie S could never run for President. In many ways (to an outsider) this emphasises the huge gap between the Presidency and how the US is run on a daily basis. IT also seems such a waste of talent (this does not refer specifically to AS but is a general comment).

So I cant see the US ever bringing in an "outsider" to be a monarch. I just cant see the Us ever having a monarchy
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  #131  
Old 08-05-2014, 06:10 PM
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Should the United States become a Monarchy?

In the US, the President is the Head of State and head of one of 3 branches of the govt. The concern with the non national born person is that they would somehow favor their home country over their new country. The same sort of thing was brought up with JFK being Catholic that he would do what the Pope wanted him to do instead of what was best for the country.

The whole thing with the Obama birth certificate is funny because John McCain was the candidate born outside the US in the Panama Canal zone while his father was serving in the navy.


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  #132  
Old 08-05-2014, 08:26 PM
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In the US, the President is the Head of State and head of one of 3 branches of the govt. The concern with the non national born person is that they would somehow favor their home country over their new country. The same sort of thing was brought up with JFK being Catholic that he would do what the Pope wanted him to do instead of what was best for the country.

The whole thing with the Obama birth certificate is funny because John McCain was the candidate born outside the US in the Panama Canal zone while his father was serving in the navy.


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You are right. But John McCain was born in Panama, to American parents, so , really not a question. Mr. Obama's father was a foreign national, but, Mr. Obama was born in the United States, Hawaii, his mother was born in the United States, his mother's parents were born in the United States and the whole thing is silly Brought on by right wing to try and disclaim his presidency, probably, because he was black or, really, half black. His mother and her family were white. A silly argument. JFK was the not first Catholic to run for the presidency, but the first to win. Al Smith, Governor of New York, ran for the presidency in 1928, but was defeated. More likely because he was a Catholic.

Americans will never want a foreign head of state. Cepe, Arnold Schartzenegger could be anything but president. I don't know if it is waste of talent, by first generation that is gone.
  #133  
Old 08-05-2014, 08:35 PM
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I think everyone and their great-grandmother knew President Obama was born in America but it was the far right that decided to mess with him and have him present proof again and again that he's American born. It all boiled down to race, IMO.

If America decided to install a Monarchy, most likely they would want a person born in this country to be it's head of state.
There is absolutely no basis for asserting that claims about Obama have anything to do with race.

Over 25% of Democrats think or thought that he was foreign-born or don't know (55% Of Republicans Believe Obama Was Born In A Foreign Country?). By your statement, you're calling Democrats racist, too. Are you?

Even 1 Democrat in 15 thinks that Obama is the Antichrist (yet many of them voted for him anyway) (One in four Americans think Obama may be the antichrist, survey says | World news | theguardian.com).

So knock off the racial divisiveness. This is a thread about royalty.
  #134  
Old 08-05-2014, 08:40 PM
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Thank you CSENYC! I could care less if the man was purple with pink polka dots. I only care about his agenda and his abilities etc.

I live in a very conservative white bread region of the U.S. I have yet to hear anyone say that they care about his race...they will rant and rave and hate his policies but nothing is said about his race except when those who lean left state we must disagree with him because he is black...that is when the people here get ticked off. It's absolutely not true and it's insulting.


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  #135  
Old 08-05-2014, 09:00 PM
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It would make more sense if the naturalized citizen ban had an age limit. Jennifer Granholm was governor of Michigan. She was born in Canada but moved to California at age 4. She is probably not going even remember living in Canada. But changing the Constitution is a not very easy so it won't be changed nor will the US get a monarchy anytime soon.


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  #136  
Old 08-05-2014, 10:23 PM
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