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Tyger 06-23-2012 02:20 PM

What is the better Monarchy - Elective or Hereditary?
 
What would an elective British Monarchy look like? Would it fly? Are there any current elective monarchies operating anywhere?

This idea of an elective monarchy was raised recently and it's gotten me curious. How would it work - would the royal family elect the next heir, or would it be that the sovereign would designate their heir? I assume this does not mean the 'election' is a full scale 'democratic' election with the populace involved - or is it?

Artemisia 06-23-2012 02:24 PM

Elective British Monarchy would be like presidency everywhere else.
It would be quite pointless; better abolish Monarchy altogether.

grevinnan 06-23-2012 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyger (Post 1434453)
What would an elective British Monarchy look like? Would it fly? Are there any current elective monarchies operating anywhere?

This idea of an elective monarchy was raised recently and it's gotten me curious. How would it work - would the royal family elect the next heir, or would it be that the sovereign would designate their heir? I assume this does not mean the 'election' is a full scale 'democratic' election with the populace involved - or is it?

There are several countries that have had a form of elective monarchy where the ruling royal family has died out. Sweden and Greece comes to mind. However, the new royal line has not been voted on in what we today consider a democratic manner but rather chosen by a small group of influencial people. In today's world, if you had to campaign and run for the position as the King/Queen than you basically have the same as a President.

Tyger 06-23-2012 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Artemisia (Post 1434454)
Elective British Monarchy would be like presidency everywhere else.
It would be quite pointless; better abolish Monarchy altogether.

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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by grevinnan (Post 1434459)
In today's world, if you had to campaign and run for the position as the King/Queen than you basically have the same as a President.

Correct, which is why I am thinking it would be more of an in-family designation. Historically, is such a procedure the beginning of the end for a monarchy?

If the male-line descent has already been changed in Britain, why not a more engaged selection as well?

Lumutqueen 06-23-2012 03:10 PM

I don't see the point, an elective monarchy diminishes the history.

However it does kind of work for Malaysia, but they have a history.

royalistbert 06-23-2012 03:18 PM

Why are you picking on the British Monarchy? Why not every monarchy? :whistling:

Anyway to your question, no I don't think it be a good idea.

Sorry if I sound harsh but it feels like you are picking on the BRF.

Daria_S 06-23-2012 03:19 PM

I don't see a point in having an elective monarchy. The point of a monarchy is that it's hereditary; the next in line becomes the monarch after an existing monarch dies. If a monarchy were to become elective, then it's not longer a monarchy. It's more of a popularity contest, much like the elections of political leaders. I sincerely hope England doesn't take that route. It would diminish the institution that is such a big part of the nation's heritage.

Artemisia 06-23-2012 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyger (Post 1434462)
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.

Technically, Britain had a tradition of electing Monarchs as well; Anglo-Saxon Kings used to be elected by a meeting of wise men - Witenagemot. However, that tradition hasn't existed for over a thousand years, and I don't see it resurrected. If the main tradition of any of the current Monarchies - hereditary rule - is put to rest, the point of Monarchy is lost.

Moreover, a Monarchy would turn into a popularity contest; for instance, if popular opinion was taken into consideration, Prince William - a young, inexperienced man - would succeed Her Majesty instead of his father - a person who has dedicated his entire life to serving his country.

Another problem I foresee with the scenario: what would the prospective heirs be doing until the time comes for one of them to succeed to the Throne? They would effectively be in a limbo, unable to pursue normal life, but never certain they'll ascend to the Throne. And once one of them does succeed, where would the others be left?

Lumutqueen 06-23-2012 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Artemisia (Post 1434474)

Another problem I foresee with the scenario: what would the prospective heirs be doing until the time comes for one of them to succeed to the Throne? They would effectively be in a limbo, unable to pursue normal life, but never certain they'll ascend to the Throne. And once one of them does succeed, where would the others be left?

Unless they did do it like the Malaysians, who have a King reign for 4 or 8 years from each state within the country. The respective heirs or future Kings do work in their own state before following in their fathers footsteps. It makes good sense to me, and worked well when I was over there.

American Dane 06-23-2012 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lumutqueen (Post 1434467)
I don't see the point, an elective monarchy diminishes the history.

It could be said that a current elective monarchy is the direct successor of the Roman Empire, also an elective monarchy: the Vatican City. If that is the case, then the "Roman monarchy" has been around for over 2000 years with a very storied history.

I found this interesting (it was in an article about the Saudi Royal Family that for the life of me I can't remember the name of) -- "The succession to the throne of Saudi Arabia, while hereditary, is not determined by a succession law but rather by consensus of the House of Saud as to who will be Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia; consensus may change depending on the Crown Prince's actions."

The difference to me between a state with a president (ceremonial, of course, not like the US president) and one with a monarch, is that the monarch has been trained for the job their entire life by being raised in a family whose sole duty is service to the nation. A president will always be political and not neutral.

Personally, I think an elective monarchy (not just British) would be an effective concept.

Quote:

Originally Posted by royalistbert (Post 1434472)
Why are you picking on the British Monarchy? Why not every monarchy? :whistling: Sorry if I sound harsh but it feels like you are picking on the BRF.

:previous:
Is that really necessary?
The moderators could easily move this thread to the General Royal Discussion part of the forum if they wanted to. Tyger just happened to use the BRF as an example.
Why are you picking on a certain poster?

Artemisia 06-23-2012 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lumutqueen (Post 1434476)
Unless they did do it like the Malaysians, who have a King reign for 4 or 8 years from each state within the country. The respective heirs or future Kings do work in their own state before following in their fathers footsteps. It makes good sense to me, and worked well when I was over there.

Yes, but where would the British Heirs "reign" till their time comes? Even if there are, say, only 5 prospective candidates, it would mean one had to wait 16 years till his/her time comes. What would they be doing in the meantime?

In Malaysia, they just reign in their own state. Saudi Royals are rich and influential enough to support all of their extended family members, heirs or not. But personally I can't see British taxpayers supporting all the prospective Kings and Queens, along with their families.

Tyger 06-23-2012 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Artemisia (Post 1434479)
Yes, but where would the British Heirs "reign" till their time comes? Even if there are, say, only 5 prospective candidates, it would mean one had to wait 16 years till his/her time comes. What would they be doing in the meantime?

Living life - having a life. Having a career, marrying, having a family, etc.

BTW I am not 'picking on' the BRF - I am interested in the BRF. (A very curious interpretation of the question I am raising). The BRF happens to be the royal family I am most familiar with. Plus there always seems to be issues of who should be the heir - who is ready, who is suitable, who wants the job - so I am asking a natural question given all of that. This is not a 'general question' regarding all monarchies. I am particularly asking about the BRF and wondering about that possibility - since it seems to be an either/or with lots of people: it's either the way it is or it is abolished. Was wondering if there is a compromise route - a happy medium.

EIIR 06-23-2012 03:52 PM

It's interesting to think back at what might have happened if the people had had a say in who their next sovereign was. I suspect that the British public would've chosen to retain Edward VIII as Monarch given his personal popularity. That would have been a disaster for Britain during WWII at least, as we know he and Wallis were sympathetic to Hitler.

If we'd had a say over who would replace an abdicated Edward VIII would the painfully shy, stuttering, future George VI (who only had daughters) have been picked by the public as the best choice? Maybe not. And yet we know that George VI was such a steady comfort to the British people during WWII and became a much-loved King.

Would we have chosen a 25 year old Elizabeth, who had little or no formal education and was married to a foreigner, to see our country through the end of Empire, the post-war difficulties and into the 21st century? I'm not sure.

I'd leave well enough alone.

Lumutqueen 06-23-2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Artemisia (Post 1434479)
Yes, but where would the British Heirs "reign" till their time comes? Even if there are, say, only 5 prospective candidates, it would mean one had to wait 16 years till his/her time comes. What would they be doing in the meantime?

In Malaysia, they just reign in their own state. Saudi Royals are rich and influential enough to support all of their extended family members, heirs or not. But personally I can't see British taxpayers supporting all the prospective Kings and Queens, along with their families.

Oh I don't see the elective thing working but the system in Malaysia works pretty well and people don't moan.

I would go with 5 prospective candidates every 4 years, and the taxpayer only helps out when the candidate reigns as King and Queen.

Tyger 06-23-2012 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Artemisia (Post 1434474)
Technically, Britain had a tradition of electing Monarchs as well; Anglo-Saxon Kings used to be elected by a meeting of wise men - Witenagemot. However, that tradition hasn't existed for over a thousand years, and I don't see it resurrected. If the main tradition of any of the current Monarchies - hereditary rule - is put to rest, the point of Monarchy is lost.

It's an interesting history because fundamentally it was the dominant family - the family that achieved dictatorship and achieved hold over wealth and arms (loyalty of what amounts to the army - in our terms) - that successfully managed to get their family lineage in charge across generations. (Keeping in mind that history is not as simple as applying current sensibilities to past choices - I'm dancing lightly here).

Would any of this be any different from the 'dynasty' being established in North Korea, for example, or any country where a dictator - in control of the wealth and the army - is establishing a line of inheritance?

In terms of democracy, an election from within a select group was what the Greeks were talking about and practicing. I don't think they envisioned a democracy as we have come to practice it. Even the role of Tyrant had a benign and necessary function in their eyes.

Iluvbertie 06-23-2012 05:45 PM

The last time England elected a monarch was 1066 when Harold II was elected King on the death of Edward the Confessor as Edward left no son or other clear heir.

Since the Battle of Hastings the heir has usually been clear. Father to son or grandson or brother.

The Anarchy, when Stephen seized the throne from Matilda, still saw the line revert to the correct line on Stephen's death with Matilda's son inheriting the throne. From Henry II it remains very clear until Henry IV seized the throne from his cousin and then again clear until the War of the Roses when again war saw Henry VII win on the battlefield. The next unclear succession followed Edward VI when he named Lady Jane Grey but the people went with his older sister - preferring the one with the better claim. On Elizabeth I's death the throne could have been in doubt but it followed logic not Henry VIII's will, which didn't want his older sister's line ahead of his younger sister's (because the older sister's line was that of Scotland but it won anyway). The next two times there were problems parliament made the decisions - in 1698 with William and Mary and then finally with the Act of Settlement in 1701.

So it could be argued that parliament elected the current line in 1701 by chosing the Electress Sophia's line. Since then the succession has always been clear.

Madame Royale 06-23-2012 07:39 PM

Seems people are forgetting the 15 other realms that have the British head of state serve as their own, indapendantly.

For an elective monarchy to fly it would also require the sanctioned approval of all other nations that have retained the monarch in a sovereign capacity. That I could not see happening.

To elect a King or Queen? Well why not elect a President? In this day and age, European monarchs (discluding the Holy See and the Principality of Andorra) inherit the throne and that has become the approved and practiced custom. Take that away and you are pointlessly re-writting a stable and very functional institution's course of direction.

Why look to fix something when it isn't broke...

The topic of popularity cannot logically be considered for the popularity of any head of state is, from time to time, examined. Oddly enough, however, the presence of a royal head of state appears to inspire a greater sense of national pride/unity than most other forms of sovereign representation. They are, for the most part, above politics. Making then the position of monarch a political one by way of election, again, way too create a most questionable fracas.

COUNTESS 06-23-2012 08:07 PM

What would you elect them to do? Cut ribbons, have charities, be rich,l make no decisions, attend functions? Monarchies, today, are window dressing. Why would you elect them?

Tyger 06-23-2012 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Madame Royale (Post 1434554)
To elect a King or Queen? Well why not elect a President?

Well, as I've been suggesting, not a general election. More along the lines of an election - or choosing - within the royal family. No one else would have to know the whys or wherefores of a choice. It would be totally private in that regard.

Someone mentioned the situation with Edward VIII's abdication. I agree - fate stepped in - I think Mrs Simpson wound up doing Britain a service by taking the King out of the game because of all the Nazi stuff. So why leave such an important role to chance? What if there is someone up for the role of sovereign who is not exactly crazy but has enough neurosis to make the public arena an embarrassment for all concerned?

Quote:

Why look to fix something when it isn't broke...
Potentially it is broke. Why make captive an individual to the circumstances of his or her birth? Isn't that a kind of slavery, albeit one in a gilded cage? Doesn't it go against every article of a modern sensibility that we all have a right to choose?

Quote:

The topic of popularity cannot logically be considered for the popularity of any head of state is, from time to time, examined. Oddly enough, however, the presence of a royal head of state appears to inspire a greater sense of national pride/unity than most other forms of sovereign representation. They are, for the most part, above politics. Making then the position of monarch a political one by way of election, again, way too create a most questionable fracas.
But at what a cost - personal cost. Interesting regarding the Papacy - I hadn't considered it as a variation of royalty - but it sure is in the spirit of that tradition. - the Roman Republic and its elected counsels and tribunes.

This is avery ancient system, actually, the 'setting aside' of certain people extending to the family and the genetic line. Just seems a bit hard - and unfair - on those caught in the system who would prefer another path for themselves.

Quote:

Originally Posted by COUNTESS (Post 1434558)
What would you elect them to do? Cut ribbons, have charities, be rich, make no decisions, attend functions? Monarchies, today, are window dressing. Why would you elect them?

Ouch! Well, there you go! :tongue: That's saying it like it is - and what of the person who finds they have another calling? Like to be a nuclear physicist? Everyone just chuckled - right? - because of course the royals are not that bright. I think if there is one aspect of royalty that I find actually disquieting is the expectation that they are not too bright.

Madame Royale 06-23-2012 08:42 PM

Why leave such a role to chance? That's why there are heirs. 'Issue' proactively addressed. Hereditary monarchy.

Quote:


Well, as I've been suggesting, not a general election. More along the lines of an election - or choosing - within the royal family.
That remains political. Infact, politics is considered quite prevelant in most families, not least of all those of a larger size.
Quote:


Potentially it is broke
I see it as incredibly functional and worthwhile and not at all broke.

Quote:

Why make captive an individual to the circumstances of his or her birth? Isn't that a kind of slavery, albeit one in a gilded cage?
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.

Quote:

What if
What if, indeed.

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...on those caught in the system who would prefer another path for themselves
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.


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