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  #161  
Old 07-25-2014, 10:37 PM
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Niall Ferguson's book Virtual History includes a detailed discussion on multiple scenarios in which U.S breakup with the British Crown could have been avoided.

Ferguson claims for example that the American colonists would have been satisfied with a "personal union" where Britain and America would exist as two separate and independent kingdoms, sharing however the same monarch, pretty much like England and Scotland from 1603 until 1707. Considering though that a similar arrangement did not arise within the British empire until the enactment of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, it would be unrealistic and far-fetched IMHO to assume that such proposal would be viable or even considered seriously in 1776.

A possible alternative to both the pre-existing colonial "status quo" and full independence within a personal union would be, however, some kind of extended "home rule" where a federal American parliament would be given control over matters such as e.g. taxation and public debt, tariffs and trade, monetary policy and banking, immigration and naturalization, Indian affairs, criminal law, armed forces and militias, while still acknowledging at the same time the formal supremacy of the British parliament to override legislation and relying on the imperial government in London for handling of diplomatic relations. Local matters such as education, hospitals, civil and property rights, municipal government, or public works would be under the control of each individual colony, hereafter renamed "states" or "provinces" within the American federation.

As you can probably tell, the settlement described in the previous paragraph is basically what Canada got in 1867 and was in place until full sovereignty was achieved in 1931 (see, however, Note 1 below). Again, it is still improbable that late 18th-century British politicians would agree to such bold proposals more than one century in advance, but, if they did, most of the American grievances, as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, could have been dealt with satisfactorily avoiding the need for a breakup with the Crown.

Note 1: Technically speaking, even after the adoption of Statute of Westminster, the British parliament still retained residual legislative powers with respect to some Commonwealth realms such as Canada and Australia. Those residual powers were only abolished in Canada as late as 1982 and, in Australia, only in 1986.
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  #162  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:10 PM
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I think the point here is we are all here because royalty fascinates us. Their lives, their activities, their history and their bling. We didn't come to The Royal Forums because we are fascinated by constitutional monarchies and are holding our breath till the day we oh so luckily get our own royal family and an apolitical head of state.

The beauty of the US is we all have different ideas, different opinions and revel in our own rights to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No system of government will ever be 100% trouble free and will always hit snags in the road. Where there are more than 1 person, there's going to be differences on how to do things. Sometimes even 1 as there are people that lose arguments to that person that faces them in the mirror.
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  #163  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:37 PM
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A discussion on ways the American breakup with the Crown could have been historically avoided in the first place is legitimate and, in fact, as I mentioned before, that topic has been an object of investigation by serious academic historians like Harvard professor Niall Ferguson.

Personally, I believe that, as far as the topic is concerned, a comparative examination of U.S and Canadian history is extremely valuable as Canada provides a real-world example of an alternative political evolution where independence from Britain was achieved gradually and consensually while retaining a link to the Crown. Actually, it suffices to look north of the border to see how constitutional monarchy and parliamentary government work in a North American country far away from Europe.
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  #164  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:46 PM
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I apologize to the mods for the off topic-ness of this post.

I've come to wonder if Australians would be happy to retain the monarchy if something was done to rectify the foreigner aspect of it. If, say, when HMQEII dies her realms were to be divided 4 ways, amongst each of her children, then divided further as they pass, and so on, until each of the current 16 Commonwealth Realms has its own monarch. So, say, when HM dies Charles gets 4 realms, Anne 4, Andrew 4, and Edward 4, then when Charles dies William gets 2 and Harry gets 2, and when William dies (assuming he has 2 children) George gets 1 and Cambridge Baby 2 gets 1.
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  #165  
Old 07-27-2014, 12:02 AM
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I'd say it is more about the "system" rather than the people, if you get my meaning.

The system works, so why change it? I think that is what is appealing about it not so much the love for a monarch or weather the person is a foreigner...although that doesn't help I guess.

I could be wrong.
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  #166  
Old 07-29-2014, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Ish View Post
I apologize to the mods for the off topic-ness of this post.

I've come to wonder if Australians would be happy to retain the monarchy if something was done to rectify the foreigner aspect of it. If, say, when HMQEII dies her realms were to be divided 4 ways, amongst each of her children, then divided further as they pass, and so on, until each of the current 16 Commonwealth Realms has its own monarch.
Again, it is off-topic, but I find it interesting to compare the similarities and differences in the governments of Australia and Canada. Here is what comes off the top of my head.

Similarities

  • Both countries have a federal system characterized by a division of jurisdiction between the national government and the governments of the constituent units of the federation (called "provinces" in Canada and "states" in Australia).
  • Legislative power at the national level is vested in both countries in a bicameral parliament consisting of an Upper House styled the Senate and a Lower House, styled the House of Commons in Canada and the House of Representatives in Australia.
  • Both in Canada and Australia, the number of members to which a province/state is entitled in the Lower House is proportional to its population.
  • In both countries, executive power at the national level is formally vested in the Queen represented by a resident Governor General appointed by the Crown. In practice, however, executive authority rests with a cabinet of ministers drawn from parliament and responsible to the Lower House. The cabinet is chaired and picked by the prime minister, who is normally the leader of the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats in the Lower House.
  • Executive orders issued by the Governor General on the advice of and with the countersignature of one or more politically responsible ministers (e.g. to enact regulations, implement treaties, or appoint state officials like judges or ambassadors) are referred to as "orders in council" both in Canada and in Australia.
  • Each province in Canada or state in Australia has its own elected legislature, an executive council responsible to that legislature and chaired by a premier, and a Crown-appointed governor (in Canada, styled "lieutenant-governor") who represents the Queen.
  • The judicial branch is appointed in both countries by the Governor General in council, but judges are independent of the government and, in the higher courts, can be removed exclusively on grounds of misconduct or inability to perform their duties by a resolution adopted by both houses of parliament.


Differences


  • The Canadian constitution enumerates the matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces and delegates all other non-enumerated matters to the federal (national) government. Conversely, the Australian constitution enumerates the matters under jurisdiction of the federal government and delegates all other non-enumerated matters to the states. Most notably, criminal law is under federal jurisdiction in Canada, but under state jurisdiction in Australia.
  • Australian senators are popularly elected and serve for a maximum term of 6 years. In Canada, on the other hand, senators are still appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister and serve for life or until they reach the age of 75. Due to its non-elected nature, the Canadian Senate refrains from vetoing or introducing legislation, performing instead a legislative review role similar to that of House of Lords in the United Kingdom.
  • General elections to the Australian House of Representatives are held at most every 3 years, with the possibility of a snap election if the House is dissolved by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister before its term expires, e.g. in the event of a vote of no confidence of the House in the government or a request by the prime minister for an early election. In Canada, on the other hand, the maximum term of the House of Commons is 5 years subject to a dissolution by the Governor General and an early election in conditions similar to those previously described in the Australian case. However, under Canadian electoral law, barring any early dissolution, general elections to the House of Commons are now always held in a fixed date in the month of October of the fourth calendar year following the last general election.
  • The Australian Senate can also be dissolved together with the House of Representatives, for example in a scenario of deadlock between the two chambers, triggering a general election for the two houses. In Canada, since senators serve for life, subject only to compulsory retirement at age 75, their mandates, like that of the life peers in the British House of Lords, are not affected by a dissolution of the House of Commons.
  • All Australian states are represented by the same number of members in the Australian Senate. In Canada, the provinces are grouped in 4 divisions with an equal number of senators per division plus a smaller number additional senators from the federal territories and the province of Newfoundland specifically (which only joined Canada after 1949).
  • The Canadian constitution includes an entrenched bill of rights styled the "Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms"and the Canadian Supreme Court can disallow acts of parliament or of the provincial legislative assemblies in case of conflict with the Charter. Australia has no constitutional bill of rights.
  • The legislature of all provinces in Canada now consist of a single, popularly elected legislative assembly. The Australian states, with the exception of Queensland, still retain bicameral elected state legislatures, typically consisting of a more numerous legislative assembly (or "house of assembly") with shorter terms and a less numerous legislative council, usually with longer terms.
  • Australia has a single formula for amending the federal constitution, which requires double approval in a popular referendum by a majority of voters nationally and a majority of voters in a majority of states. In Canada, there are multiple, different amendment formulas depending on the afffected matters in the constitution, including: approval by the federal parliament and the legislative assemblies of all provinces; approval by the federal parliament and the legislative assemblies of the two-thirds of the provinces having in the aggregate 50 % of the national population; approval by the federal parliament and the legislative assemblies of the affected provinces only, or approval by the federal parliament alone.
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  #167  
Old 07-30-2014, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Again, it is off-topic, but I find it interesting to compare the similarities and differences in the governments of Australia and Canada. Here is what comes off the top of my head.

Similarities

  • Both countries have a federal system characterized by a division of jurisdiction between the national government and the governments of the constituent units of the federation (called "provinces" in Canada and "states" in Australia).
  • Legislative power at the national level is vested in both countries in a bicameral parliament consisting of an Upper House styled the Senate and a Lower House, styled the House of Commons in Canada and the House of Representatives in Australia.
  • Both in Canada and Australia, the number of members to which a province/state is entitled in the Lower House is proportional to its population.
  • In both countries, executive power at the national level is formally vested in the Queen represented by a resident Governor General appointed by the Crown. In practice, however, executive authority rests with a cabinet of ministers drawn from parliament and responsible to the Lower House. The cabinet is chaired and picked by the prime minister, who is normally the leader of the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats in the Lower House.
  • Executive orders issued by the Governor General on the advice of and with the countersignature of one or more politically responsible ministers (e.g. to enact regulations, implement treaties, or appoint state officials like judges or ambassadors) are referred to as "orders in council" both in Canada and in Australia.
  • Each province in Canada or state in Australia has its own elected legislature, an executive council responsible to that legislature and chaired by a premier, and a Crown-appointed governor (in Canada, styled "lieutenant-governor") who represents the Queen.
  • The judicial branch is appointed in both countries by the Governor General in council, but judges are independent of the government and, in the higher courts, can be removed exclusively on grounds of misconduct or inability to perform their duties by a resolution adopted by both houses of parliament.


Differences


  • The Canadian constitution enumerates the matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces and delegates all other non-enumerated matters to the federal (national) government. Conversely, the Australian constitution enumerates the matters under jurisdiction of the federal government and delegates all other non-enumerated matters to the states. Most notably, criminal law is under federal jurisdiction in Canada, but under state jurisdiction in Australia.
  • Australian senators are popularly elected and serve for a maximum term of 6 years. In Canada, on the other hand, senators are still appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister and serve for life or until they reach the age of 75. Due to its non-elected nature, the Canadian Senate refrains from vetoing or introducing legislation, performing instead a legislative review role similar to that of House of Lords in the United Kingdom.
  • General elections to the Australian House of Representatives are held at most every 3 years, with the possibility of a snap election if the House is dissolved by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister before its term expires, e.g. in the event of a vote of no confidence of the House in the government or a request by the prime minister for an early election. In Canada, on the other hand, the maximum term of the House of Commons is 5 years subject to a dissolution by the Governor General and an early election in conditions similar to those previously described in the Australian case. However, under Canadian electoral law, barring any early dissolution, general elections to the House of Commons are now always held in a fixed date in the month of October of the fourth calendar year following the last general election.
  • The Australian Senate can also be dissolved together with the House of Representatives, for example in a scenario of deadlock between the two chambers, triggering a general election for the two houses. In Canada, since senators serve for life, subject only to compulsory retirement at age 75, their mandates, like that of the life peers in the British House of Lords, are not affected by a dissolution of the House of Commons.
  • All Australian states are represented by the same number of members in the Australian Senate. In Canada, the provinces are grouped in 4 divisions with an equal number of senators per division plus a smaller number additional senators from the federal territories and the province of Newfoundland specifically (which only joined Canada after 1949).
  • The Canadian constitution includes an entrenched bill of rights styled the "Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms"and the Canadian Supreme Court can disallow acts of parliament or of the provincial legislative assemblies in case of conflict with the Charter. Australia has no constitutional bill of rights.
  • The legislature of all provinces in Canada now consist of a single, popularly elected legislative assembly. The Australian states, with the exception of Queensland, still retain bicameral elected state legislatures, typically consisting of a more numerous legislative assembly (or "house of assembly") with shorter terms and a less numerous legislative council, usually with longer terms.
  • Australia has a single formula for amending the federal constitution, which requires double approval in a popular referendum by a majority of voters nationally and a majority of voters in a majority of states. In Canada, there are multiple, different amendment formulas depending on the afffected matters in the constitution, including: approval by the federal parliament and the legislative assemblies of all provinces; approval by the federal parliament and the legislative assemblies of the two-thirds of the provinces having in the aggregate 50 % of the national population; approval by the federal parliament and the legislative assemblies of the affected provinces only, or approval by the federal parliament alone.

I wonder how much some of these differences are owing to a difference in the demographics of Canada vs. Australia. I haven't really studied much Australian history, so I could be completely off base, but to the best of my knowledge the Australian states originated in British colonies. As such, they would have entered into their confederation with the same cultural backgrounds - or at least similar. In contrast, Canada has Quebec and as such from the earliest moments of confederation has had to deal with the issues of combining French and Anglo cultures (other cultures were largely ignored, however present they were). The strength of the provinces is the legacy of this class - from the start Quebec ensured that it was protected from the Anglo-majority.

My initial question was more... Well, I'm aware that there are a number of Australian republicans on the site, Bertie being one. She often seems to be of the opinion that monarchy is good, but having a foreigner as monarch of Australia is not beneficial to Australia (an opinion that I wholeheartedly understand and in some ways agree with for Canada). Which is why I asked the question - would she, or some of the other Australian republicans, support an attempt to gradually make the Australian monarch more Australian and less British.
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  #168  
Old 08-01-2014, 04:47 AM
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I wonder how much some of these differences are owing to a difference in the demographics of Canada vs. Australia. I haven't really studied much Australian history, so I could be completely off base, but to the best of my knowledge the Australian states originated in British colonies. As such, they would have entered into their confederation with the same cultural backgrounds - or at least similar. In contrast, Canada has Quebec and as such from the earliest moments of confederation has had to deal with the issues of combining French and Anglo cultures (other cultures were largely ignored, however present they were). The strength of the provinces is the legacy of this class - from the start Quebec ensured that it was protected from the Anglo-majority.

My initial question was more... Well, I'm aware that there are a number of Australian republicans on the site, Bertie being one. She often seems to be of the opinion that monarchy is good, but having a foreigner as monarch of Australia is not beneficial to Australia (an opinion that I wholeheartedly understand and in some ways agree with for Canada). Which is why I asked the question - would she, or some of the other Australian republicans, support an attempt to gradually make the Australian monarch more Australian and less British.
How would one make an "English monarch more Australian and less British"?

To me the bigger issue is about one holding such a position by birth only, no actual earning of it or working for it. Monarchy in Australia seems archaic but can hold its charm in England - although that is totally up to the English to decide of course. Would I be more accepting if the British monarch became an Australian? It would help I guess but I would wonder at why he/she became Australian and where their heart really was.

Naah! Too old fashioned and so not what I see Australia as. We are young, vibrant yahoos and so not into that old, stiff upper lip stuff...Hehehe!

Love to watch though...from far, far away...
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  #169  
Old 08-01-2014, 05:34 AM
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If Queen Victoria had sent out one of her sons/daughters/grandchildren to be the Kings/Queens of places like Australia or Canada or New Zealand over 100 years ago - and thus they were now Australian, Canadian or New Zealanders it might have worked but I don't think any of us would say accept Beatrice being asked to become the Queen of Australia and come here permanently to live and take over the work of the GG.
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  #170  
Old 08-02-2014, 09:07 AM
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LOL!! I do agree...can you imagine it?
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  #171  
Old 08-02-2014, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
If Queen Victoria had sent out one of her sons/daughters/grandchildren to be the Kings/Queens of places like Australia or Canada or New Zealand over 100 years ago - and thus they were now Australian, Canadian or New Zealanders it might have worked but I don't think any of us would say accept Beatrice being asked to become the Queen of Australia and come here permanently to live and take over the work of the GG.

Thank you, Bertie. This was the answer I was kind of expecting. I wonder if it would be different if the Queen's grandchildren were somewhat different, and had been raised more to expect to lead a public life with public duties. If perhaps the divide happened in the 30s, between George V's children...

All very hypothetical, and off topic though. Thank you for the answer (and to you as well, AA).
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  #172  
Old 08-03-2014, 12:00 AM
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It could have worked in the 1930s maybe but I suspect that after WWI the chance really was lost. Henry, as GG of Australia, didn't go down well - he was too uppity for the Aussies by then so I am not sure if the attitude with which George V's sons were raised would have worked in the dominions by then 30s even.
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  #173  
Old 08-03-2014, 12:10 AM
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Ah, yes.

I think right there you hit the differences between Canada and Australia on the head. In as much as both nations had WWI as a war of independence of sorts, and both have really tragic stories from the war, Canada didn't really emerge from it less-British while Australia certainly did. It seems to me that every nation has its "bad guy" within its national context, and for Australia that seems to have become Britain, while for Canada it's more the US (or Canada itself, if you're French or Aboriginal).
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  #174  
Old 08-03-2014, 02:32 AM
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There is an important difference between the Governor-General of Australia and the Governor General of Canada (apart from the hyphen in the title). The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia assigns specific responsibilities to the Governor-General, not to the Queen. Section 61 and 62 of the Constitution states that:
Executive power

The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor‑General as the Queen's representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth.
Federal Executive Council

There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor‑General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor‑General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.
In theory, this means that even if the Queen moved permanently to Yarralumla, we would still need a Governor-General to keep the wheels of government turning. On the Queen's first visit to Australia it was planned that she would open the Commonwealth Parliament and attend a meeting of the Federal Executive Council. The plans were interrupted when it was realised that Sections 61 and 62 did not allow the Queen to do so. The Royal Powers Act 1953 was quickly passed to enable the Queen to exercise her vested power.

I think there is also a difference between Australian State Governors and Canadian Provincial Lieutenant-Governors. If memory serves me right, Lieutenant-Governors are appointed by the Governor General, on the recommendation of the Provincial Premier. In Australia, however, since 1986 State Governors are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the State Premier. But State Premiers cannot advise the Queen on any other issue without prior agreement (e.g. if the Premier of South Australia advised the Queen to sack the Governor of Tasmania, the Queen is not bound to do so).

I have always liked the idea of a member of the Royal Family coming to Australia permanently as our King or Queen. I don't think it has been suggested as a serious option for many years now. I think it was in 1988, prior to a visit from the Duke and Duchess of York, that Ian Sinclair (National Party) said that the Duke should be invited to stay as King of Australia. Can you imagine what might have been? Queen Fergie!
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  #175  
Old 08-03-2014, 09:37 AM
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I think you are right Ish...and of course, that is when our eyes turned to the US. By the end of WWII we were firm allies with the US, replacing the Brits.
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  #176  
Old 08-03-2014, 10:49 AM
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Not likely since a great deal of us consider it an insult that the republicans/tea party love calling our President king George III.
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  #177  
Old 08-03-2014, 12:25 PM
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Conservative here...never heard another conservative call Obama King George III ...


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  #178  
Old 08-03-2014, 12:36 PM
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Conservative here...never heard another conservative call Obama King George III ...


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Oh yes, it has happened several times and recently.
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  #179  
Old 08-03-2014, 12:38 PM
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There is no reason for U.S. to become a monarchy!
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  #180  
Old 08-03-2014, 12:49 PM
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Oh yes, it has happened several times and recently.
Must be new...have yet to hear it. Who's saying it?


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