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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    09 Dec '14 09:00
    This is a spin-off from another thread. The motion: Britain should dump the monarchy and get themselves a president. Reasons for and against, please.

    Pro: Countries with presidents know so much better than countries with monarchs how to run things.

    Contra: “God save the president” has the wrong number of syllables for the tune.

    Pro: England would finally be rid of Scotland (which is ambivalent about being part of United Kingdom anyway).

    Contra: There’d be some (E)ire about how to write a proper constitution.

    Pro: The royals are a drain on the economy; they should stop driving Aston Martins and start paying taxes, just like normal people.

    Contra: Without the royals, the tabloid press would have nothing to report and go bankrupt.

    Pro: Without the royals, the tabloid press would have nothing to report and go bankrupt.
  2. 09 Dec '14 09:02
    Originally posted by moonbus
    This is a spin-off from another thread. The motion: Britain should dump the monarchy and get themselves a president. Reasons for and against, please.

    Pro: Countries with presidents know so much better than countries with monarchs how to run things.

    Contra: “God save the president” has the wrong number of syllables for the tune.

    Pro: England would fi ...[text shortened]... upt.

    Pro: Without the royals, the tabloid press would have nothing to report and go bankrupt.
    trolling?
  3. 09 Dec '14 13:18
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    trolling?
    His comments seem relevant to his topic.
  4. 09 Dec '14 15:03
    Pro: monarchies are stupid.

    Con: n/a.
  5. 09 Dec '14 15:16
    Originally posted by quackquack
    His comments seem relevant to his topic.
    do they now? denmark, norway, england, spain, netherlands don't have a proper constitution?

    the us president has tons more power than the queen of england, who cares if only one family gets to stay in a palace or if several get a turn every 4-5 years? the tabloid stuff is a joke and a poor one at that because presidents get into tabloids just the same,

    drain on the economy? just as an example, Obama family 'costs taxpayers $1.4BILLION per year' (that's 20 times more expensive than British Royal Family - 60$)


    so again i ask, which of his comments seem relevant?
  6. 09 Dec '14 15:18
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Pro: monarchies are stupid.

    Con: n/a.
    you need a public figure to carry out diplomacy. who cares if that person is a monarch (someone who was supposedly trained for this role) or whatever politician wins an election.

    and no, i don't agree with presidents having loads of power like vetoing and being commander in chief
  7. 09 Dec '14 15:29
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    you need a public figure to carry out diplomacy. who cares if that person is a monarch (someone who was supposedly trained for this role) or whatever politician wins an election.

    and no, i don't agree with presidents having loads of power like vetoing and being commander in chief
    I agree with you that no single person should have a lot of power. This is particularly a large issue in the rather weak French system, where the president has even more power than the American one does.

    A presidential system has the significant advantage that utter douchebags can be voted away within a reasonable timeframe, and you don't get people who marry Nazi SS members or the daughters of notorious war criminals as head of state for decades (bonus points if you can name the ruling dynasty I am talking about).
  8. 09 Dec '14 16:04
    Originally posted by moonbus
    This is a spin-off from another thread. The motion: Britain should dump the monarchy and get themselves a president. Reasons for and against, please.

    Pro: Countries with presidents know so much better than countries with monarchs how to run things.

    Contra: “God save the president” has the wrong number of syllables for the tune.

    Pro: England would fi ...[text shortened]... upt.

    Pro: Without the royals, the tabloid press would have nothing to report and go bankrupt.
    When has the British monarch last made a critical governmental decision?
  9. 09 Dec '14 16:06
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Pro: monarchies are stupid.

    Con: n/a.
    The basis for monarchies is old time religion, and in a country which pretends to be democratic, it is a contradiction. Why keep a figurehead, which doesn't actually do anything?
  10. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    09 Dec '14 17:04 / 2 edits
    The thing is they DID get rid of the monarchy long ago. They killed the King and outlawed monarchy. Then the people begged the King's son to rule them again. They found rule by Protestant zealots even worse.

    Horrible Histories Roundheads vs Cavaliers song, Charles 2 song

    youtube.com/watch?v=nAjmLTUt4uE
    youtube.com/watch?v=WS8TIrt1s2M
  11. 09 Dec '14 17:17
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    do they now? denmark, norway, england, spain, netherlands don't have a proper constitution?

    the us president has tons more power than the queen of england, who cares if only one family gets to stay in a palace or if several get a turn every 4-5 years? the tabloid stuff is a joke and a poor one at that because presidents get into tabloids just the same, ...[text shortened]... sive than British Royal Family - 60$)


    so again i ask, which of his comments seem relevant?
    All of his comments are relevant. They may not be persuasive.
    But your summarily dismissal isn't persuasive either. Obama won the great popularity contest we call elections if we are stupid enough to allow him to spend 1.4 billion dollars on travel then it was a choice we made. Soon we will elect someone else and that family will likely spend even more on their travel expenses. If I were a British citizen I would have to always spend my money on one family that the population never has to decide whether they like. It's an issue. I certainly understand if you don't think its particularly interesting but it certainly is not trolling.
  12. 09 Dec '14 22:25
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I agree with you that no single person should have a lot of power. This is particularly a large issue in the rather weak French system, where the president has even more power than the American one does.

    A presidential system has the significant advantage that utter douchebags can be voted away within a reasonable timeframe, and you don't get people ...[text shortened]... head of state for decades (bonus points if you can name the ruling dynasty I am talking about).
    i do not agree children should be held accountable for what their parents did, but that is off topic.

    obviously in a constitutional monarchy, there will be measures in place to remove the monarch in case of missconduct. he isn't really a king.

    he is really a president, you just don't remove him only because 5 years have passed
  13. 09 Dec '14 22:32
    Originally posted by quackquack
    All of his comments are relevant. They may not be persuasive.
    But your summarily dismissal isn't persuasive either. Obama won the great popularity contest we call elections if we are stupid enough to allow him to spend 1.4 billion dollars on travel then it was a choice we made. Soon we will elect someone else and that family will likely spend even mor ...[text shortened]... nly understand if you don't think its particularly interesting but it certainly is not trolling.
    "Obama won the great popularity contest we call elections if we are stupid enough to allow him to spend 1.4 billion dollars on travel then it was a choice we made. "
    well, since you make irrelevant comments yourself, might not be such a surprise you find his on topic. the point was not how deserving/undeserving obama is. it was to point out how the argument that monarchy is a drain on the economy compared to a presidency is utterly wrong. the monarchy is as much drain on the economy as you allow it to be.


    "If I were a British citizen I would have to always spend my money on one family that the population never has to decide whether they like."
    instead of spending money on whatever politician manages to tell you want you want to hear every 5 years.
    you spend those money anyway. who cares that the figurehead of your country doesn't change periodically. if he is competent, let him stay. again, we are talking about a figurehead that only holds diplomatic and media power. we aren't talking about giving nuclear codes to a monarch.

    "It's an issue. I certainly understand if you don't think its particularly interesting but it certainly is not trolling."
    yes, monarchy vs presidency is an issue, and worth debating, which we are doing. his arguments were flawed to the point of stinking of trolling.
  14. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    09 Dec '14 22:48 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by normbenign
    When has the British monarch last made a critical governmental decision?
    Well this is a trickier question than you think. Crown powers are not trivial. I recall the 1975 sacking of an Australian prime minister by the Governor General, Kerr, who is of course the Queen's representative there, by no means a small matter:
    On 11 November 1975, Whitlam intended to call a half-Senate election in an attempt to break the deadlock. When he went to seek Kerr's approval of the election, Kerr instead dismissed him as Prime Minister and shortly thereafter installed Fraser in his place. Acting quickly before all ALP parliamentarians became aware of the change of government, Fraser and his allies were able to secure passage of the appropriation bills, and Kerr dissolved Parliament for a double dissolution election. Fraser and his government were returned with a massive majority.

    The events of the Dismissal led to only minor constitutional change. The Senate retained its power to block supply, and the Governor-General the power to dismiss the Government.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis
    I think even more important is the role of the crown in controlling Britain's network of offshore tax havens -
    The monarch, who acts as head of state for UK-linked jurisdictions as far away as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Jersey and the Isle of Man,
    The Queen is known to take a particular interest in her crown dependencies and overseas territories, which operate as largely self-governing jurisdictions. UK ministers have long been aware of the reputational risks of association with pariah tax havens but have frequently looked the other way, claiming their constitutional powers to intervene are negligible.

    However, campaigners suggest there is plenty of precedence for intervention. The UK used so-called orders in councilto outlaw the death penalty, and decriminalised homosexual acts in its overseas territories in 1991 and 2000. Similarly, in 1967 an anti-pirate radio act was imposed on the Isle of Man despite local opposition. And in 2009, direct rule was imposed on the Turks and Caicos Islands for three years after a corruption scandal.
    Don't all laugh too loud. It had to be very corrupt indeed to warrant overt intervention. Not just normally corrupt like the rest of the islands. Anyway, back to the article:
    The 1973 Kilbrandon report is widely recognised as the UK's official interpretation of the complex constitutional relationship between Britain and its overseas territories and dependencies. In it, Lord Kilbrandon concluded: "We think the UK ought to be very slow to seek to impose their will on the islands merely on the grounds that they know better than the islands what is good for them.

    "It is nevertheless highly desirable that the institutions and the practices of the islands should not differ beyond recognition from those of the UK."

    Several tax havens point out that there are economic reasons the UK should resist disturbing the status quo, particularly for those crown dependencies that do a busy trade servicing the offshore financial needs of the non-domiciled super-rich, permitted by the UK government to live in Britain without paying income or capital gains tax on overseas earnings.

    Moreover, over $330bn in deposits is held by UK banks via extensive branch networks in the crown dependencies, making these deposits a vital contributor to the capital strength of Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, HSBC and other large financial firms in the City of London.
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/nov/07/britain-tax-havens-queen-secrecy-justice-network

    Yes the UK is coy about what it means that the crown appoints the governors of these dependencies. They are of course UK territory unless it suits the UK to pretend otherwise. (Of course, David Cameron's family wealth is comfortably hidden in offshore trusts. It was not hard work that gained his costly education and privileged social standing. He inherited at least £15 million through his family trust.)

    Within the UK itself, the role of the crown and the aristocracy is far more consequential than understood. The superb skill of the Queen has been her ability to glide calmly along giving the impression that butter would not melt in her proverbial mouth. Charles is in danger of giving this game away big time and as such must be a great worry to the establishment.
  15. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    10 Dec '14 11:49 / 2 edits
    Correct me if I am mistake here, but cannot the British monarch dissolve parliament (in effect triggering new elections)? If so, this is not a trivial power, even if seldom exercised. A U.S. president cannot dissolve Congress or force elections outside the regularly scheduled ones.

    The British monarch is not only the head of state, but the head of a state religion. This would be unthinkable in the U.S.A. This is also not trivial.

    U.S presidents pay taxes (at least in theory--if they have clever tax lawyers, they don't in fact); monarchs don't (neither in theory nor in fact). This may seem trivial as a detail--a couple of million pounds more or less would not rescue the NHS anyway--, but it represents a non-trivial principle: in the U.S.A., the sovereign is the electorate. In the U.K. the sovereign is a person, one person, who is, therefore in principle (if seldom in fact) above the law.

    EDIT: Prince William probably does not think it at all strange that the whole country sings "God save my grandma," but it would surely sound strange to any American to sing "God save Barry O" (even if you like his policies).