How many british republicans do we have?

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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#101  Postby Blip » Jan 24, 2011 12:37 pm

logical bob wrote:Could you, Blip or anyone else, be as specific as you can about what it is that you find so unacceptable about monarchy?


Positions should not be awarded on a hereditary basis, but on merit or by popular mandate (the two being by no means the same, of course :) ). It's widely agreed, I believe, that the current incumbent is up to the job, but this is a happy coincidence and not one on which we can - or should have to - rely.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#102  Postby logical bob » Jan 24, 2011 12:56 pm

Blip wrote:Positions should not be awarded on a hereditary basis, but on merit or by popular mandate (the two being by no means the same, of course :) ). It's widely agreed, I believe, that the current incumbent is up to the job, but this is a happy coincidence and not one on which we can - or should have to - rely.

Well, I can't say that you're wrong about any of that, but the fact that this one particular role which confers negligible ability to make things better or worse is hereditary just isn't going to make my list of Top 100 Problems to Fix.

Yes, Charles III is not an appealing prospect, but there's already plenty of coverage of him being an idiot and when he finally gets the top job he might be expected to say less, which would be good. Think of any public role which is elected or nominated based on merit and I'm sure it's occupants will also have been a mixed bag. I don't think that using other methods to choose a head of state would necessarily improve the quality.

I guess we'll just agree to differ as you clearly feel strongly about it. :dunno: First our debate on tuition fees, now this... You must bring out my inner Tory or something. :british:

Or perhaps just my inner devil's advocate.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#103  Postby Paul G » Jan 24, 2011 1:00 pm

logical bob wrote:
Blip wrote:
logical bob wrote:Would you concur that the people who say monarchy is unacceptable are often the same people who hold up Sweden and Denmark as examples of progressive societies? And if so, isn't that a bit odd?

Because they are constitutional monarchies too? The point is well-made, of course, but I'd also hold up Iceland as another Nordic example of a progressive society. Perhaps the relatively advanced attitudes prevalent in these societies are a matter of overall culture rather than any specific constitutional arrangements?

That's exactly what I mean. There seems to be no link between whether a country has a monarch and what kind of society it is. Which is why I wonder whether it matters.

Could you, Blip or anyone else, be as specific as you can about what it is that you find so unacceptable about monarchy?


If there's no link, the only reason to keep it is that it's too much hassle to get rid of. Which isn't really an argument in favour of monarchy, but an argument in favour of how obselete it's role is.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#104  Postby logical bob » Jan 24, 2011 1:04 pm

Paul G wrote:If there's no link, the only reason to keep it is that it's too much hassle to get rid of. Which isn't really an argument in favour of monarchy, but an argument in favour of how obselete it's role is.

I'm no monarchist and the hassle argument was all was really offering... but I'd question the assumption that everything needs to be set up in such a way that there's an argument for it being that way and no other.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#105  Postby Blip » Jan 24, 2011 1:09 pm

logical bob wrote:I guess we'll just agree to differ as you clearly feel strongly about it. :dunno: First our debate on tuition fees, now this... You must bring out my inner Tory or something. :british:

Or perhaps just my inner devil's advocate.


Oh yes, I'd forgotten you were mistaken about tuition fees also :hide: :lol:
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#106  Postby byofrcs » Jan 24, 2011 1:26 pm

Paul G wrote:
logical bob wrote:
Blip wrote:
Because they are constitutional monarchies too? The point is well-made, of course, but I'd also hold up Iceland as another Nordic example of a progressive society. Perhaps the relatively advanced attitudes prevalent in these societies are a matter of overall culture rather than any specific constitutional arrangements?

That's exactly what I mean. There seems to be no link between whether a country has a monarch and what kind of society it is. Which is why I wonder whether it matters.

Could you, Blip or anyone else, be as specific as you can about what it is that you find so unacceptable about monarchy?


If there's no link, the only reason to keep it is that it's too much hassle to get rid of. Which isn't really an argument in favour of monarchy, but an argument in favour of how obselete it's role is.


Not really - there is one role that the Monarch has that suits me. As an anarchist (without labels etc etc) then I see the Monarch as a useful circuit-breaker for democracy. Done correctly, a Monarch is an anarchist in waiting in that they should oppose any unjustified rule by those who have got into power through popular vote but don't accept that they are now unpopular and have been asked to go by the people.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#107  Postby Paul G » Jan 24, 2011 1:42 pm

byofrcs wrote:
Paul G wrote:
logical bob wrote:
That's exactly what I mean. There seems to be no link between whether a country has a monarch and what kind of society it is. Which is why I wonder whether it matters.

Could you, Blip or anyone else, be as specific as you can about what it is that you find so unacceptable about monarchy?


If there's no link, the only reason to keep it is that it's too much hassle to get rid of. Which isn't really an argument in favour of monarchy, but an argument in favour of how obselete it's role is.


Not really - there is one role that the Monarch has that suits me. As an anarchist (without labels etc etc) then I see the Monarch as a useful circuit-breaker for democracy. Done correctly, a Monarch is an anarchist in waiting in that they should oppose any unjustified rule by those who have got into power through popular vote but don't accept that they are now unpopular and have been asked to go by the people.


How would they do that? If a group wanted to seize power, as long as they had control of the police and army, no monarchy will stand in their way. Even if it's not such an extreme situation and they simply won't relinquish power, what is there to stop them ignoring the monarch aswell?

Hell, what if the monarch at the time supported them?
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#108  Postby byofrcs » Jan 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Paul G wrote:
byofrcs wrote:
Paul G wrote:

If there's no link, the only reason to keep it is that it's too much hassle to get rid of. Which isn't really an argument in favour of monarchy, but an argument in favour of how obselete it's role is.


Not really - there is one role that the Monarch has that suits me. As an anarchist (without labels etc etc) then I see the Monarch as a useful circuit-breaker for democracy. Done correctly, a Monarch is an anarchist in waiting in that they should oppose any unjustified rule by those who have got into power through popular vote but don't accept that they are now unpopular and have been asked to go by the people.


How would they do that? If a group wanted to seize power, as long as they had control of the police and army, no monarchy will stand in their way. Even if it's not such an extreme situation and they simply won't relinquish power, what is there to stop them ignoring the monarch aswell?

Hell, what if the monarch at the time supported them?


Ooo I love extreme examples being used to prove a rule that someone doesn't. You probably should then read up on UK constitutional law. The military in the UK is commanded by the Monarch so trying to take over Parliament without the Army would be rather hard to do. You would have to create a new army in opposition or subvert the current commissioned officers (who have a commission from the Queen) or install your own army bosses. Welcome to civil war.

Equally if the Monarch supported someone illegally taking power without the mandate of the people then you also have a civil war on your hands if it went to extremes.

Equally if the current Prime Minister ignored an election result then they risk civil war if they try and stay in power without the Monarchy (and the Army) - though they would probably just be frog marched out of Parliament and their expenses stopped.

British society has already tried the civil war route years ago and the result is that we've balanced the monarchy as a titular head of state with a Prime Minister and cabinet voted by popular mandate. The balance seems self righting through quite a wide variety of election results.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#109  Postby Panderos » Jan 24, 2011 5:48 pm

Blip wrote:
Panderos wrote:Here is the rule: If monarchies work well, keep them. If not, remove them. The End.

I've already acknowledged the pragmatic argument, Panderos, but my objection is on principle. A hereditary head of state is simply inappropriate in the 21st century.

Would you favour an inferior system because it is not anachronistic?

Blip wrote:I think I may have already commented favourably on your avatar, by the way: if not, I do so now :)

I thank you :)
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#110  Postby Blip » Jan 24, 2011 7:13 pm

Panderos wrote:
Blip wrote:
Panderos wrote:Here is the rule: If monarchies work well, keep them. If not, remove them. The End.

I've already acknowledged the pragmatic argument, Panderos, but my objection is on principle. A hereditary head of state is simply inappropriate in the 21st century.

Would you favour an inferior system because it is not anachronistic?


No, I would not. It is however hard to imagine (in this very particular context) something morally inferior to inherited privilege :)
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#111  Postby Panderos » Jan 24, 2011 7:30 pm

Therefore you favour only the best system, which means you agree with me that anachronisms doesn't come into it.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#112  Postby Paul G » Jan 24, 2011 7:46 pm

byofrcs wrote:
Paul G wrote:
byofrcs wrote:

Not really - there is one role that the Monarch has that suits me. As an anarchist (without labels etc etc) then I see the Monarch as a useful circuit-breaker for democracy. Done correctly, a Monarch is an anarchist in waiting in that they should oppose any unjustified rule by those who have got into power through popular vote but don't accept that they are now unpopular and have been asked to go by the people.


How would they do that? If a group wanted to seize power, as long as they had control of the police and army, no monarchy will stand in their way. Even if it's not such an extreme situation and they simply won't relinquish power, what is there to stop them ignoring the monarch aswell?

Hell, what if the monarch at the time supported them?


Ooo I love extreme examples being used to prove a rule that someone doesn't. You probably should then read up on UK constitutional law. The military in the UK is commanded by the Monarch so trying to take over Parliament without the Army would be rather hard to do. You would have to create a new army in opposition or subvert the current commissioned officers (who have a commission from the Queen) or install your own army bosses. Welcome to civil war.

Equally if the Monarch supported someone illegally taking power without the mandate of the people then you also have a civil war on your hands if it went to extremes.

Equally if the current Prime Minister ignored an election result then they risk civil war if they try and stay in power without the Monarchy (and the Army) - though they would probably just be frog marched out of Parliament and their expenses stopped.

British society has already tried the civil war route years ago and the result is that we've balanced the monarchy as a titular head of state with a Prime Minister and cabinet voted by popular mandate. The balance seems self righting through quite a wide variety of election results.


What makes those extreme examples?

It's all fine now we're a relatively stable democracy and with a good monarch. Or it is that we're British and above all that third world malarkey?
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#113  Postby jamest » Jan 24, 2011 7:59 pm

logical bob wrote:James, I find myself in the curious position of agreeing with you.

Don't sound so peturbed!

All the arguments for becoming a republic seem to be about symbolism - we don't like what monarchy represents.

Exactly. It all boils down to an inferiority complex.

It's like hereditary peers and bishops in the House of Lords. Nobody likes the idea but the old style House of Lords did a pretty good job of restricting the sillier ideas of governments of both parties. When we finally end up with a fully elected second chamber we'll find it full of the same lightweights and yes men as the House of Commons.

One problem with having hereditary peers and bishops, etc., is that they might not have the necessary expertise/knowledge sufficient to do the job. Another problem, is that most of them were/are Conservatives. Hence, that's primarily why it's been Liberal (Parliament Act 1911) and Labour politicans (since) that have fervently sought reform.

Constitutions are as good as the people who write them. That ours has evolved organically over centuries is no bad thing.

Fixed constitutions constrain required changes. So do symmetrical bicameral legislatures (two chambers with equal legislative power). That's why I much prefer our system to that of the US, for example, where bills are potentially much more difficult to pass, and changing the constitution is extremely difficult.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#114  Postby Panderos » Jan 24, 2011 8:55 pm

The House of Lords certainly works better that I predict Nick Clegg's totally elected system will. Its far from perfect though.

It is a separate debate however and one I'd happily engage in if someone were to start the topic.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#115  Postby byofrcs » Jan 25, 2011 6:33 am

There is one aspect of the Monarchy that I don't like and that it is compelled from birth and so against the spirit of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights in that this is no different from a person who was born into slavery and was compelled by birth to perform a certain role. That said the monarch (I think) has a choice and can not become the monarch though I don't know if the laws are phrased in such a way as to avoid accusations of servitude of the Monarch to their role.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#116  Postby Thommo » Jan 25, 2011 7:17 am

Blip wrote:
logical bob wrote:Could you, Blip or anyone else, be as specific as you can about what it is that you find so unacceptable about monarchy?


Positions should not be awarded on a hereditary basis, but on merit or by popular mandate (the two being by no means the same, of course :) ). It's widely agreed, I believe, that the current incumbent is up to the job, but this is a happy coincidence and not one on which we can - or should have to - rely.


Bravo Blip, though with that tiara on your head I can't help wonder whether there isn't a hidden agenda and a design for usurping the throne behind all this! :think:
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#117  Postby Blip » Jan 25, 2011 9:22 am

Panderos wrote:Therefore you favour only the best system, which means you agree with me that anachronisms doesn't come into it.


I'm not sure how you arrived at the idea that I favour only the best system from my response that modernity is not the be-all-and-end-all, Panderos :) . My opposition to hereditary privilege derives from principle, not the fact that it is an anachronism. My reference to the 21st century was in the context of wider education, consensual rights and so on.

Thommo wrote:Bravo Blip, though with that tiara on your head I can't help wonder whether there isn't a hidden agenda and a design for usurping the throne behind all this! :think:


:rofl:
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#118  Postby Paul G » Jan 25, 2011 10:18 am

byofrcs wrote:There is one aspect of the Monarchy that I don't like and that it is compelled from birth and so against the spirit of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights in that this is no different from a person who was born into slavery and was compelled by birth to perform a certain role. That said the monarch (I think) has a choice and can not become the monarch though I don't know if the laws are phrased in such a way as to avoid accusations of servitude of the Monarch to their role.


I would love to see a monarch get out of their position using article 4!
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#119  Postby logical bob » Jan 25, 2011 10:27 am

byofrcs wrote:There is one aspect of the Monarchy that I don't like and that it is compelled from birth and so against the spirit of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights in that this is no different from a person who was born into slavery and was compelled by birth to perform a certain role.

There's no compulsion. The monarch can abdicate as Edward VIII did.
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Re: How many british republicans do we have?

#120  Postby Panderos » Jan 25, 2011 1:24 pm

Blip wrote:
I'm not sure how you arrived at the idea that I favour only the best system from my response that modernity is not the be-all-and-end-all, Panderos :) . My opposition to hereditary privilege derives from principle, not the fact that it is an anachronism. My reference to the 21st century was in the context of wider education, consensual rights and so on.
:rofl:


Ok, so would you prefer a worse system that is better in your opinion 'in principle'?
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