Should Britain Scrap the Monarchy?
The Monarchy is a waste of money, gobbling up public subsidy while doing very little. We don’t elect the monarch. Neither the people nor parliament has had much say in who is the king or queen in three hundred years. In a modern democratic society we should have the right to chose who our Head of State is.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
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The Monarchy is backward and prejudiced
The succession to the monarchy puts sons before daughters which is primitive & backwards in modern times of gender equality. Sons inherit before daughters, even if the daughter is older. This principle is called male primogeniture. This could be changed by an Act of Parliament. Some constitutional experts believe this could put the role of the monarch at risk.
The Act of Settlement restricts anyone from succession who is not a member of the Church of England, this restricts the royal family from marrying a Catholic. The most recent victim to this sinister law was Autumn Kelly, who in 2002 renounced her Catholic faith so she could marry Elizabeth Windsor's eldest grandson.
Republicans tend to argue the only way to establish what 61 million people think is to ask 61 million people as opposed to cheap media polls. They would have still been spirited to see in a 2009 BBC/ICM poll, 81% want to see reformation, the very same reformations constitutional experts fear will jeopardise the role of Monarchy. In another 2009 poll by YouGov, 54% wanted to see Monarchy reformed or abolished.
No other establishment would be able to to discriminate along these lines in a lawful manner. The outdated laws reflect how out of touch British Monarchy is.
The monarchy is obviously not democratic, the people have no say whatsoever which is unfair, because of the hereditary nature of the monarchy it means that the best person can never be picked for the job.
The monarchy represents tradition and ceremony which is unique and well loved amongst the nation. In 2007 in a BBC poll 80% of the people asked said they wanted to retain the monarchy. For many people it is a strong and even an emotive issue, we can take the example of the Save the Pound campaign in reaction to the Euro. The Queen's head on the pound represents the national identity and national pride.
Many of these things could be improved by minor changes, in 1980 the Swedish Monarchy adopted equal primogeniture replacing its previous agnatic primogeniture system allowing the eldest child regardless of gender to inherit. Similarly the Act of Succession couold be modified to allowing the marriage of Catholics but not the sucession of Catholics to the Throne itself (due to the implications it would have for the Church of England).
The monarchy has no real power
The Queen may have the power to sign off all legislation before it becomes law but she does not decide whether or not to pass laws. She is obliged to say yes to any law brought before her by the Prime Minister as the parliament who have proposed it have been elected by the people, whereas she has has not.
The Crown creates also creates all peerages and awards other honours, but peerages and most other honours are granted on the advice of the Prime Minister. Foreign dignitaries may come to visit the Queen on trips to the UK, but these visits are usually no more than photo opportunities, the Queen has no influence over foreign policy decisions.
Gordon Brown had to go and ask the queen to dissolve parliament before announcing the date of the general election, but this action was purely ceremonial. The Queen would not refuse to dissolve parliament and most people had been predicting a May 6th election for a long time before the Prime Minister emerged from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
One could argue the fact that the Queen has no real power or responsibilty in running the country means that it is not really important to abolish the monarchy. On the other hand, the Queen represents an entity above politics, and the monarchy ensures that Britain retains sound diplomatic relations with other nations through state visits.
It is also important to ask what would happen if the monarchy was scrapped, what would replace the Queen?
It is costing the tax payers money which could be better spent
The British tax payer pays about £75,000,000 a year to support the royal family. The royal family is one of the richest families in Britain and although no real figures exist for their wealth Forbes estimated that they are worth $650 million. The money we waste funding the monarchy could be used to provide free university education for the poorest students or to build affordable housing, something Britain is seriously lacking at present. During harsh economic times such as these people who are struggling to keep their jobs should not be paying taxes to maintain the life of luxury that the royal family live in.
The Queen does now pay Income Tax. It is also worth mentioning that if the monarchy was scrapped, it is likely there would be the creation of a president or something similar, in which case they too, would need to be paid from the tax payers pocket.
We shouldn't reduce matters of constitutional importance to 'tourist revenue'.
The abolition of the Monarchy is an issue of liberty, equality and democracy. It cannot simply be dismissed because it 'makes us money'.
If you ant to make the world more liberal equal and essentially meritocratic then you need to look further into the British system than the mere monarchy who are only one family. Look to inherited wealth, the old school tie network, the Oxbridge mentality. Just like you said, we should not reduce the problem of the monarchy to a merely financial argument; we should not limit the sight of our fight for liberty on the basis of a redundant monarchy.
The Monarchy contrasts the meaning of Democracy
A system of inherited authority reduces the democratic system in the UK to a secondary or, if you separate the House of Lords from the Monarchy, tertiary tier of authority. This may be symbolic but it reinforces the belief in this country that voting wont change anything. The Monarchy represent the glass ceiling. Symbolically this country's system does not support the idea of freedom of collective determination which we call democracy and so many have fought and died to preserve or spread
The existence of royalty automatically creates sub classes among the general population. This promotion of class division runs counter to a meritocracy - by skewing socio economic progress in favour of who you know rather on what you know. We now have a kleptocracy with the rich taking from the poor (eg taxpayer bailouts). On any metric (other than wealth) the monarchy is not elite and should be abolished without delay. Unfortunately - the aristocracy - those to whom power and wealth accrue - depend on the presence of the royal 'benchmark' at the top of this obscenely unfair state of affairs for their survival - if the monarchy goes so could they.
This is however taking a very old view of our democratic system. Yes theoretically the house of lords and the monarch are above the house of commons and the PM but that is not the case in practice. The highest position in reality is the Prime Minister and that should be the position of asperation rather than the monarch. Even if there became an elected president this should not be effected as the Head of State is purely a figurehead.
Monarchy is a child's creation
I read my history in college. And there's no doubt that there were a lot of childish games being played out around the world since the beginning. We are much more capable of being an intelligence above these games. But the modern day "children" in politics have a status quo that justifies the existence of a monarch. At least in their own eyes. I for one think a monarch is still a childish game that sucks a society dry of much higher potential for quality of life for the entire population.
To say that monarchy or government is a childish game seems to be to belittle the political history of most of the world for most of the period up until the 20th Century. Simply put until the acceptance of democracy, and more particularly modern communications allowing democracy monarchy was probably the best system for a large state to have. You imply that the US is more grown up than Britain, or Norway, or Japan etc. simply because it has a president? The systems are simply different rather than one being better than the other as the monarchical part is pretty much irrelevent politically in all of these states.
They bring in a lot of revenue through tourism
Britain has a thriving tourist industry thanks to the palaces and grounds that the royal family have. Many people come to London to catch the changing of the guards or hoping to catch a glimpse of the queen in one of her royal palaces. Nearly 4 million people visited one of the Historic Royal Palaces last year providing the country with income and many people with seasonal jobs at the attractions.
If you choose to holiday in either Tunisia or Morocco, would you really be wooed by Mohammed VI being on the throne?
And does anyone TRULY believe Americans go up the Peak District because Charles Windsor is going to take over the firm when his mother dies?
Would the Chinese stop taking photos of our capital if they thought Camilla Parker Bowles wasn't going to be the next Queen of England?
Despite its bias to London, and the consequential failure to properly promote British coastlines, the tourist board never uses Monarchy in any of its promotional materials.
This is because they know Britain has an image problem abroad. Some nations percieve Britain to be stuffy because of traditions like Monarchy. This is why considerably more people visit Legoland Windsor than Windsor Castle.
Most British landmarks has little or no reference to Monarchy, and where they do, there is no credible evidence whatsoever to support the ludicrous claim those tourist came here to catch a glimpse of Liz Windsor peaking out of her curtains.
If there is anything the tourism argument DOES prove, it proves Monarchists are prepared to use cheap arguments to support a supposedly majesterial institution that is supposed to be above it all.
In both France and Germany people still visit palaces such as Versailles and Charlottenburg, despite the fact that neither country have a monarchy any more. Not having a monarch would not stop people from visiting the royal palaces. In fact it would allow them to open up more of the rooms in the palaces making them more visitor friendly & create the necessary jobs & revenue.
The changing guards would probably still continue in a British Republic, as it does in Greece.
The effect on morale.
To abolish the Monarchy would be to change the atmosphere in the UK. It would ruin a tradition that many feel is part of their national identity and are comforted by it still being the same. It would not be welcomed - the national character of England is one very much set in its ways and even the smallest rituals are important. Many would see it is a ploy to replace the Queen with something more sinister or at the very least empty of meaning. This is no time to reduce overall morale.
This is utter nonsense. To begin with, the Queen’s heritage stems from Germany. In addition, Britain has always been a coloniser; it has taken over states and ran their countries. This is historical. This is why Britain is such a multicultural nation. What Britain most signifies is the mixing of races and religions. We are still working out how to do this, but there is steady progress. The monarchy does not represent this feeling of unity. Much to the contrary, they stand as a stark reminder that Britain used to rule other countries in subordinate ways. Integration and therefore morale in Britain would be much improved with the abolition of the monarchy.
Monarchies improve social equality
As argued by Chris Dillow in the Liberal Informer http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/04/28/why-i-think-the-monarchy-is-great/
the most egalitarian societies in the world tend to be monarchies.
"Never in the field of human existence has so much been taken from so many, by so few."
The royals have been collecting other peoples wealth for generations.
In the British isles the queen owns the crown estate - almost 120,000 hectares of seized agricultural land, dating from 1066 at an estimated value of £7,300,000,000 in 2010.
This wealth must be returned to the citizens of the country.
The only cost the taxpayer 62p a year
They only cost the taxpayer 62p a year
the king and queen help charity there for help people in need
it is good if you help charity and donate so this is a good reason not to 'scrap the monarchy'
What do you think?