The Monarchy Works Which Is Why British Republicanism Is Dead

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Larry Elliott points out – rather sadly – that British Republicanism is pretty dead as a viable idea. There being a rather good reason for this over and above the one he gives:

Persuading Britain to choose a replacement for the Queen from the current crop of politicians, tarnished as they are by economic torpor, the expenses scandal and Brexit, would be a complete non-starter.

Sure, we need to have a head of state. Someone, if you like, to pin the Victoria Cross on the brave lads and lasses. OK.

So, who would we have got as an elected head of state? I can imagine Thatcher having booted Heseltine upstairs. Lord knows who Major would have tried on us and Blair would undoubtedly have tried President John Prescott. Cameron would have invited Ru Paul to come over and do the job.

This being to ask Thomas Sowell’s question again, “Compared to what?”

But there’s another point here.

The constitutional monarchies of North West Europe are among the richest, freest, despite modern whingeing most equal societies, that have ever existed. Why screw with what works?

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Boganboy
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Boganboy

That was basically the reason I voted no in the last referendum on the republic here in Oz. Liz has roughly the same powers as Vicky did in 1900, because the constitution was written about then. Suppose we call the Governor-General a President and he tries to actually exercise those powers. Now if he was doing what I wanted (visions of the Greens and the activists being booted into the gas chamber flow furiously through my mind) that’d be ok, but what if he used that power to further the other sides’ agenda. That’s why we have checks and balances,… Read more »

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

It’s often claimed that the monarchy imposes huge costs on the UK. But of course it also brings substantial benefits, not least in the form of tourism.

Compare and contrast the President of Germany, who costs his country a similar sum, although almost no-one could name him (even in Germany). And I doubt many tourists visit Berlin in the hope of catching a glimpse of him or watching the guard change outside his office.

Q46
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Q46

The Civil List cost is substantially less than the revenue surrendered from Crown Estates to the Treasury under an agreement made by George III (I think) in exchange for an annual stipend.

For those who complain, there could be a return to the prior situation whereby Government pays nothing but the Monarch keeps the revenue from the Crown Estates and funds their activities on behalf of the Nation out of that.

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

We might choose between three systems, an elected head of state who also heads the executive such as in the USA, and elected head of state and a separate elected head of the executive, such as in Germany or a hereditary head of state and a head of the executive selected by our elected representatives such as we have now, allegedly. Allegedly, because we have an unelected head of the executive, one President Juncker, whose wish is to abolish the state, whilst performing the incongruous feat of becoming a de facto head of state. Seems like the system we have… Read more »

Andrew Carey
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Andrew Carey

Been studied, notably by Besley and Reynal-Querol which found that weak democratic governments result in more prosperity than the 3 counter-factuals they looked at. There’s a real danger in the UK that one party could get 350+ Westminster seats on a not very high % of the vote. The monarchy couldn’t restrain them and the Lords could delay them only a little. Before you know it your freedoms are gone, and you will bow before the State, thy Lord and Saviour. The US and Switzerland with their highly devolved systems are good. In the UK a stronger second chamber with… Read more »

K P
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K P

How good are constitutional monarchies at avoiding civil strife compared to republics.
I would contend that if you wish your children to live in peace, the track record of the monarchies over the past 100 years is better.