Democracy's Biggest Fan Speaks

opinion Essay
1858 words
1858 words

Democracy's Biggest Fan Speaks

Democracy effectively means that we, the people, get to choose who

runs our country on our behalf. The role of a monarch as Head of

State, embodying rule by inheritance, is, therefore, anathema to the

purest concept of democracy. So, with this in mind, events in June

2003 caused a certain degree of amusement to me.


'The worst form of government-except for all the others.'

Winston Churchill

Increasing democracy is by far the most important and powerful reason

to ditch the monarchy. All other reasons either follow on from it or

pale in comparison to the strength of the argument.

The word democracy is ultimately derived from the Greek demokratia

which is a term comprised of demos - 'the people' - and kratos -

'strength, power.' So, democracy basically means that power lies in

the hands of the people. In most developed countries, this entails the

direct election of a legislative (Parliament) and an elected Head of

State (whether ceremonial or with a full range of executive powers).

Unfortunately, Britain has lagged behind other developed countries in

both these areas. Our Head of State (the Queen) and, until recently,

the majority of the House of Lords assumed power and influence solely

because of which families they were born in to. This makes Britain a

relatively undemocratic country in an increasingly democratic world.

Rule by inheritance in general makes no sense and cannot be justified

nowadays. To have the title of Head of State passed on through

heridity is just ridiculous. The Monarchy is unaccountable, insular,

secretive, unrepresentative, illogical, and anachronistic. ...

... middle of paper ...

...dismissed the dictator Antonescu and

transferred his country from Axis to the Allies, for which he was

decorated by the Great Powers, and in Bulgaria King Boris III

(although obliged to enter the war on the side of the Axis), bravely

refused to persecute Bulgarian Jews and would not commit his forces

outside his country's borders. As we have seen in Spain and Thailand,

monarchs have succeeded in defending democracy against the threat of

permanent military take-over.

Even Royal Families which are not reigning are dedicated to the

service of their people, and continue to be regarded as the symbol of

the nation. Prominent examples are H.R.H. the Duke of Braganza in

Portugal and H.R.H. the Count of Paris in France. Royal Families

forced to live in exile are often promoters of charities formed to

help their countries.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that the role of a monarch as head of state, embodying rule by inheritance, is anathema to the purest concept of democracy.
  • Explains winston churchill's argument that increasing democracy is the most powerful reason to ditch the monarchy. democracies are derived from the greek demokratia.
  • Explains that in most developed countries, this entails the direct election of a legislative (parliament) and an elected head of state.
  • Opines that the monarchy is unaccountable, insular, secretive, unrepresentative, illogical, and anachronistic.
  • Opines that a modern, forward-looking state needs an elected head of state because it represents the country's intentions and essential character.
  • Argues that a fixed term of office would minimise the president's utilisation of short-term favourable conditions to their advantage.
  • Argues that the president would be able to openly express political views as well. this would prevent the current sham whereby certain members of the royal family express their views on political matters despite their protestations that they are politically neutral.
  • Explains that the current legal position of the royal family regarding criminal prosecution is still somewhat hazy despite princess anne's conviction.
  • Opines that even if the minor royals are not immune from prosecution, it's extremely unlikely that the queen herself would face criminal charges.
  • Opines that the rights, powers, and duties of the president, prime minister, parliament, the judiciary and british citizens should be clearly laid out in a codified constitution.
  • Opines that becoming a republic would save the country some money.
  • Opines that money could be better and more justifiably utilised elsewhere. their "splendid" royal family is surrounded by expensive pomp that is unnecessary and anachronistic.
  • Opines that the head of state should try and set an example to the people. the queen currently receives income from the following five official sources: the civil list.
  • Explains that the privy purse-traditional income for private as well as public use.
  • Opines that the pomp of official ceremonies would be vastly toned down and the extensive court surrounding the monarchy would obviously be redundant. the civil list contains payments to the queen and funding for her husband, the duke of edinburgh.
  • Argues that with the former monarchy forced to live in their private residences, more (and more) state owned palaces and properties would be made available for public viewing.
  • Disagrees with the argument that less people would visit britain without a monarchy; most current tourists only get to see the public buildings and ceremonies as it is.
  • Explains that if the president fulfils only a ceremonial role, there will be fewer in the entourage, less security, better use of existing methods of transportation.
  • Argues that having the monarchy has a negative effect on this country and hinders certain aspects of social development.
  • Opines that the monarchy has a non-partisan but still political effect on society. it helps sustain inherited privilege, the crumbling yet significant class.
  • Argues that the creation of a republic would diminish the reinforcement of conservative values, ushering in important social change in its wake.
  • Opines that they would rather be regarded as an outright citizen that is the equal of all other british citizens.
  • Opines that the message is being given out if the supposed symbol of our multicultural nation does not have to abide by the race law.
  • Analyzes the advantages of a meritocracy: people feel ignored, lack self-confidence, and automatically defer to their "betters" -- the upper classes.
  • Argues that intelligence, talent and practical worth need to replace pedigree and power in a pure meritocracy.
  • Opines that becoming a republic would make british society better and less tied to an imperialist past.
  • Opines that the example of britain throwing off its feudal past may give strength to pro-democracy movements abroad.
  • Opines that the restoration of the monarchy ensured a peaceful transition to democracy, and the people of many other countries see the return to constitutional monarchy as their way forward to establishing the free society denied under extreme regimes.
  • Explains that a monarch is able to unite the nation by representing all races, creeds, classes, and political beliefs.
  • Explains that a monarch is invariably more widely popular than an executive president, who can be elected by less than 50% of the electorate. elected presidents are concerned with their political futures and power.
  • Explains that a monarch looks back on centuries of history and forward to the well-being of the entire nation under his heir.
  • Narrates how king victor emmanuel removed mussolini from office, while romania's king michael dismissed the dictator antonescu and transferred his country from axis to the allies.
  • Explains that monarchs have succeeded in defending democracy against the threat of permanent military take-over. even royal families which are not reigning are dedicated to the service of their people.
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