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.'
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.
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