Mudcat Café message #2959997 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131011   Message #2959997
Posted By: Howard Jones
07-Aug-10 - 06:57 AM
Thread Name: BS: Is Monarchy Obsolete in the UK?
Subject: RE: BS: Is Monarchy Obsolete in the UK?
Sugarfoot Jack says "We don't need the Monarchy to preside over the state, Royal prerogative is a dangerous anachronism and a joke in a society that claims to value equality and the very idea of Royal assent is an affront to democracy and the ability of a nation's people to determine their own destiny, however flawed the system they use to do that."

You're overlooking the fact that what you describe as a 1000 year old system has evolved into a constitutional monarchy in which the Royal Prerogative is effectively exercised by the elected government. Likewise the Royal Assent is a formality, and if it were ever to be refused it would result in a constitutional crisis which the monarchy would surely lose.

The point you are missing is that all these powers have to be exercised by someone. If you look at the Irish constitution, for example, where the government closely resembles the British model but with a President as head of state, the President has similar powers and responsibilities such as convening and disolving the Dail, and signing bills into law.

The question therefore is, is it better for this position to be filled by a politician or by someone who is separate from the political process? You are entitled to your view on this, but don't think it makes any difference to "the ability of a nation's people to determine their own destiny". Personally, I think the present system has served us well - when we have a monarch, such as the present Queen, who shows judgement and wisdom in exercising her powers she can make a positive contribution, and those who do not show the same talents can at least do little damage. Could the same be said about a politician?

The other alternative would be a US-style presidency, but that would mean a total upheaval of our entire governmental and political system, which I don't believe is either necessary or desirable.