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Do you think that having a monarch undermines the concept of democracy (in the UK)?

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  • View Poll Results: Do you think having a monarch undermines the concept of democracy (in the UK)?
    Yes
    40.24%
    No
    59.76%

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    Yes/no and reasons please.
    Personally, I don't think it does as our Queen has no real political power.
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    It depends on your definition a democracy. In the UK, we have a parliamentary democracy which according to wikipedia is defined as " the voting public takes part in elections and chooses politicians to represent them in a Legislative Assembly". From that definition, I wouldn't say that the monarchy contradicts this. Our legislatures are house of commons and house of lords. But, following on from that definition the house of lords does undermine our parliamentary democracy.

    However, I don't think undermining democracy = necessarily bad so I don't really care whether it does.
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    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    It depends on your definition a democracy. In the UK, we have a parliamentary democracy which according to wikipedia is defined as " the voting public takes part in elections and chooses politicians to represent them in a Legislative Assembly". From that definition, I wouldn't say that the monarchy contradicts this. Our legislatures are house of commons and house of lords. But, following on from that definition the house of lords does undermine our parliamentary democracy.

    However, I don't think undermining democracy = necessarily bad so I don't really care whether it does.
    Does the queen not technically have the power to dissolve parliament?
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    Of course it does, hereditary rule is the antithesis of democracy.

    And FYI although it's highly unlikely she'd ever use it, theoretically the Queen has enormous power.
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    (Original post by Cinnamon_Twist)
    Does the queen not technically have the power to dissolve parliament?
    She does that regularly before general elections. I don't see the big deal. If she did dissolve parliament on her own accord then we would simply get rid of her and become a republican. And this is irrelevant to the above definition.

    Her current role is merely ceremonial formality.
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    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    She does that regularly before general elections. I don't see the big deal. If she did dissolve parliament on her own accord then we would simply get rid of her and become a republic
    Except that all members of the armed forces swear the following allegiance:

    "I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me."

    Good luck trying to get "rid of her" with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines standing in your way.
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    Just because those who don't want a monarch happen to be in the minority, it doesn't affect democracy.

    Currently we elect pro-monarchy political parties to parliament.

    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on who to eat for dinner.

    Just because you happen to be a sheep, it doesn't make it any more or any less democratic than it would be if you were a wolf.
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    No. A constitutional monarchy is the best guarantor of democracy.

    EDIT: It just is, you republictards can neg all you want, it won't change the fact.
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    (Original post by Torpedo Fish)
    Except that all members of the armed forces swear the following allegiance:

    "I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me."

    Good luck trying to get "rid of her" with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines standing in your way.
    Yeah because swearing allegiance actually means something. That's just another example of ceremonial formality. Most soldiers aren't really that patriotic, most of them enter the army not because of a "love for this country" but because it's good pay/gives experience in a wide range of fields. Remember the outcome of the civil war?

    And you're not factoring in a international intervention.

    Also, you're forgetting that this could happen in the case of us becoming a republic. If the Queen feels threatened then she could simply dissolve parliament and according to you will have the support of the armed forces. What will you do?
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    Yes. How can you call yourself a democracy, yet have an unelected person as the head of state?
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    (Original post by Clare~Bear)
    Yes. How can you call yourself a democracy, yet have an unelected person as the head of state?
    Parliamentary democracy = the voting public takes part in elections and chooses politicians to represent them in a Legislative Assembly

    Legislative Assembly = House of commons and house of lords.

    House of commons = elected

    As you can see from the above, the queen has nothing to do with undermining the concept of a Parliamentary democracy, it's the house of lords that do that.
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    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    Yeah because swearing allegiance actually means something. That's just another example of ceremonial formality. Most soldiers aren't really that patriotic, most of them enter the army not because of a "love for this country" but because it's good pay/gives experience in a wide range of fields.
    Unless you've carried out extensive surveys to establish these claims, I'm afraid this is just baseless conjecture. In any case, it doesn't really matter what most soldiers believe in or what their motives are, soldiers merely follow orders.

    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    And you're not factoring in a international intervention.
    History has taught us that unless a country is as perceived possessing a serious international threat or is routinely committing large scale human rights violations, interventionist states tend towards supporting the status quo i.e. in this case the monarchy.

    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    Also, you're forgetting that this could happen in the case of us becoming a republic. If the Queen feels threatened then she could simply dissolve parliament and according to you will have the support of the armed forces. What will you do?
    Leave.
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    (Original post by Clare~Bear)
    Yes. How can you call yourself a democracy, yet have an unelected person as the head of state?
    Don't have to elect the head of state to have a democracy. Currently, many countries in Europe have an unelected head of state and they are fully functioning democracies.

    Indeed, in all of these countries without exception, this status quo is supported by the people.

    Any opposition to this is a clear minority, according to every opinion poll on the matter, and this has been the case ever since they have been doing opinion polls.

    So the UK monarchy is clearly supported by the people.
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    No. All the other options for a head of state in Britain seem undignified. Anyway the Queen knows all about tradition and what happens to the King who get too uppity - her son has the same name.
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    (Original post by Torpedo Fish)
    Unless you've carried out extensive surveys to establish these claims, I'm afraid this is just baseless conjecture. In any case, it doesn't really matter what most soldiers believe in or what their motives are, soldiers merely follow orders.
    Okay, want to play that game. Prove soldiers will follow their order even if it means killing citizens of their own country.

    Merely them pleading allegiance doesn't prove it just like me saying I won't kill you doesn't prove I won't kill you.

    History has taught us that unless a country is as perceived possessing a serious international threat or is routinely committing large scale human rights violations, interventionist states tend towards supporting the status quo i.e. in this case the monarchy. .
    Yes but large-scale human rights violation is exactly what will happen because the UK will be going from a democracy > authoritarianism and there will be a civil war. History has taught us that you don't change political systems without a lot blood being shed.
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    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    Okay, want to play that game. Prove soldiers will follow their order even if it means killing citizens of their own country.
    Northern Ireland.
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    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    Okay, want to play that game. Prove soldiers will follow their order even if it means killing citizens of their own country.

    Merely them pleading allegiance doesn't prove it just like me saying I won't kill you doesn't prove I won't kill you.
    I was merely pointing out that, contrary to what you initially said , it would not be as simple as just "getting rid" of the Queen should she decide to dissolve parliament, because the British Armed Forces pledge allegiance to the monarch and not to the state. Allow me to highlight the relevant part of the oath all soldiers of the British army make upon joining the army "I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty". One would assume that this would include enemies of the Queen within her own nation.

    Of course, in practice it's highly unlikely that this would ever happen, just as it's highly unlikely that the Queen would dissolve parliament in order to return to absolutism or that there would be a civil war in modern Britain. In short, the whole situation we're discussing is theoretical.

    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    Yes but large-scale human rights violation is exactly what will happen because the UK will be going from a democracy > authoritarianism and there will be a civil war. History has taught us that you don't change political systems without a lot blood being shed.
    Well again this is just speculation. 80% of British citizens support the monarchy in it's current incarnation. Concurrently most people are disillusioned with politics in this country and deeply mistrusting of politicians, so who's to say that the majority of British citizens would oppose the Queen dissolving parliament? Supposing they did, a civil war is still by no means a certainty. If indeed the British Army were to adhere to it's allegiance and defend the monarchy against all enemies, a civil war would seem completely implausible. This isn't 17th century America, the British public have no way of arming themselves to even begin to compete with the Armed Forces. In reality, any attempt at initiating a civil war would be crushed through the employment of non-lethal methods such as tear gas and water cannons.
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    (Original post by Torpedo Fish)
    I was merely pointing out that, contrary to what you initially said , it would not be as simple as just "getting rid" of the Queen should she decide to dissolve parliament, because the British Armed Forces pledge allegiance to the monarch and not to the state. Allow me to highlight the relevant part of the oath all soldiers of the British army make upon joining the army "I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty". One would assume that this would include enemies of the Queen within her own nation.

    Of course, in practice it's highly unlikely that this would ever happen, just as it's highly unlikely that the Queen would dissolve parliament in order to return to absolutism or that there would be a civil war in modern Britain. In short, the whole situation we're discussing is theoretical.
    You're contradicting yourself. How does the fact that they plead oath to the Queen prove that they will act in her favor when the enemy is their own country? Hint: it doesn't. You, yourself, just admitted that it's unlikely that the soldiers would take this order so I don't see how you refuted my original statement.

    Well again this is just speculation. 80% of British citizens support the monarchy in it's current incarnation. Concurrently most people are disillusioned with politics in this country and deeply mistrusting of politicians, so who's to say that the majority of British citizens would oppose the Queen dissolving parliament? Supposing they did, a civil war is still by no means a certainty. If indeed the British Army were to adhere to it's allegiance and defend the monarchy against all enemies, a civil war would seem completely implausible. This isn't 17th century America, the British public have no way of arming themselves to even begin to compete with the Armed Forces. In reality, any attempt at initiating a civil war would be crushed through the employment of non-lethal methods such as tear gas and water cannons.
    And a constitutional monarchy is different than a authoritarian monarchy. And arms aren't everything. Syria has lower arms rate than us (3.6 per 100 people and we're at 6 per 100 people) yet as you can clearly see they're still fighting. You're also not factoring in the likeliness of police siding with civilians, it would be guerrilla warfare which is notoriously difficult to combat. When we're dealing with freedom, humans aren't known to just sit back and take it, history has shown us people will revolt even if not straight away eventually they would.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Indeed, in all of these countries without exception, this status quo is supported by the people, and the only country where there is the slightest opposition to this is the UK.
    Surely there are republican movements in other European countries? And I know there are republican movements in some of the commonwealth realms (countries that share the British monarchy).

    (Original post by Roaroaroar)
    Yes but large-scale human rights violation is exactly what will happen because the UK will be going from a democracy > authoritarianism and there will be a civil war. History has taught us that you don't change political systems without a lot blood being shed.
    Plenty of ex-British colonies became republics quite peacefully, like Malta.
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    Surely the very purpose of democracy is to ensure that freedom of speech and the will of the majority prevails over a single person or small group controlling the masses.


    Most polls i have seen are in favour of retaining the monarchy... so democracy in action.


    I'm sure if a large enough proportion of the British public no longer wanted a monarchy they would have no choice but to abdicate and fade silently into the night.

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