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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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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    And those orders come from the MOD and the government. The Royal Family has no input into the running of the armed forces at all. As a former soldier I can tell you that whilst we are all pretty much very loyal to Her Majesty, the idea that she'd be able to personally order the army about, or that we'd defect to her in a stand off is ridiculous.
    If the Queen dissolved parliament there would be no official government to give orders, and as I've already made clear, the Armed Force's allegiance is to the monarch, not to the state, not to the people and not to the government. Thus, if the army supported the Queen in a civil conflict they would not be "defecting to her" they would merely be honouring their sworn oath to protect her from all enemies.

    The fact that you have served in the army in the past hardly qualifies you to make unjustifiably imperious claims about which side the army would support in a hypothetical civil war.
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    (Original post by Torpedo Fish)
    If the Queen dissolved parliament there would be no official government to give orders, and as I've already made clear, the Armed Force's allegiance is to the monarch, not to the state, not to the people and not to the government. Thus, if the army supported the Queen in a civil conflict they would not be "defecting to her" they would merely be honouring their sworn oath to protect her from all enemies.

    The fact that you have served in the army in the past hardly qualifies you to make unjustifiably imperious claims about which side the army would support in a hypothetical civil war.
    Dissolving parliament does only that- Parliament (although in reality in the event of a civil war Parliament would ignore the command). The Civil Service and the institutions of government remain intact. The Armed Forces chain-of-command ends at the Ministry of Defence. There is no mechanism by which Her Majesty could take control and issue any orders. As such any regiments that go over to the Royalist side in a hypothetical conflict would be defecting, because they'd be leaving the established Armed Forces.
    And now you mention it, although I wasnt attempting to take a position of authority, my service in the army means that I am more qualified to gauge both the loyalty to the Crown, which I did say was strong, and the chain-of-command, over which the Crown has no input. The Oath is a mere ceremonial formality and me thinks you are taking it a tad too seriously.
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    It certainly doesn't undermine it. Does anybody honestly think of the Queen when going to vote for a certain party at the general election for example?
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    Dissolving parliament does only that- Parliament (although in reality in the event of a civil war Parliament would ignore the command). The Civil Service and the institutions of government remain intact. The Armed Forces chain-of-command ends at the Ministry of Defence.
    In reference to your first point, as well as the power to dissolve parliament the Queen's constitutional powers include:

    "..the power to dismiss the Government at any time and for any reason or for none. No exercise of this power could be struck down by any court of law. This power was last exercised in the United Kingdom by William IV in 1834, but it remains in place. It was exercised with devastating effect in 1975 in Australia."

    http://www.republic.org.uk/What%20we...tion/index.php

    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    There is no mechanism by which Her Majesty could take control and issue any orders.
    And secondly in reference to the above:

    "The Queen has the power to appoint whomever she wishes to be the Prime Minister. Equally, if she so decided, she could appoint nobody to the office and could keep it vacant. There is no legal requirement even that the person appointed as Prime Minister be a Member of Parliament."

    http://www.republic.org.uk/What%20we...tion/index.php

    So whilst there may be no mechanism by which the Queen could directly take control of the Armed Forces or issue any orders, she could clearly appoint whomever she wished to issue them on her behalf.

    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    As such any regiments that go over to the Royalist side in a hypothetical conflict would be defecting, because they'd be leaving the established Armed Forces.
    It is thus plainly apparent that if the Queen were to appoint a pawn Prime Minister to do her bidding and give orders on her behalf, no such defection would be required for the Army to support the "Royalist side".

    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    And now you mention it, although I wasnt attempting to take a position of authority, my service in the army means that I am more qualified to gauge both the loyalty to the Crown, which I did say was strong, and the chain-of-command, over which the Crown has no input. The Oath is a mere ceremonial formality and me thinks you are taking it a tad too seriously.
    As I said before, I don't believe that a single ex-soldier's anecdotal experience of a very limited sample of the armed forces qualifies you to make such speculations. Those you came into contact with during your service are but a tiny fraction of the whole, and as such, are hardly representative of the views of the entire British Army.
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    Yes. Quite obviously, it's funamentally undemocratic to have an hereditary monarch as head-of-state. There can scarcely be an argument about that.
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    (Original post by Torpedo Fish)
    In reference to your first point, as well as the power to dissolve parliament the Queen's constitutional powers include:

    "..the power to dismiss the Government at any time and for any reason or for none. No exercise of this power could be struck down by any court of law. This power was last exercised in the United Kingdom by William IV in 1834, but it remains in place. It was exercised with devastating effect in 1975 in Australia."

    http://www.republic.org.uk/What%20we...tion/index.php
    What is your point? I know the Queen has the power to dissolve Parliament. In reality, in the event of this hypothetical civil war between Crown and Parliament, Parliament will simply ignore any command to dissolve. Why on Earth would they obey some one they are at war with?

    And secondly in reference to the above:

    "The Queen has the power to appoint whomever she wishes to be the Prime Minister. Equally, if she so decided, she could appoint nobody to the office and could keep it vacant. There is no legal requirement even that the person appointed as Prime Minister be a Member of Parliament."

    http://www.republic.org.uk/What%20we...tion/index.php

    So whilst there may be no mechanism by which the Queen could directly take control of the Armed Forces or issue any orders, she could clearly appoint whomever she wished to issue them on her behalf.

    It is thus plainly apparent that if the Queen were to appoint a pawn Prime Minister to do her bidding and give orders on her behalf, no such defection would be required for the Army to support the "Royalist side".
    You're having a laugh if you think the government would let Her Majesty's pawn PM just waltz down into Whitehall and take control.

    As I said before, I don't believe that a single ex-soldier's anecdotal experience of a very limited sample of the armed forces qualifies you to make such speculations. Those you came into contact with during your service are but a tiny fraction of the whole, and as such, are hardly representative of the views of the entire British Army.
    I find it very amusing that at the same time you say this, you yourself are attempting to give a definitive answer of the views of the entire British Army. All soldiers go through the same basic training, we are all moulded the same. We use the same weapons, the same equipment, we eat the same food, we observe the same disciplinary and fitness standards. The tiny fraction of the Army I came into contact with is more than enough to give a representative view, and it's clear you actually don't have a clue on how the Army works if you think the Crown has any de facto power over us. Come on, seriously, walk me through a timeline of how exactly you think a Royal Coup d'état is going to play out.
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    Democracy isnt perfect. Few people would argue that the editor of the sun doesnt have a hugely disproportionate number of votes. Its the best system we have.

    Sometimes a little teensy bit of something is enough to solve a problem with another thing. The chromium in stainless steel for example.

    In this case the monarch lets democracy get on with it but is there to ensure there are no mishaps. A safety mechanism to patch a flaw in the system. Its conceivable that a rich bnp supporter cold buy some newspapers.

    So no i dont think it undermines it. I think it supports it by answering a valid criticism.
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    (Original post by Torpedo Fish)
    If the Queen dissolved parliament there would be no official government to give orders, and as I've already made clear, the Armed Force's allegiance is to the monarch, not to the state, not to the people and not to the government. Thus, if the army supported the Queen in a civil conflict they would not be "defecting to her" they would merely be honouring their sworn oath to protect her from all enemies.

    The fact that you have served in the army in the past hardly qualifies you to make unjustifiably imperious claims about which side the army would support in a hypothetical civil war.
    The Queen can't dissolve Parliament anymore - Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011.
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    (Original post by Suetonius)
    Yes. Quite obviously, it's funamentally undemocratic to have an hereditary monarch as head-of-state. There can scarcely be an argument about that.
    So...you're ignoring the many years of constant debate on this forum, let alone decades of it in the wider world, and the fact that the republicans lost a forum-wide referendum a week or so ago, and still claim there's 'scarcely' an argument?

    Good grief.
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    (Original post by zaliack)
    The Queen can't dissolve Parliament anymore - Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011.
    Technically she continues to do so - but the freedom of movement she once had to dissolve parliament was greatly restricted by the Act you mention. The Commons still cannot dissolve itself.

    There are still certain fields in which she could just swan in and dissolve it - but that would require the Commons to be incapable of sustaining a government in power 28 days (I think) after the fall of the last government.
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    (Original post by Torpedo Fish)
    If the Queen dissolved parliament there would be no official government to give orders, and as I've already made clear, the Armed Force's allegiance is to the monarch, not to the state, not to the people and not to the government. Thus, if the army supported the Queen in a civil conflict they would not be "defecting to her" they would merely be honouring their sworn oath to protect her from all enemies.
    But you could say the same of the US Army oath - which calls upon soldiers to obey unquestioningly the orders of the President.

    Heck, soldiers have free minds, and will have to make a choice. Even for a monarchist such as myself, I think I'd know which side I'd pick if the monarchy began seizing power for itself. I'd oppose such a monarch.

    The fact that you have served in the army in the past hardly qualifies you to make unjustifiably imperious claims about which side the army would support in a hypothetical civil war.
    I think he's heaps more qualified than you, dude.
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    I don't think so; the only thing the Queen can really do is force a government to have an election.
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    In my opinion I think that it does, since it is of course itself an undemocratic institution, which promotes inequality by birthright - the opposite value to democracy which ought to favour the idea that nationally awarded status should be decided electorally.
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    (Original post by miser)
    In my opinion I think that it does, since it is of course itself an undemocratic institution, which promotes inequality by birthright - the opposite value to democracy which ought to favour the idea that nationally awarded status should be decided electorally.
    That's not democracy at all. Democracy is the translation of the will of the public into state policy.

    If we followed your reasoning, then every office of state - every one would have to be elected, including judges, police, ambassadors, bin men, civil servants, army commanders and so on.
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    (Original post by Aeschylus)
    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.
    not to mention the fact that her uncle was forced to abdicate because he said to the prime minister words to the effect of "I'm going to marry her and if you don't let me I'm going to abdicate" and an unelected head of state does not give orders to the elected head of government
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Technically she continues to do so - but the freedom of movement she once had to dissolve parliament was greatly restricted by the Act you mention. The Commons still cannot dissolve itself.

    There are still certain fields in which she could just swan in and dissolve it - but that would require the Commons to be incapable of sustaining a government in power 28 days (I think) after the fall of the last government.
    Actually, it doesn't. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act simply transfers the PM's ability to request a prorogation to Parliament, it has no effect on Her Majesty's power to prorogue Parliament of her own accord.

    EDIT: Not that I'm saying she would of course, just that she could.
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    You live and learn
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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?
    Because we VOTE in parties who are pro-monarchy.

    Although I do think that first-past-the-post voting is the biggest limit to democracy we have. 'Democracy' means people choose. In 2005 35% voted Labour - yet they had the majority of seats in parliament? How is that giving the people the choice?
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    No, to me democracy isn't simply voting for people, it's giving people a say in their governance. Since the queen is politically neutral and doesn't take an active role in parliament, I don't think that having her contradicts democracy. Germany's president is not elected by the people either and this doesn't interfere with their democracy. I think having a competent government and a greater way of making our voices heard to them is more important for democracy than replacing the monarchy, which would be purely a symbolic gesture
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    (Original post by gladders)
    That's not democracy at all. Democracy is the translation of the will of the public into state policy.

    If we followed your reasoning, then every office of state - every one would have to be elected, including judges, police, ambassadors, bin men, civil servants, army commanders and so on.
    That's not what I meant; I meant that democracy as a system values public say over birthright. The fact that our public is using its democratic power to enforce inequality through birthright is neither here nor there, though perhaps ironic.

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