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Old 09-19-2007, 04:38 AM   #16
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I have an interest in European history generally, and the history of monarchies declines in interest in direct proporation to its declining influence.

So, for example, Queen Elizabeth II, of no interest to me at all.

Henry VIII, quite another story. For England and later the Greater Britain, the civil war seems to mark the point where the monarch stopped mattering all that much.

Yes, England owed its modern cultural existence to successive waves of Germanic invaders. Before them it was a Celtic culture.

All the funnier when you consider the 'dirty Hun' propganda around the time of the First World War, this with a royal family only recently unshackled of its earlier name: Saxe Coburg Gotha.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


On the other hand, it helps that Elizabeth II is very self-disciplined and stays out of politics. There is not necessarily any guarantee that her successors will maintain that kind of polity.

In a worse case scenario, you can have a nation like Thailand, whose monarch, while not officially in control, is widely worshiped by the populace and feels free to undermine democratically-elected governments as he sees appropriate. In other words, there are instances where the monarch can have unduly influence in a theoretically "democratic government," where even their mere presence can stand for something overtly political.

So while I agree that a monarch like Elizabeth II hurts no one and can be a symbol for something "greater," this is a position that can be abused, even symbolically.

I've come to the view, Melon, that the underlying cultural bedrock counts for an awful lot in these cases.

Ie. some places at some times in history may be wonderful democracies on paper, but something altogether different in practise.

And vice versa.

England, after the afore mentioned civil war, seemed to grow up a bit, I feel. And although it's kept its lords and ladies to this day (at least officially), I don't get the sense of much interest in any of that any more. Prime Minister and Cabinet is the supreme head of power, practically speaking, and any future king or queen who wants to challenge that, is liable to find themselves in a world of hurt.

That would be my observation.

The last King of Britain who tried anything on was Edward VIII and he did not last long.



...Now as for my personal opinions. I think monarchy has little place in a democratic age. Which we are nominally in, now. But that is a relatively recent development, and I'm not sure certain countries have managed the transition all that well (in my view the USA abruptly chopped off its king and thus needed an equally king-like replacement, in the style of its particular Presidency).

What fascinates me about history is that everything has a cause and effect. Monarchies are the holdovers from an era when they did matter, that's all. Virtually all the important families in England for example would be descendants from a period when the ruling king of each region, and of England itself, operated rather like a modern mayor or prime minister. Basically running shit, with a bit of administrative help if they were lucky.

Although there's a lot to dislike about the United Kingdom, I can't help but admire its shambolic progress toward a sort of democracy without too much bloodshed. That was an 800 year process, at least (And people scoff at the Middle East!)

Compare and contrast with some of the continental monarchies which went from absolute ruler to... what? chaos? overnight (eg. in the event of revolution).

France and Russia spring to mind. And I say that only from the point of view of how pleasant it might have been to have lived through their respective periods of turmoil.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:57 PM   #18
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Originally posted by anitram
That's all highly debatable
Which part of what I wrote is "highly debatable" besides my view of Canada becoming a country in 1982? I graciously gave you an out on this one Everthing else I wrote CANNOT be debated so you must be having a laugh or something. It is all FACT if you like them or not. I'll even supply some links for you to help you out.

Canadian Gov't Structure - http://canada.gc.ca/howgoc/glance_e.html

Dept Justice - Constitution Acts 1867-1982 - http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/const/index.html

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Originally posted by anitram
very symbolic with almost no practical application in Canadian day-to-day life.
The above links would tell you just how wrong you are. The Crown is symbolic but also very practical in the the day-to-day life of Canadians. It's the embodiment of the Canadian state. All laws flow from it. All Parliamentary bills must be passed by it. The Crown is 1 of 3 pieces of the Parliament of Canada and therefore the Goverment! Are you telling me that the Government of Canada doesn't effect the day-to-day life of Canadians?? Again, read up on the subject because at this point, arguing facts are pointless.

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Frankly I'm not sure how many Constitutional experts would agree with you that the Crown's role is a significant one in Canada; it's certainly not a sentiment I've come across at all.
How many constitutional experts do you know? Well I know a few, and one thing is for certain they would most certainly agree with me or they wouldn't be constitutional experts. That would be because the facts are the facts. They laughingly wouldn't even debate with someone that at the very least isn't read up on a subject to debate with in the first place. You see, I'm speaking from a factual angle and you seem to be speaking from a personal idea unsubstantiated by facts. This is a common mistake I see countless times in debates about this subject. I'm not surprised.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:40 PM   #19
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You seem to be taking the subject very seriously.

I don't see what facts you have pointed out to show that the Crown has a day-to-day practical effect on Canadians. By the Crown, I'm referring to the British monarch, not the representatives thereof (like the Crown of the MAG and so on). They operate entirely free of any interference from the Monarch. The Monarch cannot legislate for Canada, and by convention does not partake in political debate or political influence any longer. The Privy Council plays absolutely no binding role in our judiciary and everything you've mentioned is highly symbolic and of little to no practical use.

And I'm not going to debate with you, because you sound patronizing and the notion I haven't read up on the subject is a completely inaccurate assumption. Particularly given that I co-authored a constitutional submission to Parliament this past June. That's not to say I am an expert, but your post is insulting given you know absolutely nothing about me or my interests.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:48 PM   #20
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Sorry if I've sounded too serious and I certainly didn't mean to insult you. It just gets a bit frusrating explaining things which seem quite obvious. I thought the points I made were very clear.

The Queen/Governor General/Crown/Sovereign(all the same thing), is practical in the very simple sense that it's a major, integral part of how the Government of Canada operates. Canada in it's current form cannot exist without it. That surely must be very important. You would have to re-write(constitutionally) what Canada is.

The Queen is Canada's Head of State in it's own right separately from any other country the same way the President of the USA is it's Head of State.
If you remove the position of President of the USA, could the US exist? It couldn't. It's the same thing with Canada, it's a working part of the governmental machine. So on a day-to-day basis the existence of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada or simply Government of Canada, is a very real and important part of our current system.

The government uses the power but needs the Head of State to balance it. They need each other for Canada to exist. I like the famous quote, the monarch "reigns" but does not "rule".

I think you are perhaps confused with the Canadian Crown and Britain's. The two are not connected legally. The Queen of Canada and The Queen of Great Britain, though being the same person, are entirely different things. The Queen's role in Canada is purely Canadian by role and invention. She acts as Canada's Queen while in Canada and for varying things outside Canada, like at the recent Vimy ceremonies in France. Same goes for Oz, NZ, etc.

Cheers,

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Old 09-19-2007, 11:42 PM   #21
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Yes, the system as set up in Canada and Australia are highly comparable.

I'm not sure in what way Anitram is wrong, unless it's a matter of semantics. A monarch who 'reigns but does not rule', is, very much, a symbol. That is what the Crown (and its representatives) are: a symbol.

The Governor-General likewise reigns but does not rule. Bills of Parliament go to him or her, but - and this is the key point - long precedent and convention make it almost inconceivable that any bill would be rejected.

In theory the Queen or her representatives could refuse government bills and put an end to any government's life fairly quickly. But convention and precedent have a huge impact on what actually occurs in reality. There's theoretical power, and then there's real existing power. And these days parliaments (but really the executive) hold all the chips.

One doesn't need to be a constitutional expert to debate these broad concepts. This is basic civics that any Commonwealth citizen ought to be taught in school.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Slipstream
If you remove the position of President of the USA, could the US exist? It couldn't.
Sure it could. The Constitution specifically provides for the possibility of a new Constitutional Convention, and prescribes how it would come about (two-thirds of the individual state assemblies submit petitions specifying a common purpose for the proposed Convention). While I can't see it happening, as there's effectively no popular will for it, in principle there's no reason why we couldn't go that route to, e.g., overhaul the Constitution to provide for a parliamentary system rather than a presidential one. It wouldn't mean the country would cease to exist.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:16 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kieran McConville

I'm not sure in what way Anitram is wrong, unless it's a matter of semantics. A monarch who 'reigns but does not rule', is, very much, a symbol. That is what the Crown (and its representatives) are: a symbol.
Yes, precisely my point.

BTW, Kieran, do you know much about Australian criminal law? Your jurisdictions are driving me absolutely bonkers with their code/common law splits. And you have a federal criminal code (Commonwealth), correct? Does that cover only laws under federal jurisdiction (as in the US) or is it a model penal code? So frustrating! Sorry to detract from the topic at hand.
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:22 AM   #24
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Anitram, I know very little about Australian criminal law (not in detail, see this IS the area where one defers to experts).

I was of the impression that each state had a criminal code, and it may be that this coexists with a federal code (the higher overriding the former if there were a case of conflict, the lower prevailing if the higher takes no position).

Honestly, I don't know, although I should.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:09 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Pretty much all of Northern Europe is some combination of mostly Germanic, mixed in with earlier Celtic ancestry, so it shouldn't really be surprising that their royal families are that way too.

It might be some surprise to people in that "English" is pretty much entirely Germanic in origin, all the way from the early migrations of Germanic Anglo-Saxons to the French-cultured Normans (e.g., "Norsemen," also of Germanic stock). In fact, had the Normans not been whores for all things "French," modern England would probably have much in common culturally with Scandinavia today, not just from an ancestral POV.


The only original true Britons were the druids and the 'Stonehenge' type people. The invasions of the Romans, French, Norsemen and Germanic tribes have changed the bloodline and the language.

Quote:
As for monarchies, in general, I find them interesting to study, historically, but I don't see too much use for them today. But I guess their value for each country with an old monarchy to decide for themselves.
Over time, Britain has been ruled by Britons, French and Germans, depending on which family/dynasty was in power. There have been many over the centuries. The current monarchy line dates to Queen Victoria and was originally called "Saxe Coborg -Gotha", but was changed to "Windsor" during WWI when all German names- apparently even your own- fell out of fashion when sauerkraut became 'liberty cabbage.' Technically, the changeover dates to the early 1700's when, due to the death of Queen Anne(last of the British-Scottish Stuart line)* with no surviving children (she'd had 11) the next in line for the throne was a cousin, George I from the House of Hanover which was in Germany. It died out again in the 1830's, and went to another German cousin, Victoria. Because the royal families always intermarried to keep the marriages 'equal', they are all mixed anyway.

As much as American hillbillies get joked on for being 'inbreeders' there are no bigger inbreeders than the British royal family of the past. Queen Victoria had nine children, and encouraged her grandchildren to marry amongst each other. Many, many married first cousins, later second. Diana Spencer and Sarah Ferguson were the first 'new blood' in the family in hundreds of years.

*footnote: there were more Stuart cousins who could have been chosen after Anne's death, but because they were Catholics, they were not accepted by the British Government or Church of England and they went for the nearest Protestant. The Catholic Stuart line later attempted twice to take back the throne by force but were thwarted. (see "Bonnie Prince Charlie")
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:57 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


Yes, precisely my point.

BTW, Kieran, do you know much about Australian criminal law? Your jurisdictions are driving me absolutely bonkers with their code/common law splits. And you have a federal criminal code (Commonwealth), correct? Does that cover only laws under federal jurisdiction (as in the US) or is it a model penal code? So frustrating! Sorry to detract from the topic at hand.
It's dumb, huh!
Our problems began with federation, but history aside, it stands that QLD, NT, WA and I think TAS enacted their own codes based on Sir Samuel Griffith's draft back in 1890, but the rest of us are based on common law, so it's all previous case decisions and statutes. In 1995 we tried to implement the Commonwealth criminal code so we'd all be under the one criminal law system but it never really took and the states still stick to their own. Thankfully, all jurisdictions work on very similar categories so some argue that our system ain't broke... I digress.

Want me to dig out some detailed explanations for you?
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:54 AM   #27
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i think monarchy is pretty much irrelevant in this day and age and it annoys me how much time certain newspapers in the uk devote to the royal family and how many pints harry drank at a jolly good social evening with the rest of his upper class twit friends and hangers-on.

the monarchy is a fascinating part of the history of england places like the tower of london should be preserved and held in high esteem because of all of the events that it has witnessed over the last 1000 years. however since the enlightenment of the 18th century, i don't think there has been much point in having monarch if their influence on politics is minimal at best.
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:16 AM   #28
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Originally posted by AnnRKeyintheUSA


The only original true Britons were the druids and the 'Stonehenge' type people. The invasions of the Romans, French, Norsemen and Germanic tribes have changed the bloodline and the language.
Actually the majority of people in the British isles are still generally descendants of a pre-celtic people....the invasions of the Romans, Saxons and Normans just changed the bloodlines of the ruling class and the general culture, but not really the genetic makeup of the whole populations.
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:52 AM   #29
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Originally posted by DrTeeth
I don't think you can speak of a true democracy when you can't elect the head of state, even though it has its benefits. The fact that someone's position in a government is determined by the family he or she's born in, is not something to be proud of.
if we'd let the Dutch population vote their king/queen we'd probably have King Marco Borsato 1 right now

which would be even worse


as long as the role of the monarchy stays as what it is now I like it
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