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Old 09-17-2007, 05:36 PM   #1
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Monarchy

Any scholars of European monarchical dynasties here?

It's kind of odd that the British royal family is largely Germanic in roots:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_o...burg_and_Gotha

Whereas the Stuart Jacobite line http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobitism

though originating in the Scottish highlands, now mainly live in Germany, it appears:-

http://jacobite.ca/kings/index.htm


And as for Ireland - neither of the above lines are legitimate (at least from the point of view of Irish nationalists) even though both, for a period, claimed dominion of one sort or another over Ireland, but then there is the O Conor Don:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Conor_Don

"According to the obituary published in the Irish Times on 22 July 2000, "it is generally acknowledged that the holder of the title would be the foremost claimant to the Irish throne, if one were proposed. Over the last few hundred years, members of the O'Conor family have continued to contribute to the social, political, cultural and religious life of Ireland. The fact that they remained staunchly Catholic during the dark days of the Penal Laws in the eighteenth century, is a source of great pride."

What are FYM'rs views on monarchies? I think I'm not necessarily opposed to them provided that they are largely ceremonial.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:05 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: Monarchy

Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


What are FYM'rs views on monarchies? I think I'm not necessarily opposed to them provided that they are largely ceremonial.
I wish the Bush Administration were a largely ceremonial monarchy. Or entirely ceremonial, even better.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:21 PM   #4
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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.

(Of course, it should also be noted that France's namesake, the Franks, were Germanic themselves.)

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.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:31 AM   #5
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I like the idea of non-partisan heads of state. I don't like it that our head of state is partisan. So, I like the idea of a constitutional monarchy. I wish we had one.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:51 PM   #6
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i'm glad canada has one.

i have no idea why.

to be honest, i wish the whole british empire thing had never dissolved the way it did, for canada's sake.

we'd have a far stronger voice against the americans if we were more tightly tied to britain like we used to.

that's a discussion for later...
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:27 PM   #7
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I'm a constitutional monarchist and debate about the subject quite frequently. What I find from a lot of people who are against constitutional monarchy is that they have no idea how it works in the first place. You can educate them all you want but at the end of the day they refuse to look at the facts. This is from experience and by no means referring to anyone on this forum as I find there is quite a few well read people on here

A non-partisan, head of state that represents everybody equally, I feel, is democracy working at it's best. The Sovereign holds the power but doesn't use it. The Government uses the power but doesn't hold it. Poifect!
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Slipstream
I'm a constitutional monarchist and debate about the subject quite frequently.
So what nationality are you? I'm assuming Canadian, based on your location.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:32 PM   #9
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Yip, I'm a Brit/Canadian dual citizen.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:43 PM   #10
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Frequently I find people will get confused with absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchy. Here is a list of some modern constitutional monarchies -

Australia (shared monarch Elizabeth II)
Belize (shared monarch Elizabeth II)
Canada (shared monarch Elizabeth II)
Denmark
Japan
Jordan
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Netherlands
New Zealand (shared monarch Elizabeth II)
Norway
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom (shared monarch Elizabeth II)
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Slipstream
A non-partisan, head of state that represents everybody equally, I feel, is democracy working at it's best. The Sovereign holds the power but doesn't use it. The Government uses the power but doesn't hold it. Poifect!
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.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:20 PM   #12
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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.

They can take whatever view they have, but the UK can no longer legislate for Canada, so the monarch has no practical significance for us, regardless of their personal disposition.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


They can take whatever view they have, but the UK can no longer legislate for Canada, so the monarch has no practical significance for us, regardless of their personal disposition.
Canada of course cut all legal ties with the UK in 1982. This in my view the real date Canada became a country. The Queen of Canada certainly does have a significant role in Canada, she is Canada's head of state in her own right. The Sovereign's role in Canada is a very important one. It's an integral part of Canada's constitutional monarchy system and is one third of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Senate and the House of Commons. Canada as we currently know it would not exist without it.

Citizenship and laws flow from the Crown. The monarch is the embodiment of the Canadian state, in other words, it is Canada. The Sovereign is at the centre of the Canadian Constitution. HM the Queen is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces and Honorary Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

From 2002-05, the Canadian Royal Family was involved in 269 Canadian engagements.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:45 PM   #14
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That folk like like Elizabeth, Harry, William, Charles or whoever can be held in such high esteem and do bugger all hard work to "earn" their fortune is a downright disgrace. It's like automatic nepotism.

Whether or not constitutional monarchs have power over anything anymore is beside the point. They shouldn't have been put into such a privileged position in the first place.

If we must have families who epitomise the term silver-spooner, than some other families should be given a go.

Let monarchy die....it's a part of our history I'm downright ashamed of and should be forgotten and buried in the past.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Slipstream


Canada of course cut all legal ties with the UK in 1982. This in my view the real date Canada became a country. The Queen of Canada certainly does have a significant role in Canada, she is Canada's head of state in her own right. The Sovereign's role in Canada is a very important one. It's an integral part of Canada's constitutional monarchy system and is one third of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Senate and the House of Commons. Canada as we currently know it would not exist without it.
That's all highly debatable and very symbolic with almost no practical application in Canadian day-to-day life.

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.
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:38 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, 03:45 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, 03:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
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

Quote:
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.

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
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, 05:40 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, 06:48 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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