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Monarchy in the democratic west of the 21st century

IceBlaZe

Atheist Proselytizer
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Nov 18, 2001
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Israel
Don't you think it is weird that in democratic countries such as england or netherlands people still take so much more respect to people who were born in a monarch family?
Each time something happens to a monarch family in england or the netherlands it takes the whole news, more important than anything else.
Not that I disrespect people, but I think it is silly that democratic countries still have 'chosen' families only by blood, tradition or no tradition.
I dont mean to be rude to austrlians or british or dutch or whoever reads this post.. just my opinion on monarchy in the 21st century.
 
You're just jealous :p;)

Well that is your opinion.

To answer, no, I do not think it is weird, or in anyway incongruous with the respective countries status as liberal democracies. I don't think it is at all silly. There are pseudo-aristocracies in every country, in terms of wealth, privilege and status. The Western monarchies are virtually the same, save that they only play a ceremonial role. But this is a role that is appreciated, respected and loved by many.

Perhaps it is just my aristocratic background speaking, ;), but it is a harmless practice, and in an age of increasingly aged populations, many people like reminders of the days of their youth, when the world was different.
 
I don't know what Canada gives (if anything) to the royal family, but personally I think monarchs are an expense we don't need.

However, I have a very British extension of my family by marriage who just loves them... looking in the T.V. Guide to find out what time the Queen's annual Christmas Day speech is on, stacks of magazines about Royals, that sort of thing. I suppose as a student of history, it's always interesting to have a living link to the past.
 
Originally posted by Simon Darkshade
You're just jealous :p;)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :p
Couldn't have said it better!

But to be serious. IMO the monarchy in The Netherlands serves a pure decorative function. The queen is more or less like a president who can do nothing a president would do. (I've even confused myself by saying this.:confused: )
At the moment most Dutch think the queen and her family are doing a fine job by representing our country and they are there when people need them. A president could do the same job but why bother to choose a president each 4 or 5 years when you can just let one family do all the dirty work.;)
Anyway, I am quite happy to see our royal family when you compare it to seeing someone like.....Bush.:D
 
Originally posted by dannyevilcat
I don't know what Canada gives (if anything) to the royal family, but personally I think monarchs are an expense we don't need.

You think presidents come for free?:eek:
Think of this: elections every (fill in a number here) years, salary for the president, protection for the president, staff for the president and so on and so further.
Think about it!
 
But Prime Ministers and Presidents actually serve as leadership. They are functional figureheads. Big difference, IMHO.
 
I am now reconsidering.
USA has a president but no prime minister right? It changes things. I was thinking about Germany, France and Israel (to name but a few examples) where they have a president and a prime-minister. In such a case the president IMO is the same as a king/queen but in the USA things are different I guess.....
 
Hmmm. Yeah, I see what you were trying to get at :)

So while we're on this monarchy topic, what exactly is the function of Presidents in places like Germany and France (or is it Premier in France?)? Surely they must have some authority?
 
Good question.

I very rarely see their presidents on television, its always their prime-ministers doing the talking and taking care of affairs. So I reckon those presidents don't have an awful lot to say in politics either (just as a monarch).

Can any German, French or Israeli tell us what their president does please?
 
Nothing in our country ;)
well, its just some sort of a diplomatic honorable figure... it has its says on things happening in the country, but he doesnt change anything.
the only thing he can do I think is give pre-releases to prisoners. besides, he always says stuff, takes part in important funerals and all that kind of ****... but you cant compare the amuont of money wasted on a kingdon than an amount of money wasted on a president...

On france its a different story:
in france the prime minister takes care of foreign affairs while the president takes care of national affairs...
I putted it into much more simplicity than it is, and mi not sure if im 100% right but that is the story about.

i have no idea about germany :)

BTW, 'living link to the past', ill also want to have a living link to the past but that doesnt mean we keep using dictatorships, empires (boycott USA) or aristocratic forms of countries in the west. and you cant say they all harm while a monarchy doesnt harm, because think of all the money could be used for the poor and the hungry in the world instead of giving it all to the kingdoms, with all their gold and giant diamonds, publicity and money.
 
The German President has pretty much the same function as the monarchs in the Netherlands or the UK. He's official head of state, but NOT head of the government (like in the US). The government is lead by the chancellor. The President's duties are more ceremonial than practical. He officially appoints ministers (secretaries) but they're chosen and then proposed to him by the chancellor. Reason for this is division of power. After the experience with Hindenburg and Hitler the President shouldn't get much power in the new constitution. So the difference to monarchies is simply the difference between succession by blood and succession by election.

Considering Israel and France I'm not sure, but I think it's pretty much the same in Israel, where the Prime Minister heads the government. I think in France the President has more power.
And I'd say that also shows in the fact (?) that more people know the French president (Chirac) compared to the German (Rau) or Israeli (Katzav). And that's simply because he has more official rights and duties therefore takes part in international conferences where Germany would send the chancellor and Israel the Prime Minister.
 
Thanks for replying guys!

Originally posted by IceBlaZe
but you cant compare the amuont of money wasted on a kingdon than an amount of money wasted on a president...

I'm not too sure that a monarchy costs so much more than a president. I don't know the exact numbers but I think the Dutch royals cost something like 5 or 6 million euro a year. A lot of money, I'll admit right away but I think it's quite well spend. Many people like the queen so it gives some kind of national pride which is good for a country. Then there is publicity for almost everything the royals do, also a lot outside our country I think.
A president can cost a lot of money too and he hasn't been prepared to do this job for a great number of years as our queen has been prepared. So all in all I am in favour of the monarchy.
 
While I agree that the need of a representative head of state is questionable, I don't think that money is the main question here.
I think in "our" modern world monarchy is an obsolete thing as is the whole of aristocracy. A democratic society should give equal rights to everybody, so noone should be president or something else by birth. Of course any non-socialist (or even communist) society has big differences in the social classes. But that is still alot more fair than the concept of aristocracy. And, btw, aren't most of the royals just as degenerated through incest like the last Kaiser was ;) ?
 
I disagree. There is no effective difference between the upper echelons of any society and aristocracy, only in name. Take the Kennedys, for example. Not aristocracy in name, but in practice and privilege, they are quite similar.

I cannot see any point in removing aristocracy and monarchy on the grounds of idealistic equality. It would not change society one iota.
And besides, I'm not giving up my title, castle, lands and coat of arms to be equal with some bolshy little peasant;)

And, no, they are not all inbred.
 
Don't take that inbred comment too serious. And I was basically referring to the British royal family, not the dutch ;)

Originally posted by Simon Darkshade
And besides, I'm not giving up my title, castle, lands and coat of arms to be equal with some bolshy little peasant

Yeah, tell that to the Czar :D
 
I cannot see any point in removing aristocracy and monarchy on the grounds of idealistic equality. It would not change society one iota.
And besides, I'm not giving up my title, castle, lands and coat of arms to be equal with some bolshy little peasant

Tsk, tsk. Just wait for the revolution...:D
 
I see a lot of poor people born to poor families beign much more happy with the donation of kingdoms if all the kingdoms in the world would sell their diamonds and gold and donate it to the poor sector of the country. its just like wellfare if you dont have one. plus, i would say they should donate the entire palaces for huge museums about ancient monarch history of the specific country. that way you will have much better relation to history in the same building than a bunch of people born to the family. :)
 
Not going to happen, in the real world. And I must have missed the official announcement that made it a crime to be wealthy.
 
Of course there will never be such an announcement (at least probably). But in case of Kings and Queens you have to look at where this wealth is coming from. Monarchy in the traditional sense (and that's where it comes from) is nothing else than dictatorship. So I think it makes sense that those in favour of democratic republics have their problems with people being wealthy just because they're the descendants of dictators.
 
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