LDV readers vote to save the monarchy

by Stephen Tall on January 8, 2008

Amidst all the excitement of the poll for Liberal Voice of the Year 2007 – have you voted yet? – LDV clean forgot to post the results of our earlier readers’ survey, which ran over the New Year.

We asked you: “Do you think the British monarchy should be retained or abolished?”

You told us, albeit by a slender majority, that you’re monarchists at heart. Here’s the full breakdown:

Retain the monarchy: 43% (148)
Abolish it: 40% (140)
Utterly indifferent: 17% (59)
Total Votes: 347

I’ll admit I’m a tad surprised, though perhaps that’s because I’m an instinctive republican who finds it hard to square meritocratic liberalism with hereditary rule. But I’m also a democrat – of course – and if republicanism can’t convince even a majority of readers of a liberal website of its merits that suggests to me it’s time has not yet arrived.

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“I’m an instinctive republican who finds it hard to square meritocratic liberalism with hereditary rule.”

The Queen doesn’t rule – she reigns. There’s all the world of difference between those two words.

To some extent I agree with you; if you’d asked me to set up a country from scratch, it certainly wouldn’t include a hereditary head of state. But as long as Britain remains a de facto republic, I think liberals have bigger battles to fight.

I’d also frankly rather have one of the royal family than have a German-style elected president, where some retired senior politician takes on a role as figurehead for the nation. How boring!

by Jonny Wright on January 8, 2008 at 12:41 pm. Reply #

And of course there is the inconvenient fact that most of the more conspicuously liberal western european states are monarchies.

Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden etc.

by mym on January 8, 2008 at 12:59 pm. Reply #

The monarchy is part of our constitutional settlement and any attempt to remove it would need to be as part of a package of measures. However, there are sound reasons for retaining the monarchy

1. Imagine President Blair (this used to be Thatcher but times change…)
2. Look at most of the countries with Presidents. Do we really want to emulate France or the USA? I don’t know if Cleveland is ready for a ‘caucus’…
As Jonny Wright says, the Queen has no power but immense moral authority so she is the perfect head of state. She can keep the Executive in check through her influence without having to be given all sorts of dictatorial powers. It would be a very stupid Prime Minister who did not consult with her on important matters – and heed her advice.
3. London is full of Japanese and other tourists who still flock here to get a sense of the majesty of the Crown. The monarchy is ‘good for business’
4. A majority of voters support the monarchy. Don’t we seek to reflect what we think is best for the country, i.e. those self-same voters.
5. There is an infinite number of more important things to change before we worry about the monarchy. Let’s have meaningful devolution which will affect everyone and then worry about who heads the country.

by wit and wisdom on January 8, 2008 at 1:01 pm. Reply #

YAY! I am surprised too, but pleased. For all the reasons the first three commenters mentioned.

by Jennie on January 8, 2008 at 1:49 pm. Reply #

3. London is full of Japanese and other tourists who still flock here to get a sense of the majesty of the Crown. The monarchy is ‘good for business’

Yet the most visited royal palace in the world is Versailles, where there is no longer a royal family.

Otherwise though I would agree with you.

by Anders on January 8, 2008 at 2:46 pm. Reply #

mym: “And of course there is the inconvenient fact that most of the more conspicuously liberal western european states are monarchies.

Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden etc.”

Maybe you are confusing the reason and consequence here? Maybe it has been possible for these countries to remain monarchies because they have been liberal enough and the head of the state doesn’t have any real power.

In Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia etc. the monarchs had some real power still in the beginning of the 20th century and used it in illiberal ways, and that’s the reason why they lost their crowns.

by small-r republican on January 8, 2008 at 3:52 pm. Reply #

> Maybe you are confusing the reason and
> consequence here?

Not really. It’s only an inconvenient fact for those wound-up-themselves puritan liberals that are fond of proclaiming the impossibility of co-existence between a constitutional monarchy and any sort of ‘real’ liberal democracy. I’ve met too many of them 🙂

by mym on January 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm. Reply #

Wit and Wisdom says:

“the Queen has no power but immense moral authority”

How much moral authority would King Charles have?

“She can keep the Executive in check through her influence”

It is the role of Parliament and the courts to keep the Executive in check, not the Monarch.

“It would be a very stupid Prime Minister who did not consult with her on important matters – and heed her advice.”

Why should a Prime Minister consult the Queen and heed her advice?

What specialist knowledge does the Queen have on any subject?

“A majority of voters support the monarchy.”

A majority of voters support capital and corporal punishment, conscription and raising the legal drinking age to 21.

by Angus J Huck on January 8, 2008 at 5:07 pm. Reply #

> How much moral authority would King
> Charles have?

More than you Angus.

But then you’re just a blogger, and haven’t had exposure to as many extraordinary (and ordinary) situations and people as he has.

> Why should a Prime Minister consult
> the Queen and heed her advice?

You don’t think a Prime Minister should consult the head of state?

by mym on January 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm. Reply #

What next?
I suppose we’ll support the established hurch and its right to have unelected people in the Upper Chamber.

by The last Radical on January 8, 2008 at 5:38 pm. Reply #

“More than you Angus.”

Right, so I have required sexual partners to call me “Sir”? I have disengaged from a sexual partner, run away into the bushes, and left her to be photographed by the press? I have encouraged a group of sycophants around me to bad mouth my wife to the media? I kill animals for pleasure?

I have to do worse than all of that to have less moral authority than Prince Charles.

But I guess I have more moral authority than you, Mym, because I use my real name and you don’t.

“But then you’re just a blogger, and haven’t had exposure to as many extraordinary (and ordinary) situations and people as he has.”

You know absolutely ziltsch about me, Mym. I’m not even a blogger.

by Angus J Huck on January 8, 2008 at 5:41 pm. Reply #

What’s wrong with an elected monarchy? Then we get an elected Head of State whilst remaining a monarchy.

by Dafs on January 8, 2008 at 5:45 pm. Reply #

I thought we were supposed to be radicals. That means, I suggest, looking at constitutional matters in rather greater depth than whether of not they are good for tourism.

by tony hill on January 8, 2008 at 6:10 pm. Reply #

> You know absolutely ziltsch about me,
> Mym. I’m not even a blogger.

I call anyone who makes shallow, troll-tinged analyses and avoids answering questions a blogger – it saves time.

You don’t think a Prime Minister should consult the head of state?

by mym on January 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm. Reply #

One is delighted 🙂

by Big LIz on January 8, 2008 at 7:45 pm. Reply #

“You don’t think a Prime Minister should consult the head of state?”

Correct. Especially if that head of state is unelected.

Mym, trolls are people like you who are too cowardly to use their real names.

by Angus J Huck on January 8, 2008 at 8:24 pm. Reply #

Have I missed something here? We don’t even know that the votes were all cast by party members, but in any event, 57% of those voting were either utterly indifferent or wanted the monarchy abolished, and yet this is being seen as a victory for the monarchy?

by john on January 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm. Reply #

But it *is* my name Mr Huck.

> Correct. Especially if that
> head of state is unelected.

So, we can add to your propensity to quote tabloid rumours as evidence, and your misapprehension of the meaning of ‘moral’, an inability to understand how the constitution of any of the world’s modern states works.

What *is* the basque for ‘troll’, btw?

by mym on January 8, 2008 at 9:39 pm. Reply #

Actually Mym, unlike you, I DO understand how the British Constitution works. And I have a degree to prove it (plus a prize for being the best student in my year). I don’t suppose YOU have legal qualifications, do you? No, I don’t quote tabloid rumours. The source is Kitty Kelly’s “The Royals”. As for your alleged name, if I remember Pokorny’s dictionary right, it somewhat resembles the Proto-Indo-European word for “urine”. Very appropriate.

PS: Prince Charles admits he kills animals for pleasure, so no rumour there.

by Angus J Huck on January 8, 2008 at 10:16 pm. Reply #

Angus you actually won the argument against mym until this:

“And I have a degree to prove it (plus a prize for being the best student in my year).”

Oh dear, a “school boy” error to quote your qualifications….and how good you are!
I agree as I am a signed up repulican, but Angus you really don’t do yourself or the party any favours sometimes.

by big Mak on January 8, 2008 at 10:34 pm. Reply #

He wasn’t making an argument, so nothing was there for him to lose – even with such a particularly text-book example of pomposity.

Perhaps it hasn’t crossed his mind that, had he not entered this thread at 5.07 with a bit of (hypocritical) ad hominem against someone he doesn’t know, maybe I wouldn’t have felt inclined to hold up a mirror in response. Corporal Jones Applies methinks.

“I don’t quote tabloid rumours. The source is Kitty Kelly”

ROFL.

Hywel, are you reading? Is this Huck a self-satirist of some sort?

by mym on January 8, 2008 at 11:49 pm. Reply #

The New World Order must get rod of Monarchies and Nationalities.

http://www.infowars.com

by Adrian Peirson on May 1, 2008 at 5:20 pm. Reply #

we need the monarchy, the royal family does loades, when a person is born to the royal family they are educated on how to run the country from a young age, a president is never told how to do this untill he is alot older, meaning they dont have as much knowledge on the matter. the queen makes a massive amount of money for the uk through many ways, she also meets with world leader often keeping us at peace. the queen is head of the church, head of the commonwealth and queen to multiple nations. this gives us a link to other countrys and an unbreakable alliance and freindship. the queen makes our nation. if the monarchy was a bad thing then why did we get it back after olivercromwell went? the answer is the monarchy is the best form of goverment for the uk, and i fight every day to make people see this. visit my website if you are a monarchist, or if you are a republican let me convert you

by liam on July 4, 2008 at 6:39 pm. Reply #

Quite so, liam, quite so.

by asquith on July 4, 2008 at 6:44 pm. Reply #

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