Is it good or bad to have a monarchy?

In centuries past monarchs could be good or bad and usually the secession meant wars and such.

But today, I have to say I admire the British monarchy. What CAN be good about a monarchy is they are not elected but basically serve for life. This means they dont need to run for elections and cannot be bought by special interests. Also they can think VERY long term - not just to the next election cycle.

Now yes, I know the British Queen has no REAL power but I feel they can set the tone and give input on government policies. Prince Charles has done a good job as a government representative. The recent royal wedding of (Andrew??? I think) was watched by the whole world. Words like King, Queen, Prince, and Princess still command strong respect and this also goes for monarchy in countries like Japan, Denmark, Spain, and Jordan.

Now the negative is monarchies are expensive and often they dont pay taxes or share their wealth with the common people.

What do you all think?

As a Brit, I find the Monarch jolly useful.
The Queen can, for example, act as the respected host for foreign visits, without any political views. She can make suitable speeches on important occasions.
When talks on trade etc. are needed, we have the Prime Minister.

By contrast America (a pleasant country) is currently represented by a lying, bigoted, misogynistic, nepotisic bully.

P.S. Personally I think Charles has not done a good job, but there you are.

The recent wedding was Harry.

My view on the monarchy, as a Brit, is that whilst I wouldn’t choose it were I to set up a new country, ours works very well for us, and if anyone wants to replace it they would need to come up with something significantly better. Trump is pretty good proof that a Presidency is not necessarily better, or for that matter cheaper - expecially when you add in the costs of all the elections.

Basically, we have a group of career diplomats, trained from birth, with no political ties or public political leanings. That’s a very useful thing, and one that is hard to replicate by another method. Which is not to say it will always work, and I suspect that next time we have a Monarch who is not particularly fit for the job that will be the end of the Monarchy. Had Charles become King 20 years ago, that might have been him, but I doubt it will be now, and William looks like he will be an excellent King.

It’s good if it can be made to work within a broadly-agreed system of governance and civic culture, but bad if there isn’t one and the monarchy is identified with one or other of the contending approaches.

So far, the relatively few committed republicans in Britain don’t (AFAIK) propose any alternative to the “Crown in Parliament” concept, simply that the head of state shouldn’t be a hereditary job. (Though one of the subterranean features of the Brexit deadlock is a rumble of opposition to the authority and sovereignty of Parliament, which may yet become significant, if it ever becomes a focussed and thought-through campaign).

Well, the Queen does not take the place of a President, much. A Presidency is better than a Prime Minister. And your likely next PM,Boris Johnson,
is somewhat Trumplike, afaik.

However, the Royals can do a lot of the silly, time wasting things the President is called upon to do, ceremonies, ribbon cutting on the like. That’s quite useful.

It really is. I’ve been involved in a few local things that have had ceremonial visits and this is how the hierarchy goes: A Royal (around here it’s almost always Princess Anne) >>>>the current local Lord Provost or Lord Lieutenant >>the local MP, MSP whatever.

Not an executive President, no, but a ceremonial one, yes.


You can have much of the same benefits with a political structure that includes a president who is only head of state.

To the extent that monarchy correlates with long term stability I think that’s all it is, a correlation. A less stable country has a high risk of a revolution, or at least change of system of government, so what you have is a situation where the most stable countries have kept their original form of government, where the less stable ones have had a revolution. (Very simplified of course.)

Is it good or bad to have a monarchy? That depends on how you define “good”.

In civilization 2 you get one extra food unit per square when you irrigate under monarchy. Due to that I tend to switch to monarchy as fast as I can.

In real life the main problems with a monarchy is that they are not appointed by a meritocracy. Granted that doesn’t happen in democracy either (Bill Clinton’s wife ran against the son of a millionaire real estate developer in 2016. In 2012 the son of a successful CEO and governor ran against Obama who actually was self made. Bush Jr, McCain and Gore jr were scions of wealth and influence, etc).

But my point is that the child of a monarch probably isn’t competent to run things. But again in the US we keep picking the children and spouses of wealthy influential people to run things so what do we know.

And most importantly, in game theory people have to do whatever the people who have something they want want them to do to stay in power. People like power, and you stay in power by keeping the people who keep you in power happy.

In a democracy that means winning 51% of the vote which you do via public works and solving their problems with the power of the state (or brainwashing the public to hate/fear the other side). In a monarchy you stay in power by making sure the military and secret police are heavily bribed. Whether the public are happy or miserable means nothing as long as the secret police and military are effective.

Theres just no incentive for the leaders in a monarchy to care about the well being of their citizens, anymore than there is incentive for an American politican to care about the well being of people in Kenya. If the US & Kenya became one nation, and the 50 million Kenyans suddenly became voting citizens of the US, then US politicians would start caring deeply and quickly about what the people of Kenya want because now they’d have something to gain or lose by keeping the Kenyans happy.

That’s what the Vice President is for. And the First Lady/Gentleman.

What are you switching from at that time though?

But our UK Monarchy (children included) doesn’t run anything.

Which country are you thinking of?
Here in the UK, the Monarchy has no say in the military budget.
Do you think we’ve got a secret police? :confused:
Could you let me know what they are called? And how does the Queen finance them?

Funny how the Queen is so popular here.
Opinion polls have regularly shown that Queen Elizabeth II has an excellent approval rating; coinciding with her Diamond Jubilee, the Queen had an approval rate in the United Kingdom of 90% in 2012…

Meanwhile in the US (a non-Monarchy), it’s obvious that Trump doesn’t care about anyone but his minority base.

One of my professors opined (this was a long time ago, so I’m paraphrasing) that there are two main benefits of a true monarchy. The first being that changes made to the governing laws are relatively swift when compared to a democracy, for example, because with the latter there are so many people that have to agree on something being changed to begin with.

The second benefit is that the buck generally stops with the monarch, as far as governing policy goes anyway. This is not necessarily true of other forms of government where sometimes it is difficult to trace the origin of a societies ills back through some bureaucratic office or department.

The question is one of providing continuing, long term good governance.

Not any presidency. The US style Presidency is the most prone to disfunction and tyranny. You wouldn’t accept it’s failure rate in a new car. Other formats are good equivalents of a constitutional monarchies. A couple are marginally better. CMs remain the standard republican models seek to emulate.

True. And every now and then, maybe once in a generation, they provide the independent tie-breaker.

That’s true, but then people think you sent your second best, you dont really care.

But when the Queen shows up, everyone goes “Wow! they really care!”

Some body has totally, profoundly, fundamentally misunderstood the point and function of a constitutional monarchy.

The UK is not a Monarchy. Yes, you have a Monarch, but the UK is a parliamentary democracy, with no* actual *day to day power invested in the Queen.

I’m guessing he was using an absolute monarchy as his reference point. I never questioned his points when applied to a constitutional monarchy.

Fuck monarchies! Fuck kings, queens, princes, princess and the rest and I don’t care how popular they are. Fuck the whole concept of royalty! No one is made more special than everyone else just by being born. No one has the right to inherit government power without any say from the people being governed.

I appreciate that (for instance) Brit royalty has no formal political power and acts as a source of domestic and international revenue and perhaps national pride, but fuck those royal bipeds, their (gov’t-financed) lifestyles and the attention they receive in the media just because they were born into a family that used to rule/exploit an empire and whose global legacy is in large part a disproportionate number of the world’s ongoing conflicts (and/or making them worse during and after they were in charge).

Historically, some kings and queens may have done well by their populace; others were corrupt, insane and/or horrible rulers. Kind of like presidents and prime ministers. The difference in this day and age is that at least the latter are presumably elected in some manner which weeds out (at least some) potential undesirable rulers, while the former are wholly inflicted on a country. A nation gets what it deserves in a free-and-fair election, but those ruled by royalty seem at greater risk of getting a raw deal in which they have no say.

There are many levels of monarchy. From absolute to joke. And pointing out UK as an example of a monarchy is like pointing out Disneyland as an educational service.

Back to the original question, there are some general pros and cons as with each governmental system. And true monarchy is just a variant of autocratic system, so there you go with your pros and cons.