Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Mr. Rudd wins election

By David Byers (Convenor of ACM in Country, New South Wales)

Mr. Rudd and his Labor party have won the 2007 Australian federal election. The latest indicators are that he will be putting off the whole idea of a republic for now. Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan of The Australian newspaper, said "Mr. Rudd will turn the boats back and deter asylum-seekers, using the threat of detention and the nation's close ties with Indonesia. He announced that a referendum on Aboriginal reconciliation, a separate Aboriginal treaty and a republican referendum would not occur in the first term of a Rudd Labor government, if at all".The mention of not holding a republican referendum in first term "if at all" is extremely encouraging. Hopefully he is beginning to understand just how many Labor voters support the Crown.


Beaverbrook said...

I think it's natural that he would want to refrain from any kind of divisiveness at this point. His goal right now is just to rally the country around a Labor government.

Lord Best said...

Thank God. The Rodent has most likely lost his own seat as well, a fitting end to such a poor PM.

Rudd is a pragmatist, and is determined to rally the country. Given the abysmally low interest Australians have in the Republic issue I would say it is most certainly off the agenda for a good long while.

David Byers said...

Lord Best, I think your right in say that Rudd is a pragmatist. It would be a very good idea for all those Labor voting Constitutional Monarchist to write to Mr Rudd to inform him of their support for the Crown, just to make sure he realy gets the message.

You could write a wonderful letter.

Mike said...


A new subscriber here, from Sydney. Would it be too presumptuous to imagine that Her Majesty will soon knight The Hon. Mr Howard?

This would be most fitting, as the former PM has not only been an exemplary leader of HM's Australian government but also a loyal and obedient servant to the Australian Crown. He surely upheld his oath with regards to his allegiance to the Queen.

A great site by the way!

Anonymous said...

As the government of Australia no longer advises the Queen to knight people, I don't think Mr Howard will be getting the sword on his shoulders any time soon, unless he gets Gartered, Thistled, or Victorianed, which I don't think is likely.

Younghusband said...

With respect to the Monarchist's pause to take in the new situation, the Times today has stated that "While Howard is a monarchist, Rudd favours a plebiscite on the question of whether the Queen should remain head of state."

Lord Best said...

The "if at all" statement post dates the announcement of the plebiscite, I would imagine the Times information is outdated.

Neil Welton said...

Judging by some of these zany and crazed e-mails in my inbox, republicans are livid.

I'm personally delighted - my concern all along was having a referendum in the Parliament now elected.

The Parliament after will be an entirely different ball game. Rudd, I think, is still a republican but the next leader of The Liberal Party might be a republican too. Remember John Howard, the leader of the Liberals, was going in 2009 anyway - win or lose. I also believe that it will be slightly easier for us to win a referendum if it is held later. Kevin is the golden boy today, but will he still be the new golden boy tomorrow? When Tony Blair came to power he immediately called a referendum on devolution. It was impossible to argue against him - because of all that had gone before and the fact Tony Blair was then "a new type" of politician.

I also understand that republicans in Australia would much rather have the referendum when Charles is on the Throne. They then plan to turn the referendum into a personalised hate campaign against Charles. After the last referendum, many republicans blame a deep affection for the Queen for their failure. The fact that Monarchy itself is superior, doesn't register with them.

Anyway, let's all celebrate for now for our objective has been achieved. There is unlikely to be a referendum in the coming Parliament. Yipeee! Just get writing those nice and lovely letters to dear Kevin telling him how he wishes to govern "for all" the people. For it is always better to have "a big tent" - as Kevin just discovered.

Oh, I understand, that Kevin really hates "the T" - so if you mention her in your letters it might help the cause.


Anonymous said...

".... He announced that a referendum on Aboriginal reconciliation, a separate Aboriginal treaty and a republican referendum would not occur in the first term of a Rudd Labor government, if at all".

Well that has got it off the agenda for a while, but if Rudd is elected to a second term, or Turnbull, another republican, is elected as the next coalition PM, who knows? Rudd may be a pragmatist, but he is far from his own man. There are still plenty of ideologues in the ALP, including many in the union movement, with the weight to influence his decisions. I've never trusted Rudd: Garrett was right when he said they, a Labor govt, would change 'all that' when elected, meaning their election committments. And then he disingenuously tried to laugh off his slip of the tongue as 'a joke'. No, Peter, I don't believe you. Over the coming couple of years, I am ready to see some pretty smooth reversals of Rudd and the other Labor candidate's campaign promises. A Labor prime minister is far more shackled to his party and the party machine than a Liberal PM ever is.

Lewis said...

"The fact that Monarchy itself is superior, doesn't register with them."

No, that's because we don't think the monarchy is superior, and understand its popularity is linked with the popularity of the monarch his or herself. That's a key problem for the British monarchy everywhere, but not one that motivates myself. Charles might be a nice bloke, but his political positions - which he regularly makes public, much unlike his mother - aren't exactly the most popular outside of the Green movement. That is a problem because it acts like acid on the claim that monarchs are apolitical.

David Byers said...

Lewis, you see the problem with everything you say is that you have not got a fully written alternative constitution for us to consider.

It is not enough just to sit back and take cheep shots at the Crown. Either put up a fully written alternative constitution or shut-up.

Lewis said...

Heh. I'm a New Zealander mate, we don't have a written constitution.

Neil Welton said...

Only a republican would try to seriously suggest that a President would be apolitical.

Yet an actual Monarch is apolitical.

Funny that.

Neil Welton said...

Ooops, sorry. That should be a president with a very small 'p'. To denote their true status. :-)

Lewis said...

I didn't suggest, imply or infer that Neil, because the argument itself actually contradicts the claim that a monarch can act as a constitutional backstop. Further, once Charles becomes King you'll have to abandon the position, save he repudiates everything HRH has ever said about town planning, organic produce, climate change, natural medicine, etc, etc. These are all political positions.

And before you attack this as republican propaganda, remember that Bagehot argued that it was good for a Monarch to be involved in politics, in fact a necessity to be a effective Sovereign. That of course was from an age when the masses weren't to be trusted with the vote, but I doubt you'd get away with it in a modern, liberal democracy where the principle of "one man, one vote" operates. Which is why the apolitical argument was invented anyhow.

David Byers said...

Lewis, you might not have a written constitution in New Zealand but you still have a constitution by way of common law and tradition. You still need to put forward a very detailed alternative or your just letting go of hot air.

Also could you name the republics you believe have a better working constitution than New Zealand or Australia?

Lewis said...

Oh, we do have an alternative -

As for "better working constitutions" than New Zealand or Australia, the Irish, German, Icelandic and Austrian models are good examples of working parliamentary republics.

Interesting there's no comment here on Charles' political positions... QED perhaps?

Neil Welton said...

I'd much trust a Monarch to be politically neutral than a politician like George Bush.

Anyway, I think our Lewis is deliberately confusing the role of The Prince of Wales with role of the Monarch.

There is a difference.

This wonderful democracy you speak of. Is this the democracy where, in Wales, you can get elected with just 9% of the electorate voting for you? Is this the democracy where 55% of the people don't vote anymore? Is this the wonderful democracy where we can choose between one lot of lying, two-faced back stabbers and another lot of lying, two-faced back stabbers? Wow!

You're avoiding my argument, Lewis.

How would a president not be worse than a Monarch?

For a Monarch unify a nation by being politically neutral as well as not being a lying, two-faced back stabber.

Lewis said...

"How would a president not be worse than a Monarch?"

Aside from that being a loaded question... by being an actual check on the parliamentary executive, as non-executive presidents (President Bush is an executive president, BTW) often are.

As for the "Prince of Wales isn't the monarch" argument, well that's silly. Prince Charles carries over his political baggage when he becomes head of state, and there's no indication that this would be the case otherwise. For all the tradition of the monarchy, it should be noted that this is what happened in the past - a certain other Prince of Wales got in a spot of trouble with Stanley Baldwin's Conservative government for taking issue with his government's stance on unemployment in South Wales, and economic policy generally.

Neil Welton said...

"Something must be done."

Funny how politicians were completely useless and rubbish in Baldwin's days too.

Lying, two-faced back stabbers aside.

I rather like direct and loaded questions. Republicans always struggle (badly) to give me straight answers.

Funny that.

Non-executive presidents "as a check" on the parliamentary executive are, by definition, not politically neutral. My original argument stands.

Clarence House has made it clear that there is a difference between being The Prince of Wales and being the Monarch. Honestly, Lewis, please keep up.

As for "political baggage".

What "political baggage"?

Name something, name one idea or suggestion, that the masses would seriously have a big problem with.

Lewis said...

Ah, I'm not arguing for a "politically neutral" head of state, because the argument is contradictory. I don't make that argument and stated this above.

The problem is that in order to act as a check a head of state must get involved in the political fray. An apolitical head of state cannot by definition do this - indeed, this is why intervention by Governors-General in the Commonwealth realms is always controversial, it's impossible for them to remain neutral when action needs to be taken.

As for Charles' political issues... umm, anything that's politically contentious - Climate change, banning McDonalds, French farming subsidies, etc... the list is pretty long mate. And so long as there is politically contentious issues, there are politicians. Prince Charles can't escape this just because he was born into a certain family - he is only human and fallible after all.

Neil Welton said...

I know you don't make that argument - but I do. This argument is not contradictory.

A King or Queen is politically neutral. Above party, above politics but representing, by birth, our country. They represent a country and unite the people in a way a politician never could. Politicians being lying, two-faced back stabbers and all. Politicians being in the pockets of vested interests and all. Politicians being untrustworthy, corruptible and self-interested and all.

Climate change like "something must be done" is hardly something the masses (as opposed to narrow-minded, short-sighted and self-obsessed politicians) are going to have a big problem with. Climate change is serious.

Lewis said...

Ah, well that's what you, the Greens and Prince Charles think... what about the skeptics, or (thinking of my own country) the New Zealand Economics Institute? Or the Welsh farmers who don't support French farming subsidies?

So Prince Charles might have some people who agree with him. He probably has an overwhelming majority on climate change, but that's irrelevant. For all we know, he's picking his issues well, as a politician would to maintain support. I might support his views or disagree with them - that is not the point.

That there are differing views on these issues make them politically contentious - just because Charles might be born into a position does not abrogate his views of political content either. And as I've stated above, Bagehot actually argued that it was good for a Monarch to have political views - it's the main case for keeping the Spanish monarchy, the fact that King Juan Carlos regularly intervenes. The argument that the monarch is politically neutral is simply a convenience, intended to contrast the monarchy with the presidential system. But it doesn't live up to the reality of the system.

Scott said...

The British monarchy is the longest surviving institution after the Papacy. The funny thing is, there must be dozens of nations who would love to have it as their head of state, but cannot. It is greater, grander, more renowned, beautiful and elaborate than any Australian or Kiwi presidency could ever be. To become a republic would reduce those countries in the eyes of the world, and the hearts of their citizens. How moving do the Israelis find their president? Or the Irish? How many Irish people even know their president's name? And how open do such parliamentary presidencies remain to the people - most of whom are not political cronies?

David Byers said...

Lewis, good luck telling New Zealanders that Germany and Ireland hve better constitutions than they do. Anyway what on earth are you doning on a pro-monarchy website? Do you think you are educating us?

Anonymous said...

Interesting debate.

I am a great admirer of Prince Charles and often think he has a very unfair press which dates back to his marriage to Princess Diana.

With regards to his views I really don't think they are that contentious. Most people, for example, of all political persuasions believe climate change is happening and action should be taken. By talking about this, organic farming, architecture, etc the Prince has created debate. You may not agree with him but at least the issues are discussed and quite often through debate have been adopted. It is not that long ago that organic farming was just laughed at and now it is very much main stream.

Another point with regards to Prince Charles is his charity work. His Prince's Trust is one of the largest charities of its type in the UK.

I really don't think that his views will affect his position as a future monarch. It would be very easy for a Prince of Wales to do very little whilst being a monarch in waiting but this is not the case. He works incredibly hard, an indication I am sure of the work rate he plans for himself as the future monarch.

Neil Welton said...

Well, I certainly enjoyed the debate.

Clarence House has made it clear that there is a difference between being The
Prince of Wales and being the Monarch.

Meanwhile when a politician becomes a president.

He won't be able to keep his mouth shut, his hand out of the till and avoid helping all of his creepy cronies.

Monarchs are not perfect - but they're surely superior.

Court Jouster said...

'Anyway what on earth are you doning on a pro-monarchy website? Do you think you are educating us?'

What's the matter, David? Trying to stifle debate. Lewis is perfectly entitled to put his republican views across. This is a public-access board for comments on the blog. If you only want monarchists to participate, make everyone register on a forum format and ban those registered members whose comments you find uncongenial and delete their comments. So much for free speech here!

Beaverbrook said...

I'm the owner and mediator of this blog, and I say all gentlemen and ladies are allowed. Just stick to the honour code and dual away!

Lewis said...

Beaverbrook, you are as always a Gentleman.

Dave - I'm not trying to educate you, I'm probing what I perceive to be the weaknesses of the case for keeping the monarchy. I don't expect to "win" anyone over here.

On Germany, I note that New Zealand already adopted their post-war electoral system, so it's not like the New Zealand public would struggle to accept that the Germans might just have got their constitution right (with some help from the Allies, of course).

Neil Welton said...

Ah, here we go. Ah, old Lewis creeping around Beavers again. You've got it the wrong way around "mate". Ah, ah, you're suppose to insult Beavers and say nice things about the Monarchy. :-) Anyway, what's with the lectern in your photograph? Ah, ah, ah, is that you launching your imaginary presidential bid from your bedroom or have you now been promoted to deputy headmaster of the local infants school. Ah, ah, ah, ah, chooooo! :-)

Hey, Beavers.

Where is 'Lord Of The Dance'?


Lewis said...

You'll keep mate ;-).

Ah... nope, it's a picture of myself at the dais of the 2006 Joynt Scroll (New Zealand University Debating Championships) finals.

David Byers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Byers said...

Lewis, is that picture really of you at the dais of the 2006 Joynt Scroll (New Zealand University Debating Championships) finals? Who were you introducing?

Neil Welton said...

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Lewis said...

Hah, well said... you must've been a debater. I suspect you're probably not interested in the result, but you're probably able to work Google.

Anonymous said...

"This wonderful democracy you speak of. Is this the democracy where, in Wales, you can get elected with just 9% of the electorate voting for you? Is this the democracy where 55% of the people don't vote anymore? Is this the wonderful democracy where we can choose between one lot of lying, two-faced back stabbers and another lot of lying, two-faced back stabbers? Wow!"

Neil, you're not doing a very good job of selling the idea of the superiority of monarchies with that argument.

And Scott, the Irish are very fond of their presidents. The number who know Mary McAleese's name in Ireland would far outweigh the number of people who know, say, the Aussie GG's name in Australia. Or NZ for that matter.


Lewis said...

Don's right - there was a survey done in Australia some months back where they found 81% of the public didn't know who he was.

Neil Welton said...

Don's right to take me to task too.

A King, Queen or a Prince is not elected by anybody and the fact that research shows that 70% of people support the Monarchy counts for nothing.

Meanwhile, a president elected by 25% of the electorate (on a turnout of 45%) is far more legitimate - especially when research shows only 7% of people will trust him.

Sadly, I've never bought into this idea that because a country is a monarchy, it is superior to other countries.

Give me Ireland, France or Germany any day.

Lewis said...

Well, it follows that if you're not concerned with having a democratic head of state, turnouts don't matter.

The only reason they could would be if such elections are divisive and elected head of state are not representative of anyone outside of those who voted for them, which is a silly proposition (NB: they use STV in Ireland, so technically the Irish president wasn't elected with 25% of the vote, you have to look at preferences).

Second, Germany elects its President by a special joint sitting of its parliaments (federal and state), known as a Federal Convention. There's no direct election as such.

David Byers said...

The Crown is above Party politics in a way no president could hope to be. The problem with those pushing for a republic is to come up with a detailed model so that a real debate can take place.

I often say to them "OK, you don't want the Crown lets move past that and show us all what exactly you have as an alternative.”

You see the media in Australia try to put the Constitutional Monarchist in the position of explaining themselves but we are not even advocating change. Sadly many Monarchist talk in defensive tones, let us not do that. It is the republicans that should be doing the explaining, not us!

J.K. Baltzersen said...

That of course was from an age when the masses weren't to be trusted with the vote [...]

They still can't be trusted if you ask me.

[T]he principle of "one man, one vote" operates.

It sadly does.

Neil Welton said...

Excellent points David and Baltzers.

I am not advocating democracy on this occasion because I do not believe in a democratically elected head of state. This is called having a sound and consistent position. Once you begin to suggest that democracy is perfect and is the "be all and end all", you are one step away from saying that a democratically elected head of state is perfect and is the "be all and end all". Once you accept the democratic principle as your guiding principle, you are then not able to argue that a King or Queen should interfere in the democratic process - especially if the people elect someone like Hitler which, of course, the people in Germany did. What right does the King have to interfere if you accept that democracy is the ultimate King? No doubt those democracy fanatics on these pages would urge the real King to keep his undemocratic nose out - as millions of men, women and children are sent away to be gassed.

Turnouts do matter if you are arguing for a democratic head of state which, I understand, Don and Lewis are both advocating. Social research shows that Monarchy in the United Kingdom is supported by over 70% of the population, whereas politicians or presidents struggle to get any such willing support - unless under the threat of compulsory elections or having no other choice.

In the United Kingdom where I actually reside (as opposed to Spain, Ireland, France, Germany or Norway) the collapse in faith in democracy has been very interesting. Matched, as it has been, by increasing support for the Monarchy as a focus for our unity. A neutral Monarch unites more than a partisan politician!

As I have said - "I've never bought into this idea that because a country is a monarchy, it is superior to other countries." I've only ever believed that Monarchy is a basis for a superior system of democratic Government.

Oh, by the way, God and Jesus were not elected.

Does that make them irrelevant and outdated too?

Neil Welton said...

"It is the republicans that should be doing the explaining."

Quite, I have done enough.

Let's now have the great republic alternative.

Neil Welton said...

Lewis has gone rather quiet.

Tell me - what happens when the masses vote for a fascist government and then, if allowed to by the government, also vote for a fascist president?

Who interferes when the children start getting gassed?

Please don't dismiss this argument as "silly" - as you have done so with two of my arguments already.

Just saying "silly" is not a "sensible" argument. :-)

Lewis said...

Sorry Neil, little problem of the 12+ hr timezone difference between myself and yourself.

If you look back up the thread, my argument on the non-interference of Monarchs is not simply due to their non-elective position, which is the crucial assumption about my argument you make, but because of their alleged non-partisan nature. It is not logically possible to argue that a monarch is above politics and yet can intervene as a constitutional backstop. It's a contradiction, because any intervention - no matter how popular - will be seen as political. The reality is that constitutional interventions are rarely (if ever) of the extreme nature your case is based on, and are the product of partisan politics. Should either side be advantaged by an intervention, the other will be offended. This is what happened with both the King-Byng affair in 1926, and Gough Whitlam's dismissal in 1975. No matter justified either intervention was, the Viceroys could not escape being seen as political actors.

But since I don't accept that Monarchs or their Viceroys are non-political, my view is that there is a deeper reason why Monarchs in particular don't intervene: self-preservation. They don't intervene even in the face of totalitarian governments, hoping their dynasties may survive a regime change (the King of Denmark comes to mind, or any of the coups in Commonwealth realms under the Queen HM didn't intervene in).

As for the gas chambers argument, it could - and has - happened under a monarchy, so the issue with a fascist president under a republican democracy isn't really a valid one. The argument that a monarch is more likely to get involved should the masses elect a fascist government is a nonsense. What if the monarch rather liked the fascist government? No, I'm not talking about Edward VIII, there is actual precedents for this - Italy under Victor Emmanuel III for example, or Japan under Hirohito. Both monarchs were heads of governments that committed despicable acts. The situation was only different in Germany because the Kaiser ran away in 1918 and Hitler blamed William II for losing World War I. By way of contrast, Hindenburg fought until his death to prevent Hitler from becoming all powerful - he failed because of the Reichstag fire, the fact the Weimar constitution was not entrenched (like the UK and NZ I might add), and Hitler's own popularity. So really the issue isn't about whether a country is a republic or monarchy, it's largely circumstantial - the King of Spain was able to prevent a coup in 1981 because he was put in power by the military government; the Queen of Fiji couldn't prevent Her Majesties' armed forces from overthrowing a democratically elected Prime Minister because Her Majesty wasn't physically present in Fiji, and her Governor-General colluded with the coup plotters. He then got in the way, so the coup plotters got rid of him.

Finally, if a monarch doesn't need a democratic mandate to remain in office, why does 70% of the population supporting a monarchy matter? Surely even if they monarchy was deeply unpopular (e.g. Nepal), you would still have to say a state is better off as a monarchy? Or is the consent of the people - and how it's expressed - what's at issue?

Neil Welton said...

Let me get this straight... are afraid of offending fascists.


Rather like your idea that presidents would not go in for a little "self-preservation". Lewis - you are a one.

What a lot of waffle. Are you going into politics by any chance? You'll go far - you didn't answer my question.

Let's put the history to one side for a moment because the history of republics is also very, very interesting.

Just focus on the question.

What happens when the masses vote overwhelmingly for a fascist government and then, if allowed to by the government, also vote for a new fascist president?

What does your president do apart from helping the mothers and children walk into the gas chambers?

What possible room for manoeuvre does your superior president have, that a Monarch would obviously have?

I do believe a state is better off with a monarchy. However, if the monarchy becomes unpopular and a referendum is held which is lost - I fully accept that.

Just as long as we have another vote ten years later.


Lewis said...

Well, Thomas Paine once said "He who dare not offend cannot be honest". I'm not afraid of offending fascists Neil, in fact if you'd bothered yourself with reading my blog you'd see the opposite (as an aside, I'm actually quoted in a book about the National Front's activism in New Zealand as an opponent of that group.)

I didn't avoid the question. The answer to your question is above. You will have a fascist government either way - under a monarchy or republic. My answer is based on precedent and history. I find it hard to accept that a monarchist would refute either as a good basis for an argument.

Neil Welton said...

My question was based on possibilities.

The possibility of children being gassed.

I'll let our readers decide whether you have answered it.

Lewis said...

This debate is now absurd. I never said it would be acceptable for such a thing to happen.

Do you really think a monarch would intervene if children were being gassed? And if you're answer is "no" does that mean you'd *want* such a thing to happen? Or is the yardstick for a good constitution whether a head of state would intervene?

Neil Welton said...

Still not answering the question... :-)

Lewis said...

Mate, it's abundantly clear I'm against gassing children. I was commenting above on the absurdity of having to comment on that issue here. That you need to be disabused of your presumption that I think otherwise indicates to myself you cannot engage in a sensible debate.

Neil Welton said...

Aye, I can see it now.

The children with their president...

...whose busy shutting the gas chamber door.

Lewis said...

It's equally possible - if not more - that it would be a King. But that's irrelevant as the question is silly. Good day sir.

Neil Welton said...

Yet, with my King, the children escape.

With your fascist president, they don't.

Still not answering the question... :-)

Neil Welton said...

Don't go off in a huff, Lewis.

Some unkind person...

...might think you have lost the argument. :-o

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Oh, by the way, God and Jesus were not elected.

Barabbas was.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

It is not logically possible to argue that a monarch is above politics and yet can intervene as a constitutional backstop.

There is a difference between being above politics and ejected to irrelevance, i.e., outside of politics.

Moreover, there is a difference between "above politics" and "above party politics."

As for the Nazi discussion, not only did the Habsburg heir before and during WWII fight heroically against the Nazi regime, but the rise of Nazism was partly due to the vacuum created by the empty thrones on the Continent, as noted by the "patron" of this weblog in his six-volume work on WWII.

David Byers said...

Very good point J.K. Baltzersen, I have always said that "the Monarch is above party politics" subtle but very important point. I also think this might help with the points that Lewis was bring to this.

Lewis said...

Neil - I'm not in a huff, I'm ignoring a silly argument.

J.K. - Churchill's theory was valid so far as Germany was concerned with the creation of the Weimar republic, but it was a republic created in the vacuum of a failed monarchy.

As for the "ejected from politics" that is certainly true of HM but not Prince Charles. Further, precedent in the Commonwealth shows that HM won't intervene in constitutional crisis (in fact in Australia HM was barred from doing so, save firing the GG); which nullifies any claims that the monarch acts as a backstop.

David Byers said...

I still believe the Monarch is a good thing for stability; as the Governor-General represents not him or herself nor a political mandate but rather a non-party political Monarch. Also the Monarch personifies the state in a way that is so moving and beautiful. I honestly do wonder about people who cannot or will not see that. To me Lewis and his "arguments" remind me of a barrister that can argue any point with cleaver word-play, one of the reasons I hate debating clubs at schools as they only teach people to be cleaver but not wise.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Churchill's theory was valid so far as Germany was concerned with the creation of the Weimar republic, but it was a republic created in the vacuum of a failed monarchy.

Failed monarchy?


This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Habsburgs out of Austria and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany. By making these vacuums we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones.

Failed or pushed out by the Allies, sir?

J.K. Baltzersen said...

To me Lewis and his "arguments" remind me of a barrister that can argue any point with cleaver word-play, one of the reasons I hate debating clubs at schools as they only teach people to be cleaver but not wise.

Mr. Byers, I have neither done or seen debating clubs in schools in action, but I have done debating competitions.

You are perhaps right about Mr. Holden, but if you are really good at such debatings you can puncture the word-play.

Moreover, you do not have to be taught to be wise in a debating club to use what you learn there wisely.

David Byers said...

J.K. Baltzersen, I will take what you have said on board. I suppose I'm just going on what i have seen.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

I will take what you have said on board. I suppose I'm just going on what i have seen.

Thank you.

Of course, there are a lot of debates in this game that are plainly silly. I try to go beyond mere word-play. Using words cleverly can be effective, but it must not be overdone. Empty rhetorics is begging to be punctured. Taking part in debating games can actually improves one's skills in such puncturing in real-life debates.

I believe you can learn a lot from such games. Thinking quickly, understanding how opponents might react, and clear communication are among the skills you can improve.

Of course, real life is not a debating game, and if you don't adapt to the real-life situations when applying your skills, then you are doing it poorly.

Well, this was a long digression.

On another note, I have noticed that this weblog considers Mr. Holden a "gentleman royalist." Seems peculiar to me.

Lewis said...

Me too.

Neil Welton said...

Not to me.

We're expecting Lewis to convert.


Lewis said...

Expecting or hoping?

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Apparently, Mr. Rudd has refused to swear allegiance to Her Majesty.