Should we retain teh status quo regarding the monarchy
Debate Rounds (3)
Firstly, a common argument from anti monarchists is that the queen is a waste of money, money of which could be spent else where especially in our faltering education and health care system theoretically we could save lives by paying for another 3000 doctors a year as the monarchy costs 52 million in the pocket money for the queen and 150 million for the rest of the family plus maintenance of royal estates etc and extra jobs. I would respond to this by saying this money is virtually a very small fraction of the entire budget 1/5000 and easily could be raised by cutting or a 1% increase in the highest tax bracket of which I would be in favour of, the amount of money as a proportion of the budget is arbitrary.
Secondly it is a small price to pay considering she is such a large part of ourtradition and culture Britain just would not be Britain without the monarchy and I think that is more important to preserve than a minute extension in the nhs budget. She is fundamental to our british identity.
First off, I want to thank Pro for giving me a chance to defend my view with respect to the British Monarchy. I should register upfront my incredulity that people still defend such a system and I hope to show that any reasonable person will favour a British republic.
Definitions and debate parameters
To begin, let me offer a brief definition topic of our debate and provide some debate parameters to limit the scope of our discussion.
"The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British Monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the UK and its overseas territories." (1)
Notice here we’re limited to discussing the "status quo" British Monarchy, as Pro made clear (ie. the system which exists today). As such, Pro has to defend it as it is, warts and all, rather than simply deflecting criticism by offering reforms or concessions. The implication for Pro is that this makes his incredibly difficult task almost impossible.
The case against the British Monarchy
Now, my primary aim in this round will be to present a cogent case against the preservation of the British Monarchy. Just to be clear, I’m arguing that the Monarchy is inherently flawed in principle. As such, it does Pro no good to show the Monarchy to be cost-effective, for example, without providing a sound objection to the ideological case against the Monarchy. I want to make my case with reference to 2 very common republican arguments.
A1 - Democracy
My first objection to the Monarchy I want to raise is the most obvious one. The power of the State derives from the consent of the governed within an ideal liberal democratic framework. Such a system not only (partially) exists in the UK, but does so pretty extensively (devolved power to regions and nations, etc), and is the ideal we should aim for. I think it would be pretty uncontroversial to say that a liberal democratic framework is easily justified and most likely accepted even by Pro himself. If not, I’ll be happy to defend it in my next round.
Now, the problem is that having a Monarchy in such a system completely undermines many sacred principles of the democratic system. First, the Monarchy is unelected. It has yet to gain the consent of the governed and thus any power it wields is illegitimate. Queen Elizabeth II has been the Head of State for over 60 years, yet has never won an election or even a single vote. Clearly such a state of affairs is a democratic travesty. Second, it’s entirely unaccountable. There simply is no mechanism to afford us citizens the kind of scrutiny we need to have with any social power structure. Prince Charles, for example, frequently uses his position to advance his own political ends. Such undue political influence which doesn’t have to and sometimes positively runs roughshod over an elected mandate is clearly undemocratic. Lastly, the hereditary principle. Designating power not on ability and consent but on the accident of birth not only completely damages our democratic credentials but makes a mockery of the meritocratic values we try to instill in society at large in the UK. As such, not only do we institutionalise cronyism but we effectively place the role of Head of State in a genetic lottery by preserving a British Monarchy.
A2 - Symbolism
A part of the status quo British Monarchy is a sordid historical narrative of bigotry, sexism and insensitive stupidity. As I’ve said from the outset, the tradition Pro appeals to necessarily includes these elements, given that one cannot disassociate the Monarchy from its history.
The British Monarchy has unequivocally discriminated against a large section of the population based on religion. Until a few years ago, Catholics were legally barred from marrying into the British Monarchy, solely because of their faith. Given that around 1 in 12 British people are Catholic (2), the Monarchy is, in part, paid for by a minority who have been historically discriminated against for around 300 years. Even now, Catholics are unable to ascend the throne, so discrimination on religious grounds continues in Modern Britain, sanctioned by our Head of State (3).
Along similar lines, the line of succession has been patriarchal, again until very recently. Males were automatically favoured over females, by virtue of their gender. It’s taken 60 years from the British Monarchy to catch up with its Danish counterpart, so one can’t even blame such sexism as a product of the times. In short, acknowledging our Monarchy’s “tradition” is one thing. Preserving this system, which is a beacon for horrific moral beliefs and using our empty public purse to do it is obscene.
The British Monarchy also symbolises the worst of British culture through its actions. Be it Prince Charles advocating (and perhaps even influencing) the adoption of alternative medicine, or Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform or using racist language, it’s simply embarrassing to have such people represent Britain.
In short, the British Monarchy not only prevents us from participating in the political process, but divides society and damages Britain's image.
The case for the Monarchy
To turn to Pro’s brief case for the Monarchy:
His first "argument" for the Monarchy is merely an attempted rebuttal at the cost worry the British Monarchy causes. Pro counters that, in percentage terms, the cost of the monarchy to the budget is minimal at best.
First, this is simply false. Pro himself costs the Monarchy at £200 million a year. As he himself says, the opportunity cost for spending this money is equivalent to 3,000 doctors! I simply deny that, using Pro’s own figures, spending around £15 billion on the Monarchy over my lifetime is insignificant. Far from it. And given the Queen will enjoy a pay rise when the poorest are being hit by government cuts, maintaining such a situation is also grossly immoral (4).
Second, every penny of public money should have to be justified. Pro has the burden of proof here to show that spending taxpayers’ money in this way can both (i) be justified and (ii) is the best use of these funds. Pro has spectacularly failed to do so.
Third, as I’ve shown, the price of the Monarchy is, at best, secondary. Given that, as I’ve shown, such a system is inherently undemocratic, I’d be against it regardless of finance, as would anyone who thinks the democratic process is not something you barter away, even if Pro could make that case, which he certainly did not.
Pro’s second point was that the Monarchy has traditional value which transcends costs. This commits both the fallacy of bare assertion and argumentum ad antiquitatem (5). Not only that, but as I’ve shown, this history is checkered with disgrace. Wholly apart from this, it simply does nothing to justify preserving royal privilege or expense. Pro actually has to make a case here before I can engage with it seriously.
Without doubt, there's much more that could be said on the Monarchy, but there's more than enough to rebut Pro's simplistic, minimalist case. Unless and until Pro can summon a much better case, as well as providing very good objections to my 2 arguments against the Monarchy, the overwhelming case to abolish the Monarchy is too persuasive to even the most ardent Royalist.
lucasd_j forfeited this round.
Given that I've completely refuted Pro's "case" and my 2 arguments against the Monarchy are left wholly unchallenged, Pro will have an enormous task ahead of him of he decides to continue this debate.
Keep calm and vote Con.
lucasd_j forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by n7 2 years ago
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