The Instigator
iamnotwhoiam
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
r0bert
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The British monarchy should be abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
iamnotwhoiam
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,365 times Debate No: 27937
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (6)

 

iamnotwhoiam

Pro

The resolution is that the British monarchy should be relieved of governmental responsibility and subsidy. Round 1 is for acceptance. Burden of proof is shared. No new arguments in round 5.
r0bert

Con

I accept my opponent's constrains on all points. I will share burden of proof, and I will not present new arguments in round 5. I will be representing the opposition side of the resolution that the British monarchy should be relieved of governmental responsibility and subsidy, that the British monarchy should be left with governmental responsibility and subsidy.
Debate Round No. 1
iamnotwhoiam

Pro


1. Democracy is the preferable system of government.


The trend in thought from the Reformation at least until the twentieth century has been an increasing subjectivity. Dogmatic certainties could no longer be justified. Individualism began to take over from deference to authority. The old power structures began to be replaced by more egalitarian systems.[1]


Modern democracy is an outcome of individualism. It is a deterrent to tyranny over the people. By enabling all to have a say over who is in power, power is mitigated.The government have greater difficulty in performing unfair or unjust actions, because they are accountable to the people. The principle is that individuals are allowed to flourish in a state where all have basic rights, civil liberties and redress to the law. We can no longer justify innate rights of one human to be more powerful over another; people are to be treated equally.


Democracy enables a natural sort of utilitarianism; its pressures ensure that the concept of the greatest good for the greatest number must be a factor in the decisionmaking of any pragmatic politician.


Democratic government enables the most broad canvassing of opinion and ideas, taking advantage of this diversity to thrash out considered policies.


Democratic societies promote individual autonomy, and encourage citizens to think carefully and rationally.


Democracy also has a positive moral effect in that the conditions for political debate are realized, encouraging citizens to not only justify their stances to others but unavoidably think in terms of the interests of others.



1a. Empirically, democracies avoid some of the terrible conditions seen under other forms of government.


Due to limited space, I will develop this point in later rounds.



2. A monarchy is directly in opposition to the principles of democracy.


There is an inherent contradiction in a state where all are supposed to be born equal with equal rights but has at its head an unelected enjoyer of privilege, to whom deference is supposed to be shown. The monarch does not rule on the merits of their competency, in fact they may be utterly incompetent and the public could not rid themselves of such a fool until death.


The Queen holds weekly consultations with the Prime Minister. These meetings are private, and are exempt from Freedom of Information legislation: the public have no access to what is said.[2] The Queen is not accountable to the people. While it is not possible to prevent some private interests from having access to the Prime Minister, it is going beyond the pale to actually institutionalise the practice.



3. The sovereign has inordinate power.


The sovereign (ruling monarch) can declare war, veto bills passed in the legislative houses, dismiss and appoint a Prime Minister, dismiss and appoint other ministers, summon Parliament, command the Armed Forces, commmute the sentences of prisoners, ratify treaties, and receive diplomats.[3]


An unelected person with narrow interests should not have these powers. Especially not to command the army.



4. The Privy council is undemocratic


The Privy Council, a council that advises the ruling monarch, can be used by government to bypass due process. Legislation passed by Privy Council does not have to go through parliament (the legislative houses) at all.[4]



5. The sovereign has no mandate to rule


The doctrine of the divine right of kings belongs to a more gullible age when the people had less opportunity for self-determination. Said doctrine is a Christian imposition, and Britain is a multi-faith state now, including a significant proportion of the non-religious. It is a doctrine that is poisonous to democracy, or any just government; The sovereign is a fallible human being, and some measure of temporal accountability is a necessary check on human ambition.


Absent the divine right to rule, the sovereign has no mandate.


Monarchy was historically justified in Britain by the notion of parental power. The ruling monarch was held to be a direct descendant of the first father, Adam.[5]


John Locke pointed out that if parental power was concerned, then the mother's line is of equal value. Thus primogeniture with its preference for male heirs is not justified. Locke also mocks the notion that the monarch's bloodline can be traced to Adam. This is an obvious fiction. Furthermore, says Locke, parental power is temporary, relinquished at adulthood, and does not apply to life or property.[6]



6. Monarchy preserves harmful class structures


Class structures have been hugely detrimental in Britain to social mobility and a meritocratic society.


In a survey conducted by FM Martin, the possibility of own business amongst those who self-identified as working class was 15%. For the self-identified middle class it was significantly higher: 22% of manual workers and 30% of professionals.[7]


In a 2007 poll, 89% of Britons said they think people are judged by their class - with almost half saying that it counts for "a lot".[8]


The preservation of an aristocratic upper class, embodied by the monarchy, serves as a stark notice of the power of class and a deterrent to social mobility in Britain.


The UK has a worse record of social mobility than other developed countries. [9]



7. Abolishing the monarchy would provide an opportunity to have a written constitution


Unlike countries which have a written constitution, much of the UK system of government has been inherited from an undemocratic past. No rights guaranteed by the constitution. Parliament may pass any legislation that it wishes. This comes from the notion that the sovereign reigns by divine fiat. By contrast, in countries with a codified constitution, the legislature is normally forbidden from passing laws that contradict that constitution. Abolishing the monarchy would be a chance to put in place a codified constitution that would protect the rights and liberties of the British people.



8. The sovereign's duties can be taken up by those with a mandate to rule


Some of the sovereign's duties can be delegated downwards and others taken up by an elected President, accountable to the people. Any arguments for preserving the role of the monarch could apply to an elected official.




[1] Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy, Counterpoint, pp20-21.


[2] http://www.legislation.gov.uk...


[3] http://www.royal.gov.uk... (various pages)


[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[5] Murphy, Erin (2000-01-01). Familial Forms: Politics and Genealogy in Seventeenth-Century English Literature. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 2–3.


http://books.google.co.uk...


[6] Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy, Counterpoint. pp 596-599


[7] Some Subjective Aspects of Social Stratification, FM Martin, in Social Mobility in Britain, Eds David Victor Glass, Jerzy Berent, Taylor & Francis.


http://books.google.co.uk...


[8] http://www.guardian.co.uk...


[9] http://www.guardian.co.uk...















r0bert

Con

r0bert forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
iamnotwhoiam

Pro

The motion is unopposed. Abolish the monarchy.
r0bert

Con

r0bert forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
iamnotwhoiam

Pro

Vote CON.
r0bert

Con

r0bert forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
iamnotwhoiam

Pro

So I broke into the palace
With a sponge and a rusty hammer
She said "I know you and you cannot sing."
I said "That's nothing. You should hear me play piano."

- The Queen is Dead. The Smiths.

r0bert

Con

r0bert forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
The ruling monarch

- meets with heads of state.
- declares war (and the end of the war).
- assents to or denies all bills of law passed by the legislative houses.
- appoints the Prime Minister.
- has the power to appoint and dismiss other ministers.
- has the power to summon and dissolve parliament.
- ratifies treaties.
- appoints peers, some of whom then serve in the House of Lords, one of the two legislative houses.
- forms Royal Commissions who conduct public inquiries.
- receives documents and reports from government ministers and officials and signs as necessary.
- holds a weekly audience with the Prime Minister.
- appoints bishops and archbishops in the State religion.
Posted by ax123man 4 years ago
ax123man
The British monarchy still has governmental responsibility?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
iamnotwhoiamr0bertTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by drafterman 4 years ago
drafterman
iamnotwhoiamr0bertTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 4 years ago
DoctorDeku
iamnotwhoiamr0bertTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by Clash 4 years ago
Clash
iamnotwhoiamr0bertTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
iamnotwhoiamr0bertTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
iamnotwhoiamr0bertTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.