The Instigator
Hierocles
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
donald.keller
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

This House Believes that the United Kingdom Ought to Dissolve the Monarchy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
donald.keller
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,453 times Debate No: 46033
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (6)

 

Hierocles

Pro

The resolution speaks for itself. I stand as the PRO to affirm the resolution.

Dissolve: Cease funding via public expenditures and repeal all arcane standing British laws still on the books that entrust the Monarch with binding power.

Round 1: Acceptance of rules and resolution
Round 2: Constructive(s)
Round 3: Constructive(s) / Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals (NO NEW EVIDENCE OR NEW ARGUMENTS)
donald.keller

Con

I accept the resolution and rules.
Debate Round No. 1
Hierocles

Pro

I STAND TO AFFIRM THAT THE UK OUGHT TO DISSOLVE THE MONARCHY


VOTING FRAMEWORK

Because the key word used in the resolution is “ought,” it is to be interpreted as a value debate, and the resolution should be judged on balance as more true than false, in other words the burden of proof is shared. “Ought” refers to a moral judgment rather than a prediction about probable future events, IE. Fred the alcoholic ought to drink less, regardless of Fred's probable future choices and one's capacity to influence Fred's choices.


Crown: Legal term used in British law to refer to the monarch and the monarch's power(s)


Further definitions and background: http://tinyurl.com...


Thesis: The UK ought to dissolve the monarchy by ceasing all state funding for the royal family, and repeal all binding powers still retained by the Crown. I will demonstrate how the Crown's retained powers threaten the democratic spirit of the UK, how these powers have been abused by the acting monarch, and how the UK would be better off after the dissolution of Crown.



I. HARMS OF CROWN


A. Unchecked Powers Still On The Books


Contrary to popular belief the British Crown still retains many active binding powers beyond that of a purely ceremonial figurehead. The Crown reserves the sole right to authorize military action, to sign a bill into law by “royal assent,” or withhold assent - thereby vetoing the law. Further powers of crown include the right to dismiss an elected prime minister, the right to dismiss parliament and call for new elections, the right to utterly dissolve parliament, and “in grave constitutional crisis” to take total dictatorial power, and “act contrary to or without Ministerial advice.” According to the House of Commons report, the most disturbing retained power is “the principle that the Crown can do no wrong, and that the Crown is not bound by statute save by express words or necessary implication” (i).


The powers retained by the Crown, even if some have not been exercised in recent history, are a threat to the democratic spirit of British government. The ministers elected by the people ought to have the right to pass laws by majority vote unencumbered by the oversight and potential obstruction of an unelected monarch that was literally born into the job.



(i) House of Commons Report on Public Administration, April 2003: http://tinyurl.com...



A-1. Recent Abuses of Power by Crown



In 1999 the Queen vetoed a law, passed by Parliament, that would have shifted the power to authorize military strikes from Crown to Parliament. The Queen and the Prince of Wales have exercised their royal prerogative on at least 39 pieces of legislation in the last ten years. Their vetoes have included “New Labour's 2004 tuition fees legislation,” and a law about “Civil partnerships.” In the words of Professor Kirkhope at Britain's Plymouth University, "There has been an implication that these prerogative powers are quaint and sweet but actually there is real influence and real power, albeit unaccountable.”(ii)


Even more disturbing is that the British government did not want to disclose this exercise of royal prerogative. The information only “came to light” after the Crown “lost a court battle with the paper [The Guardian] to prevent publication of the internal Whitehall record.”(iii) The Crown actively exercises powers that most believe are moot, and then attempts to cover up the very use of that power. They also have royal precedent if any law”affects the Duchy of Cornwall. These guidelines effectively mean the Queen and Charles both have power over laws affecting their sources of private income.” I'm sure most British citizens wish they had such privileges, especially since Charles and the Queen are not required to pay taxes (iv).



(ii) Politics.co.uk, 2013: http://tinyurl.com...


(iii) Huffington Post, January 2013: http://tinyurl.com...


(iv) Guardian, January 2013: http://tinyurl.com...



B. The Undue Cost of Crown



According to the New York Times, “the Public Accounts Committee — Parliament’s watchdog on public spending — published a damning survey of the state of the royal finances. The queen had spent down her “reserve fund,” a savings account built up by years of surplus public subsidy, to “a historically low level” of only £1 million ($1.6 million), from £35.3 million in 2001.” The royal family receives over 202 million dollars a year in subsidies, all of which are not subject to taxes . The total value of all of the royal assets, including jewels and estates of land are worth upwards of billions upon billions of dollars.(v). All of this land costs millions a year to maintain, and many more millions to maintain the royal family's opulent lifestyle.



(v) New York Times, February 2014: http://tinyurl.com...



B-2. Spend the Billions on Education Instead



Imagine what could be better done with the billions wasted on the royal family. Over 20 percent of British citizens live below the poverty line. Britain is near the U.S. in having the worst social mobility in the industrialized world (vi). Every million spent on the royals is a million NOT spent on public education. Every million spent on the royals is a million NOT spent on raising people out of poverty. The billions saved, if the monarchy was abolished, is enough reason to vote Pro because that money would go farther and do more good helping the poor children of the United Kingdom. Every child in the UK ought to have an equal opportunity to succeed because they worked hard, not because they were born into the royal family (vii).





    1. Oxfam, 2013: http://tinyurl.com...






II. MAINTAIN ROYAL ADVANTAGES WITHOUT COST & LIBABILITY TO THE DEMOCRACY



A. ORNAMENT-SYMBOL




    1. Royalist Brits can still idolize the royal family without subsiding their opulent lifestyle with their hard-earned tax dollars.



    1. Tourism Boon will continue because of UK's many historical attractions regardless of the legal status of the crown. Tourism revenue would probably increase because places like Buckingham Palace could be open year round.



    1. The Royal Family can continue to be honored at royal events, the same way popular celebrities and philanthropists often attend White House gatherings in the US.



    1. The Royal Family can raise money by establishing a NGO to maintain the royal aesthetic by giving speeches, representing non-for-profits, and accepting donations. The Royal Family can use their celebrity to raise money for worth-while causes rather than simply enjoy state funded entitlements, warranted by nothing other than birth-right.



B. SAFE-GUARD


1. Judicial appointees selected by a majority of elected representatives could act as a legal safe-guard, similar to the US Supreme Court, rather than surrendering absolute trust to an unelected monarch to decide when a bill should be vetoed.


2. Appointees by elected representatives will have more legitimacy than unelected monarchs.




III. ADVANTAGES OF CROWN DISSOLUTION


A. PREVENT POTENTIAL FUTURE ABUSE BY CROWN


Ending the monarchy now will insure that the British democratic system will not be torn asunder by a future sovereign that greatly abuses the powers still retained by crown. Some argue that the Crown would never abuse its power because that could spur a civil war and the abolishment of the monarchy. If the potential for a civil war actually exists in modern Britain then it's better to begin the peaceful transition to a monarch-free Britain now than wait for an insane sovereign that will require a bloody coup' to remove.



B. SPEND THE BILLIONS ON EDUCATION & POVERTY REDUCTION



The millions spent on, and the billions in assets held by, the royal family would be better spent on education and poverty reduction. The revenue currently raised “by the Royals” would only increase under public administration because people will continue to see the historical museums and castles with or without the royal family present in them. The funds raised by the royal lands would better benefit the people if they were turned over to public administration, and or turned into public parks rather than be used as the private hunting ground of the royal family.




C. PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF A REPUBLIC


British citizens are aware that they do NOT live in a meritocracy. They are aware that the royals are awarded tremendous privileges simply because of their birth-right rather than because of hard-work. Studies have shown that people actually become healthier when they can vote and feel like people are awarded for hard work, and acquire their status through talent and persistence. (viii).


(viii) Web MD, 2013: http://tinyurl.com...




D. ROYAL FAMILY MEMBERS WILL BE FREE TO LIVE THEIR OWN LIVES


Members of the royal family themselves will benefit by a dissolution of crown by giving them the freedom to live their own lives free of constant surveillance and high expectations. Under current law, members of the royal family, especially the women, are incredibly restricted because they are expected to produce royal off-spring. Therefore they may only be straight and marry Christian Anglicans. Dissolving the Crown would repeal all binding law, thereby giving the former-royals freedom to be gay and fall in love with whomever they choose (ix).



(ix) BBC AMERICA 2011:http://www.bbcamerica.com...



donald.keller

Con

Rebuttal 1: Powers of the Monarchy

The Military powers are very similar to the US President's power, and hardly count as bad. The others are, however, unsupportable. The Crown could try to do those things, but won't succeed. Parliaments voice is still supreme above the Crown. In the end, those powers are only there because they aren't used, but as Parliament has shown before, if the Crown were to use any of those powers, Parliament would either ignore it or dismantle the right of the Crown to do it. Pro is concerned about powers that the Monarchy can't actually use. Any attempt by the Monarchy to exercise the powers wouldn't be taken seriously by Parliament, and would more likely lead to Parliament overwriting the power.

Since the 1900's, the Crown has required the advice of a Prime Minister or the Cabinet before it can enact anything (1).

Pro brings in the Crowns vetoing power. This is a very common power among current Government Officials in almost every Democracy in the world. The President also has Veto power. The Crown using a veto power isn't an abuse. If the Crown has only done this 39 times in the last Decade, they are better then most US presidents. Clinton Vetoed 37 bills in 8 years, George Bush vetoed 44. Reagan vetoed 78. Franklin Roosevelt vetoed 600+ in his 4 terms (2).

1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
2) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu...

Rebuttal II: Costs of the Crown

Pro's argue is lacking understanding... That isn't the people's money... That's a small percent of the Queens revenue. The Crown brings in £240 million in revenue for the State (3). The Crown costs the people nothing. Everything they get comes out of the profits of their estate. The Royal Family get only 15% of their income back, while the UK Government keeps the rest. The UK earns money by having the crown around.(4)

As for the billions in assets owned by the Family... That's just that. They are owned by the family, not the State. The crown jewels and the estates, they actually belong to the Monarchy. While the Monarchy doesn't have a lot of power over them right now, if the State were to demolish the Crown, they would have to return any property that belonged to the Queen's family. If you demolished the Monarchy, they would still keep their property. Taking it would be theft, and illegal. The land and jewels cost the people nothing, they are already paid for. The Monarchy pays for their estate themselves out of the £35.3 million they get in return for the £250 million they bring in. Instead, you would lose £250 million in profits.

The Crown doesn't cost the people billions in Pounds. Their £6.6 billion in Estate is't costing £6.6 billion a year. They costed what, today, amounts to £6.6 billion over centuries of collecting, and most of that cost came from inflation and antiquity, not the cost of purchase. The Estate brings roughly £2.5 billion into the economy (5). Pro believes this would continue without the Monarchy, but it wouldn't. The revenue exist only because the Estates belong to the Crown. If the Estates were no longer royal, than there would be much less interest in them.

3) http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
4) http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk...
5) http://brandfinance.com...

Rebuttal III: Advantages Of Crown Dissolution

This assume the Crown can even abuse their power. Vetoing is the closest the Crown comes to abusing any power... But they aren't. This is no more an abuse of power than the President vetoing a bill. As for costs, the State wouldn't save billions because they didn't spend billions to begin with. They would save £35 million a year, but lose £250 million a year. The tourism income isn't just from taxation. The income is actually the entirety of all the income the Crown earns.

As for the Crown's own personal freedom, I do not believe they are too concern about the mild inconvenience...

Conclusion: There is no reasonable benefit to the extreme costs and efforts needed to restructure the Government to exist without the Monarchy, and the Government would only lose money doing so.
Debate Round No. 2
Hierocles

Pro

I will refute each of CON’s claims, and extend my advantages with further evidence.


POWERS OF THE MONARCHY


CON: “The Military powers are very similar to the US President's power, and hardly count as bad.”


They are ‘bad’ because an unelected leader [the Queen] can overrule the will of the elected leaders [the Prime Minister and the House of Commons]. American presidents are elected, the Queen is unelected. Unless CON wants to dispute the basic precepts of democracy, then he should concede this point. Secondly, if the president vetoes a law then his veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority in congress; if the Crown withholds assent then there is no other legal recourse. In American history the presidential veto has been overridden by congress 109 times (3-ii). The Crown’s veto has not been “overridden” since the English Civil War in 1642.

(3-ii) http://history.house.gov...

CON: “The Crown could try to do those things, but won't succeed.”

First, the Queen has tried and succeeded in exercising the Crown’s retained powers in the last ten years; see my (ii)Politics, (iii)Huffington, and (iv)Guardian evidence from rd-2. Crown vetoed a bill that would have transferred the power to authorize military strikes from Crown to parliament, and then attempted to hide it from the public. It took a lawsuit filed by the British-based Guardian newspaper for it to be revealed. The Crown exercised legislative prerogative over bills concerning tuition reform and Civil Partnerships in 2004. Secondly, if the powers will never be successfully used then why have them at all? Repeal them!



CON: “Parliaments voice is still supreme above the Crown.”


CON is mistaken. He failed to read the evidence I cited from the British House of Commons, on the UK’s official government website. It reads: The Queen's constitutional prerogatives are the personal discretionary powers which remain in the Sovereign's hands. They include the rights to advise, encourage and warn Ministers in private; to appoint the Prime Minister and other Ministers; to assent to legislation; to prorogue or to dissolve Parliament;and (in grave constitutional crisis) to act contrary to or without Ministerial advice.” If the Crown can “act contrary to or without Ministerial advice,” then Parliament is NOT supreme, and the Prime Minister’s advice is NOT required. In this respect, CON is simply mistaken.



CON: “Since the 1900's, the Crown has required the advice of a Prime Minister or the Cabinet before it can enact anything.”

CON's only support for this is a wiki. First, prefer PRO’s House of Commons evidence from the official site of the UK government over a wiki where any anonymous blogger can post his opinion. Secondly, even CON's wiki supports PRO’s case. In the second paragraph, third sentence of the Wiki it reads, The monarch remains constitutionally empowered to exercise the Royal Prerogative against the advice of the prime minister [and/or] the cabinet.”



COSTS OF THE CROWN

CON: “This isn’t the people’s money….”

CON is mistaken. It is the people’s tax dollars in the tune of 202.4 million dollars a year (2-v Nytimes). The royals practice stewardship over public estates in an arrangement that mostly benefits the royal family. If you read CON's evidence, it never says that the property is owned by the Royal Family. All of Con’s evidence just gives an analysis of the financial costs and benefits of the royals. Buckingham Palace is no more the private property of Queen Elizabeth II, than the White House is the private property of Obama (3vi)(3vii). They practice stewardship over it, but they are not allowed to sell it, destroy it, or paint it bright pink. CON himself cites a FAQ page from the official (4)Crown Estate website that answers the question, ‘Who Owns the Crown Estate?’ with “The Crown Estateis not the private property of the monarch - it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch. Furthermore, CON's Telegraph evidence reads, “The Queen will be eligible for a payment of £36.1m next April to fund her official duties, a 16 [percent] increase on the £31m paid by taxpayers to finance the Monarchy this year, despite the Government enforcing sharp public spending cuts elsewhere.(That's just her salary, the 202 million annual cost to taxpayers includes the cost of security and wait-staff.) Lastly, his “Brand Finance” evidence should be disregarded. The link leads to a PDF created by an obscure finance dot-com site without any credentials or cited sources; it could have been thrown together by anyone. Even if you believe the Brand Finance evidence, it reads that the “costs of the Monarchy” are over “7.6 billion pounds.” These costs include royal security (3.2 billion), and over 387 million for building maintenance. It mentions money raised by royal celebrations, but there is no reason these celebrations could not continue if Queen Elizabeth can continue to smile and wave without the power to destroy British democracy.

(3vi) http://www.republic.org.uk...

(3vii) http://www.republic.org.uk...


Advantages Of Crown Dissolution


CON: “As for the Crown's own personal freedom, I do not believe they are too concern about the mild inconvenience…”

Con's comment is glib and insensitive. It's not a “mild inconvenience,” it’s oppressive to one’s self identity. What if the law dictated that you must be a gay Buddhist? And when you protest, I say “get-over-it, you're rich.” Under current British law (see my BBC evidence from round 2), the royals must be straight, and they must be Anglican. If the Crown was dissolved, then all such laws would be repealed. They shouldn't have to hide their true selves (3viii).

(3viii) Independent UK,. 2004: http://tinyurl.com...


OVERVIEW: Remember, this is a value debate. In rd. 1-2, CON conceded this BOP shared status and that the debate ought to be judged on values via the PRO's thesis: “Crown's retained powers threaten the democratic spirit of the UK, how these powers have been abused by the acting monarch, and how the UK would be better off after the dissolution of Crown.”

PEACEFUL TRANSITION

  1. All of the necessary government departments and officials are already in place. Nothing would be added, only Crown removed. Ergo the transition would cost nothing, and save the public money by eliminating 202.4 million a year in annual subsidies for the royals. Plus all of the Crown Estate property would better benefit UK taxpayers if it is fully nationalized. The profits from the estates would be properly taxed, royal land could be opened up as public parks, and tourist destinations like Buckingham Palace would raise more money by being open 24/7/365 rather than a fraction of the year (ix). The Crown Estates could be fully nationalized, and placed under the departments of Culture and Historical Preservation (3-vii-viii). Plus, the administration of the Crown Estate would be more transparent and accountable because under standing UK laws, the Crown is immune to criminal charges and the British Freedom of Information Act. Ergo, it would be more accountable in a department that does not have such legal immunity.

    (ix)

  1. PM and Parliament are already viewed as the leaders of the country. They are elected and have a strong incentive to reflect the people's will.

  2. The UK would continue to reap benefits from the tourism attractions served by the royal family after public subsidies and binding powers are repealed. The Queen will still smile and wave at royal balls after her democracy destroying powers have been rescinded.

  3. UK Supreme Court is already in place, and can rein in any post-Crown power grabs, the same way the US Supreme Court will overrule any unconstitutional executive orders (x)

    (x) http://supremecourt.uk...

  4. Elizabeth II is like Gorbachev at the end of the Cold War. It's key to start reforms NOW while a reasonable head-of-state is in power. Imagine if Putin was in charge in 1989. The Soviet Union would of hung on, and never be reformed. Reforms must be made now to prevent a future Putin-like monarch from destroying UK democracy (xi).

    (xi) http://www.republic.org.uk...

ADVANTAGE EXTENSIONS

1. REDUCE POVERTY – FUND EDUCATION

The UK's education system, and social mobility is horrid. 202.4 million, and the billions in tax-free assets retained by the Crown estate would better benefit the people, and the 20% of the UK population in poverty. CON dropped this argument, he just claimed that the Crown Estates are privately owned – THAT'S BEEN REFUTED. Ergo, full nationalization of Crown Estates will benefit the public.

http://www.republic.org.uk...

2. FREEDOM FOR MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY

If they are gay and catholic they should be able to live that way. Con's answers are glib and insensitive.

3. PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS of REPUBLIC

Extend this argument from rd. 2. CON totally dropped it.

4. STRONGER UK DEMOCRACY

Why tolerate the potential liability of standing laws that could deeply undermine British democracy? All of the Crown’s standing powers ought to be repealed immediately in case a future monarch (A) sparks a government crisis by abusing the Crown’s full power, (B) sparks a civil war or coup by deepening divisions in British society between republicans and royalists, and or (C) embarrasses the United Kingdom before the world by destroying its image as an advanced democracy (3-i).

(3-i) Washington Post, ‘Royalists & Republicans’ 2013: http://tinyurl.com...

OTHER SOURCES

REPUBLIC http://tinyurl.com...

donald.keller

Con

Rebuttal I: Power of the Monarchy

There are many unelected leaders in the US and UK both who have large amounts of power. There are unelected members in all branches of every government. The Queen has never vetoed a bill by herself. She has only ever vetoed a bill when advised to by her cabinet (1).

Pro still assumes that because the Queen "can" use certain powers, that it means the Queen can actually do those things. His source shows what the Queen could do, but he fails to see that if the Queen did do those things, Parliament would override her. As I said, Parliaments voice is still supreme. They can override any power or even abdicate the Monarchy if the Queen abuses her powers.

Pro insults the integrity of my source. Understand that Wikipedia isn't a reliable source in a petty school debate, but here, every source is taken at face value until proven wrong. As for what my first source said about the ability of the Queen, Pro continuously ignores that the Queen can't do any of those without risking abdication. This is, again, a list of what the Queen can 'legally' do, not what she really can do. Pro has to prove that there is an extreme abuse of these powers. Vetoing isn't an abused power, but is actually done only when the Queen has been advised to by her cabinet.

Pro cherry picked my source. He specifically did it, having had to erase the comma in the sentence and replace it with a period to make the text look like it supported his case. The actual sentence goes like this: "The monarch remains constitutionally empowered to exercise the Royal Prerogative against the advice of the prime minister or the cabinet, but in practice would only do so in emergencies or where existing precedent does not adequately apply to the circumstances in question."

1) Bennion, Francis. "Modern Royal Assent Procedure at Westminster".

Rebuttal II: Costs of The Monarchy.

Pro is mistaken. Every penny comes from the money that that Treasury receives from the Crown's Estate. The Treasury gives the Crown 15% of all profits. Even with £202 million in funding to the crown, the Treasury earns million in profit. This £202 million numbers came from an anti-Monarchy group called the Republic. There is no actual backing to this number.

"If you read CON's evidence, it never says that the property is owned by the Royal Family."

This is a horrendous argument. My sources also never said Dinosaurs existed, but seeing as it wasn't supposed to, it doesn't really matter. My sources shown that the Crown's Estate brings in more money, even with the unsupported claim of £202 million, than it receives. The Crown's Estate is nothing more than a government group meant to manage the assets of the Crown.

"The Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch 'in right of The Crown', that is, it is owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign, by virtue of their accession to the throne."(2)

While my source does explain the Crown's power over the property is limited, all limitation end if the state no longer recognizes the Monarchy. Even if the Crown costed more than they brought in, this would be easy to solve. Lowering the expanse of the Monarchy is much easier than eliminating the Monarchy, and wouldn't eliminate a possible £204 million income.

As for the 16% increase in funding, Con is gravely misrepresenting facts. The Crown Estate's profits rose, and because the queen receive 15% of her estate's profits, her personal income rose as well (3). "George Osborne, the Chancellor, scrapped the Civil List, which financed the official duties of the Queen, and replaced it with a Sovereign Grant that is equal to 15 per cent of the Crown Estate's annual profits." On the Civil List, the queen earned £31 million. When the list was replaced with a 15% income, and the profits from the estates rose greatly, the queen ended up getting 16% more than last year.

2) http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk...
3) http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

Rebuttal III: The Benefits of abolishing the Crown

Pro claims my comment was insensitive, but he clearly does not understand the Royal Family. Claiming they are oppressed is an attempt to grasp at straws. The Royal Families restrictions are not by law, but tradition. They can change what ever they so please if they so please.

Pro still holds on to the idea that eliminating the Monarchy will save the Treasury enough money to hurt poverty. If every penny the Queen earned came from the tax payers, they would be paying £3 each. The savings wouldn't fight poverty. Of course, however, since the Treasury earns profit off the monarchy, be it £10 million or a potential £204 million, the Treasury would lose money abolishing the Monarchy. Pro ignores this point. The Queen does a lot of fundraising and charity for the poor, the UK would also lose that as well.

Pro's talk of physiological issues is unsourced. He claims there are negative side effects, but his source is blank. Any side-effects from having a monarchy would also exist from simply having rich people in general. As for enforcing the Democracy, every Democracy has unelected leaders who hold a lot of power. The Monarchy never acts without being advised first.

Argument I: Alternatives.

The Monarchy brings in a great deal of revenue for the Treasury. Abolishing the Monarchy would be painful for the Treasury. If expanses were cut back to the Queen's 15%, the Treasury would receive £204 million in revenue. The Treasury, already in debt, would lose out a lot.

That being said, abolishing the Monarchy would have to be the most beneficial option. Being unelected, the remaining, and practically useless powers of the Monarchy should be limited and some removed. There is no reason abolishing the Monarchy would be better than limiting her powers to ceremonial, and keeping the income she produces.

The cost to eliminate the Monarchy would be grand. The restructuring of an entire Government, including the House of Lords, would cost upwards to billions in expanses. The Treasury would spend upwards of billions only to lose £204 million a year afterwards. Keeping the Monarchy and limiting her powers would be much better for the nation.

Conclusion: The Monarchy has little power left. Limiting her powers further would be much more benefical then eliminating the Crown all together. The crown brings in a possible 100s of millions in Pounds, and the cost of Eliminating the Crown only to lose that money would not be worth it.
Debate Round No. 3
Hierocles

Pro

In Round Three, BOTH SIDES AFFIRMED THE RESOLUTION

NOTE: Crown = Monarchy. The “Crown” is just the legal term used in British law to refer to the Monarchy. The Monarchy/Crown is entirely different from the quasi governmental property management company known as the Crown Estate, which is sponsored by the UK Treasury. This is key to understanding the debate. This was explained in rd 2-3, but the explanation was disjointed throughout the text.


This debate comes down to (1) Crown’s retained powers ought to be removed/repealed, (2) the royals do not need/should not receive public funding, and (3) the nature of the Crown Estate.


CON has conceded (1) and (2), which is sufficient enough for both sides to affirm the resolution. I will demonstrate how CON conceded (1) and (2), in round 3, and how that is enough for you to vote PRO right now. Then I will provide my rebuttal on (3) the role of the Crown Estate.


(1) Repeal/Remove Binding Crown Powers


In rd. 3, third-last paragraph CON said, “That being said, abolishing the Monarchy would have to be the most beneficial option. Being unelected, the remaining, and practically useless powers of the Monarchy should be limited and some removed.”


With that statement CON agrees with me, and affirms the resolution. Therefore, you MUST VOTE PRO. The resolution demands that the Monarchy be “dissolved.” I provided a definition of ‘dissolve’ for this debate that CON accepted in his rd. 1 response. “Dissolve” had two necessary conditions; (A) all binding powers must be repealed, and (B) all public funding for the royals must be eliminated. Throughout the debate, I mentioned possible scenarios (i.e. from full abolishment to curtailing Crown to a weak purely ceremonial role) that would be sufficient to meet the two necessary conditions, without those scenarios being necessary within themselves in order to affirm the resolution. The CON is expected to negate the resolution by providing arguments against dissolving the Monarchy. By agreeing that the Monarchy ought to be abolished, and or her powers removed, he has in fact affirmed the resolution; ERGO YOU MUST VOTE PRO.

Whether you agree with PRO that the Crown’s powers are dangerous and anti-democratic, or agree with CON in thinking that they are merely “useless” then you should still vote PRO because we all agree that useless/dangerous powers should be removed.


Royal Assent = Crown’s Veto


CON insists that the Crown cannot use these powers, and won’t use them. First, I proved that Crown, on her own initiative, has used her assent 'veto' over 30 times in the last ten years in my 2013 Guardian, Huffington, and Politics-UK evidence, which I cited in rd. 2-3. CON ignores my sources, and doesn’t provide any counter-evidence. He only cites an out-of-date broken link (Brennian, 1981) about Royal Assent procedure. If he read my Guardian 2013 evidence he would see that all of these vetoes detailed in the secret Whitehall papers were only recently declassified by the Guardian’s successful lawsuit against the government in 2013.


Secondly, Con’s Wiki citation, and the Brennian evidence discuss the law in theory, regardless of what Queen Elizabeth does in practice. In practice, as I explained above, the Crown utilizes her veto. In theory she can only use her more extreme powers, such as dismissing Parliament to seize total power, only in the case of an “emergency.” But the Crown gets to decide what constitutes an “emergency.” Therefore, British democracy is still threatened by by the unchecked powers of a future tyrannical Monarch. Con drops this argument. Extend my argument from rd-3.

Even if a future Monarch would be removed immediately after attempting to seize power why risk the international embarrassment of having a public symbol of the country deposed by force, or risk the potential for a civil war? The Monarch should be peacefully dissolved NOW to prevent future threats to British democracy.


(2) The Royals Should Not Receive/Do Not Need Public Funding


CON concedes this in principle, and never argues that the royals deserve public money, only that they don't receive any; all evidence cited refutes this. In rd 3, he disputes my interpretation of his Telegraph evidence from rd 2. HOWEVER, IN ROUND 3 HE QUOTES AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TELEGRAPH ARTICLE. In rd 2, his Telegraph article clearly reads:


“This means the Queen will be eligible for a payment of £36.1m next April to fund her official duties, a 16pc increase on the £31m paid by taxpayers to finance the Monarchy this year, despite the Government enforcing sharp public spending cuts elsewhere.”

(Author: Graham Ruddick, Telegraph: http://tinyurl.com...)


If British taxpayers did not fund the Monarchy, then the article would not use the phrase, “paid by taxpayers to finance the Monarchy...” His rd 3 Telegraph decoy is very different and it’s written by Victoria Ward, while his rd 2 Telegraph article is written by Graham Ruddick.

Nevertheless, CON concedes throughout rd 3 that British taxpayers actually do fund the royals by conceding the £202.4 M public expenditure figure. In rd 3 (rebuttal-2 paragraph-1)CON writes “Even with £202 million in funding to the crown, the Treasury earns million in profit.“ He believes this £202 M of funding is outweighed by the profits reaped from the royals, but cannot explain why any public funding for the royals is necessary at all. I have demonstrated with the Nytimes-rd 2, Telegraph-rd 2/3, and Republic-rd 3 evidence that British taxpayers fund the royals.


But even if you believe, contrary to the evidence provided, that the royals bring in more than they receive, then why give them any public funds at all? If they are so self-sufficient and business savvy, then why not let them take care of themselves?The UK can redirect those £35-202.4 M funds toward more teachers, policemen, and public parks (X). Even if you do not believe my Republic think-tank evidence, then refer to the unchallenged rd-2 Nytimes and Telegraph evidence that verifies the “Costs of Crown” are at least 30-40 million pounds a year.


All of the profits from tourism, the Crown Estate, and royal celebrations can continue if Parliament repeals all of the Monarch’s binding-powers, and eliminates all public funding for the royals (Y). CON keeps insisting that none of this could continue, but he never says why. I argued in rd-2-sect.II-A that the royals could continue to serve the country at public celebrations, raise money for charities, and encourage British tourism after Crown dissolution. Considering the royals’ undeniable celebrity in British society, they would have no trouble starting salaried careers heading charities or NGOs. All Pro argument on this flow are entirely dropped; by dropping it, Con effectively concedes the argument. Con concedes that all royal-inspired revenue will continue after Crown dissolution, thus Con's entire case falls. In short:


In Pro’s case, royal-inspired revenue would continue, taxpayer funding of the royals would be redirected into more worthwhile investments, and the legal threat to British democracy eliminated. ERGO VOTE PRO.

(X) See my rd.2-3 Youtube/Irish Republican evidence on how 202.4 million could be invested better elsewhere.


(Y) See my rd. 1 definition of “dissolve,” which CON accepted in his rd. 1 response.



(3) The Crown Estate Can Continue if the Monarchy is Dissolved


Con’s only offense in this entire debate is his bizarre belief that the Crown Estate will evaporate, or be claimed by the Windsor clan if the Monarch’s powers are repealed, and public funding cut.

CON states in rd 3 that the “Crown's Estate is nothing more than a government group meant to manage the assets of the Crown.” Con still misunderstands how the Crown Estate (not "Crown's Estate") works. (Notice how the possesive "'s." is incorrect.) They are not “the Crown’s assets,” they are the assets of the British people. The Crown Estate is not the property of the Queen in the same way the White House is not the property of Obama or the executive branch, but the property of “We the people...” in an abstract legal sense. Both of us cited the Crown Estate FAQ page, which reads:


“The Crown Estates is not the private property of the monarch - it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch.”


If the revenues do not belong to the Monarch, then they are not strictly the Crown’s assets. The Crown Estates “belong to the reigning monarch” in a purely symbolic way in the same vein as “Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force,” and “Her Majesty’s Royal Navy,” etc. Yet it’s precisely this dangerous anti-democratic ambiguity of the “royal” label on British institutions that ought to be clarified through Crown dissolution.

Besides, if all of Crown’s powers were repealed, then the “reigning Monarch” would be beholden to laws passed by Parliament just like every other citizen. Therefore, if the Monarchy was dissolved, Elizabeth would not have the power to deny the UK the right to the Crown Estates. There are no standing laws, and CON could not cite any, that would ever trigger a transfer of the Crown Estate from the UK Treasury to the Windsor family.


But if you still believe that this property rightfully belongs to Windsors'-then look to history. The land and sea throughout British territory known as “The Crown Estate” was conquered hundreds of year ago, by an army of commoners led by a series of Kings over centuries. These Kings conquered that territory as agents of the state, and agents of a state serve as extensions of that state, ergo the territory belongs to the state. As property of the state, regardless of the Monarch’s legal status, the entity currently known as “ the Crown Estates” belong to the United Kingdom and its citizens.


For hundreds of years commoners have worked that land, paid taxes to maintain it, and died defending it; the people have the only rightful claim to that territory. The Monarch may need the people, but the people do not need a Monarch.

ERGO VOTE PRO.
donald.keller

Con

I have not affirmed the Resolution. Nor did I affirm the second Argument. The Resolution is about abolishing the crown, not completing 1 and 2, or even 3. If we completed all three, the Resolution would still have not been upheld. Pro has attempted to move the Goal Posts from "Abolishing the Crown" to "Agreeing with Arguments I, II, III".

I argued to limit their power, not eliminate all funding, and most certainly not to eliminate the Crown. Every argument stands by the Resolution. They look like this: "Argument I is why the Resolution is right." When someone says "Argument I is actually why the Anti-Resolution is right." They have not conceded to your argument. Your argument is to prove the Resolution right, if they have not conceded that that Argument proves the resolution, they have not conceded.

Outline: I have to defend my position that keeping the Crown and restricting her powers is a better option then abolishing the crown.

Rebuttal I: The Powers of the Monarchy.

That statement affirms nothing, and is cherry-picked from my argument and misrepresented. If you read it, is says that while the powers of the Crown should be limited, abolishing her must only be done if it's the most benefical possible option. As the rest of my argument would show, it's not the best option. Pro is trying to make it look like I said it's the best option, but by reading the quote in context, we'll see that is not what I said.

"That being said, abolishing the Monarchy would have to be the most beneficial option. Being unelected, the remaining, and practically useless powers of the Monarchy should be limited and some removed. There is no reason abolishing the Monarchy would be better than limiting her powers to ceremonial, and keeping the income she produces."

a) Veto Powers:

Pro misreads my argument. I said she, while able to use vetoes because she always consulted advisers (as I acknowledged she uses vetoes), she couldn't use any other power without risk. Pro was to show evidence that I'm wrong in this case, and that she does in fact use the other powers. He sticks with maybes and theories. The Queen could dismiss the Parliament in an emergency, but she never has, and never will. If she did, Parliament would abolish the crown, backed with the citizens of Britain. The queen only exists still because she doesn't use her other powers, as I've been saying.

Con has shown no evidence that these powers are used. He argues in theory, but not with a practical application to the real world. While I agree the Queen's power should be more limited, that doesn't mean I affirm to Argument 1. You see, Pro's argument is this:

"The crown has too much power, and should be abolished."
My argument is:
"The crown has too much power, and those powers should be limited."

The premise is entirely different. Pro is shifting the goal posts, and fails to understand that his Argument I is about supporting abolishing the Crown, not limiting her. This is cherry-picking, shifting goal posts, and misrepresentation of my case.

Rebuttal II: Cost of the Crown.

I conceded nothing. My claim was simple, the Crown's funding could be cut back, but the Crown shouldn't be eliminated.

My source backs up my claim, but as for Graham Ruddick, he shuffles through his words carefully, and what he says is basically meaningless. If you read the source, he is saying she receives a 15% share of her estates income, but essentially, tax payers pay it. This contradicts... Saying it's 15% of the income from HER estate, but is paid by income from other people's estates. Tax payers is nothing more than a well-worded way to say the Government, that word, Tax Payers, is meaningless. Anything that gets money from the government technically gets it from "the tax payers." However, his first line was saying she receives 15% of what her estate brings in, it's her share of her estates income. The phrasing is shy here because of the process at which she gets it.

The Queen doesn't give the Treasury 85% of her income and keeps 15%. She gives them 100%, and they budget her 15% back, so it "comes from the taxpayers" (the Government) but it's not the Tax Payers money.

The (unsupported claim of) £202 million the Queen got was from one year, when her estate was running out off money and needed funding, as Pro's sources says. The source talks about how the estate was going bankrupt, and drew in funding from each member's districts and several other sources. There is no evidence that she receives that annually. Even if she did, would it matter to the resolution? Pro argues that the Monarchy should be disbanded because she costs too much (obviously no, if they are still making a profit.) All his argument really says is that the Queens budget should be more conservative. She is, however guaranteed that 15% of her income. Pro's argument is false cause and correlation. The funding came mostly from district sources and other places, not from Parliment. So the cuts wouldn't relate to the funding.

Pro is misrepresenting the situation. The Crown receives several million more than they cost, for the Treasury, not themselves. The reason they need public funding is that every penny they bring in goes straight to the Government. Without that 15%, they would have no funds. Pro assumes that the Crown's "business" makes such a good profit that she doesn't need funds, which is exactly NOT how the situation works. The Crown makes the Treasury such a good profit, and they give her 15% back so she can fund her estate. That 15% is her only income remaining at the end of the year.

As for the Crown's estate, Con misrepresents what is said. The source fully claims the Monarchy owns the Crown Estate, but that it's still public property. That being said, if you disband the monarchy, their estate, that they own, stops being public, and becomes private property. The source says that it's Public Property owned by the Queen, not Parliament. If the Monarchy is disbanded, the Queen still keeps her estate. She will get wealthy while the Treasury stops earning £240 million. They would only earn the tax revenue.

The Treasury's funding would go from a possible £204 million to less than £100 million within a year. Abolishing the Monarchy is not the best option. And no the Treasury would not be able to divert their £202 because they wouldn't have that £202 million. Pro has continuously ignored this point.. The Treasury GETS that £202 million from the crown in the first place. Pro still never fully supported his £202 million claim.

Pro made highly unsupportable claims and gravely misrepresented the situation at hand. Either he has lied on purpose, or he is truly uninformed about the Crown's system of funding.

I did not concede to Abolishing the Monarchy because they earn a lot of their own income back.

Rebuttal III: Alternatives.

Pro has dropped this whole case. It then still stands that there are better alternatives. The Crown should have it's powers limited and funding cut back to only 15% of income. This way, the UK and the Treasurey still recieves the benefits without the negatives (assuming her powers are a negative, seeing as, aside from vetoing, Pro hasn't proven those powers to be practiced in the real world). Abolishing the Crown has to be the best option for the Resolution to be true, but it isn't,

Final Defense:

Pro has dropped ALL of Argument III: Benefits of Abolishing the Monarchy.

Pro has misrepresented my entire case, and shifted the Goal Poles. His argument is that the Crown should be abolished because of Argument I and Argument II. I'm saying that the Crown's power should be limited because of Argument I and her funding cut back to the 15% it should be because of Argument II. I conceded to nothing, and didn't affirm the Resolution. Con completely dropped my last Argument about alternatives. My arguments prove that the Queen shouldn't be disbanded because of the alternatives.

Conclusion: Pro was to prove the Resolution is true, and that the Crown should be disbanded. He failed to do so, dropping the most important argument of all, the argument of Alternatives. His arguments don't prove we should disband the Monarchy, but that we should limit her power and funding, nothing more. Pro shifted goal posts to make it appear I agreed with him, and left out Argument I: Alternatives, because if he didn't, his attempt would fail.

The Resolution is NOT affirmed. The Crown's power and funding should be limited, but abolishing the Crown is NOT the best option available. The Crown should not be Abolished.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Hierocles 2 years ago
Hierocles
What is a "notable troll"? I don't have any fake accounts. I received 6 votes from two long established users who gave me 3 points each for "most convincing arguments"

Why didn't you receive any votes for "most convincing arguments"? Your only votes were from your little voting bloc and gave you bogus points on conduct and spelling.
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
Only 2 people even gave you votes. One was a notable troll who had a bias voting habit. We tied on arguments everywhere else. Seeing as I didn't use a fake account to bomb the debate last second, yes.
Posted by Hierocles 2 years ago
Hierocles
Take a look at the votes.

Made more convincing arguments: 6 points for Hierocles
Made more convincing arguments: 0 points for Donald

@Donald Was this really your win? Not really.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
Got my win back.
Posted by burketheman 3 years ago
burketheman
RFD:
Conduct: Con totally tried to move the goal posts at the end of the debate. With all due respect to my fellow voters, carefully read over Con"s arguments - in round three he makes an entirely new argument and contradicts himself. Con either neglected to read the first two rounds or cynically tried to move the goal posts after a round 2 defeat.

Spelling: Con made frequent spelling and grammatical errors.

Arguments: Pro was able to prove the costs of crown outweigh any benefits while Con only slid into self-contradiction at the end of the debate. Con either got confused or doesn"t understand the difference between abolish and dissolve. (Maybe he should of checked a dictionary?) I noticed that all of the non-tie votes cast for most convincing arguments were for Pro. I personally thought the resolution was very clear. I think some people, present company excluded of course, may want to review how conditional reasoning works, ahem.

Source: Con provided fewer credible sources than Pro. Pro and Con both cited the Crown Estates website and the Telegraph. Pro cited way more sources on costs of crown and Pro was able to use Con"s evidence against him.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
Just a friendly reminder, the debate is in rounds 1-4 in the 'Debate Rounds' tab. The comments should not be considered when voting.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
If my rd 1 definition was not enough, I stated very clearly in my opening constructive:

"Thesis: The UK ought to dissolve the monarchy by ceasing all state funding for the royal family, and repeal all binding powers still retained by the Crown. "

Notice how I never use the word "abolish," and explain what dissolve would mean in this context, ie "by ceasing all state funding for the royal family, and repeal all binding powers still retained by the Crown. "

I also provided a link to further definitions in my rd. 2 constructive that clearly explained "Crown" is the legal term for the Monarch and her powers.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
Rd 1 is your opportunity to offer a counter-interpretation and/or counter-definitions, instead you accepted my rd 1 interpretation.

Dissolve is used in the wording of the resolution, and the two conditions laid out in the rd 1 definition were (a) repeal all binding monarch powers, and (b) eliminate all public funding for the monarch. This is an appropriate definition of the word for this context given that the generic definition of the dissolve is "break down into smaller components," and or "diminish over time." In contrast, the definition of abolish means to "immediately end" or " formally annul."

Those conditions can be met by reducing the crown to a purely weak ceremonial/cultural role, as I argued extensively in my first constructive (rd 2), or more extremely - through abolishment.

I never argued explicitly for or against abolishment per se. It is one, of less extreme possibilities, that would meet the conditions I laid out. I explained this at length in rd. 4 - because in rd 3 you first conceded the idea of weakening the Monarch's powers. I found that very strange, because all of your arguments preceding that statement were in favor of the status-quo.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
Abolish and dissolve are not the same thing. If I meant abolish I would have said abolish.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
See my definition of dissolve that I submitted in round 1. You were arguing in favor of the status quo until the end of rd 3 and rd 4. You switched advocacy.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
Hieroclesdonald.kellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: 1. Typing only slightly leaned Com 2. Conduct was great by both sides, and I don't mind locked sources. 3. Arguments were tied and equally refuted. 4. Since I wish to decide a winner I will point out that sources on Con's side aid his argument more.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Hieroclesdonald.kellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's first source served as a terrible opening, as he tells it has more of the debate (character limit violation), but also has it set to "You need permission." I don't do games of secret sources. The numbering on them was then off (and in annoying roman numerals), and it was not until his ninth that he got away from that "need permission" site. Using the same youtube video multiple rounds; need I even say why that's a problem? ... Pro has set an unfair bias against himself, as such I am not going to vote on this save for conduct for the attempted character limit violation.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
Hieroclesdonald.kellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was kind of annoying to read and in the end I felt as if con pulled it out. Sources were equally good, in sentence structure and outline this goes to con clearly. Conduct goes to con because of pro accusing him of shifting the goals posts. Even after reading this I think it was a fundamental interpretation issue, like both parties were trying to figure out how to offer contentions and rebuttals. Arguments were equal and both managed to refute each other, but cons sources added to his arguments and extended them miles. Both about the same amount, but I felt as if con extended his arguments. In the end still null on this and would like to have seen a heads up battle instead of skipping around a resolution.
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Hieroclesdonald.kellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate but it was quite a mess. I have found myself at no position ultimately. I agreed with PRO for a bit until CON pointed out some of PRO's fallacies and misrepresentations. the argument Costs of the Crown was a huge mess of seemingly contradictory statements and sources which got no one anywhere. PRO did seem to discredit Con's sources and use them against him more. I agreed with PRO in that the monarchy was anti-democracy with the powers it held but CON's position was more logical in that instead of abolishing the monarchy all together their power should simply be limited. PRO offered that dissolving the monarchy would give the royal family freedom but CON rebutted that it was just tradition and that it could simply be broken. Every other argument got lost in the mess and were ultimately just subcategories to the two primary arguments. PRO's writing was messy and annoying to read.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Hieroclesdonald.kellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Hieroclesdonald.kellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I have done a lot of research on this topic. It is likely that abolishing the monarch would bring in lots of revenue and money for the UK. It is also true that the queen has powers on the level of the president, and many are unchecked. Con objected by saying that no one would listen to the monarch, and either would parliament. Bad argument, because many British citizens are fiercely loyal to the crown. Pro also brought up a great point. He stated that the queen could still be apart of British culture, while not having power. Believe me, many organizations would support her. Or the constitution can be changed to give her her a strictly cultural role, without any power. If con focused less on refuting Pro's arguments, and made new ones, he might have won the argument point.