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UK Politics: And Brexit came swirling down

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9 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

It goes to the Crown but not the part the Crown’s estates the Queen takes money from anymore. It basically just goes to the government now.

Okay that’s not as bad as the article made it out to be, but there’s still no way to justify any royal families in 2020. If you believe the House of Saud needs to be done away with, you can’t then defend the royal families of Western Europe.

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4 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Okay that’s not as bad as the article made it out to be, but there’s still no way to justify any royal families in 2020. If you believe the House of Saud needs to be done away with, you can’t then defend the royal families of Western Europe.

And yet the British Monarchy are still incredibly popular with Brits.

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5 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

And yet the British Monarchy are still incredibly popular with Brits.

I think if we have proved anything over the last few years its that we don't know what is best for us.  Boris and Brexit, Stella is the best selling lager, Lewis Capaldi is the best selling artist.  We are fucking morons of the highest order.

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16 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Okay that’s not as bad as the article made it out to be, but there’s still no way to justify any royal families in 2020. 

I think Americans in general, probably because of some their national mythology around ‘throwing off the yolk of King George’, tend to massively overestimate the significance most people place on this.

I’m not a committed royalist or anything but I don’t really care if the position of ceremonial head of state is an inherited one. So long as they keep their heads down, don’t express political preferences and do their jobs (basically what they’ve been doing since Edward VIII) I’m not too fussed. As an aside that’s why I’m not a particular fan of talk of ‘carving out’ their own roles in the Royal institution.

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7 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Harry should also have to give back the hot wife. The little ginger would be with a 5 if he wasn't a prince. 

Two things. First are we talking about a British five? *shudder*

Second. I think you underestimate him, We are living in the age of Ed Sheeran. So chances are he would find some drunk bird (we're talking about Britain afterall) in a Karaoke bar, even if he just looks like Ed Sheeran after a deworming.

 

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23 hours ago, Heartofice said:

She should have been very aware of what she was getting into when she married Harry so I have little sympathy there.

Knowingly marrying into a high profle and very public family =/ having to withstand without complaint tons of media abuse to her own person/family

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On 1/8/2020 at 10:08 PM, Gorn said:

While I'm not any fan of the guy (or current Iranian regime in general), I'm curious to learn the definition of terrorism which makes Soleimani (a military officer in the armed forces of a sovereign nation-state) a "terrorist"? Or has the word lost all meaning, other than "people we don't like"?

I do think it is odd that "attacking coalition forces in Iraq" is now included in the list of what should be called terrorism. Back in the day, soldiers killing soldiers was just normal military activity.

I do feel like carpet bombing whole cities, even when it's during a hot war, should be called terrorism before you call killing soldiers of an enemy force terrorism.

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7 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

but there’s still no way to justify any royal families in 2020

Oh there sure as hell is.  Constitutional monarchies actually make a lot of sense in terms of how you're setting up a democracy.  A ceremonial head of state can take care of a lot of the pro forma diplomatic duties that the head of government frankly should not waste her time with.  That's why about 2/3s of industrialized democracies have a ceremonial head of state.  

Then the question is whether it's better to have an elected ceremonial head of state, or a hereditary.  And if you're looking for someone that will simply maintain legitimacy and entirely keep the fuck out of actual domestic political conflict, then you're best bet is hereditary over elective, both logically and empirically:  

Quote

Monarchs are more effective than presidents precisely because they lack any semblance of legitimacy. It would be offensive for Queen Elizabeth or her representatives in Canada, New Zealand, etc. to meddle in domestic politics. Indeed, when the governor general of Australia did so in 1975 it set off a constitutional crisis that made it clear such behavior would not be tolerated. As Margit Tavits at Washington University in St. Louis once told me, "Monarchs can truly be above politics. They usually have no party connections and have not been involved in daily politics before assuming the post of the head of state." But figurehead presidents have some degree of democratic legitimacy, and are typically former politicians. That enables a greater rate of shenanigans — like when Italian President Giorgio Napolitano schemed, successfully, to remove Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister due at least in part to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's entreaties to do so.

Napolitano is the rule, rather than the exception. Oxford political scientists Petra Schleiter and Edward Morgan-Jones have found that presidents, whether elected indirectly by parliament or directly by the people, are likelier to allow governments to change without new elections than monarchs are. In other words, they're likelier to change the government without any democratic input at all:

Emphasis mine.  So, there are indeed compelling arguments for a monarchical ceremonial head of state.  I don't really care either way - although as a US citizen I do think we should figure out a way to limit POTUS' ceremonial duties and actually do the damn job - but it's definitely not even remotely the craziest or most unjustifiable thing you can come up with when talking about state-building.

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7 hours ago, ljkeane said:

I think Americans in general, probably because of some their national mythology around ‘throwing off the yolk of King George’, tend to massively overestimate the significance most people place on this.

I’m not a committed royalist or anything but I don’t really care if the position of ceremonial head of state is an inherited one. So long as they keep their heads down, don’t express political preferences and do their jobs (basically what they’ve been doing since Edward VIII) I’m not too fussed. As an aside that’s why I’m not a particular fan of talk of ‘carving out’ their own roles in the Royal institution.

Idk about. I was under the impression that we actually cared more about some aspects of the royals than you guys do. But as to your last sentence, isn't this a problem that's existed for a while with regards to what brothers and sisters who are not close in line can/should do?

4 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Two things. First are we talking about a British five? *shudder*

 I think I laughed a little too hard at this.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

Oh there sure as hell is.  Constitutional monarchies actually make a lot of sense in terms of how you're setting up a democracy.  A ceremonial head of state can take care of a lot of the pro forma diplomatic duties that the head of government frankly should not waste her time with.  That's why about 2/3s of industrialized democracies have a ceremonial head of state.  

Then the question is whether it's better to have an elected ceremonial head of state, or a hereditary.  And if you're looking for someone that will simply maintain legitimacy and entirely keep the fuck out of actual domestic political conflict, then you're best bet is hereditary over elective, both logically and empirically:  

Emphasis mine.  So, there are indeed compelling arguments for a monarchical ceremonial head of state.  I don't really care either way - although as a US citizen I do think we should figure out a way to limit POTUS' ceremonial duties and actually do the damn job - but it's definitely not even remotely the craziest or most unjustifiable thing you can come up with when talking about state-building.

I'm all for a ceremonial role, and I agree it would free up the President's time, but what I don't think we need is a royal blood line that gets to get permanently fat off of the tax payers. So for hypothetical purposes, why not create the role of "Wiser Elder" and have Congress pick who fills this role. Require a two thirds vote in both chambers and require that the individual in question be a retired person who is pretty universally respected and relatively apolitical. Give this person no real power and minimal attention and let them serve for life or until they no longer can fulfill their duties. I think a scenario like this probably bests addresses the concerns you raised.

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7 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

But as to your last sentence, isn't this a problem that's existed for a while with regards to what brothers and sisters who are not close in line can/should do?

Not really, they mostly just toe the line or, you know, get jobs like normal people (from a very privileged background).

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5 hours ago, Lady Anna said:

Knowingly marrying into a high profle and very public family =/ having to withstand without complaint tons of media abuse to her own person/family

Or she could have known it was going to be invasive and difficult but still surprised by the sheer amount of vitriol. Like, people can go into difficult situations with open eyes but still be surprised by how bad it is. She probably didn't count on, say, her own father and stepsiblings selling her out for their own desperate and thirsty reasons.

@Heartofice's argument, of course, was that she allowed herself to be surprised by all of it. His usual bereft-of-nuance hyperbolized strawman crap.

Edited by DanteGabriel

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19 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

Or she could have known it was going to be invasive and difficult but still surprised by the sheer amount of vitriol. Like, people can go into difficult situations with open eyes but still be surprised by how bad it is. She probably didn't count on, say, her own father and stepsiblings selling her out for their own desperate and thirsty reasons.

@Heartofice's argument, of course, was that she allowed herself to be surprised by all of it. His usual bereft-of-nuance hyperbolized strawman crap.

Exactly.

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23 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

what I don't think we need is a royal blood line that gets to get permanently fat off of the tax payers.

Sure I certainly would never be opposed to eliminating the subsidization of the Sovereign Grant and the Duchy of Cornwall, but it's really a drop in the bucket I wouldn't give a shit about if I was UK citizen.  I know jack about the UK's appropriations process, but as someone who's made a living the past few years getting into the weeds of the US federal budget, gotta say it's a really small drop in the bucket.  I could identify dozens of wasteful programs the US government perpetually funds that are proportionate (i.e. accounting for the fact the UK economy is significantly smaller than the US economy) to the cost of the royal family.  And that doesn't take into account the tourist revenue the royal family attracts.  That's ultimately hard to unpack or quantify independently of, ya know, just the sites, but certainly provides at least some return on the taxpayers' investment.

40 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I think a scenario like this probably bests addresses the concerns you raised.

I don't want Congress to appoint the ceremonial head of state.  If they're given that power, that makes it all the more easier to change the rules how that power is implemented.  Same reason I don't want the head of government/chief executive to have that power.

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10 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I read an article on the story last night and learned something that blew my mind. Do the royals really get to take all unclaimed inheritances in the UK?

In addition to what ljkeane said, the intestacy rules are quite thorough in exhausting the list of potential beneficiaries where there is no will. I would always encourage people to have a will to make sure their last wishes are properly realised and to simplify the process, but even failing that the “Crown” is a fair way back in the line. And then there are certain rules that allow claims on an unclaimed estate (see here - https://www.gov.uk/unclaimed-estates-bona-vacantia)

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14 hours ago, DMC said:

Oh there sure as hell is.  Constitutional monarchies actually make a lot of sense in terms of how you're setting up a democracy.  A ceremonial head of state can take care of a lot of the pro forma diplomatic duties that the head of government frankly should not waste her time with.  That's why about 2/3s of industrialized democracies have a ceremonial head of state.  

Then the question is whether it's better to have an elected ceremonial head of state, or a hereditary.  And if you're looking for someone that will simply maintain legitimacy and entirely keep the fuck out of actual domestic political conflict, then you're best bet is hereditary over elective, both logically and empirically:  

Emphasis mine.  So, there are indeed compelling arguments for a monarchical ceremonial head of state.  I don't really care either way - although as a US citizen I do think we should figure out a way to limit POTUS' ceremonial duties and actually do the damn job - but it's definitely not even remotely the craziest or most unjustifiable thing you can come up with when talking about state-building.

Who says the president of (say) Italy is or should be a merely ceremonial position? You forget that most countries have much more complex party system than the US, so there often isn't an obvious winner after an election. The president will then mediate the process of forming a government. Not sure about Italy but it did happen in Germany. Angela Merkel wouldn't have got another term in office if the president (a social democrat and former foreign minister) hadn't intervened. And of course coalitions can break up mid-term and new ones formed. Nothing undemocratic about that. People elect parliament, parliament elects and fires governments as it sees fit. The president often has some limited power to block legislation if they deem it unconstitutional. They don't have to sign whatever is put in front of them, like certain monarchs. They're supposed to check the stuff they sign.

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1 hour ago, Loge said:

Who says the president of (say) Italy is or should be a merely ceremonial position?

I did, when I said "And if you're looking for someone that will simply maintain legitimacy and entirely keep the fuck out of actual domestic political conflict."  Obviously there are different models in terms of how much discretion you grant the head of state, particularly when the legislature fails to achieve a majority coalition following elections in a parliamentary system.  I'd prefer the least amount of discretion possible, but that's just me. 

You're right that the German president has considerable formal power (e.g. Article 81) when there is upheaval within the Bundestag, but even in 2017 Steinmeier did not employ any formal powers of his office.  All he did was "appeal" to Schulz to end the stalemate as a SDP party elder.  And, for a more recent example, let's take the Israeli elections.  Does it suck they have to have a third round elections?  Of course.  But I'd rather have that than Rivlin putting his thumb on the scale for either Bibi/Likud or Gantz/Blue & White.  Again, though, that's just my preference of constitutional design.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

I did, when I said "And if you're looking for someone that will simply maintain legitimacy and entirely keep the fuck out of actual domestic political conflict."  Obviously there are different models in terms of how much discretion you grant the head of state, particularly when the legislature fails to achieve a majority coalition following elections in a parliamentary system.  I'd prefer the least amount of discretion possible, but that's just me. 

You're right that the German president has considerable formal power (e.g. Article 81) when there is upheaval within the Bundestag, but even in 2017 Steinmeier did not employ any formal powers of his office.  All he did was "appeal" to Schulz to end the stalemate as a SDP party elder.  And, for a more recent example, let's take the Israeli elections.  Does it suck they have to have a third round elections?  Of course.  But I'd rather have that than Rivlin putting his thumb on the scale for either Bibi/Likud or Gantz/Blue & White.  Again, though, that's just my preference of constitutional design.

I think Steinmeier did a bit more than appeal to Schultz. IIRC, he talked to all parties. And apparently, he told them that he wouldn't call new elections, which only he could. So the prospect was a Merkel-led minority government. Now one might argue that this would have been better for the SPD than another coalition, but apparently their leadership didn't think so.

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13 minutes ago, Loge said:

I think Steinmeier did a bit more than appeal to Schultz. IIRC, he talked to all parties. And apparently, he told them that he wouldn't call new elections, which only he could.

Exactly.  He did not employ - and in fact went out of his way not to use - any of the formal powers available to him.  That was my point.

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