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Heinie wrote:That a person becomes a head of state because he or she was born is fundamentally undemocratic.
Heisenberg wrote:Heinie wrote:
That a person becomes a head of state because he or she was born is fundamentally undemocratic.
As opposed to a person who becomes head of state because they are a member of a political party that is backed by enormous amounts of dodgy corporate money.
redcarpet wrote:Every law-abiding citizen should have a chance to become head of state. An elitist arrangement of any kind is just unfair.
Every law-abiding citizen should have a chance to become head of state. An elitist arrangement of any kind is just unfair.
Tailz wrote:Is there a third option? Can we have both? Can we have nether and some other form/system? What are the alternatives than the two on offer?
Paddy14 wrote:We did all this in class, and even I understand that in a Constitutional Monarchy the King or Queen does not rule. She has no power other than to deny absolute power to the executive branch of government. If the Prime Minister and Cabinet act unconstitutionally, the Queen can dissolve Parliament and send the people to the polls. She doesn't make laws or tell anyone what to do. It is probably the best, safest system of government in the world.
In 2003 the British Government released documents about what powers the monarchy actually retained that were merely executed by Parliament on her behalf. The documents revealed that:
1. The Monarchy retains the right to declare war (without the consent of Parliament).
2. Retains legal control of the Armed Forces as commander-in-chief.
3. Is beyond the information act and cannot be prosecuted in the UK, as well as retains diplomatic immunity in all nations.
4. Retains the power to charge and detain people in the UK as well as seize their property because they are not citizens but subjects of the Crown.
5. The Monarchy also has authority over the seas of the domain and can, unilaterally, recruit ships and (arguably) restrict any coming in or out of the nation.
6. The monarchy also retains the right to dissolve Parliament, and can call a new election for parliament if He/She does not like the ones that were voted in, and the monarch can appoint a new prime minister without subjecting the matter to a vote at all.
7. The Monarchy also retains the right to declare peace with any nation, not to mention war, as mentioned above.
8. The Monarchy cannot legislate laws, but Royal assent is required for the passage of any legislation and the Monarch could theoretically appoint new ministers until He/She got the legislation He/She wanted.
9. Likewise, the Monarch must first give consent to any law that affects the monarchy specifically before it can be discussed at all in Parliament. (this was done in 1999 when the Queen refused to allow discussion of a bill that would give parliament independent authority to approve air strikes in Iraq).
10. This is also besides the monarch's authority over the church of England and the Crown could unilaterally initiate reform of that body away from its decadent, and dare I say "secular" character.
The following PDF has the whole deal:
http://researchbriefings.files.parliame ... N03861.pdf
Here is a quotation of the summarized powers from this article: http://royalcentral.co.uk/blogs/insight ... wers-22069
UK PARLIAMENT (CC)
The Royal Prerogative are a set number of powers and privileges held by The Queen as part of the British constitution. Nowadays, a lot of these powers are exercised on Her Majesty’s behalf by ministers – things such as issuing or withdrawing passports that, without the Royal Prerogative, would require an act of parliament each time.
Over time, the prerogative powers have been used less and less though the important thing in our Constitutional Monarchy is that they still exist, they remain a means of protecting democracy in this country ensuring that no one can simply seize power.
Victorian constitutionalist Walter Bagehot defined The Queen’s rights as, the right ‘to be consulted, to encourage and to warn’ – but these rights are not the same as her powers, as we will now see.
The Queen’s prerogative powers vary and fall into different categories…
The Queen’s political powers nowadays are largely ceremonial, though some are actively used by The Queen such as at General Elections or are available in times of crisis and some are used by Ministers for expediency when needed.
Summoning/Proroguing Parliament – The Queen has the power to prorogue (suspend) and to summon (call back) Parliament – prorogation typically happens at the end of a parliamentary session, and the summoning occurs shortly after, when The Queen attends the State Opening of Parliament.
Royal Assent – It is The Queen’s right and responsibility to grant assent to bills from Parliament, signing them into law.Whilst, in theory, she could decide to refuse assent, the last Monarch to do this was Queen Anne in 1708.
Secondary Legislation – The Queen can create Orders-in-Council and Letters Patent, that regulate parts to do with the Crown, such as precedence, titles. Orders in Council are often used by Ministers nowadays to bring Acts of Parliament into law.
Appoint/Remove Ministers –Her Majesty also has the power to appoint and remove Ministers of the Crown.
Appointing the Prime Minister – The Queen is responsible for appointing the Prime Minister after a general election or a resignation, in a General Election The Queen will appoint the candidate who is likely to have the most support of the House of Commons. In the event of a resignation, The Queen listens to advice on who should be appointed as their successor.
Declaration of War – The Sovereign retains the power to declare war against other nations, though in practice this is done by the Prime Minister and Parliament of the day.
Freedom From Prosecution – Under British law, The Queen is above the law and cannot be prosecuted – she is also free from civil action.
The Queen’s judicial powers are now very minimal, and there is only really one which is used on a regular basis, with others having been delegated to judges and parliament through time.
Royal Pardon – The Royal Pardon was originally used to retract death sentences against those wrongly convicted. It is now used to correct errors in sentencing and was recently used to give a posthumous pardon to WW2 codebreaker, Alan Turing.
The Queen’s powers in the Armed Forces are usually used on the advice of Generals and Parliament though some functions are retained by The Queen herself nowadays.
Commander-in-Chief –The Queen is commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and all members swear an oath of allegiance to The Queen when they join; they are Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Commissioning of Officers – The Queen’s powers include the commissioning of officers into the Armed Forces and also removing commissions(when members of the Armed Forces salute and officers, they are saluting The Queen’s commission).
Disposition of the Forces – The organisation and disposition of the Armed Forces are part of the Royal Prerogative; the crown technically controls how the Armed Forces are used.
One of the main prerogative powers that are still used personally by The Queen these days is the power to grant honours. As all honours derive from the Crown, The Queen has the final say on knighthoods, peerages and the like.
Creation of Peerages – The Queen may create a peerage for any person – whether a life peerage or hereditary one, though hereditary peerages haven’t been issued for decades outside of the Royal Family.
Font of Honour – It is The Queen’s prerogative power to create orders of knighthood and to grant any citizen honours. From the Royal Victorian Order to the Order of the Garter.
Other powers Her Majesty holds include:
Control of Passports – The issuing and withdrawal of passports are within the Royal Prerogative– this is often used by ministers on behalf of The Queen. All British passports are issued in The Queen’s name.
Requisitioning of Ships – This power allows a ship to be commandeered in Her Majesty’s name for service to the realm. This power was used on the QE2 to take troops to the Falklands after the Argentine invasion in 1982.
The Royal Prerogative is one of the most significant elements of the UK’s constitution. The concept of prerogative powers stems from the medieval King acting as head of the kingdom, but it is by no means a medieval device. The prerogative enables Ministers, among many other things, to deploy the armed forces, make and unmake international treaties and to grant honours. In modern times, Government Ministers exercise the majority of the prerogative powers either in their own right or through the advice they provide to the Queen which she is bound constitutionally to follow.
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