Which is best for Britain? A monarchy or a republic? You decide!

The following is part of an article from the Adam Smith Institute and you can read the rest of the article here.

Camden Council has effectively banned a street party planned by republicans to coincide with the royal wedding. This is a shame, since those opposed to the monarchic principle should be allowed to express their views. It is not as if they were trying to occupy part of a public space in perpetuity; it was just a day’s party they planned.

It does highlight the debate between those who support our constitutional monarchy and those who favour replacing it by a republic with an elected head of state. To those of a libertarian bent, what matters is not how democratic or representative is either form of government, but how friendly they are to liberty.

On an empirical level, constitutional monarchies have been quite friendly to liberty. A monarch who inherits the office feels no popular mandate to impose their views on everyone else. They did not have to claw their way to the top, but simply inherited it, and are conscious of the limitations this implies.

Our constitutional monarch occupies the top slots, not only as head of state, but as head of the armed forces and the judiciary. As such, they deny these posts to ambitious self-seekers who might wish to use them to promote an agenda. A monarch who simply inherits the position can act as a focus for the nation more easily than someone elected as head of state via partisan politics.

Many, if not most, of the theoretical arguments would win the case against a head of state who came from a family that had emerged by the blood and chance of history to occupy that position from birth alone. Yet in practice the record of modern constitutional monarchies has been a good one for tolerance, for the rights of dissenting minorities to do their own thing, and for upholding the rule of law and the rights of free speech.

The bit that convinces me, hands down, is the passage I have highlighted above, in red. It makes good sense to me as we all know what partisan politics have done for our country since the second world war.

Politicians are, on the whole, hated more than estate agents, and certainly more than bankers. The right question to ask here, is a simple “why?”

It is because they are self-seeking, and on the whole, in it for the power or the money. Certainly not for the peoples of these islands.


  1. #1 by Ampers on Monday, 18 April 2011 - 11:20 am

    I sit corrected.

    I absolutely agree with your comment about Camden Council. This is supposed to be a free country where everyone should be allowed their say.

    François-Marie Arouet (1694 – 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, once said: “I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”


  2. #2 by mechris3 on Monday, 18 April 2011 - 11:11 am

    “Which is best for Britain? A monarchy or a republic? You decide!”

    Which is BETTER for Britain surely ;-).

    As a younger person I used to be very much a Republican as a monarchy struck me as old fashioned and unfair. In recent years though I have become very sympathetic to a constitutional monarchy for exactly the reasons mentioned above. That said the republican street party should still have been allowed, albeit I think they are wrong.

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