Wednesday 12 September 2007

Elizabeth Windsor for President (Poll Result)

After a rather off-beat post last week where I expressed my republican sympathies (not greeted to well in the comments), I ran a poll on who would be the best British President were we to ever take the sensible route to ending feudalism in our country.

Unsurprisingly to me, many of you decided to vote for the current Queen to be president.

Yet as I thought about this, what a fantastic idea it is. Why should we not elect the Queen? She is very good at her ceremonial job and has all the right experience. We could vote her in for a 5 year term, perhaps even twice.

Then we could decide if Charles was up to it or perhaps another Englishman could be deemed worthy (I think my vote would be for Jeremy Paxman).

So this is in fact the perfect arrangement for a phase to move towards a Republican state.

Thanks for all the votes and the inspiration. I will put a petition on the issue up to 10 Downing street in the near future....


Crushed said...

Good God, cityUn!

I come here and finf myself 100% in agreement with you.

I posted a month or two ago, saying much the same about HM.

Mark Wadsworth said...

the sensible route to ending feudalism

The quickest route to ameliorating the worst aspects of feudalism is to think about the other side of it and introduce Land Value Tax, i.e. stop giving agricultural land owners £3 bn a year in subsidies.

And roll Council Tax/SDLT/IHT/CGT into a fiscally neutral Land Value Tax.

That was there'd be less house price bubbles, which enable the Duke of Westminster to release a few hundred acres each time round and make hundred of millions of pounds in the process.

Quasi-feudal states, like Hong Kong and the Channel Islands have lower income tax rates but the State derives much more income from land values (whether as rent or as tax in neither here nor there).

Sark (bless it) does not have income tax at all, just an annual property value tax and an annual wealth tax.

CityUnslicker said...

Mark - I tend to agree with you on the theory of land value tax. However what are the implications of implementing a system at the moment when we have an asset bubble.

Many people would be asked topay an amount they could not afford?

Guthrum said...

Primogeniture only came in with the Norman Conquest, Saxon Kings were originally elected leaders of War bands (elected through the process of being lucky in watr and ring givers)So we have a precedent for Elizabeth the last. As for Charles Saxe-Coburg-Gotha he would not make the grade as a candidate, noted tax evader,being a serial adulterer would make him not being able to be the Head of the Church of England or Defender of the Faith(s)and not really being able to boil an egg without confusion. My vote would go to Tony Benn, as he would be unlikely to start a new dynasty with Prince Hilary

Old BE said...

How about Elizabeth as president-for-life while the transition to the republic is made. She can slowly re-acquire the powers of Head of State and we can think at our leisure about her successor.

hatfield girl said...

There was a truly ugly photograph of Brown with Wales in one of the Sundays last week. They meet frequently and are getting along well gushed both Households. Worryingly the Wales Household added that Wales meets Cameron as well. It's time to put an end to the feudal state and enjoy some political choice.

Mark Wadsworth said...

CU, well spotted. It is best to introduce this when house prices are at rock bottom, e.g. in 1995, when land values were negligible. had there been an annual LVT at even 10% of capital land values per annum, it would have been about the same as council tax was.

I have done the maths. And with such a tax, would there have been a hosue price bubble? Methinks not.

And of course, this is not intended to clobber people in big houses; they'd have to pay more in LVT than council tax, but as a quid pro quo, taxes like Inheritance Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax (and Capital Gains Tax) that hit those people more would be scrapped entirely. AFAIAC, higher rate income tax can go as well.

And yes, before anyone asks, pensioners would be allowed to roll up LVT to be repaid on death.

Newmania said...

Sigh... land tax , aint never going to happen so why talk about it.The elected royal syndrome has often recurred , Bush , Kennedy,Peron and Napoleon the third leap to mind.
A mental stroll in this company shows how utterly you have missed the point of the living symbol of continutity for the tribe the Queen is.
I cannot understand this republicanism CU and I can only hope that if you are ever Sir CU you are obliged to accept this honour from President Brown.
I would rather listen to the taped speeches of Peter Benjamin Mandelson for all eternity.

(HG also hates her Majesty ...this is becoming a nest of ...newness( shudder). personally if her maj were to chat with some sympathetic generals and , in a friendly way, let the people know she would be persoanlly steering us through this tricky patch, as her loyal subject, I would be supportive.

Not everything that matters can be found in a ledger or even easily spoken of CU.....but you will outgrow this phase i have no doubt.

Mark Wadsworth said...

aint never going to happen so why talk about it

Because if we don't talk about it, it won't happen.

Don't forget we have Progressive Property Taxes in the UK (instead of Council Tax) in the form of Business Rates on commercial premises and Domestic Rates on residential properties in Northern Ireland, which are pretty close to LVT, AFAICS.

CityUnslicker said...

N - Well no doubt C and I can tease you on this tomorrow at length.

As for an honour I can hand on heart say I would reject it out of hand; I wish to be nobody's subject (Mrs Slicker excepted if she happens to read this of course).

idle said...

The reason the Queen does such a good job is that she accepts it as her duty to do it. Thus, she is neither complacent about her responsibilities, nor smug about her position. This is why monarchies work. When a ratbag monarch comes along, a wise country will curb his/her power and influence and wait for the heir. Only when you get a run of badduns should republicanism look a better bet.

Paxo? Give me strength! The man is insufferably smug as it is, and has as dossy a job as any ever thought up. What makes you think he would have the work ethic, wisdom, and affection of the nation?

The problem you anti-monarchy lot have is that, intellectually, your argument should lead to there being NO titular Head of State, only a current Prime Minister

CityUnslicker said...

idle - not at all. The logic of the argument leads to the need for a balanced constituion where the reigns of power do not reside in a single individual; as they currently do with the prime minister.

Having a President, albeit mainly ceremonial, would remove some power from the prime minister. Also a second chamber would no longer be the Lords, but could be elected instead, further balancing the powers of parliament and extending democracy further in the country.

Old BE said...

The problem with our current system is that the power lies with the same person who is in charge of the scrutiny of that power. Brown is de facto head of state and head of the representatives who are supposed to reign in that power.

Conflict of interest. This was a problem in 1776 and is still a problem now.

Having said that even the US system throws up some rogues now and again.

Peter Risdon said...

The logic of the argument leads to the need for a balanced constituion where the reigns of power do not reside in a single individual; as they currently do with the prime minister.

It's more than that. The Royal Prerogative needs to be abolished. A Republic is no more, and no less, than a state with citizens rather than subjects, and with limited powers devolved to government by those citizens and regulated by a constitution.

Our Parliament has the powers of an absolute monarch, and no institution or individual should have such power; democracy doesn't legitimize it and nor does the residue of monarchy.

If people then want an entirely titular head of state descended from past monarchs, I'm not bothered. It would be good for tourism. The crucial point is that we need to have government with limited power that works for us.