On-Air: Off with their heads ?.

The people of Nepal have abolished their monarchy, what about the rest of the world ?

 There are different versions of ruling monarchies in countries as diverse as Thailand (where there are fears of a coup after a government minister was accused of insulting the King), Saudi Arabia (where the King is calling for more dialogue between the faiths), Morocco , and Swaziland (where the King is on a state visit to the Phillipines).

There are of course, many other countries ruled by Kings, Queens,  Sultans, Princes and Princesses and in many of these places, the monarch is popular, revered and even, loved.  Their rulers are seen as a connnection with the past, offering stability in an unstable world.

In others, they are seen as the enemies of democracy and reform and the friends of corruption and repression.

In parts of Europe, the arguments for a governing monarch were lost long ago, and the arguments for keeping them are mainly economic. 

Do monarchies have any place in governing “their” people in the 21st century ?



102 Responses to “On-Air: Off with their heads ?.”

  1. 1 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 14:10

    Monarchy, the ultimate in pretentiousness. The sad part really is the people in countries without monarchs obsessing about the royalty in other countries, because they wish they were a queen, or a princess, or perhaps a prince.

  2. May 29, 2008 at 14:12

    Hello Precious Mark… Oh, monarchy, monarchy, monarchy… My aunt is 71 years old, and she often tells me that the best era modern Iraq has ever witnessed is the era of monarchy… She often says that prosperity, true democracy, internal peace, and stablility have all gone when the Royal Hashimi family was overthrown in a military coup (or revolution!) in 1958… Sometimes I think that the Iraqi Hashimi Kingdom is one thousand times better than the Republic of Iraq ! With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna…

  3. 3 Brett
    May 29, 2008 at 14:40

    Do monarchies have any place in governing “their” people in the 21st century ?

    I can’t help get out of my head, the idea that a monarchy is an old style of government that is obsolete in a developing world. Sid Mierr’s Civilization II may have gotten me into this mindset as a Monarchy era doesn’t last long and is quickly replaced with more modern forms of government.

    If the monarchy exists and serves the people well, what is the problem? There are democracies which are every bit as corrupt and harmful as a monarchy. *cough* US *cough*

    I think the leadership, its devotion to, and the ability to serve the people are equally as important as the style of government.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  4. 4 VictorK
    May 29, 2008 at 14:45

    Monarchy should be judged like any other political and social arrangement,: by its practical effects.

    A constituional monarchy has genuine advantages: the monarch, since he transcends politics, is a powerful symbol of national unity and identity, and a focus for common loyalty. Coming to an office as a matter of inheritance means that no monarch has to sell and compromise himself on the hustings, and does not by debasing himself for votes also bring politics into disrepute. Monarchs are trained from their earliest years for their public responsibilities, and often have more experience of matters of state than mere politicians. Hereditary rulers naturally identify with the past and traditions of a country, and are invariably patriots by definition, since they themselves are the living embodiment of that past and tradition (as King Juan Carlos, the saviour of Spanish democracy, demonstrated a few years ago. In the same vein the Ghanaian political commentator George Ayittey has noted that not one member of Africa’s hereditary ruling class has ever stolen public funds and fled with them to the West; by contrast Africa’s elected and unelected rulers are proverbial for their knavery and thieving ways). Political arrangements that are built around the institution of monarchy can draw upon the prestige, authority and stability of that institution, which can only be for the benefit of the nation (think of the diminution in political hatred where both the government and opposition see themselves as loyal to the sovereign – not as a person but as a political office that embodies the state and the nation). And as history shows, the most successful – in the sense of the most enduring – states are those that are or have been monarchies: Ethiopia (1500+ years), Japan (1500+ years), England, (1500 years), Imperial China (2000+ years), Persia (2000+ years), Byzantium (1000 years), France (1000 years), and the most striking example of them all Egypt (4000+ years). There are many more examples of the political excellence of monarchy. I can only think of two republics that have anything like as good a record.

    Give it a few years and the people of Nepal will be begging their King’s forgiveness and seeking his restoration.

  5. May 29, 2008 at 15:14

    Monarchy in many countries is the symbol of national unity and identity. But as an institution, it should move with time. What makes some monarchies unpopular is when the monarch has disregard for popular attitudes, trying to keep privileges or authorities dating from centuries and which have little to do with the political aspirations of the new generations. But there are absolute monarchs under disguise in some republics like North Korea or Syria where the leaders continue to rule until their death, only to be succeeded by their sons without a popular vote for the presidency.

    One negative aspect of absolute monarchy is when the king considers himself as the rightful guardian of society disregarding calls for change. It can be OK for a king to perpetuate a style of rule, subjugating his people by enshrining himself with sacredness. But in today’s world, there is no place for despotism. Monarchy in Nepal was abolished because the king was out of touch with the reality of his country. Perhaps he was counting on the spiritual sacred side of monarchy to survive.

    In Japan and Thailand, monarchy is popular and a stabilizing factor because it is constitutional, leaving the choice to people to decide through elected governments in whose policy the monarch doesn’t intervene. As Thailand and Japan succeeded in progressing without relinquishing their traditions, monarchy is sure to continue in these countries.

    In Morocco, the King has given the monarchy a new image through constant contact with the population in every region of the country. It is seen as the most liberal and democratic country in the Arab world after Lebanon. Although there are calls from many political parties for constitutional change to allow the prime minister and the government more powers, there is still the public belief that the king should remain the arbitrator in political matters. The majority of people have lost faith in the political parties. The king remains for them a unifying figure. Morocco still has many economic and social problems. There is still corruption and a great need to reform the education and justice system. However the king remains popular, even among the poor, who believe that his initiatives can improve their living standards. And there is also the general belief that the king alone can’t solve all Morocco’s problem. It depends on the determination of everyone to do their best for the good of the country. In other words, only hard work and honesty at all levels that can solve Morocco’s problem.

    After all, what people need is a leader, be it king or president, who can ensure the stability and the welfare of the country. Even in republics, there are people who have the lifestyle of kings and princes. Naming a country a republic or a monarchy can be deceiving. France, for example, still refers to its past strong monarchs like Napoleon with reverence and royal heritage is still kept as a national treasure. Russia is reconciling itself with the past negative attitudes towards the Tsar Era. Monarchy even if it doesn’t exist in many countries, now becoming republics, still has its mystic appeal.

  6. May 29, 2008 at 15:17

    lol, I have to agree with Steve on this one. With no prince or princess, king or queen, there is no chance of becoming one. Kind of like taking away the lottery.

    This brings up a dilemma often used to spark a debate. Would you rather have a very kind, just, honest, and wise king or dictator, or would you rather have a freely elected mean and selfish, biased, lying, ignorant president?

  7. 7 Janet T
    May 29, 2008 at 15:48

    Having a “ruling class” just promotes oppression of the lower classes-
    And Dwight–
    I think we have a President who thinks he is a King!

  8. 8 Zak
    May 29, 2008 at 15:48

    Monarchies are always going to be a one off kind of government and it’s only a loop hole that essentially dissolves the role which allows kings to exist without invoking a never ending war of succession, England is the best example.

    Look back into history and you’ll see many leaders shied from taking the role of King. Through all the centuries of Persia ruled by the Kahns and later by their generals all sought the role of the King Maker while a puppet King, or Kahn as they called it, was laid waste for the most part. Eventually Persia found more success this way with the rulers had tenures of more than half a century. If there’s any example of where this strategy held it’s China, for all it’s faults it’s not a monarchy (although not far off).

  9. 9 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 16:03

    @ Janet

    Actually Kinds don’t realize there is a date certain they will be out of office. Bush is out of office on January 20, 2009.

  10. May 29, 2008 at 16:07

    @ Steve,

    Like some horror movie character. I will believe it when I see it. I still think there is some sort of angle they are waiting to try to keep him in.

  11. 11 Janet T
    May 29, 2008 at 16:10

    Me Too!!! I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop!

  12. 12 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 16:13

    Please Dwight. That’s not going to happen. Do you even think Bush likes being President? He probably hates it and cannot wait to get back to Texas.

  13. 13 Justin from Iowa
    May 29, 2008 at 16:13

    Monarch, Dictator… not a whole lot of difference. When they make good decisions for their countries, they are loved. When they exploit their country and make poor decisions, they are hated. Sounds like every other government out there. Honestly, while I’d rather everyone be a democracy, I’d more rather every country be run intelligently and with its well being in mind. So I don’t really care if its Monarch or Dictator, as long as they are making good choices for their people.

    Its all these countries that stick to their abusive dictators despite their abuse that just blow my mind. Wake up people!

  14. 14 Anthony
    May 29, 2008 at 16:41

    I think having a King in charge of a country is unfair, and does more damage than good. That is of course unless it was I who was King.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  15. May 29, 2008 at 16:42

    @ Steve These days nothing surprises me. What if “God tells him he is the chosen one” again.

    I still think that the danger is too great not to have an elected official even if the dictator is favorable. He will not always be in power. The people have no control over the person that replaces him. Over the years all Monarchies have had good and then really bad rulers.

  16. 16 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 16:45

    @ Dwight

    Hillary Clinton would be much more likely to refuse to leave office. Look at how she refuses to quit, and will probably run as an independent because she feels so entitled to be President. Bush want to retire, with his millions, back in Texas.

  17. 17 Zak
    May 29, 2008 at 16:50

    Bush is a king maker to the fullest; he’s worse than the Kings and dictators that are still susceptible to military ouster. Bush first slaughtered the higher ruler of the constitution with his ‘interpretation’ of the ‘patriot act’ and then he timed his destruction to go off in exactly 8 years. He’s no different than a monarch on his way to die.

    The point is true that we’ll be dealing with this king maker for many years in America, only the most naive would think that dictatorial decisions which violate our supreme rule could just disappear. It’s already being debated in the higher courts: ‘what can be done about the patriot act’ post Bush, can the next president use ‘signing statements?’ Anybody got an answer, not me, personally I think unless someone in the administration gets charged with a crime in inclusion of the above acts the Constitution’s higher rule will have been checkmated by the king maker.

  18. 18 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 16:52

    @ Zak

    Everything you say Bush does, Lincoln did 10x worse. He completley suspended the constitution, took over state houses to prevent votes, and caused the deaths of tens of thousands of americans all because what he felt was right was more important to him than the lives of the several hundred thousand that died as the result of not respecting the wishes of people that no longer wanted to be ruled by his government.

  19. May 29, 2008 at 16:53

    If the monarchy respects human rights and acts in the best interests of the society it rules, then why not keep it?

    Rule by the masses in countries not yet ready for democracy ends up with dictatorships of the worst kind anyway.

    Ten years ago I would have been massacred for saying this, but I think we’ve come to learn that democracy is often the most misguided form of govt for some societies.

    So I tend to go along (at grave risk to myself) with the general assertions of Ortega y Gasset.

    Deep down, in the hidden idealistic mind, I’d like to see the Philosopher-King given a chance.

    Best of all ( and equally idealistic) would be Gandhian swaraj, in the refined meaning of the term: that every individual becomes capable of a self-rule which is non-harmful in its essence. That is, an externally anarchical society peopled by self-ruling individuals: a society in which everyone is a king or queen.

    This idea is not all that far-fetched for societies of the future. After all, the rulers of the world inhabit and function in a global anarchy, unregulated as it is by toothless international law. If we can trust to them to rule beneficially, why not trust to ourselves?

  20. 20 Anthony
    May 29, 2008 at 16:56

    @ steve,

    Bush wants to retire with his millions, rocking in a rocking chair next to his best buddy McClellan, HAHA, lol. :). Even one of Bushes “friends” can tell Bush had too much power, AND HES NOT EVEN A KING!!! “Chosen by the people”

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  21. May 29, 2008 at 17:03

    We could easily go down the road of “beating the dead horse” in reference to the Bush administration. What I have learned from the past few elections (I suppose it has always been true, I just realized it.) is that The general voting masses do not pick presidents and legislators on their demonstration of merit, intellect, and education. They pick leaders the same way they pick a pair of jeans. They pick a brand name that makes them feel warm and fuzzy. They get that feeling from marketing techniques the same way that “Levis” are preferable to “Rough Riders”. The name recognition and associated pleasure is the result of positive product associations and negative attacks on the competitors product.This kind of marketing takes money and lots of it when it comes to politics.

  22. 22 Anthony
    May 29, 2008 at 17:05

    @ steve RE: Zak

    Yeah, but the circumstances were different. I mean, FDR incited a war with Japan, left the Jews out to fend for themselves, and took a third term when he probably shouldn’t have. His reckless inconsideration for international affairs got millions and millions killed. But everyone believed we should have gone into WWII 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  23. 23 Peter Gizzi UK
    May 29, 2008 at 17:06

    Hi Everybody,
    In The UK we have Her Majesty The Queen. (Mrs. Quin to The Commonwealth). She has little politcal power though new legislation requires her signature. I feel royalty’s days are numbered as we will eventually become a European State.

    Overall I think she is a good ambassador and is the one person who can give this country an identity. She’s good for tourism too.

  24. May 29, 2008 at 17:08

    Britain is only returning what they took from India in the form of aid

  25. 25 Zak
    May 29, 2008 at 17:10

    No other President of the United States invoked an act of torture provision during wartime other than the current.

    Bush became a monarch bar none when he ‘took’ the right of interpretation for torture and wire tapping. And anyway it took the legal scholars until recently to find out that the limits of the power of a President during wartime is to call for a provision to be passed by Congress, not to solely bypass that check and balance.

    If someone’s telling me they’re willing to pull the trigger, in a court of law because this dictator will have to stand for it, I can forgive.

  26. May 29, 2008 at 17:11

    Although monarchy is abolished in many countries, successful and popular stars are described as princes, princesses, kings and queens. Prestigious places have titles starting with royal like Royal Hotels. So many countries considered as republics still have a yearning for royal splendour.

    A large number of people like to have a role model. Many role models are almost worshipped by their fans. Stars in sport and art are like idols for their fans. Very rich football stars are loved by their fans however poor they are. They know how much they earn, but they support them. They don’t boo them at the pitch because of their extravagant lifestyle and earning, but only when they don’t play well.

    On Larry King show, there was a debate about British monarchy. An American speaker criticised the British monarchy for its lavish style, to which a defendant of the monarchy asked him, “What about your imperial presidency?”

    Monarchy is a matter of the past in many countries, but still they seek to have a distinguished person to rule their heats and mind. Monarchy, as a form of leadership, is an innate inclination to have one person turned to by the masses as personification of the glory the want to have in their lives.

  27. 27 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 17:22

    @ Zak

    If you don’t think the US engaged in torture before Bush, then I have a bridge in brooklyn to sell you. Did Bush send Germans, Italians, and Japanese Americans to internment camps like FDR did?

    Come on, let’s get back on topic. Bush isn’t the monster you make him out to be. There have been FAR worse. And On Jan 20, 2009, he is gone. The real issue is monarchs where the day they die is the day they are gone, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, such as abdications, but then the next in line takes over, by virtue of who they were born to, they become the head of state.

  28. May 29, 2008 at 17:23

    About this monarchy thing, the king had the powers and the votes for a republic will give the same powers to whomsoever the congress will elect as president/prime minister or whatever they choose to call it, Lets hope the republic will not become their albatross

  29. 29 Mohammed Ali
    May 29, 2008 at 17:24

    @Victor, I agree with you that governments should be judged by how they lead their people and what they do to improve the lives of its citizens. Whether leaders are voted for or not, we should not look at how long they stay in power. What we should look at is how they treating their citizens, how are they distributing the wealth of the country, are the lives of the poor being improved and so on.

  30. May 29, 2008 at 17:33

    Let’s give all monarchies the world over a ceremonial role because in this age of democracy, their roles need to be defined and re-defined.

  31. 31 Anthony
    May 29, 2008 at 17:39

    Is Bush really the head of a Monarch?



    1) One who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary right, especially:
    a) A sole and absolute ruler. ***Hmmmm, maybe?***
    b) A sovereign, such as a king or empress, often with constitutionally limited authority: a constitutional monarch. ***Hmmmm maybe again?***

    2) One that commands or rules: “I am monarch of all I survey” (William Cowper). ***Hmmmm, you think so?***

    3)One that surpasses others in power or preeminence: “Mont Blanc is the monarch of the mountains” (Byron). ****Hmmm,gosh, maybe he is***

    4)A monarch butterfly. ***He’s as pretty as one 🙂 ***

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  32. 32 viola anderson
    May 29, 2008 at 17:42

    I am currently reading a series of novels called “Tales of the Otori” that are about this very subject, rulers and what makes a good one. Also, how different rulers use power differently.

    It all seems to come down to whether a country is ruled for the good of the country or ruled for the good of the ruler and his supporters, and the acid test is how content and well-off the people as a whole are under his rule.

    Even those rulers who have the good of the country as motivation must deal with forces that have other motivations, such as personal gain.

    My conclusion? A good monarch who institutes and follows the rule of law can be very good indeed, provided there is a mechanism in place to get rid of the bad ones.

    The U.S.’s system of checks and balances on the various estates seems to work pretty well.

  33. 33 Zak
    May 29, 2008 at 17:57

    …monarchs where the day they die is the day they are gone, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, such as abdications, but then the next in line takes over, by virtue of who they were born to, they become the head of state.

    Read the history of Persia, touted to be one of the most successful empires and relative to the regions in conflict today, specifically the translated auto-biography of Timur called Master of the World, by Cothburn O’Neal. The most successful monarchies in history had to fight to ascend to power and never had the thrown handed to them. That’s the stuff of English fairy tales. Good monarchs had to want to be in that position and there’s some, perhaps, who still do.

  34. May 29, 2008 at 18:01

    A monarchy, like any other form of government is only one part of the description of the community. The other is the description of how wealth is distributed. Here in the United States we are a “Representative Democracy” That describes how we “choose” our leaders and how we make our laws. But the other description is that we are a “Free Enterprise”. This is our economic structure and describes how we distribute our wealth throughout the community. It is quite possible to have a dictatorship with a free enterprise system. It is also possible to have a democracy with a communist economic structure. Many will say that is what the democrats are trying to impose anyway. So is it monarchs we are opposed to or are we opposed to socialist, communist, or caste system economies?

  35. 35 Dee in Chicago
    May 29, 2008 at 18:06

    The whole notion of a monarchy seems rather silly – really the ultimate in nepotism. How can a monarchy represent their citizens if they see themselves as being above those very citizens? It’s a backward idea that needs to just fade away.

  36. 36 Jamila in Kuwait
    May 29, 2008 at 18:16

    I’ll never bow down to another human because we are all equal. Monarchy is antiquated and should be made obsolete.

  37. 37 Samik
    May 29, 2008 at 18:17

    We are leaving in the 21st century. We don’t have to get oppressed by anyone be it the king or any tag other powers hold. The king in Nepal wasn’t popular with his acts. He was involved with various smuggling activities in the past before he was a king. It took long for people to realise that he is one of the Human being. People wanted a change and they got it.

  38. 38 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 18:19

    I find it funny how Canadians have even less of a say than the British do. If the British decide to make Harry Potter their monarch, guess who becomes the head of state of Canada (and Australia, and New Zealand)???? Your head of state isn’t even a citizen of your country!

  39. May 29, 2008 at 18:20

    I used to be emphatically against monarchy. Being an American I thought it only made sense that all nations should get rid of their monarchies as the American founders did away with all titles of nobility.

    But now in my middle age I do not see much wrong with it. It seems to work very well in many cases to psychologically limit the adoration of the leading politician. It probably would not be useful for a new nation to establish a monarchy, but I see very little reason why constitutional monarchies should not continue.

  40. 40 steve
    May 29, 2008 at 18:22

    @ Mishalak

    Go to Thailand and walk around the streets with signs insulting the King, tell us what happens.

  41. 41 Rich in Canada
    May 29, 2008 at 18:22

    What I find most odious is that an individual in a monarchy can rule based purely on the lottery of birth and not by way of a life’s work that earns an individual the right and privilege to govern a society.

  42. 42 John in the UK
    May 29, 2008 at 18:23

    In the Old Testament, God said to Israel the monarchy was no good, but if they were foolish enough to desire it, then sobeit.

    Monarchy is nothing but an ‘old boys club’ to subjudgate the proles.

    But what in its place if God is not worshipped.

  43. 43 Matthew Godwin
    May 29, 2008 at 18:25

    I like the idea of a Constitutional Monarchy because I don’t believe any elected politicians represent ALL the people ALL the time, while Monarchs are a symbol of unity as they reflect no political ideology or positions. I would not want our Prime Minister as the Head of State in Canada.

    Matt Godwin

  44. 44 Ujjwal
    May 29, 2008 at 18:25

    The system of monarchy, especially absolute monarchy, does not fit in the democratic system in today’s world. Some people might be against Nepal being a republic but everyone else is happy. The idea of a king being a symbol of unity is a thing of past. The monarchy cannot remain in Nepal on basis of culture and religion. Long live democracy and peace in Republican Nepal.

  45. 45 Beckett
    May 29, 2008 at 18:25

    To claim that it is unfair for an individual to live an extravagant life based solely on birth as a condition of monarchy is a bit myopic. Birth is a better determination of wealth than any other factor. Monarchy might be defended because it is a reminder of the constant exploitation by the ruling elites. In republics that fact is simply better hidden so that we might amuse ourselves to death.

  46. 46 Diwakar Adhikari
    May 29, 2008 at 18:27

    well, if the monarchy cannot adjust itself according to the requirement of the people its is better to abolish. King gyanendra has actively involved in ruling government and bypassing all the major political parties which is iressistible in this current age. No any spiritial power exist behind the kind,he and the his regime is the main cause of conflict since 60 years. We are the oldest country in south asia even older than united states but we always lack behind on every aspect. The main cause is this regime which countinously hinders the democratic movement and compel the country each time to mover backward.
    The republic is the only way to abolish this regime and to establish a democratic federeal republic Nepal

    Bharat kishor singh is the puppet of king. How can a man could be bless from a god. it’s rediculous. All the process applied to overthrow the regime is legal. The constitution assembly proved the resolution of republic by 560 votes against 5 votes.

  47. 47 Sombo
    May 29, 2008 at 18:30

    I am African and I support constitutional monarchs and not absolute monarchs. The reason is that a constitutional monarchs, like ceremonial presidents in Germany and Israel, steal the limelight from heads of government who have a tendency to abuse and misuse power. Lesotho is a good example of a constitutional monarchy.

  48. 48 Samik in Nepal
    May 29, 2008 at 18:33

    Today I was walking the street near Royal Palace. We had a young people who wanted the Nepali Flag to be placed inside the Royal palace. Their was some agitation outside the palace as well. This shows that people wanted to remove the king as early as possible. Being a young Nepali, I believe in Develepment rather then surviving historys. Nepal is already many years backward from smooth Development. The abolished king is a good sign to start it new. Now We the people rule ourselves, We do all it takes to improve our country,economy, society.

  49. May 29, 2008 at 18:34

    I think the issue in Thailand is not the monarchy in of itself, but how the public responds to the monarchy and the laws put in place by the government to protect this.

    In Thailand the monarch is not only regarded as a temporal ruler but also an incarnation of the god Rama in some fashion. Try walking around in most majority Muslim countries with a sign insulting Allah or one of their beloved mullahs.

    On the other hand look at Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, Japan, and quite a number of other first world nations. They do not seem to have the same problems with monarchy.

    How things end up in Thailand will depend upon the give and take of public opinion, development, and the individual personalities of the monarchs. If the king of Thailand (or any other nation) moves towards being an autocrat or pushing back against progress eventually those monarchies will come to an end. On the other hand if they help with the transition to full democracy there is no pressing need to be rid of them.

  50. 50 Anthony
    May 29, 2008 at 18:34

    Didn’t all Monarchies start off with some arrogant person who wanted wealth and power, or who wanted to annihilate some other group of people? So they started as a dictatorship, and now have become a beautiful lineage with the help of Gods hands?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  51. 51 Mark in Ohio
    May 29, 2008 at 18:34

    Monarchs are a ridiculous notion of self-appointed supremacy over the common man. More often than not these individuals abuse their power without check. The purpose of a true democracy is to hold your elected officials accountable for their actions; these individuals are a) not elected, b) not held accountable for their actions.

  52. 52 Kimberly
    May 29, 2008 at 18:35

    I believe that democracy is a poor form of government. The people cannot be trusted to govern themselves. Religion, media and other factors have made many people irrational.

  53. May 29, 2008 at 18:35

    A wise man once said something like the World will never be free until the last King is hung by the entrails of the last priest…..

  54. 54 Chris in Namibia
    May 29, 2008 at 18:36

    A person brought up from birth in a monarchy, if brought up right, can be a far better head of state than an elected person. How many dud presidents have been elected in USA? The royal family in UK is much better known than any of the present contenders in the states.

  55. 55 wil ferguson
    May 29, 2008 at 18:37

    As long as they don’t cost you anything, i.e. money, security, sovereignty. There’s nothing wrong with have a cultural lineage connecting you to the past, but lets face it: most people in the U.K. can trace their lineage back 3 – 4 – 5 hundred years, or more. (Some of us in the U.S. can even do it.) And those aren’t no Tudor’s sittin’ in Buckingham Palace right now. When they start to cost it’s time to go. And if they’re not going to have the power, then they shouldn’t have the money either. Not at “citizen’s” expense, anyway.

  56. 56 Michael in Holland
    May 29, 2008 at 18:37

    If nothing else, a constitutional monarchy keeps a check on the crooks we’re forced to elect.

  57. 57 Josh
    May 29, 2008 at 18:38

    Getting rid of a monarchy won’t get rid of corruption and separation of societal classes. America is, in my opinion, in a steady decline as far as morals and ways of living. President Bush has done nothing to help us. He’s sent our brothers and friends to die just so he can make more money. I also don’t think being able to choose your leader makes any difference because 80 percent of Americans don’t like or believe in our leader, but he’s still there. People committing suicide in the streets is not an example of being happy with your leader, and I still don’t believe that he was actually elected because of all the discrepancies. All of these things have been brought to our societies attention, but our people have become so sedated and used to being told what to do that they don’t think anything of these things. Most people in our society are little more than incompetent slaves who can dream of nothing better.

  58. May 29, 2008 at 18:40

    Monarchies are the ultimate in prejudice dysfunction. That is to say that If you have a job that needs down, and you excluded members of the community simply by unrelated attributes, you risk not having the strongest candidate doing the job.

  59. 59 Ryan in Kuwait
    May 29, 2008 at 18:40

    A strong, wise and erudite monarch like Henry the eighth or Elizabeth helps implement key policies better and in the long term benefits the people.

  60. 60 Sreejan in Kathmandu
    May 29, 2008 at 18:41

    To me, the transition of Nepal from a kingdom to a democratic republic doesn’t bring about any new expectations of good things to come. it’s just a case of power shifting from one abuser to other abusers who happen to be each others’ enemies. so as far as Nepal is concerned, it doesn’t really make a difference: monarchy or no monarchy.

  61. 61 Allan in Ohio
    May 29, 2008 at 18:42

    I think a monarchy would be out of touch. I’d much rather have an appointed official that actually grew up and found their life in politics/leadership of a country. How does a son who grew up with royalty, compare to the average man? Burma is telling their people they can eat frogs and fish to survive, do you think the dictator is eating the same? It’s just not the same mentality.

  62. 62 Andrew in Italy
    May 29, 2008 at 18:43

    It is a well known fact in Italy, published in books and media from official statistics, that the Italian president costs 5 times the British Royal Family!
    I would rather have Royals: they might be cheaper and attract tourism, unlike the Italian President, who, to make things worse did not apologize for his outrageous budget and has no intent of reducing it!

  63. 63 Sergey
    May 29, 2008 at 18:45

    Let us not forget sad Russian experience.
    Russian monarchy probably was not very effective as a political system but its abolition lead to much more brutal dictarship of Lenin and Stalin.

    I am afraid the people on Nepal might expect troubled times ahead.

  64. 64 Jamie
    May 29, 2008 at 18:45

    It seems democracy doesn’t have a huge talent pool to pull from either.
    America has gone from Bush, to Clinton to Bush to….Clinton? I guess two families to pick from are better than one.

  65. May 29, 2008 at 18:45

    Don’t all people who believe in a heaven end up spending eternity under a monarchy?

  66. 66 Joseph
    May 29, 2008 at 18:45

    A wise man once said that the world would never be free until the last King is hung by the entrails of the last priest…

  67. 67 Bob in Wisconsin
    May 29, 2008 at 18:46

    The king of Thailand has helped the country through his reign to bring stability to the country. When there are times of turmoil people of the country looked to him for direction.

  68. 68 Steve in the USA
    May 29, 2008 at 18:47

    Weren’t the monarchs in the middle east installed by the European powers after the end of the Ottoman empire? What’s worse than a monarchy? A monarchy created only recently by outside forces?

  69. 69 Bob in Northern California
    May 29, 2008 at 18:48

    Obviously a monarchy is the best system of government as long as you have a good fair leader who will always remain so and whose descendants will also all be good fair consistent leaders for all of time.

    In lieu of that the people need to have a way to change their leadership when they go off course.

  70. 70 Olivene in Jamaica
    May 29, 2008 at 18:48

    The notion of “monarchy” is a romantic one. Unfortunately, the lived reality of too many people who live under these systems is anything but idyllic.

  71. 71 Andrew in Australia
    May 29, 2008 at 18:50

    Just to answer a comment your republican studio guest made about Australia and our referendum.

    You seem to know an awful lot about what Australians think and want. But just as you say the John Howard loaded a question on the republic referendum, do you think that Kevin Rudd would not also load a question to obtain his preferred outcome? Of course he will.

    As for Queen Elizabeth as head of state, at least she is impartial to party politics. If we here were to go the way of a republic then the appointment will never be democratic by the people, but a political appointment by Rudd or who ever is in charge at they time or some mock election of a few chosen candidates. Some business chum, ex pollie or one they owe a favour to.

  72. 72 Jens
    May 29, 2008 at 18:50

    how can any monarch claim to be having their respective god given right to the thrown, when no gods exist?

  73. 73 Peter
    May 29, 2008 at 18:51

    How about a royal chimpanzee ?

  74. 74 Amir
    May 29, 2008 at 18:51

    I think what matters is not whether we have a monarchy or republic, but the framework within which either operates. Egypt had a monarchy, Iraq had a monarchy… and when they were abolished, look at what the people got instead…
    We have an Egyptian presidency which looks to turn into a hereditary one, a Syrian one which already seems to be a de facto monarchy and a an Iraqi republic which literally massacred its people…. corruption and oppression has nothing to do with having royals or not…. I think the corruption and oppression we see in Egypt today for example is far worse than anything which was seen before the coup d’etat of 1952…

  75. 75 Bikash in Kathmandu
    May 29, 2008 at 18:52

    There is no reason why the people of nepal should not have stripped gyanendra of his title because the way he came on power was very dubious. It looked a very calculated step to power making the then crown prince the scape goat. Moreover, there is no good deeds under his belt and he couldn’t match the popularity or then king birendra.
    In the end, like sharon stone said bad things happen to them with bad karma, the same has happened to gyanendra’s family. I look forward to the day when a capable person from the general nepali mass comes to rule nepal.

  76. 76 Hans in the Netherlands
    May 29, 2008 at 18:53

    Being born in Sweden and living in Holland, I’ve lived all my life under monarchies, that is constitutional monarchies, where the king or queen wields no political power. I feel an absolute monarchy is indeed archaic, un-democratic and often dangerous. A constitutional, parliamentary monarchy, on the other hand, I feel is actually a clever way to ensure that our chosen political leaders wield political power and nothing else than that.

    Besides political leadership, there’s what I call national leadership: being the “leader of the tribe”, the face of the nation. This leadership is an archaic and irrational phenomenon, but nevertheless one which people obviously crave. We aren’t always rational, something we should acknowledge and accommodate. Giving this irrational role to a chosen leader, i.e. someone who wants that role and runs for office accordingly, is asking for trouble. Let the leader of my tribe be someone who never had the choice, giving him most of his life to prepare for such an illogical task. That’s safe and gives stability to the system in a way an “absolute republic” as e.g. the US, can never accomplish.

  77. 77 Oleg in Russia
    May 29, 2008 at 18:55

    In monarchy there is a spiritual bond of people with their sovereign and it should be taken only in the context of religious and spiritual life of one’s country. When you don’t have that context, monarchy is useless.
    Monarch were anointed sovereigns who would answer before God for the people entrusted to their reign, and they were icons of God in the eyes of people. Monarchs were the fathers of the land and the people, which made them responsible for everything. The clear succession line in the royal family ensures security and eliminates corruption.

  78. May 29, 2008 at 19:00

    Am starting to prefer royal ruling ie kingdom like than our so called democratic ruling. Africa for example it seems democratic rule is taking us behind in those ancient days where leaders what be only separated by death from the offices,though if they were royal leaders we can accept and wait till they are dead.I think for Napel they are justified they will do well, I have a belief that you neigbours in life are capable of building you or making you copllapse Napel has got good neigbours who can help out in time of crisis.

  79. 79 Will Rhodes
    May 29, 2008 at 19:01

    @ Steve

    I find it funny how Canadians have even less of a say than the British do. If the British decide to make Harry Potter their monarch, guess who becomes the head of state of Canada (and Australia, and New Zealand)???? Your head of state isn’t even a citizen of your country!

    Interesting that you say this – but you really should read about how many people really want the Queen to be head of State in these countries.

    Look at the last visit the Queen had to the US – more people turned out for her than the Pope!

    I am not a monarchist – but I am out numbered 10 to 1 so I go with the flow. The majority of the British people want a constitutional Monarch and I would give the Queen good odds if she ran against some of the prats you have had as President.

  80. 80 Anthony
    May 29, 2008 at 19:05

    @ Jens

    The same way a man can win an election when he really lost, then screw up 4 years and get elected again! It just does 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  81. 81 Listener
    May 29, 2008 at 19:24

    Human nature- rebellion. Defend yourself if you believe that you are right; learn it from the animal planet. There is a price to pay, do what you can afford.

  82. 82 Bishnu in Nepal
    May 29, 2008 at 19:28

    In today’s age of science and technology, we don’t need some extravagant brutes to be the sign of unity or culture. Make monarchy history.

  83. 83 Jonah in Nairobi
    May 29, 2008 at 19:29

    Congratulations to the people of Nepal. I love to hear your country has been transformed to modern forms of governance. Democracy is governance by the people unlike outdated monarchies.

  84. 84 Francis in Uganda
    May 29, 2008 at 19:31

    Every system of government has good and bad aspects. It’s important to have a system that citizens understand. That’s why democracy has not delivered for us.

  85. 85 Basy in Nigeria
    May 29, 2008 at 19:31

    Life is dynamic. As such the political status of a nation should change. Nepal’s mornarchy should pave way for change.

  86. 86 Musa in Liberia
    May 29, 2008 at 19:32

    Africa has become more embroiled in anarchy and tribalism in the absence of monarchiac forms of government. Governance in Africa means total authority, which is lacking in a democratic system.

  87. 87 Zanna in Lagos
    May 29, 2008 at 19:33

    Monarchies should be allowed to survive, even if ceremonial; at least they founded the kingdoms.

  88. 88 Patrick in Kampala
    May 29, 2008 at 19:34

    Current royals are enjoying luxuries, at our expense, all because their great, great ancestors got some weaklings and pronounced themselves Lord over them. Monarchs should just be abolished, or be maintained without our taxes.

  89. 89 Simon in Italy
    May 29, 2008 at 19:36

    Given the huge amount of corrupt greedy politicians, a constitutional monarchy as in Britain provides a little protection. But the others like in Saudi Arabia etc etc should be got rid of as soon as possible. Birth does not give you the right to pillage your country.

  90. 90 Senesie in Sierra Leone
    May 29, 2008 at 19:38

    Monarchy is just a waste of resources on a bunch of people who are bone idle.

  91. 91 Gabriel in Liberia
    May 29, 2008 at 19:39

    I do believe that one’s status in society should be based on merits and not inherited. If you work for something, you’ll value it more.

  92. 92 Rodney in Zambia
    May 29, 2008 at 19:41

    Many countries are as they are today because of centuries of monarchies and their guidance and direction. Therefore monarchies must retain some respect.

  93. 93 Dastan in Tanzania
    May 29, 2008 at 19:42

    I am totally against monarchy. It is an outdated system. People should sell their policies to the people if they are to become rulers.

  94. 94 Matovu in Uganda
    May 29, 2008 at 19:43

    I would rather have the traditional monarchy than a presidential monarchy or life presidency.

  95. May 29, 2008 at 20:03

    Here we go again, kings and queens, i think that old styled leadership used to work in olden days where countries were made of kingdoms. In Africa where one country is made up of 10s of tribes, my God save us from kings abd queens. look at whats happening to Uganda with buganda trying to re-establish, i wld do ma best to never see such kingdoms rule over countries

  96. 96 Dennis
    May 29, 2008 at 22:00

    @ one time i supported the ideas of Monarchies as government….Problems is that brings CORRUPTION and other bad things…..

    I think that some monarchies with civilans in the leadership i.e. United Kingdom is good…..

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  97. 97 Sandeep Dhawa in Nepal
    May 30, 2008 at 09:44

    Monarchy itself is not bad. For binding the people of the country monarchy plays vital role. But whenever king forgets his responsibitly and works againts the goodness of the people then people( citizens) have to supress the king. In todays world autocracy won’t be tolerated. We must not forget revolutions in which the monarchies were overthrown. So a lesson should be read from Nepal that if a king forgets his responsibitily then that monarchy will be abolished.

  98. May 30, 2008 at 11:15

    It says in the introduction to this discussion:

    “In parts of Europe, the arguments for a governing monarch were lost long ago, and the arguments for keeping them are mainly economic. ”

    There are no economic arguments for monarchy. It costs considerably more than a republic (UK monarchy estimated £150m, Irish president approx £1.5m pa). The idea that the monarchy helps business and trade is fantasy pedalled by those desperate to defend the indefensible, as is the nonsense that the monarchy helps tourism.

  99. May 30, 2008 at 11:18

    i have gone through all the response on monarchy.butwhat should have been disscussed is not disscussed.first we should know that nepal as a nation was created by a monarch.we were created by monarchy.but what followed was repression of people by monarch .kings after prithivi narayan shah didn’t bother of the common people of nepal so the people had to live under very difficult condition.kings cared of themselves and their family people were left behind.in the past also when the debate about democracy and monarchy started people were crushed and monarchy was maintained.for the people of nepal monarchy had been symbol of opperession.after the obolision of this debate will continue in nepal whether monarchy was better that democracy.but those people who think that monarchy was better are living in false paradise.in the present world what should be the first prirority is that people should have their individual rights,there should be no one in the country who should be ruling on the basis of fear and oppressin.if in the democracy if any leader who thinks that he can rule on this basis would be punished by public in the election and democracy will prevail in the end.in this present world monarchy doesn’t have any role at all.people should be their own masters.no one is more important than people nither monarch niether any head of states.

  100. May 30, 2008 at 13:38

    Finally, the ideology of the monarchy-represents a living bishnu, a unifying force for a divided Nepal and a symbol of Nationalism is being failed. Although it was not true in the past also, however, some person who wanted to revert back to medieval ages used to raise above slogan for their personal benefits.

    Really monarchy remained always as a problem. For decades after decades Nepal remained rule by monarchy. Which got results widespread corruption and poor development. It is true throughout history; the monarch has always let down the Nepali people. Parties spent their valuable time fighting against monarchy.Ex-King Gyanendra himself is a major cause for ending of the monarchy in the Himalayan country. He marginalized the political parties and actively engaged in politics.

    Remembering thing is that he declared king after massive royal massacre in 2001. Every step taken by him was against the people’s faith. His every decision was very unpopular.Today we want peace, stability and prosperity, No more Monarchy anyway. Attitude of Nepalese has been changed rapidly. we need change. After 2nd democratic mass movement people’s demand is seen clearly. They want to abolish the monarchy. Then seven political parties agree to fulfill people’s demand. Finally that day has came. When the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly declared the end of the monarchy from Nepal, the stars have smile on the Nepali faces.

    This is the greatest victory of Nepali people. we entered into the new era.

    Bye-Bye Monarchy! Hi- Hi Republic!!

  101. 101 Emile Barre
    May 31, 2008 at 14:49

    Once Kings and Queens had relevance. Now, they are relics. Rather like a teapot or a vase to be kept or discarded at will.

  102. 102 arshams
    June 8, 2008 at 11:30

    The rest of the world people living in the grip of monarchy government should also do the same as the people of Nepal have done, which is great deed indeed.

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