Head of State

How much power should our Head of State have? Do we even need a Monarchy?

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The Queen is the constitutional monarch. In 2012 she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years on the throne. But as the Head of State what does she actually do? Do we even need her? Over the last 1,000 years power has passed from the monarch who ruled by virtue of the 'Divine Right of Kings' to Parliament. But is there a place for the British monarchy in 2015? Should we have an elected Head of State with far more powers, or in fact merge the Head of State role with that of the Prime Minister?

 

HAVE YOUR SAY... 

We want to hear your views on the role and the powers and duties of the head of state; 

Should the role of Head of State be kept by a British monarch? Should we now have an elected head of state with powers enshrined in the constitution? Should we even have a Head of State at all?

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Suggested clause: 'The use of all historic titles used by hereditary heads of state, hereditary rulers and members of the aristocracy of the [UK] and elsewhere in the world is prohibited in public life in the [UK] and all privileges attached to such titles are abolished' Titles such as Dame, Baron, Sir etc, are antiquated and unhelpful as official forms of address in political and public spheres   They will be abolished as forms of address in political and public life (along with the...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
14 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 15
Ian Smith

There is an important role to play for the head of state.  A new written constitution needs to set out what that role is and ensure that the position is democratically accountable and transparent in the way it works. As things stand our unwritten constitution concentrates considerable power in the hands of the government, with the head of state – the Queen – acting only on the instruction of the prime minister.  This makes the head of state a fairly meaningless role, doing little more than...

Republic
by Republic
248 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 556
Republic

If we adopt a written constitution and choose to have a head of state then that head should act as a guardian of the UK constitution.   The head should have the right and duty to act if s/he considers that a proposed new statute would infringe the constitution.  In that case s/he should either: 1. Have the power to send the bill back to parliament for reconsideration; and/or 2. Send it to the Supreme Court for consideration of the potential infringement. 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 19
Ian Smith

The way I see it, there are three models for an elected president; the American, Irish and French. Comparing a Country to a company, with the American model the Chairman (ie the pres) is also the Chief Executive. With the Irish Model, the Chair and the Chief Executive (the Taoiseach, or PM) are totally separate. All meaningful power is executed by the PM. The French model is a bit of a  mélange, with some powers executed by the Pres and some by the PM. on balance, I prefer the Irish model....

Hugo Read
by Hugo Read
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 7
Hugo Read

In the interest of transition to a republic, Charles Windsor should agree to be a non-executive President/Head of State for a five year term and then to stand against all comers for a second and final five year term as an Elected non-executive President/Head of State

Dane Clouston
by Dane Clouston
17 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
Dane Clouston

I suspect that many ardent republicans will have some respect for our current Queen, who seems to be a hard-working, honest and dedicated worker (albeit very well paid). I favour decapitation of the role of monarchy and all the state-sponsered and empowered trappings of the institution (or "firm") as we know it. Nonetheless, I would be very happy to see Elizabeth Windsor re-apply for her her job should it become vacant and compete for it against other applicants from all walks of life....

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 20
Ian Smith

Abolish privilege Equality for all All citizens of 16 years and older to have the right to vote, right to stand as a member of Parliament, right to stand as Head of State. And have all these rights written down, for all to see.

Alan Green
by Alan Green
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 12
Alan Green

It is my contention that the UK Monarchy is biggest factor holding the country back from much needed change that would see it shrug off the last vestiges of colonialism and seek its proper position in the modern world.  We desperately need a written constitution enshrining our rights in a modern equalitarian, inclusive and participative republic. Whilst we cling to the outdated and illogical institution that is the Monarchy, we will continue to believe we are “Great”, we are a world power...

Richard Sage
by Richard Sage
57 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 13
Richard Sage

I suggest that a totally fair democracy is impossible but that is no reason not to aspire to it or not to adapt our systems so they we get ever closer to that ideal. One thing is certain and that is as long as we have an unelected head of state appointed in perpetuity from just the one, same family in the land then we can never progress towards democracy. Along with that must also go a democratic reform of the House of lords. Law makers must be accountable to us the people and we must...

Dick Wells
by Dick Wells
8 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 5
Dick Wells

The idea of inherited power in a modern democracy is immoral and out of date.   We should have a Head of State who is elected by the people (s)he is to represent and lead. Serving a fixed term of 3 – 5 years.   The Head of State would be able to dissolve parliament, call on the winner of an election to form a Government and dismiss the Prime Minister.   Bills would be signed into law by the president who would have clear rights of veto.   The President would take on the...

Cliftonensis
by Cliftonensis
14 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 24
Cliftonensis
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