Segments in this Video

Introduction: Long Live the British Monarchy? (02:07)


Moderator John Donvan outlines the debate topic and introduces panelists. Political Philosopher and ResPublica Director Phillip Blond and Republic CEO Graham Smith state their positions,

Democratic Values (10:22)

Allowing someone to inherit public office is undemocratic. Smith argues that the British monarchy does not meet formalized standards required for those in public life. Blond counters that the monarchy represents the "principle of the one" and helps a democracy to better function.

Compromise of Kings (05:10)

Smith claims a monarchy's purpose is to defend its institution and many have historically failed; the British monarch is powerless. Blond argues that monarchs have always been allied with the notion of justice. Smith counters that historical monarchs were not on the side of the common people.

Contemporary Impact (07:20)

Blond states that monarchs are more popular than politicians; they symbolize the body politic and prevent extreme polarization. Smith argues that Blond's theory does not reflect reality; democratic republics are more stable. The popularity of the Dutch and British monarchies is declining.

Head of State (06:28)

Blond states there is a desire for polity that speaks to general welfare and the British monarchy has more symbolic and cultural power than ever. Smith counters that over 90% of the Commonwealth population live in republics; the British monarchy has little relevance.

Queen Elizabeth II (05:23)

Smith states that the declaration of a mourning periods in several countries is about diplomacy. He denies the idea that the monarchy is good for tourism. Blond laments Smith's negative perspective. The Queen was instrumental in growing the Commonwealth.

Britain Without a Monarchy (06:12)

Smith believes a fully elected parliamentary democracy would be stronger, more democratic, and more accountable. Blond believes Britain would lose the ability to foster consensus and secure democratic polity. Smith argues that Britain is one of the most unequal societies in the democratic world.

Monarch Succession (06:03)

Smith has always viewed the monarchy as absurd; King Charles ascended the throne without question and is not qualified for the position. Blond argues that democracies are failing because of fragmentation; the hereditary principle is legitimate.

Intelligence Squared (01:22)

Donvan thanks listeners, encourages continued funding of the program, and cites the names of key individuals. IQ2 works to combat extreme polarization through civil discourse.

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Long Live the British Monarchy?: A Debate

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In 2022, King Charles III ascended the British throne after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, who had reigned for 76 years. For more than a millennium, England has had a monarchy, a form of government in which a king or queen serves as head of state. Unlike in centuries past, however, the royal family today holds little formal power and serves a largely ceremonial function. Some wonder if the British monarchy has outlived its usefulness and should be abolished. Critics argue that the monarchy symbolizes Great Britain's checkered colonial past, drains the government and country of much-needed taxpayer funds, and is often the source of scandal and embarrassment. Supporters, however, argue that the monarchy symbolizes the nation's glorious imperial history, helps unify the British people, and acts as a moderating force in national politics. Should Great Britain retain its monarchy? Audio only.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL283501

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

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