Republic decided they’d start pushing their agenda again today after what I can only assume was some kind of brief summer break. Among the usual babel, they tweeted their outline for what they thought a president in a British republic they’re pining for so much would be like. (You can see here).
Unfortunately however, the plans are every bit as ill-thought and effete as you would expect.
Firstly, Republic seem to think that an elected head of state could in some way be politically neutral. I’d like to know how. The only conceivable way to run election would be to have political parties choosing, sponsoring and funding candidates – aside from creating a plutocracy, there is no conceivable way for political parties to be removed from this process.
By their very nature, parties will put forward their most loyal and staunch supporters to get the easiest ride and reap the greatest benefits.
Republic use Ireland as an example of a good presidential system, purely because the last few presidents have been popular during their time in office. They state people would be willing to vote for independent candidates in presidential elections because they do in local elections. Really? How many independent candidates get into Westminster I wonder? And how many independent presidents has Ireland elected? (The answer is none).
Additionally, some of you may be aware there are serious calls in Ireland for the presidency to be abolished because many people feel the so called ‘checks and balances’ (which Republic say the president can provide) are almost non-existent.
A Monarchy, where the head of state owes no loyalty to any one political party, ensures a truly independent head of state. You might ‘prescribe’ a president’s neutrality by law, but just remember who they rely on come election time for funding and support… Still neutral?
Even more calamitously, Republic suggest this new politican-president should preside over proceedings on the occasion of a Hung Parliament to choose the Prime Minister.
Their proposal for stopping the government simply ejecting a president they don’t like? Make the majority high enough to ensure cross-party support. Genius. So while a president tramples on the minority parties, so long as they keep the big two/three happy, everything’s fine. Another problem with elected HoSs: promotes, encourages and nurtures majoritarian rule and disregard of smaller parties. Monarchy protects space for minority interests by not taking a side in the first place.
I’ll update this post as I peruse through other sections of their proposals when I have more time, for now I think I need to go and lie down in a darkened room..
The Courtier thinks Republic have truly excelled themselves in vacuity in their latest missive.