In the early hours of the morning I spent a while debating the on-going Election in American with an American acquaintance of mine online. He passionately believes that neither Bush, nor Kerry should be allowed anywhere near the White House, but chose to give his vote to the Democrats because as he said “it was the lesser evil”… which I to a large extend would agree with him on (not that he needs or wants my approval on his personal convictions LOL)….
But what he said next just left me absolutely dumbstruck.
He said “And at least we as Americans get to ELECT our Head of State and political Leader, where as you Brits (ehrm…I'm Danish, but okay, it's valid to Denmark as well, I guess) have Monarchy imposed on you and don't even get a say in who gets to rule the country”…
I know I shouldn't generalise based on one man's personal opinion. But is this seriously how some people think a European Constitutional Monarchy works??? That the King or Queen even now is some kind of despotic Louis XIV and actually have say in how the country is run??? AS IF!! They sign stuff and have a few formal “ceremonial” duties, give a speech on live TV on New Year's Eve… that's it as for the political engagement.
I can't speak for the Britons, but in Denmark the Royal Family is popular and well-liked. And even though recent years have seen a slight increase in people who wish to downgrade or abolish it, the general view is still that it is an essential and treasured part of our culture exactly because it is NOT a political institution anymore.
And for those who still argue that it is a waste of money to have a “Representative of the Country” with no real or direct political purpose/influence, I would argue that I find it a greater waste to spend the vast amounts of money that Bush and Kerry has thrown into their respective campaigns to combat each other. You have to admire Nader for even giving it a shot against those two.
It sparked an interesting debate between him and I. It is always fascinating to hear how the “outside” world view us but I must admit that I was not expecting to be preceived even by one man as a native of a country, which because it has Constitutional Monarchy is viewed to be socialistic and communistic in its values. LOL But hey, live and learn, eh?!
*smiles* Interesting night indeed….