The Brexit aftermath has exposed the Queen as an impotent head of state. As argued below this is not the fault of the woman herself but the fault of having a hereditary system.
One of the advantages of an elected Head of State (HoD) system is that the head of state is usually elected through a direct mandate. In terms of democracy, this makes the HoDs authority more legitimate as he/she is elected directly by the people as oppose to being appointed through birth.
Another advantage of an elected system is the stability it brings as HoDs are usually elected to fixed terms unlike the Head of State for the UK (the Queen) who merely takes the position for life based upon birth right. If we look at the system in the UK then in its hardest terms it can be defined as follows.
Monarchy is a term used to define a government ruled by single person such as a king or queen. Monarchy involves a hereditary chain of command, which means only descendants or relatives of the king, queen, or emperor can take over power in the event of their death. Because our HoD is not elected she has no authority to provide stability, reassurance and leadership in times of crisis and great uncertainty.
This makes her and the royal family a lame duck. And an expensive one at that.
Graham Smith, CEO of campaign group Republic said today:
“We have a lame-duck prime minister and an opposition in chaos, the future of the UK is at stake and our head of state is unable to offer leadership.”
“An effective head of state would provide stability, reassurance and leadership in times of crisis and great uncertainty. Instead the Queen remains silent and aloof, knowing she cannot do anything for fear of jeopardising her own position.”
“When we’re seeing arguments about how to exit the EU, second referendums, Scotland vetoing Brexit and pledges to ignore the result, an effective head of state can provide constitutional leadership. Instead the Queen remains silent and of no use to anyone.”
“That’s a major failure of the monarchy. If our head of state were legitimate and accountable – elected by the people – they’d have the authority and mandate to step up at times of crisis.”
“In a parliamentary democracy a non-partisan but effective head of state can hold the ship of state together in a crisis. That happens elsewhere in Europe, in the UK we have an empty chair where a head of state should be.”
“The Brexit aftermath needs to be met with a full-scale constitutional review that provides an effective head of state, chosen by the people to serve the nation.”
Republic clarifies its position on the role of head of state on its website at republic.org.uk/what-we-want/our-head-state