Queen Elizabeth II

December 22nd, 2007 at 9:22 am by David Farrar

I may be a Republican but it doesn’t mean I don’t admire the superb service the Queen has given over her lifetime, and she is now Britain’s oldest monarch.

I was surprised to read that she is only the 40th monarch since William the Conquerer in 1066.  We’ve almost had more PMs in 150 years that the UK has had monarchs in 1,000 years.

Tags:

33 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth II”

  1. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    Hmm… I leader per 25 years on average.
    I wonder if Helen has given thought to lengthening the term of government?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. ray (63 comments) says:

    Well that is the difference between being born to the job and having to face the people and be elected

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    No president could possibly match her performance. She exerts influence without power, as far as NZ is concerned shes is very cheap, she behaves impecably, she has partner who adds a bit of sparkle to the institution, she sets standards for all commonwealth leaders to aspire to, etc, etc (and for those who think the family is a bit strange, well it always has been its just that the reigning crown has always been able to rise to standards of performance that overcome all that).

    Find me a president who can come even close before I would even think of republicanism. She is the perfect reason to quote that well known saying “if it aint broke, then why fix it”

    [DPF: Well I don’t think genetics are the best way to select our head of state]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Scott (1,816 comments) says:

    Couldn’t agree more Barry. The Queen represents an institution that has served Britain and the Commonwealth well for century upon century. I think life would be a little poorer without the royal family and the tradition and the customs they represent.

    Even now in New Zealand legislation must be signed by the Queen’s representative, the Governor General, before it comes into force.

    Although we don’t have a constitution, we have the benefit of centuries of customs and conventions headed by the royal family. This means that there is some limit and restraints on our governments. I think right now our current government could benefit from all the limit and restraint and tradition that the Queen represents.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Zippy Gonzales (485 comments) says:

    All due respect to QEII, the role of monarch has been an anachronism since her rellie abdicated. More people in NZ went to see Justin Timberlake than saw HRH during her last visit. Irrelevant and, more importantly, an ineffective check on our executive and legislature. You get what you pay for, I s’pose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. vto (1,131 comments) says:

    I tend to agree Barry and Scott.

    DPF – genetics have worked pretty well to date in this form. And others. In fact there is a strong argument that performance is improved with the added responsibility layer of tradition and genetics and family.

    And if leaders are elected then look what happens – do a real time comparison of stability and quality of leadership between elected and ‘genetic’ leaders in history.

    Could of course start with our own elected so-called leader at the moment.

    And most importantly – the monarch still has the ability to refuse the assent to legislation. I argued here for the G-G to refuse the EFB assent due to this govts brutal smashing of electoral law reform conventions. Remove that final layer of rarely-used protection and Clark becomes supreme dictator. Bugger that for a joke.

    All that elected leaders tend to prove is that they are good at politics – and I have never been shown how a talent for politics translates to a talent for steering a nation, running a large organisation, managing $50billion p.a., or anything else for that matter.

    What are the reasons for changing?

    [DPF: The GG has no ability to refuse assent – they serve the PM who appoints them, not the public. And the UK Monarach would never go against a domestic PM. A local head of state though could indeed have powers to refuse assent and refer to a referendum]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. redbus (106 comments) says:

    Well, as is the nature of our monarchy. Our monarchs are committed, they are in it for life.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    If only the Queen DID represent “limit and restraint and tradition” where our present government is concerned, Scott.

    We made a huge mistake in earlier political eras, moving to sever our ties with the monarchy and the legal institutions of the mother country, WITHOUT drawing up a proper constituition to fill the place of the consequently missing limit and restraint and tradition.

    It’s too late now to do a constitution because the country is too far gone to be able to do one that would have the sort of practical force for good as the US one for example. GOOD constitutions tend to get drawn up by people who have just thrown off the shackles of tyranny and/or corrupt government.

    One awaits with interest, the sort of constitution that Fiji will get with a guy like Bainamarama calling the tune. It would be a mistake to assume that it would be anything LIKE as inimical to freedom as the sort of constitution that Helen Clark, Heather Simpson, and Margaret Wilson would draw up.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Mr Nobody NZ (391 comments) says:

    Personally up until the EFB I have always been a strong supporter of the crown, however since this bill my mind has changed.

    While I accept that Her Majesty’s role is largely a figurehead one I still believe that she has an obligation to her subjects which I feel she will have failed to have met once the Governor General (her representative) signs this legislation into law (I don’t believe he has actually done so yet).

    With her obligations worth nothing then her role in NZ is equally worth nothing and I believe that we will be better off looking towards alternatives such as becoming a republic.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Nigel (517 comments) says:

    QEII has been a fantastic Monarch, but I would argue the environment in which she has had the role has helped with that impression, where her role is much more symbolic than in the past, certainly it’s pretty rose tinted history to suggest her predecessors were talented ( whether losing their head to Cromwell, losing the USA to stubborness, supporting Hitler ……. ).
    In the end though to suggest a leader be chosen based solely on their parents is such a contradictory stance for posters on a Right leaning blog, it beggars belief, or maybe it just illustrates the contradiction’s so prevalent in the Right Wing & which made Clinton/Blairs New Way forward have such appeal.
    I am with DPF on this issue, with the caveat that retaining the Monarchy as a purely symbolic figurehead might go someway to placating the desire for serfdom demonstrated in earlier posts.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    [DPF: The GG has no ability to refuse assent…]

    The Governor-General would seem to disagree with you, DPF.

    “Other reserve powers are to dismiss a Prime Minister, to force a dissolution of Parliament, to refuse a Prime Minister’s request for an election, and to refuse assent to legislation.”

    http://www.gg.govt.nz/role/powers.htm

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Mr Nobody NZ – the EFB received the Royal Assent on Wednesday, and came into force on Thursday.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    Governor-General Kerr removed Prime Minister Whitlam in Australia.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    Since resident Governors-General have been the norm, only Sir Keith Holyoake had the gravitas required for this sort of stand.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    Any GG who used their political powers would be recalled by the Queen sooner than you could say “Republican Referendum”. Any Queen (or King) who didn’t go along with the will of Parliament would find themselves as the last Monarch of New Zealand.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. vto (1,131 comments) says:

    G Edgeler re G-G ability to refuse assent, thanks “The Governor-General would seem to disagree with you, DPF.”

    Nigel

    “In the end though to suggest a leader be chosen based solely on their parents is such a contradictory stance for posters on a Right leaning blog, it beggars belief,”

    I dont think it beggars belief at all. All it shows is that the terms ‘right’ and ‘left’ are daft and that people cannot be put into nice neat cubby holes. I tend to the right but share many aspirations of the left. Where it always falls apart is in agreement as to implementation.

    tangent – losing the privy council was absolute folly.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    DPF – In general principle the arguement that genetics isnt the best way to choose a head of state sounds OK and seems a nice sound bite. However its has severed the UK better than any other system has served any other country. I dont know my history that well, but the genetic system has been running in the UK for well over 1000 years and its been responsible for the development of a pretty satisfactory nation. It has allowed the development of a democratic system – sure with some resistance – but in any other country there would have been mass slaughter. A method to run the UK with various balances has resulted and although its possibly biased too much towards the elected branch it works pretty well.

    If the genetics werent any good they would have been gone by now – like they went in russia after 300 years of complete disregard for the pheasants. The opposite happen in Japan where the royal family didnt have either the guts or the power to stop the warlords in the 1930’s.

    Now – lets look at voted presidents. Mugabe, Hussein, Chavez, Allende, Peron, whats his name in Cuda, Kim il Jong, Mao Tse Tung, Nazarbayev, Oh shit I almost forgot the guy with the funny mow – Hitler, — do I need to go on?
    Ill have the Uk royal family system anyday thanks, Gentics and all that involves

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Chris Diack (748 comments) says:

    It always surprises me that those really upset at a particular piece of legislation then sometimes advocate for the refusal of royal assent. The Governor General is like some “big daddy” – he should use this fundamentally undemocratic power to right what they see as a wrong. It strikes me as constitutionally immature.

    However bad the Electoral Finance Act 2007 is it isn’t worth breaking the convention that the G-G assents to legislation of the Parliament. To destroy this convention along with some of the other broad understandings already lost regarding electoral matters would be a travesty.

    Legislation is decided by Parliament which itself is democratically chosen. The solution to the Electoral Finance Act 2007 is the Electoral Finance Repeal Act 2009.

    Regarding the notion that a directly elected (or appointed by Parliament) Head of State should more regularly exercise the right to refuse assent to legislation one should recognise that this would fundamental shift power away from Parliament and the Executive drawn there from.

    If you want the Head of State active in public policy then you are advocating a revolution in New Zealand’s current constitutional arrangements. One should be explicit about both the advantages and disadvantages of such a system.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. vto (1,131 comments) says:

    some of that’s silly. The G-G in this situation would not be acting like a “big daddy”, dishing out punishment at his discretion, but would be acting due to a breach of the rules already in place (the convention that electoral law reform is agreed across a wide wide spectrum).

    Secondly, there is no convention that the G-G blindly assents to everything, although that is of course close to the perceived practice.

    Thirdly, in this situation the G-G would not be active in public policy but, as above, would be active in ‘policing’ the rules already in place around how public policy is installed. It is not about the actual legislatioon it is about how the legislation was enacted.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. teegee (14 comments) says:

    Don’t want to upset any royalists but the Queen is in the “Illuminati” along side of Bush, Cheney, Tony Blair, John Howard and god knows who else.
    Perhaps Helen of Troy (NZ edition) … No she could’nt handle that could she. Our Gov Gen has ruined Derek Cately’s life. He had a groundbreaking fishing program.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Chris Diack (748 comments) says:

    vto:

    I am sorry but the “convention” you assert that exists regarding changing the Electoral Act dates from pre MMP days and isn’t a constitutional convention. Nor is it as a practice as solid as you assert. Changes by National and Labour to the allocation of broadcasting and a limit on spending private money prior to the 1996 election where SPECIFICALLY designed to prevent Act New Zealand buying tv time. Thus both National and Labour acted in their mutual self interest. In addition they do this by hanging on to their constitutionally offensive appointees to the Representation Commission.

    One should not confuse pursuing mutual self interest with the broader interests of the public. The rule that Labour has broken is that Electoral Act deals are brokered between Labour and National in pursuit of mutual self interest.

    Nor did I say that the GG must assent I said there is a convention that he or she does. There might be some extra-ordinary set of circumstances that warrants a departure from the convention – the Electoral Finance Act isn’t it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. vto (1,131 comments) says:

    Chris Diack – thats not the convention I am talking about

    I agree though that both big parties act in their mutual self-interest in situations like this. A tangential issue.

    Yes there is a convention that he or she does assent, but that convention includes an ability not to, as you say, in extraordinary cirumstances. You think the EFA is not one of those, but I do, for those reasons explained already.

    I am not an expert in this area but did study it in some past century. Suppose off to wikipedia I trudge, unless there exists out there in the ether a genuine expert.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Luke (16 comments) says:

    What about trusting genetics if monarch was genetically engineered to be super intelligent, pragmatic, principled and empathetic? On being born heir was given to parents randomly selected from the population without the knowledge of either party until budding king/queen was an adolescent at which point was given a comprehensive education…

    Not that I support such a course if it were possible but an interesting concept. We could then breed workers more suited to working and breeders for breeding and soliders for fighting and work on developing a hive mind.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Matt (227 comments) says:

    I agree with zippy (10:14am) “more importantly, an ineffective check on our executive and legislature.”
    This is the biggest problem with the monarchy. But to use as an excuse to get rid of the monarchy is disingenuous. It would be simple for parliament to pass a symbolic resolution calling for the gg to deny assent for legislation apparently not in the public interest.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Hmm, people seem to be missing one small
    point.
    Politicians in parliament hate the idea of an
    elected President, like Howard they all believe
    that only MPs have the ability to choose a
    president , not the great unwashed.

    Tana Umaga for next GG ? the idea that the
    GG has to be a lawyer is bollocks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. dad4justice (8,296 comments) says:

    With no constitution in kiwiland (you know equal rights in law ) is it any wonder the Labour Governments in both the motherland and here implement so many idiotic laws ? Who said Labour is a regime should be President .

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Treetop (24 comments) says:

    I have always admired the Queen and I have seen her twice in real life. Queen Victoria is the longest ruling monarch, another eight years until the Queen surpasses her. To have also been married 60 years is a real achievement.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Dazzaman (1,143 comments) says:

    Looking at this issue carefully, Labour are not about to, nor are they willing to kick the monarchy to touch for good! They would rather have the Nats do it for them and disenfranchise a good section of their own support base who would probably support ties with the monarchy.

    Even though many of the institutions/checks & balances, etc. have been effectively removed. The fact that the gummint already has nearly everything needed to acquire unlimited power installed already AND the respectability of the monarchy behind them (in the office of the GG) is a near perfect position for them.

    National should back away from any talk of republicanism and allow Labour to push it. It fits better with the Labour party’s all-encompassing, power-hungry agenda.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Dazzaman (1,143 comments) says:

    Luke – “We could then breed workers more suited to working and breeders for breeding and soliders for fighting and work on developing a hive mind.”

    Crikey Luke, I’ll be a breeder!…..Nah, go back and watch Star Trek will you!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Matt (227 comments) says:

    You know, saying that birth is a bad way of choosing a head of state on this blog is rather ironic considering that it is pretty much a consensus here that our elected government is a self-serving arrogant and even corrupt regime. Sure, it doesn’t allow the common man to aspire to become the highest in the land, but it does have certain other benefits:

    * The monarch needs no help to be elected, so has no backs to scratch in return

    * The monarch has no UN jobs to aspire to after retirement – they can put the interests of the country first

    * As the monarch personifies the country, it is not such a bad thing if they think first of their own interests, as those are pretty much aligned with those of the country

    * We already have a democratic check-and-balance: both the legislature and the executive comes from our elected parliament. The monarch has no power without the approval of parliament.

    * Without the intervention of the monarch, we can face situations such as with the EFB where a small group of people distort the whole system to pervert democracy completely. If we had a Labour parliament as well as a Labour president could we really expect them to stop such a rort?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    I hope that the queen makes ahint in her Christmas message that democracy is not up to full par in the Commonwealth.

    Whatever the Commonwealth means these days.

    Just hope she slips a hotty hint in!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    > More people in NZ went to see Justin Timberlake than saw HRH during her last visit.

    So you are saying if it was up to you we would have Justin Timberlake as our king? haha

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    More people in NZ went to see Justin Timberlake than saw HRH during her last visit. Irrelevant and, more importantly, an ineffective check on our executive and legislature. You get what you pay for, I s’pose.

    That’s about the dumbest argument for republicanism you could come up with. I wonder how many people could correctly name their local MP and local body representatives without prompting, and what’d the tipping point where that becomes an argument for doing away with Parliamentary democracy all together. Especially as turnouts keep declining…

    Seriously, I have to wonder (yet again) whether republicans are their own worse enemies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote