The Royal Succession Bill

September 5th, 2013 at 1:49 pm by David Farrar

Just appeared before the Justice and Electoral Committee on the Royal Succession Bill. My points were basically:

  1. Ridiculous that it has taken so long to remove the gender discrimination against women where a younger brother succeeds to the throne ahead of an older sister
  2. That while a welcome move in the right direction, it doesn’t solve fundamental problem of monarchy – that we may end up with a very undesirable head of state.
  3. That if this bill has been in place from NZ’s beginning, then Victoria, the Princess Royal would have become Queen of New Zealand in 1901, and her eldest son would have become King of New Zealand around six months later. That would have been Kaiser Wilhelm II, who would have been King of New Zealand.
  4. The bill doesn’t abolish the requirement for the Head of State of New Zealand to be Anglican, and this religious discrimination should go
  5. This change will possibly affect one woman in around 80 years or so, if Prince George’s first born is female and has younger brothers. Prince George will probably die around 2115, so any impact is a century or so off.

 

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31 Responses to “The Royal Succession Bill”

  1. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    “then Victoria, the Princess Royal would have become Queen of New Zealand in 1901, and her eldest son would have become King of New Zealand around six months later. That would have been Kaiser Wilhelm II, who would have been King of New Zealand.”

    If this law had been in place, and she was heir apparent, there is no prospect she’d have been shipped off to marry a German. None.

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  2. kowtow (8,089 comments) says:

    Gender discrimination?

    Who cares.Royal succession has nothing to do with equality and nor should it.And there is no fundamental “problem” with monarchy.

    It’s our constitution and has served us well.

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  3. GPT1 (2,109 comments) says:

    Any sort of elected or appointed head of state is likely to throw up more unsuitable candidates with greater irrelevancy than the current system

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  4. RRM (9,736 comments) says:

    While you’re at it DPF you ought to have a think about solving a fundamental problem of democracy – that we may end up with a very undesirable elected government. :-P

    William looks like a GC.

    God save the King!

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  5. GPT1 (2,109 comments) says:

    Certainly doing away with the monarchy, which did remove the above mentioned, worked well for the Germans…

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  6. Huevon (212 comments) says:

    Still can’t be a Catholic….

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  7. kowtow (8,089 comments) says:

    GPT1

    Churchill was of the view that doing away with the monarchy created a vacuum which the Nazis were able to exploit.

    And having an elected President as HoS is no guarantee of straight dealing ,even for the boring honest Krauts.

    http://www.euractiv.com/elections/german-president-faces-corruptio-news-529987

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  8. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Who can say what will happen in the future.

    The throne has never passed from 1st born son to 1st born son to 1st born son over three generations, ever.

    If Charles, William & George do it in the planned order, they’ll be the first ever.

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  9. Andrei (2,533 comments) says:

    That while a welcome move in the right direction, it doesn’t solve fundamental problem of monarchy – that we may end up with a very undesirable head of state.

    And democracy has delivered Barack Obama has head of State and if that isn’t an undesirable state of affairs I don’t know what is.

    In fact democracy in the 21st century is delivering up a whole succession of leaders notable only for their mediocrity – David Cameron springs to mind, Kevin Rudd another (he was elected remember before being rolled by Julia Gillard, another appalling leader)

    Ridiculous that it has taken so long to remove the gender discrimination against women where a younger brother succeeds to the throne ahead of an older sister

    Of course in the good old days the Monarch had to be able to swing a broadsword, Apart from Putin I doubt any of the current bunch of world leaders could even pick one up let alone swing it

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  10. edhunter (532 comments) says:

    Oh Goodie DPF is back on his Republic bandwagon again. And like the Gay Marriage Act he along with his cohorts will beg & whine like spoilt brats until everyone is so sick to death of hearing about it we’ll give in.
    That’s what happens when you remove someones ability to administer a short sharp slap & become to use to the tail wagging the dog.

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  11. Redbaiter (8,211 comments) says:

    “And democracy has delivered Barack Obama has head of State”

    To be fair on democracy, it was more vote fraud that got us Obama.

    http://obamavoterfraud.blogspot.com.au/

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  12. altiora (233 comments) says:

    Somewhat ironic that you object to the Catholic exclusion but seem to find having a German as King objectionable.

    If the English didn’t have the Catholic exclusion, democracy in the UK would have been taken far longer to achieve, and there would almost certainly been much more bloodshed.

    James II (the last Catholic king) wanted to impose absolutism a la Louis XIV on England — using force and, most probably, burning at the stake to achieve it.

    The ascendancy of Anglicanism/Protestantism in England assisted the system of Parliamentary democracy we enjoy now.

    Often you will find that our ancestors had valid reasons for the way they acted.

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  13. Tautaioleua (296 comments) says:

    DPF, what do you mean by religious discrimination? the Head of State is also the Head of the Church of England. In what world is the Head of the Church of England also Roman Catholic? can the Pope be a Methodist too?

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  14. SGA (980 comments) says:

    Alan at 1:55 pm

    “then Victoria, the Princess Royal would have become Queen of New Zealand in 1901, and her eldest son would have become King of New Zealand around six months later. That would have been Kaiser Wilhelm II, who would have been King of New Zealand.”
    If this law had been in place, and she was heir apparent, there is no prospect she’d have been shipped off to marry a German. None.

    Exactly, and one only has to look at Victoria and Elizabeth II to see that – the “shipping” (of whoever it would be) would work the other way.

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  15. davidp (3,566 comments) says:

    Tautaioleua>the Head of State is also the Head of the Church of England

    I’m scratching my head trying to figure out why we’d require NZ’s HOS to head up the Anglican church. Haven’t we heard of the separation of church and state?

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  16. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    Haven’t we heard of the separation of church and state?

    NZ is not the USA. The British have never had that concept, another example of which is the fact that (from memory) 26 CofE Bishops sit in the House of Lords.

    EDIT: The last couple Chief Rabbis of the UK have also sat in the House of Lords, if I recall correctly.

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  17. peterwn (3,232 comments) says:

    kowtow – Hitler called George VI’s wife Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother) the ‘the most dangerous woman in Europe’. There was no monarchy vacuum there – she refused to leave London despite advice to do so and refused to send the two children to Canada.

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  18. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    Andrei points out:

    And democracy has delivered Barack Obama has head of State and if that isn’t an undesirable state of affairs I don’t know what is.

    In fact democracy in the 21st century is delivering up a whole succession of leaders notable only for their mediocrity – David Cameron springs to mind, Kevin Rudd another

    When the US and Australian founders sat down and drafted their respective Constitutions, values such as honesty, integrity and honour were still real. It didn’t need the media peeping through the curtains to keep politicians honest – their own consciences did so. And if they were exposed as having lied, they had the decency to feel genuine shame and step away from public office, not hire spin doctors to say “hey, look how honest he is – he admits he’s a crook!”

    Which is why NZ needs a modern Constitution that binds politicians to certain fundamental standards of honesty and integrity and provides for their speedy removal if they don’t measure up. And why the US and Australia need to re-think theirs.

    The UK actually instituted quite a good system – the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards – a role which used to have some real teeth and whose office holders weren’t afraid to do their job without fear or favour.

    I studied it in 1999 when Gilbert Myles (ironically, in light of subsequent events) and I were drafting a Bill which would have set up a similar office in NZ. The Commissioner then was Elizabeth Filkin, a brave and feisty woman. She took on Peter Mandelson, a Bairite, who’d failed to declare a large loan in the Register of Members’ Interests.

    Blair, of course, took the first opportunity to not reappoint her. Or, as Wikipedia puts it: “Her departure was controversial, with some people… claiming that high-profile MPs had effectively forced her out because they did not like her investigating them, although her job required it”.

    From that point on the writing was on the wall and the PCS has had most of it’s teeth extracted, one by one, by successive governments both Labour and Conservative.

    I still believe NZ needs such legislation, and such an office, and that its powers should at least be entrenched, or better yet require a referendum to alter. And if we really wanted to keep the bastards honest we’d make the Commissioner’s post one that was elected, not appointed.

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  19. MT_Tinman (3,089 comments) says:

    This change will possibly affect one woman in around 80 years or so, if Prince George’s first born is female and has younger brothers. Prince George will probably die around 2115, so any impact is a century or so off.

    Why the hell is my tax money being wasted on this crap?

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  20. gravedodger (1,538 comments) says:

    We have had Germans as HOS since William and Mary then Anne, her sister, William was a bloody dutchman, they must have been a bit shonky in the bed linen though or was it the “line breeding”.
    Elizabeth the first was the last true English blood monarch, then they included Scotsmen and we are only guessing what else since.

    ps I am an unequivical Royalist this is just bringing the great system into the 21st century a little bit.

    President Cunliffe/Robertson anyone, Jones could possibly be a descendent of the Tudors, they lived next door you know.

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  21. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    We have had Germans as HOS since William and Mary then Anne, her sister

    I presume that you mean “since Anne died”?  Anne was a Stuart, so of Scottish stock as you point out, although born in London, as was Mary. 

    EDIT:

    they must have been a bit shonky in the bed linen though or was it the “line breeding”.

    From memory, Anne had 10 kids.  None survived childhood, however.

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  22. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    Maybe DPF can remind us of the reason why a catholic cannot ascend the English throne. Roma semper idem.

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  23. Warren Murray (298 comments) says:

    Its hard to categorically assign nationality to Kings and Queens of England. Elizabeth I was a Tudor, who had Welsh ancestry. Was Richard III the last ‘English’ king or does being a Plantagenet make him French?

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  24. flipper (3,903 comments) says:

    What was that great line from Martha Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind?
    “Frankly, Scarlett[DPF], I don’t give a damn,” was it not?

    End of discussion.

    The Bill will pass, or we will have a new Prime Minister.
    I do NOT think DPF has that in mind, so I suspect he was unexpectedly trapped in his republican rant mode, and deep down, recognises that an elected HoS is absurd for a nation of 4.5m
    We already have an appointment system, so if the system “ain’t broke…… :) :) :).

    .

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  25. kowtow (8,089 comments) says:

    peterwn

    The removal was in Germany.Not Britain. Establishment of the weak Weimar Republic. Churchill was of the view a monarchy was what the Germans needed.

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  26. Judith (8,526 comments) says:

    @ Flipper

    Totally agree. The system works, I think a step towards anything else at the moment would be very inadvisable.

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  27. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    ” Elizabeth I was a Tudor, who had Welsh ancestry. Was Richard III the last ‘English’ king or does being a Plantagenet make him French?”

    One Welsh great grandparent (Owen Tudor) hardly makes you Welsh, solidly English on her mothers side, Even her fathers side was three quarters English (Yorks and Beauforts)

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  28. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Still, solidly German from 1714 for three hundred years, but a bit more British now since the late Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Diana Spencer and Kate Middleton all contributed. Little Prince George must be well over three quarters British. Hip hip hooray!

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  29. Daigotsu (452 comments) says:

    Not only would Victoria not have been allowed to marry Frederick Wilhem if she’d been the heir, even if Kaiser Wilhelm had become William V, the fact that the UK is a constitutional monarchy would have prevented him from exerting too much of a negative influence.

    It’s worth noting that Wilhelm was actually in favour of an Anglo-German rapprochment, considered himself an Anglophile, and always hoped for an end to hostilities between his mother’s country and his own.

    So basically DPF, your anti-German scaremongering is not only offensive, it’s without substance.

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  30. Duxton (605 comments) says:

    I met Prince Charles at a garden party late last year, during his visit to PNG. While I had been one of the original knockers, I must say that I was surprised – and impressed – at how personable a character he is.

    Personally, I will always be more comfortable with our current arrangements than an elected HoS.

    And MT TinMan: WRT your taxes, the current model is far cheaper than the alternative.

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  31. BlairM (2,310 comments) says:

    I’m of the view that the Monarchy has a historic value to New Zealand and therefore should remain a part of our Constitution. In what form is another matter. Really what we should have is a separately elected Governor General with the same powers as the Irish, German, Israeli or Indian Presidents do in their respective countries. This would mean that the Queen or King would be a titular Head of State without ever having any real say in practical terms.

    As for the issue of the Church of England, I expect that will resolve itself when Charles becomes King. He has already expressed his misgivings regarding the role, and would likely cast it adrift. Especially since it seems, for all intents and purposes, he is Orthodox.

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