When the Queen died everyone said that this was not the time to talk about the role of the monarchy in the United Kingdom and, once again, during the preparations for the coronation a lot of people in the media said that this was not the time. The Metropolitan Police made strident efforts to stifle any discussion of an alternative during the coronation itself. Its actions, however, backfired spectacularly.
When is the time to talk about replacing the monarchy in this country then? In truth, for the establishment it seems to be never yet there is a sizable minority of people who seek an alternative, a republic perhaps. Just over half the population, when asked, support the monarchy in its current form which is hardly a ringing endorsement. Remember what a mess a 52:48 split can get us into.
For me, it is time for the monarchy to go. I cannot see how we can claim to be a democracy without an elected Head of State. The enormous power and authority that comes with the monarchy, by dint of birth alone is wrong. We do not accept that Sunak’s children should succeed him as Prime Minister and so why is it acceptable for the Windsors? The argument goes that we could end up with a Johnson, yet we could have ended up with an Andrew. We were lucky with Elizabeth but history tells us that this luck will run out.
Here is my suggestion. One of my main objections to the monarchy is that it is undemocratic. I have no say in who gets the job. To start to address this the country should hold a referendum every ten years to ask whether the country wants to be a monarchy or not. If the majority is yes, well and good, at least the monarchy has popular support and a proven mandate.
If the majority is no, then the government should set in motion a series of discussions to identify well thought out alternatives. These should be given a proper public airing prior to putting them back to a vote at the next referendum. One of the options would be to maintain the status quo.
In this way the country gets both a vote in whether it wants the monarchy or not as well as a say in any future option. By giving people time to understand what each potential alternative means then we will avoid the Brexit debacle where apparently everyone knew what they were voting for.