A Little Midnight Mental Meandering.

Good morning, dear readers.

I truly must apologize for my absence of late but the real world has been demanding much of my attention of late and thus the virtual world suffers. And, to be quite honest, I’m not sure on what I should write next particularly with regard to men’s fashion or etiquette or some such topic. Have you any suggestions? Is there anything that you are wondering? Shall I write next on ties and ascots? Perhaps on styles of jackets? Or of the military look in fashion and its constant resurgences?

While you ponder that I do believe that I shall take a moment to explain a little bit more about my own thoughts with regard to politics. I oft state quietly that I am a somewhat right leaning imperialistic bastard. Now this is not totally true as my parents were indeed married well before my birth. Nor do I always and constantly favour imperialism as much as I am a bit of a monarchist at heart.

Why am I a monarchist? Well, I suppose it is time for me to once more blow a breeze up some petticoats as I have read some very strong anti-monarchist writings in the last few weeks what with it being Elizabeth’s Diamond anniversary of her rule.

Let us look at the ‘government du choix’ that is waved about like a flag in this current age: democracy. While communism and anarchy both have strong numbers of supporters it is obvious that neither work in large groups and with the breakdown of the U.S.S.R. we are now, globally, frequently all and only about democracy. Most democracies aren’t, but are rather more along the lines of a strange form of representative republic or polyarchy. I apologize for digressing.

The basic theory behind the democracy is that every individual of a certain age is permitted the vote to determine the government because we should all know what our country needs. This would be at least a little reasonable if everyone who was allowed to voted but they do not. Speaking very generally the voter turnout is usually quite abysmal which is extremely unfortunate. As a result the elected government is not truly a representation of the voters as much as it is a representation of the voters who actually got off their duffs and took the small bit of time to go show some identification and check off a small box.

The second problem I have with democracy is that it believes that an idealistic student, a farmer focused on his life’s style, a business owner and I all have the same knowledge of politics and the issues of our country and will vote for the ‘best candidate’. This is not so. We will vote based on the tried and tested ‘popularity contest’ method based on who we like which is often and regularly an emotional and subjective thing. I will not vote as the idealistic student would because I have experienced more of the world, more of our country and more of our government and am, at heart, a realist even if an optimistic one. I understand that fast change can bring damage and that my own priorities are not those of the country. I shall not vote necessarily as the farmer would as I am not a farmer and have a different focus to my own personal world and life though I do have farmers in my family so we may have many similar thoughts. I likely know more about the politics of my country than does a business owner who has no time to keep up with what is happening as I do have the time to keep myself reasonably informed. So we get together all of the idealistic students, all of the farmers, all of the business owners and all of me and we get a government determined by whom, exactly. It becomes a numbers game if everyone votes. But they do not. Thus it becomes a random and unpredictable numbers game. Democracy assumes that we are all rational, well informed and intelligent and unfortunately this is not so, particularly in large groups.

A further personal frustration that I experience with democracy is the limitations placed on terms of office both in the time permitted and the frequency allowed. The long term must be taken into account and many of the better plans are not easily accomplished in two to four years or perhaps, if one is elected a second time or even a third, in the time allowed. One can indeed see this occurring in many countries where changes are abrupt and short term with little thought as to the effects that will be felt in the next decade or the next generation. There are and have been some very wise politicians and some very well organized political parties who have been able to effect long term change somewhat but this is very, very rare. And speaking strictly of my own country, Canada, I would like my fellows to consider how many good Prime Ministers we have had in the last three decades. I frequently hear how few there were, if any. Insisting on a time limit merely makes people feel rushed to make quick changes now. The good ones pop up and are swiftly gone replaced by someone who is not necessarily able.

Democracy also tends to foster self serving agendas and greed. A politician has an expiry date and thus the approach is frequently to get as much as one can while one is in office. Most have forgotten that it is a service and it is about serving the country and its peoples. Elections are more frequently mud slogging, cat calling, finger pointing contests in which one tries to make the other sides look bad rather than trying to make one’s own side look good.

Onward to monarchy and to match each of my previous points.

A monarch is, one would expect and hope, properly raised and educated to know about the country one is a monarch of. Their entire life is aimed at knowing what the country needs and desires and how to make its people prosperous and powerful. A trust is given and fair treatment is expected. I am aware this is not a deal that is always held to but we are speaking in generalities at the moment so do please wander down this path with me for a few moments more and continue reading. Monarchs have but a small group of other monarchs to know and have years and decades to get to know each the other’s particular characteristics, strengths, flaws and quirks. Many monarchs are related and thus, as in any family, while you do get the bad you get all the wonderful parts of family as well. While in a democracy an ambassador may need to learn about a new President every four years a monarch may be involved in their country or sit a throne for decades allowing a familiarity and comfort in working with them.

A monarch should and does, in good instances, care about the idealistic student, the farmer, the business owner and I but also knows how to balance all of our needs and concerns so that while none of us wins at the expense of the others it is equally true that none of us loses. A monarch can hand pick a team to assist in the running of the country and this team shall both be unlimited in term and be of like mind in serving the needs of the country and its people. And if one of the team is ineffective or damaging it is fairly easy and simple to shuffle them out and bring in someone who is beneficial. I would expect that the monarch knows much more about running the country and dealing with other countries than would the idealistic student, the farmer, the business owner or myself.

A monarch has no real expiry date save through natural or unnatural causes be it death, revolution or accident. Or even simply desire. A good monarch, such as the Queens Victoria or Elizabeth II, Louis XIV, Meiji, or Suleiman I may last decade after decade continuing to have a beneficial impact on their country, steering it towards greatness. Indeed there have been bad and wicked monarchs and a few have lasted quite some time atop their thrones but many were forced to remove themselves or were ousted through one means or another. Revolting against democracy is, as we are discovering currently, a very very difficult thing to do short of an actual civil hot-war.

Yes indeed, I recognize that there have been monarchs who have been wicked, wicked people or who have been mentally unstable but one can say much the same of politicians in a democratic system. And once again I would like to point out that sometimes removal of a damaging monarch is ever so much easier than the removal of a damaging democratic representative or party.

A monarch, and the goods ones are like this I believe, is raised with the awareness that what they do in service to their country is a service. They are not really the top of the pyramid as much as they are the base on which the pyramid rests [imagine flipping the pyramid upside down so that it rests on its pointy little peak]. They are there for their country and not for themselves. While there are monarchs who have forgotten this there are those who never neglected this philosophy.

I shall leave you with three little thoughts that are mine.

I actually think that a proper representative republic which combines a monarch with an elected assembly, each to watch the other, is a rather stable and solid way to govern a country. It allows the people to have their voices heard, it offers checks and balances and it gives the benefits of both systems. Short of a benevolent dictatorship this is, in my own small opinion, the best form of government in a real world.

I am right leaning as I believe that a small government should be given the powers that it needs to do its job without all of us busybodies who have no true idea of how to run a country sticking our noses in and buggering up the works. If you think you could do better than the politicians than please do run for office. Do you appreciate people coming into your workplace and complaining, pointing out how to properly do your job and making constant noise? I would think not, yet this is what we constantly do with our own governments. I do agree, however, that with power comes responsibility and our elected governments act too often like children with a key to the candy store. I do not wish to run my country nor any other and I do not wish to have to keep checking on those that do. Apparently, though, I am strange in my trust of other people to do their tasks in a reasonable manner.

I frequently hear about those who have moved to Canada from other country and wish to become citizens complaining that they will not take the oath because the Queen is in it. This is Canada. The Queen is part of our history and part of our government in a certain manner. If you do not wish to take the oath required to become a citizen then don’t become a citizen. There are many other countries who do not have a monarch involved and perhaps you should look at becoming a citizen in one of those.

And again I shall ask, dear reader, what shall I write on next that you may avoid reading my own strange approach and thoughts on politics [or making tenuous connections between such writings and Steampunk only because Queen Victoria was mentioned].

H.A. Higgins-Keith