ROYAL FORUM: Explaining the Concept of a Constitutional Monarchy to a Staunch Republican


ROYAL FORUM: Explaining the Concept of a Constitutional Monarchy to a Staunch Republican
by Darius Kadivar

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by comments on

It was totally appropriate to be refered to this blog.  It was new to me, and I liked the fact that "election" does not always represent freedom since it favors the highest advertisment funding or "words", which sometimes doesn't mean much.  It depends on what type of presenter you are and what target in public mind you are going to touch.

It was really informative to me since I had never heard anything positive about kings.  They just meant to me as some luxuries and too formal titles.  Thanks.


We heard analogous

by MM on

We heard analogous calls for democracy when Khomeini was telling Iranians lies under the apple tree in Paris. 

پنجاه دروغ آيت الله خمينی زير درخت سيب

Calls to revert back to Monarchy can only be taken seriously if the flaws in the 1906 constitution that gives excessive powers to the Monarchy and the clergy can be avoided.  The next constitution for a democratic Iran needs to be scrutinized before a referendum not after

The US may not have a perfect democracy, but I will not be taken to an Evin-type prison and beaten the crap out of me for speaking my mind.  If you desire a utopia-type society, a book will suffice


At the end

by hirre on

If the choice is between a monarchy, a republic, or a mix system, then I would suggest a pure republic...

Monarchy, no matter how fantastic it is by itself or together with another governing source, costs a lot of money...

We have a monarchy in Sweden which has no power, just symbolic value. It costs millions of dollars each year and also during recent years the support for it has went down...

If there is a system that works, then we do not need to introduce other systems, especially old systems...

Farah Rusta

So should Baha'is support a monarchical system?

by Farah Rusta on

Sen McGlinn's comment is a very interesting take and an evidence based contribution to this forum.

If Baha'ullah's words are to be followed by the adherents to the Baha'i faith, am I correct to understand that each Baha'i is supposed to be a monarchist? Again, this raises the question of Baha'i faith's forbidding its followers to be involved in politics.

Can somebody help please? 




I get a cold unfuzzy feeling reading great "debates" like

by aynak on


one offered by benorss:"I don't think it's subject to debate. We have a legitimate
constitutional monarchy to be reinstated. Then social discussion
surrounding the future make of our modern constitution will start. This
is not a subject to debate
amongst modern thinking Iranians right now.

That's why Monarchy in Iran, will never be constitutional, like it never has been. Period.

But then we get constitutional scholar Sen McGlinn who writes:

"In a constitutional monarchy, the cabinet – the Prime Minister – has to
continually ensure support in cabinet and the party caucus and in

Before you write this stuff, did you even look at governments of say Germany or France or Italy to see how the governments are formed, and if what you descirbe here, has anything to do with Monarchy vs Republic form or various forms of parliamentary democracy?


Sen McGlinn

It is a subject !

by Sen McGlinn on

It is important for both monarchists and republicans in Iran to see why constitutional monarchies, on average, produce better government, because this also tells us what form of republican government would be likely to produce best government. 


Briefly, the virtue of constitutional monarchy lies not in the monarch, but in the fact that real executive power is in the hands of the cabinet. In the US-style presidency, executive power is in the hands of the president. But it is also possible to design a republic in which the president is head of state and little more, so that the Prime Minister and cabinet heads the executive. 

In a constitutional monarchy, the cabinet – the Prime Minister – has to continually ensure support in cabinet and the party caucus and in parliament. This leads to more consultative, rational decision-making in the executive, and it makes it possible to oust the leader between elections if he or she really loses it — either by means of a cabinet coup, by electing a new leader at the party caucus, or by Members of Parliament crossing the floor in parliament. The fact that the leader and his ministers can be removed relatively easily, and in 3 different ways, means that they have to listen to the arguments of others, to seek support, and persuade the population that their policies are beneficial. Decisions made this way are less likely to be fatally flawed, and more likely to win broad support – and in politics, unlike science and religion, broad support is the gold standard. A ‘correct’ policy that is widely opposed will simply disrupt national politics, achieving little.

Cabinet government is superior in transparency and rationality, because the key decisions of the executive are debated and made in cabinet, whereas in a presidential system they are made between the ears of the president, and the surrounding bone is often rather opaque.

The second advantage is that the monarchy is a soft-power barrier to too much ambition. The monarch theoretically heads the government, the armed forces, the civil services and the judiciary. While the monarch does not exercise any power, the king or queen’s presence prevents any other single person within the system claiming supreme power. To do so would be lesse majesteit.

At the same time, the monarch cannot be tempted to actually exercise power, because he or she has not a shred of a mandate from the people, in whom the sovereignty of the nation ultimately resides. The monarch is on the throne by a trick of fate, like a jury member.

The problem with elected presidents is that they start to feel they have some sort of mandate for political action, as well as having all that power. So presidential systems tend to slide towards giving some actual power to the President. France is an example — both parliament & government on the one hand, and the president on the other, have democratic mandates, and they are continually struggling about who gets what, and who is to blame. With two elected organs, there is in fact less accountability to the voters and less rationality in decision-making.

The third advantage of a constitutional monarchy is that one doesn’t have periodic presidential elections, during which the office of president becomes the subject of a party political tug-of-war. One still has a period of campaigning for parliamentary elections, and the process of forming a government coalition after the elections, but during this period the monarch is there as titular head, and the ministers of the outgoing government can continue to provide routine leadership to their ministries — without any mandate to make policy changes — because they are in theory the Queen’s ministers.

In any parliamentary system, the parliament is dissolved for the elections, and once the election results are known, someone must be designated the winner and asked to form the next government. The parliamentary system being cyclical, it comes to a still point at the top of the cycle where it needs a bit of a push — a point where someone outside the parliament has to formally draw the conclusion which the election results indicate. This job can be given to an elected president (who represents one or other party), or to a supreme court judge (who may have been appointed by one of the contestants in the election), or, better by far, to a hereditary monarch who has been kept out of party politics from birth.

For more see my blog at





What I can do, is keep my arm
from bringing others any harm.
How can I give the enviers ease?
They are themselves their own disease.
(Sa'di, Gulestan 1:5)



I don't think it's subject

by benross on

I don't think it's subject to debate. We have a legitimate constitutional monarchy to be reinstated. Then social discussion surrounding the future make of our modern constitution will start. This is not a subject to debate amongst modern thinking Iranians right now. Period.


What's in a name anyway?

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

many quite different political systems can and do deliver democracy, and they dont need to shout about it either. so we have the "constitutional monarchy" of Britain, the "federal republic" of Germany, "commonwealth" of Australia, "United States" of America, all democracies despite their radicaly different sounding names. On the other hand, we have someone with a dark sense of humour calling North Korea "People's Democratic Republic"! 

People in general dont give a damn about the name, they just want a democracy. But before asking for democracy, they want food, house and jobs. Otherwise they start a revolution!

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Sargord Pirouz


by Sargord Pirouz on

Fortunately, such things are are considered ridiculous to both Americans and Iranians residing in Iran. 

We're above such nonsense. 


That's really funny

by aynak on


Islamic Regime is presented as a republic, when not a single FREE election, the very basis of a Republic has been held in Iran.

It is funny that largest democracies in the world, including India, U.S, Germany, France are not mentioned as Republics, instead --China-- and Islamic Regime are.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia or Jordan are not given as examples of Monarchies, but Netherlands or Sweeden are.

The question is not really if Republic or Monarchy are good for all, but what is good for Iran?   Since we have not experienced Republic, but have experienced absolute Monarchy including right now in the form of VF, I would say Iran needs to give a true Republic a chance.

Of course  something else that the video fails to mention, is that in all these countries, with good (constitutional) Monarchy (something we never experienced in Iran), the system is routinely surveyed for the popularity of the king/queen.   In the case of Spain they have enjoyed a 75%+ popularity consistently.

Compare that to Iranian people.   What percentage do you think support monachry?   So if Monarchy becomes more devisvie than uniting, why even bother?