Is Constitutional Monarchy the best type of Government on earth today? Answer will surprise you

05 February 2017
Author  Sibeta Mundia, Barotseland Post

The new Barotseland is styled as a 'Democratic Constitutional Monarchy' where power will be shared between the Monarch and its people, with a parliament to legislate and formulate laws, periodic elections based on universal suffrage with an elective Prime Minister heading civil government and the Litunga (King) as Constitutional Head of State. This power sharing structure enhances checks and balances and general accountability. These qualities rarely exist in many countries with 'Republican' type governments or 'Dictatorships' for that matter.

Constitutional monarchies tend to be comparatively more peaceful and stable politically, as they usually have inbuilt age old systems for resolving potential conflicts. Is the Constitutional Monarchy, therefore, the best type of Government on earth today?

Contrary to popular perception that associates monarchies with abuse of human rights, the facts below will be surprising to many.

THE LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX: The world renowned Legatum Institute, a policy research group, has released its annual "Global Prosperity Index," a major survey that ranks countries based on factors including national wealth, education levels, and safety, and its successive annual findings, including the latest 2016, may prove that the Democratic Constitutional Monarchy type of government is arguably the best form of government of all time.

This must be a great motivation for the new Barotseland which has opted to style its future national governments on this system of government, and fortunately, most Barotseland independence stakeholders are unanimous that the new Barotseland will be better run as a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy rather than a ‘Republic’ or an ‘Absolute’ monarchy.

While European countries dominate THE 2016 LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX list, one other common feature among the TOP 22 best run governments of the world today, with Finland, Switzerland, USA and Singapore being the only exception at numbers 3, 4, 17 and 19 respectively, is that they are either currently CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHIES or were once governed as such in recent past - the case of Germany (11th), Ireland (13th), Iceland (14th), France (18th) and Slovenia (20th) which were also constitutional monarchies not long ago.

IN FACT EIGHT OF THE TOP 10 BEST GOVERNED COUNTRIES ON EARTH TODAY ARE CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHIES - Is this a mere coincidence or is there something inherently good about constitutional monarchies lacking in republics or dictatorships?

Among the key factors the survey considers is governance, which is broken down into three categories: effective governance, democracy and political participation, and the rule of law. Legatum measured these variables by considering things like voter turnout, legislative independence, and the number of women in parliament.

Take a look at the countries that made the top of the list.

1. NEW ZEALAND — is a constitutional or limited monarchy. The island nation in the Pacific Ocean is ranked highly for its open market, freedom, and strong sense of society.

2. NORWAY — a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Scandinavian nation ranks higher in governance than in any other sub-index. Its parliament building, where Prime Minister Erna Solberg currently leads, 'the Stortinget,' translates as 'the great thing' or 'the great council.'

3. FINLAND — Although Independent Finland has a president and has never been a monarchy like most of the Nordic countries which are constitutional monarchies, it has been part of monarchical states as a sub-unit of a monarchy based outside Finland proper.

4. SWITZERLAND — The federal European republic comes first on the list for education, but also ranks highly for governance. Its parliament has two chambers, and all 246 members of both houses' chambers are directly elected by the people.

5. CANADA — is a constitutional monarchy with the British monarch as the Head of State with limited powers in government. Canada is currently led by liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

6. AUSTRALIA — a constitutional monarchy, a federation and a parliamentary democracy, Australia is one of the few non-European states to make the top 10. Australia has a Queen, who resides in the United Kingdom and is represented in Australia by a Governor-General.

7. NETHERLANDS — is a constitutional monarchy with a King as Head of State and with a parliamentary system. The small western European country comes high up the list. The Hague, where its parliament sits, is home to over 150 international organizations, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

8. SWEDEN — is a constitutional Monarchy with a King as the ceremonial Head of State and is one of the best-governed countries on Earth.

9. DENMARK — is a constitutional Monarchy. Denmark comes high up the list, although behind several of its Scandinavian counterparts. Its national parliament is called the ‘Folketing’, which translates as 'the people's thing.'

10. UNITED KINGDOM — a constitutional Monarchy and one of the oldest democracies in the world whose Members of Parliament meet at Westminster, London.

11. GERMANY — the west European state used to be a monarchy and is today a major power-broker in the European Union and ranks highly for governance as an independent entity too. It also ranked highly for economic quality and natural environment. The Monarchy of Germany (the German Monarchy) was a constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.

12. LUXEMBOURG — is a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy. Famous among other things for being a tax haven, Luxembourg scores highly in the governance index. It comes first for personal freedom and health, making it one of the highest-scoring on the overall index.

13. IRELAND — (was a constitutional monarchy with British Monarch as Head) Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The parliament is referred to as the ‘Oireachtas’ and is headed by an elected leader known as the ‘Taoiseach’.

14. ICELAND — (used to be a constitutional monarchy) Today with a population of just over 320,000 people, the Nordic island nation is in Legatum's top 17 countries for governance for the second year running. The Kingdom of Iceland (Icelandic: Konungsríkið Ísland; Danish: Kongeriget Island) was a constitutional monarchy that existed through the Act of Union with Denmark signed on 1 December 1918. It lasted until 17 June 1944 when a national referendum established the Republic of Iceland in its place.

15. AUSTRIA — (formerly Austrian monarchy 1526–1867) The German-speaking country is a non-mover, having come 15th in Legatum's last index.

16. BELGIUM — (a constitutional, popular and hereditary monarchy) As well as being as the headquarters of the EU and NATO, Belgium is ranked as one of the best-governed countries on Earth. It functions under a federal political system, whereby regions have significant powers.

17. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — is a federal government, a republic composed of 50 states, one district, Washington, D.C. (the nation's capital), and several territories.

18. FRANCE — The Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year later and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the other great powers in 1814 and lasted (except for the Hundred Days in 1815) until the French Revolution of 1848.

19. SINGAPORE — The Republic of Singapore is a city-state with a governing structure patterned on the British system of parliamentary government. The politics of Singapore takes the form of a parliamentary representative democratic republic whereby the President of Singapore is the head of state, the Prime Minister of Singapore is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the cabinet from the parliament, and to a lesser extent, the President.

20. SLOVENIA — Slovenian territory was part of the Roman Empire, and it was devastated by Barbarian incursions in late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. On 1 December 1918 the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs merged with Serbia, becoming part of the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, itself being renamed in 1929 to Kingdom of Yugoslavia. On 30 December 1989 Slovenia officially opened the spring 1990 elections to opposition parties thus inaugurating multi-party democracy.

21. SPAIN — a constitutional monarchy re-established by the Spanish Constitution of 1978 as the form of government for Spain.

22. JAPAN — (a constitutional monarchy where the Emperor serves mainly ceremonial duties). As in many other states, the Government is divided into three branches: the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch.

From the above facts, Constitutional Monarchies are not inherently bad after all, and Barotseland will seek to join this top list of best governed countries on earth soon.

Barotse people must, therefore, be proud of their royal heritage!

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  • Kabisoi Kabisoi Sunday, 05 February 2017

    Bo Sibeta lwa itumela luli at the timely article. I was beginning to think that may be we go republic, we forget the Constitutional Monarchy and get rid of the corrupt elders in BRE who never seem to learn to do the right things and take advantage of their ages! What an embarrassment the BRE has been. However, with this submission of yours I surrender and believe strongly that it is only that we have the wrong people in the highest Traditional Super office and Body of Barotseland. Given right people there all shall be well. Aluta Continua

The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.