SPEECH ON REPUBLIC VERSUS MONARCHY: REASON VERSUS SUPERSTITION (IN SPAIN)
To begin with, I’d like to proclaim that I consider that this issue deserves to be dealt with widely in all forums around this country. The debate of the convenience or not of abolishing monarchy is being consigned to marginal environments, therefore I want to bring it here, and accordingly I want to show some facts related to the monarchy and to the Republican values.
First of all I’d like to quote definitions of both concepts by Wikipedia so as to have a solid starting point:
A monarchy, from the Greek µ????,(monos) “one,” and –??–??(archia) “to rule,” is a form of government in which a monarch, usually a single person, is the head of state.
A republic is a state or country that is not led by a hereditary monarch, where the people of that state or country (or at least a part of that people) have impact on its government.
In addition to these definitions I want to gloss that the condition of monarch is hereditary and ensures a lifelong position, and we shouldn’t forget that the origin of this supremacy lies, in its origins, on the rule of God over these individuals. Moreover, kings and queens stand up for the summit of the archaic medieval aristocracy.
After this evident clarification I am going to focus on the actual implications of parliamentary monarchy in our country. In that respect we, Spanish citizens, should wonder why we are subject to a Bourbon king. The answer is written in our history; Juan Carlos Borbón was nominated by a fascist general who seized power by a coup d’état and used the army to defeat the legitimate Republic. Franco’s favourite heir, forty years later, was endorsed by popular referendum in a fearful environment where the Army threatened to abort democracy from start.
I would like to point out some of the status of the king’s features which appear not to be very democratic. But before, I must note that the king in Spain hasn’t got absolute powers; he is limited by parliament sovereignty, which sustains his legitimacy in a democratic frame. Otherwise, its figure and person is protected by law against any punishment-he is legally untouchable- which seriously contravenes the principle of equality. [For instance, he can burn any of us, literally, with total impunity meanwhile we can not even burn a portrait of himself].It is also contradictory the fact that the chief of the State is at the same time commander of the Army which means always a threat to democracy.There remain two facts which are worth remarking which are connected to Spanish republican demands. First is that constitutions are always subject to be enhanced. Above all when the constitution hasn’t been reformed for 30 years and all population below 48 years old (around 20 million people with voting right according to Spain’s National Statistics Institute stats has never been consulted on which model of State they want). The latter proves that the current resistance to changes in our constitution goes against democratic legitimacy.
The second fact to be taken into account is the relationship between republic and unity, as many “juancarlists” argue that Monarchy keeps Spanish regions together even though republicanism defends a federal state model for all regions in Spain.
Finally I want to state that republicanism is a licit demand in any democracy, what’s more, its claim is essentially democratic.