Does a country need a head of state?

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The Politicus
Jun 26, 2020 09:02 AM 0 Answers
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Several Western-European countries are monarchies (Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands). All these countries have from time to time some discussion on if this system should be kept. So far, the side that wants to get rid of the monarchy is always a minority.

One of the arguments to get rid of kings is that they cost a lot of money. A common counter-argument is that a president may cost more money, because then you also need elections. But I never understand why the king/queen should be replaced by a president, isn't it easiest to have no head of state?

(there are more arguments on both sides, but I focus on the one I don't understand)

What would go wrong if the UK would make the royals ordinary citizens, and don't create a new elected position? (Obviously some laws that involve the king have to be changed, but can't all powers/duties be distributed between parliament and prime Minister?)


I seem to struggle to get the question across. I think I am missing something about the concept that is so obvious for others. Please interpret the question in the simplest way possible, like it was asked by a five-year old. Complex political or economic knowledge might be needed to understand the answer, but not to understand the question.

Here are some types of answers I could imagine:

  • The United Nation rules say that you need a head of state. A country can eliminate the position, but then it would be thrown out of the UN, which practically prevents a country from doing so.
  • The country of Oilystan refuses to trade with countries without a head of state, so countries are economically pressured to have a head of state.
  • In case of unexpected events that kill everyone in the government, a country benefits from having a head of state with a sufficiently long line of succession, so there is somebody to restart the system.
  • No, a country does not need a head of state, but countries have one because of tradition.
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  • June 26, 2020