CEASE campaigning, Hillary Clinton; get back to business, Donald Trump: America’s 2016 election has been cancelled. The White House has announced that in the interests of political stability the next president and all future ones will be chosen using the British model. Barack Obama will remain in office until he dies, at which point Americans will welcome their next head of state: his daughter, Queen Malia.
Americans would not stand for this. Why do Britons? The case against hereditary appointments in public life is straightforward: they are incompatible with democracy and meritocracy, which are the least-bad ways to run countries. Royalists say this does not matter because the monarch no longer “runs” Britain. Yet in theory, at least, she has considerable powers: to wage war, sign treaties, dissolve Parliament and more.