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ROYAL WEDDING
'Royal wedding boosts republican cause': MP

'Royal wedding boosts republican cause': MP

Published: 14 Jun 2010 14:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Jun 2010 14:00 GMT+02:00

As the royal wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling nears, the Swedish Republican Association (Republikanska Föreningen - RepF) has invited representatives from Republican associations across the EU to Stockholm, claiming that focus on the wedding has boosted their cause.

The two-day convention called to coincide with the June 19th wedding, will launch an "Alliance of European Republican Movements" and pool resources and tips on how to move the debate onwards and achieve the broader goal of replacing the monarchy.

"Many groups can feel isolated in their work. The meeting and the alliance is there to share tips and strategies and pool resources," Magdalena Streijffert, RepF board member and Social Democratic member of parliament, told The Local on Monday.

An alternative wedding party entitled Love Republic 2010 is also set to be held on Saturday to meet the challenge of Love Stockholm 2010 organized by the city to honour the royal couple.

"We are organizing a party which shows an alternative. Instead of a counter-protest we wanted to show something positive and constructive instead," Streijffert said.

The build up to the wedding has been heralded by some royal watchers as a boost for the royal family, but Magdelena Streiffert argues in contrast that the increased focus on Sweden's constitutional set up has helped to enliven the republican debate.

"The wedding has brought the issue into focus and many of those who had previously shown indifference to the existence of the monarchy are now taking a stand."

Streijffert pointed out that recent polls have shown a rapid decline in support for the monarchy and claimed that since the February 2009 engagement announcement, the Republican Association's membership has grown from 2,500 to 6,000.

The Local report in April that a poll by Novus Opinion showed that 58 percent of Swedes backed the monarchy, while support for its abolition had more than doubled in ten years, to 28 percent.

"Many Swedes don't have a strong view but the wedding has generated attention and has shown that discussion works (to boost the republican cause)," Streijffert said.

She believes that opinion-building is the key to continuing this trend, raising awareness through research of the costs and benefits of retaining/abolishing the monarchy, and to presenting the alternatives.

"Through opinion-building we show that this is undemocratic, it is inherited and not elected. Part of this process is to develop research, to lay out the costs and where the money is spent, and place the focus on the alternatives and how Sweden would benefit."

During the build up to the wedding there have been a number of issues that have generated controversy. One of which was the royal family's decision that the king would lead Victoria down the altar, instead of the Swedish tradition of the couple walking side-by-side.

Another controversy that has been discussed in the past week is the requirement that the king and heirs are required by law to remain a member of the Lutheran church, an obligation that Swedes have been able to opt out of since the formal separation of church and state in 2000.

"Religious freedom is a human rights issue and the situation is completely unacceptable," Streiffert said.

She furthermore argued that the requirement that all those in the line of succession seek clearance from the monarch and the government for their chosen spouse is "antiquated".

"The association recognizes that there can be steps on the way to a complete abolition of the monarchy and the immediately removal of these requirements would be a good start."

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:07 June 14, 2010 by Jes
My comment is that these so-called republicans are just a bunch of paranoid wirdos who need to get a life .

In a World ful of problems , I see no reason why a sane person should weep so much about the Royal family in Sweden .
19:34 June 14, 2010 by Mr. Puppy
It's all relative, Jes.
23:11 June 14, 2010 by reason
The value of the monarchy may only be symbolic, but it's valuable nonetheless. The King and the royal house invoke a sense of continuity and embodies the nation in a way that a short term president never can.

Sure we don't elect the monarch. Some things in life you just don't get to choose. You don't choose your parents, you don't choose your country of birth, and you don't choose your King (or queen eventually, may it be many years yet). And as long as he holds no real power over you, there's no serious conflict with democratic ideals.

As for the religion requirement, I wouldn't mind it being scrapped, but don't see any 'human rights issue' there. The King is after all free to abdicate or ask the government to consider changing the law if he feels his spiritual conviction lies elsewhere.
01:52 June 15, 2010 by dbeynch
This `Republican Association` is nothing more than a sordid pack of leftists, who are trying to use the Royal wedding as a means to further their own misguided socialist goals. Don't listen to this pathetic, unpatriotic, venomous ratpack! I for one look forward to a thundering Royal Christian wedding. It will be great!
08:14 June 15, 2010 by locaxy
Go Republicans!

As a taxpayer, it bums me to have to finance the lifestyle of these clowns.
11:09 June 15, 2010 by hilt_m
As a tax payer, honestly i don't mind. I'm with you on this one (reason), you don't get to choose everything.
13:22 June 15, 2010 by Jes
Jeah , it`s all relative @Puppy !

Nonethe less , its only social Outcasts or primitive night-dancers that can find any joy in doing something like these repulicans are planning to do on someones wedding day . It doesn`t show class . There are days when you have to let live .

And you @locaxy , you should ask for a tax refund if you are so damn bitter .
13:33 June 15, 2010 by flintis
@ locaxy

So instead you rather finance the lifestyle of one Chief clown & 200 hanger ons.

Don't think the Swedes are ready for a Presidential clown.
13:49 June 15, 2010 by Sherian Elizabeth
Wow-such bitterness and spite from the republican party. Could it be that Madgelena Streiffert wants to wear the crown for herself? Maybe she is jealous that she wasn't born into a royal family and that is why she is so bent on trying to destroy the wedding of Princess Victoria and Daniel. She should be ashamed of herself for being so mean spirited and hateful. I love the Swedish Royal Family. I have read a lot of books on the history of Sweden and it has always impressed me that the love the people have for their royal family.

@Jes and @Reason; I agree with both of you, your royal family helps promote the country around the world and helps promote trade, goodwell and peace. If I were from Sweden I would be proud to have King Carl and his family as head of the country and yes, I would pay my share of taxes and not bitch about it.

Here in the USA we have dozens and dozens of people who think they are kings and queens and our tax dollars are far more wasted then in Sweden.
13:57 June 15, 2010 by Audrian
The debate among the elite rulers of Sweden, republicans and monarchists, is a health debate, which has been going on for some time. The monarchists seem have done well to weather the storm. One should say the elite rulers in Sweden were smart in keeping their country out of war, including civil war, for hundreds of years while the rest of Europe fought vicious wars for the same period of time. The Swedish royal family has kept itself out of scandal, and this has helped its cause.

The debate or lack of debate between republicans and monarchists in the rest of the world was settled in bloodshed. In Greece it was settled by a military coup; the king in waiting ran to UK and married a beautiful princes, who became Queen Elizabeth II. In developing countries monarchy-republican debate had ignited blood shed, as the monarchists, who are active in politics, stubbornly stayed on power. This had brought cruel end to their reigns as in French and Soviet revolutions have done.

Let us hope the debate in Sweden continues to be peaceful.
14:28 June 15, 2010 by flintis
@ Audrain,

Taking a little historical licence, he, Philip, was about 2 yrs old & was not the King in waiting.
18:00 June 15, 2010 by Jes
Audrian , don`t worry the debate will continue to be peaceful because the wirdos are in a very small minority . If they had their way , I am sure they would torch things or poison the water. Anyone that can feel proud that they are going to spoil someones wedding because of politics is not any different from suicide bombers . The madness is only different in degrees .
17:25 June 20, 2010 by glamelixir
@ Jes

Do you know how to apply for tax refund on this? Me and most of my friends would be interested in doing so.

And about the problems around the world blablabla that you mention. In my eyes, only a bouch of brainless, greedy cold blooded bastards would make an obscene circus like this in times of economic crisis. It is a slap in the face to many people and a lack of compasion and empathy. So I guess it is a matter of perspectives.

Anyhow, for those talking about presidents/monarchy, I remind you that we also support a prime minister so that is like the cost of a president already.
22:49 June 20, 2010 by Ed Tracey
Even without abolishing the monarchy, this organization appears to have two reasonable requests:

(a) ending the requirement that the king and heirs remain a member of the Lutheran church, and (b) ending the requirement that all those in the line of succession seek clearance from the monarch and the government for their chosen spouse.

Both seem outdated in a democracy.
15:34 June 22, 2010 by nomoremonarchy
Jes. If youre best argument for keeping monarchy is that republicans are weirdos, than I will still be supporting a transition to a republican democracy.

My question to the monarchy defenders: Why do you defend this? The least we can do in a democracy is to have positions that are not inherited. Thats all we ask.
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