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turningrite

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Posts posted by turningrite

  1. 7 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

    CBC talking heads now openly admit that Trudeau and Freeland's previous "China policy" has failed to achieve trade objectives, deteriorating to the present circumstances of having even less influence than before coupled with open and growing hostility from Beijing.    The China "file" is a complete mess...

     

    How many federal files are not a complete mess? Let's go down the list: 1.) Pipelines (mess, actually fiasco), 2.) Economic growth (declining GDP, so a mess), 3.) Affordable housing (total mess), 4) Trade (going nowhere, so a mess), 5.) Electoral reform (cancelled, so a mess of dishonesty), 6.) Indigenous affairs (worse than a mess), 7.) Infrastructure (stuck in neutral, mess), 8.) Border security (f-ed up without hope for improvement, total mess). And these are just some things I can think of without any effort. How can it even possible that JT has a hope of being reelected. The last time around we were told he just wasn't ready and he's amply demonstrated this to be correct.

  2. On 1/30/2019 at 5:02 PM, Zeitgeist said:

    1.) Yet the pattern of the greatest income gains going to the wealthiest is even worse south of the border. 

    2.) Toronto is a victim of its own success, a phenomenon often described as the Manhattanization of the 416.

    3.) [The north] is where the immigration needs to flow. 

    1.) The difference, of course, is that in most U.S. locales you can still buy or rent housing at rates far below those available in the Toronto or Vancouver regions. And a far greater percentage of English-speaking Canadians live in those two regions than in, say, the metro areas of America's four or five most expensive "global" cities. So, we're much worse off.

    2.) The GTA's population has been artificially juiced by a suite of government policies. In particular, one hundred thousand or more immigrants each year enter a region with already inadequate access to reasonably priced housing, without access to adequate medical care, without adequate transit infrastructure, with adequate highways... Well, you get the picture. We're full and yet politicians, beholden to lobbyists and a braying, self-serving business class, who shout "bring in more" without any consideration of the impacts on the already suffering existing population, pay scant attention. Yes, Ms. Freeland, eventually, voters will get fed up and revolt against this nonsense.

    3.) Immigration won't flow north. If anything, recent years have illustrated that it will increasingly focus on a handful of cities in the country's south. If you travel to some of the towns in Northern Ontario, like Timmins and Thunder Bay, you'd realize that several decades ago these places were magnets for immigrants. That era has ended. Now, you need to go to Brampton or Markham to realize where the immigrants are actually going.

    Toronto is an expensive dump, plain and simple. And it becomes more so as each day passes. This country will eventually pay a steep price for not paying attention to livability and affordability in its largest urban centres, which are, after all, where 21st century creativity and wealth will actually be generated in economically prudent countries, a club to which Canada does not belong. 

  3. 2 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

    Not entirely. China is also a cheap labour force, and is able to produce many goods far more cheaply due to a lack of safety and environmental regulations.  Unlike western nations which must necessarily impose them on our industries, driving up production costs. This is one way they maintain an unfair profit margin over western manufacturing processes and standards. Greedy corporations then exploit this, and we have their products on our shelves.

     

    I think you missed the point made by Argus, to which I was responding. The notion that trade opens up our access to China's massive domestic market is largely a pipe-dream, even if our production costs were lower and our products were cost competitive. China will manufacture for its own market and will only import from abroad what it can't provide itself, including raw materials and agricultural goods. There is also a market for luxury goods, but this is not in general Canada's forte.

  4. 18 hours ago, Argus said:

    1.) China is never going to buy anything they can build. If it can't yet build it, it will insist that whatever company sells there build it there, then skim off the technology, send it to it's own companies, and then start building it itself while shutting out the foreigners.

    2.) To say China is a big market or a potential market is nonsense. It's only a market for corporations which want to build there and, for the most part, keep their money there, because if they send it home China freezes them out. It's a market for raw resources, sure. But they're just part of the world market. Much like oil, if world demand is X and world supply is Y, then Y finds a buyer somewhere at the world price. It doesn't have to be China.

    1.) You are correct. And this doesn't only pertain just to China I have a friend who taught English in S. Korea a few years ago. When she noted to a group of people she met there that almost no consumer products available there were produced outside of S. Korea or, more broadly, Asia, her acquaintances were puzzled, asking her why they'd import anything they could manufacture on their own. S. Korea has built its prosperous modern economy on a protectionist model as China is now doing. Yet, we haven't paid much attention to the extent of protectionism in some prosperous Asian economies. The difference, of course, is that China is much larger.

    2.) Again, you are correct. In fact, the trade deals that feckless leaders like Trudeau promote have little to do with "free trade" or even reciprocal trade. Instead, they're mainly investor protection and "managed" trade pacts.

  5. 12 hours ago, Goddess said:

    It's not lies to advance a political agenda.  If anyone has an agenda it's the Hamas government (which is a terrorist organization).  And they don't hide their agenda:

     

    According to Trudeaupian 'evolutionary convergence' logic, they're just misunderstood and will eventually be seen as wonderful people.

    Hint: I don't buy it.

  6. 8 hours ago, Saudi Monitor said:

    In regards to America, i feel that despite its riches and promises, America is ultimately not exactly a very desirable place to live...America is falling behind in every field imaginable! You just need to travel a bit to get a good clue and confront the unpleasant truth.

     I'm currently living in KSA, but travel quiet often abroad due to work. Nonetheless i am happy with my choice. To be sure, KSA has its problems but they are typically different than the problems that are advertised and highlighted. Overall, though, KSA is as a good place to live as any, if not better.

    South African traveler documents his experience in KSA.

    And yet, according to Gallup polling, the U.S. overwhelmingly remains the first choice among those worldwide who say they'd like to emigrate from their own country. (See link below.) Funny how that works, right? The U.S. faces entrenched poverty among specific groups and in specific places. Those who migrate there legally, however, tend to have the skills and education to prosper. The KSA, likely due to its wealth and its popularity among Muslims who'd like to migrate, is the top non-Western destination, with 1/6th as many indicating it as their preferred destination in comparison to the bad old America. Even declining Canada, with its rather anemic economy (but lots of government subsidies for newcomers) ranks well ahead of the KSA.

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/these-are-the-countries-migrants-want-to-move-to/

     

  7. 2 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

    China has less trust in the US than in Canada right now because it sees the way games are played.  It never had such challenges with Canada until this US extradition challenge, and look at the results: China mistreating Canada big time.  Canada should focus as much trade as possible away from these trouble makers.  

     

    I suspect China respects Trump and the U.S. and not Canada. As the Meng affair has evolved, several MSM outlets have pointed out that China has little respect for Canada or little potato's regime, as indicated in the G&M article linked below. Trudeau's obsequious overtures to the Chinese have met mainly with indifference. After he was basically ignored by the upper echelons in the "basic dictatorship" he so admires when visiting China to try to drum up support for a free (i.e. corporate) trade deal, the Chinese shortly thereafter accorded Macron of France a welcome fit for royalty. And I suspect Xi would take a phone call from Trump in a heartbeat. But from Trudeau? Hmmm.... Wishful thinking does nothing to dispel unpleasant realities.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-china-smells-weakness-so-its-picking-on-canada/

  8. 1 hour ago, Saudi Monitor said:

    Those who complain about criticisms are in fact those with insecurities. Well, here's a wake up call -- you aren't nor have you ever been "superior" and neither do you have anything to stand on to be lecturing others with you're propaganda.

    There are in fact millions Saudis and other people across the world who live more fulfilling lives than your average Canadian/Westerner. There are in fact many Saudis and other people across the world that can proclaim with certainty that their lives are "better" than your average Canadian/Westerner. 

     

    Let's make a deal: You go to Saudi Arabia and stay there and I'll stay in North America and promise never to visit the Kingdom. My life will be no less fulfilled for entering this bargain.

    • Like 3
  9. 2 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

    With regard to your other comments about overall economic performance in Canada, for me it comes down to living standards.  Canada has had almost 15 years of continuous growth with a very mild couple of slowdowns.

    Well, according to a 2014 PBO analysis, almost all the income gains over the recent past have gone to a small sliver of income earners at the very top. It's not a sustainable model. Living standards for ordinary citizens are quickly deteriorating, particularly in our largest cities, like Toronto and Vancouver. According to Stats Can, Toronto, once a solidly middle class city, is now largely poor, with the right to boast about having Canada's highest child poverty rate. And this is despite the massive subsidies now available to lower income families with children. Our housing market has been transferred into a casino for overseas wealth. Our basic infrastructure is inadequate and falling apart. It's no paradise, I can tell you that.

    • Thanks 1
  10. 3 minutes ago, Goddess said:

    Well, the new Saudi guy on here has assured us that they are treated better than Western women, so......

    I recall talking about this several years ago with a well-educated woman who'd fled the Islamic Revolution in Iran. When I asked her about the notion that Muslim women prefer the status accorded them under strict Islamic rule she just laughed.

    In a historical sense, though, there is a historical example that perhaps explains why women are content with social and constraints that seem antithetical to modern Western norms. Peter the Great's abolition of the 'terem' in 18th century Russia, an institution that had for centuries physically and socially isolated mainly upper class and respectable women from participating in public life, was opposed by many of the very women whose freedom the Tsar was promoting. Retaining a form of what was essentially a protected even if inferior status was more important to many of these women, who preferred the security of the status quo over the risk of change, the apparent benefits of which were not clear to them.

  11. 15 hours ago, Rue said:

    Its relative. Yes right now the majority of the Muslim world appears sexist, racist, name the ist and ism. Call it extremist, discriminatory, backwards, evil. Using your standards no doubt it is. Using my current standards it would be as well. The point though is this...when we do that, we reflect our bias that we assume we are at the cutting edge of what is morally superior and perfect and can look back at others and say we are superior to them and they are savage.
     

    I think you're missing the point here. Many see these stories as rather comical. Essentially, our own cultural references and social terminology are being turned upside down in such a fashion as to highlight the vast differences in social norms between different societies. A gender equality awards ceremony without female representation is, to our way of thinking, oxymoronic. But it also pokes holes in the underlying intellectual formula that underlies a lot of "progressive" thought, which is the notion that "evolutionary convergence" will inexorably bring other societies into compliance with Western norms. Trudeau apparently believes this. But those guys in the ME have apparently figured out that all you have to do is adopt the fashionable and/or prevalent Western terminology. The joke is really on us.

  12. 17 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

    Canada’s challenge isn’t employing people in highly skilled jobs or creating successful businesses, it’s retaining the successful businesses once they reach a certain size.  Waterloo and Ottawa are full of companies that eventually get snapped up by or merged with other firms.  Yet some will say we need this capital investment.  Apparently much of Huawei’s original telecom tech came from Nortel, which was acquired by American outfits.  Think about Corel or Blackberry.  Same kinds of stories.  Interac is of course a huge player in digital payment.  There’s social media like Kik and all of the entertainment and film work.  We’ve got some of the best sound stages.  In some ways government policy, however thoughtful or effective, is just tinkering around the edges.  People want to be here and our cities are growing fast.  If we can find ways to push settlement north, the country can really benefit from the wealth in the ground.  As for your concerns about nanny social programs, taxation and government spending in general, Canadians actively elect for these policies.  They speak to the quality of life that alll Canadians enjoy.  Ask Scandinavians if they like their programs and generally the answer will be yes.  These are some of the most successful countries in the world, like Canada. 

    Canada's capital/investment class likes the easy money route. There's seldom available capital for good innovative start-ups to be ramped up to world-class competitors. It's easier to sell to the Americans or Chinese or Europeans, pocket one's cash and spend one's winters somewhere warm. And the powerful economies aren't keen on competition from the upstarts anyway. Trump went after Bombardier in order to protect Boeing's interests, rendering it necessary for Bombardier to hand its C-series project to Airbus, Boeing's giant European counterpart. Isn't "free trade" wonderful?

    Meanwhile, the Canadian formula for success is the monopoly/oligopoly model, where a sector tolerates a modest amount of regulation in return for protection from foreign competition and essentially guaranteed profits. It really only works within the small Canadian marketplace bubble, though.

    We can only have decent social programs to the extent we can afford them. As our economic performance has slipped substantially relative to the rest of the developed world over the past three or four decades, is it any wonder that our public health care system is now considered one of the worst performing in the developed world according to numerous studies and rankings? And we remain stubbornly attached to our model when other systems with better outcomes are in many cases more innovative and allow for more competition. We're presented a false choice between retaining our current system or adopting the dysfunctional American model. Personally, I favor a mixed-payer system, whereby during our working lives we'd pay premiums into dedicated individual accounts to qualify for access to a basic public system covering most necessary services while individuals and/or employers could choose to augment their coverage by purchasing private insurance. Corporations that bring in immigrants and sponsors would be responsible for funding the accounts of newcomers. At the end of the day, there is no such thing as "free" health care and it's irresponsible to promote the notion that there is. Somebody has to pay for it. I paid high taxes for years to cover health care expenses for other people only to find the system utterly lacking and declining when I really needed it. The Canadian system doesn't work, isn't equitable and isn't fair.

  13. 22 hours ago, Argus said:

    The United Arab Emerates just held a big celebration, the gender equality awards!

    All of the winners were men.

     

    Too funny! Before reading the article, I thought that perhaps the awards were euphemistically named. But these guys in the UAE are apparently serious. (One can only imagine: "I allow my girls to fetch my coffee without another man supervising them!") Oh well, as Trudeau would no doubt say, they're evolving.

  14. On 11/12/2018 at 6:31 PM, -TSS- said:

    There has been speculation that as the whites in the USA will fall below the 50% mark unless the Republicans somehow reinvent themselves and get rid of the stigma of being a rich old white men's party they may be permanently out of power in the future. Trump could be the last Republican president.

    Namely, the voting-behaviour of the black and Hispanic people has remained more or less the same over decades. It is only the whites' votes which swing back and forth. The blacks vote for the Democrats 90-10 and the Hispanics vote for the Democrats 70-30.

    Demography is destiny. The Republicans are not going to disappear totally; no doubt they will still be strong at the state-level in many states but they may be permanently out at the federal level.

     

    Citizens in democracies tend to vote more or less in line with what they perceive (rightly or wrongly) as their economic best interests. Ethno-cultural bloc voting in immigrant receiving countries had been in decline prior to the rise of identity politics. Studies have noted that the social and economic perspectives of America's most productive recent immigrants, mainly from Asia, who tend to be highly educated and prosperous, fairly closely align with those of the majority (i.e. "white") population. And as more Hispanics prosper, traditional Democratic Party support in that community slowly diminishes as well. America's black population, of course, is another matter. Its collective political consciousness is for good reason dominated by a grievance ideology. But this generates the possibility that in a future America where there is no actual racial majority blacks could still largely be left on the outside looking in. The reality is that identity politics is ultimately a dead end.

  15. 9 minutes ago, -TSS- said:

    How do all those Haitians end up in Canada? I can understand that Mexicans and Central-Americans enter the USA by secretly crossing the border, climbing over some wall or fence. 

    However, outside of the USA you can only enter Canada illegally  by rowing or swimming there. 

    Haitians already in the U.S. as well as those able to make it there were accorded temporary protected status following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. When Trump announced that the temporary protection would end, many decided to head to the Canadian border rather than return to Haiti. 

  16. 10 minutes ago, Rue said:

    Our laws in Canada say if you ask to deport someone for a crime that does not exist in Canada not withstanding any extradition treaty we have with you, we will not extradite. In fact we have a protection clause that allows people to flee their countries and request our state protection as a refugee if the crime they commit in their country is not  crime in Canada or the sentence in their country is more severe, i.e., capital punishment, whippings, much longer sentences in jail.

     

    The Americans can appeal any decision not to comply with their extradition request and thus drag this out for years.

    Your second point about state protection brought to mind something I hadn't thought about in relation to this case. Maybe Meng could file a refugee application, claiming all legal rights applicable under Canadian law and theoretical rights accorded under the recently signed Global Compact for Migration. Wouldn't that be hysterical!

  17. 16 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

    Canada is the future.  

    Who's future? Huge numbers of our educated and skilled workers leave annually to seek opportunities elsewhere. Canada's time appears to have come and gone. Three decades of shortsighted and self-serving economic mismanagement by bought-and-sold elitist politicians has led as to a situation whereby we face a clearly gloomy future, a fact of which the government is well aware. According to Thomas Walkom's column in yesterday's generally pro-Lib Toronto Star, Libs like Freeland believe governments in Canada will have to massively increase subsidies just to stop Canadians from rebelling against the consequences of "liberal world order" (not my term, so don't accuse me of wearing a tinfoil hat) agenda the Libs are working hard to implement. Maybe this scenario is a Lib dream, but I suspect that for many Canadians it's a very real nightmare.

    • Like 1
  18. 4 minutes ago, Saudi Monitor said:

    SNC-Lavalin’s $1.24-billion writedown an example of the cost of Ottawa’s foreign policy

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-snc-lavalins-124-billion-writedown-latest-sign-of-soured-canadian/

     

    The article you reference is behind the G&M's paywall, so if you want to reference it please describe the aspects most applicable to any point(s) you are trying to make. Otherwise, your post is nothing more than online wallpaper to most readers on here as I presume most don't pay for a G&M subscription.

  19. On 1/25/2019 at 6:18 AM, Saudi Monitor said:

     Canadians need to first get their own house in order. They have no standing to talk about human rights to anyone. As for human rights violation, your southern neighbor would win that trophy. Regardless, colonizers used to call native people "Savages" in order to justify taking their land and promote their ideology and values, In modern term , "Human Right" have largely replaced that term.

    Canadians should deal with the challenges they face in their own society,  ranging from homelessness, to the treatment of the Indigenous people as second-class citizens, legalizing sex with animals, and the brutal policy of infringing upon the rights of children and their parents by permitting underage kids to go under the knife for gender realignment and so forth.

    However, how you manage your affairs isn't the business of anyone outside your own realm, as long as you respect others national rights and not try to speak for people who have given you no mandate or right to do so.
     

    What a pile of hokum! Your point is an example of an intellectual fallacy known as presentism. Yes, indigenous peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere and in Australia and NZ were oppressed by the European colonizers. And the Arabs maintained a booming slave trade for centuries. And Africans participated with Arabs and Europeans in the slave trade. And Asians marginalized and forcibly assimilated their minority populations. Peoples everywhere have interminably warred against each other and conquerors have occupied whatever lands they've been able to take. This is pretty much the history of mankind.

    We in Canada, and in the West in general, face major challenges to be sure, most of which are acknowledged even if not always effectively or quickly addressed. But those from brutal places that in the present refuse to acknowledge or address the human rights violations and continuing oppression in their own societies are in no position to castigate others and tell them to shut up.

  20. 16 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

    1.) With regard to Canadians leaving to work elsewhere, that doesn’t seem like an unseemly number in today’s global marketplace.

    2.) I’m surprised only a third of them go to the US, which is so large and close.  As I mentioned, I know a lot of young people working in Asia, which says something about where the growth is. 

    3.) I agree that retaining and building up the middle class, especially bringing the lower classes into it, should be top priority.  The richest have made the biggest gains for sure, but that’s all the more reason to have progressive tax policy.  Earnings over a million dollars and especially over ten million dollars a year should be taxed at much higher rates.  

    1.) Educated Canadians are leaving because there aren't adequate opportunities in Canada, which over the past three decades has been transformed into a second-rate derivative economy. And the reason so many immigrants struggle isn't racism, it's that the country simply doesn't afford them the kind of opportunities they assume it should, just as our own skilled graduates aren't afforded these opportunities. And, if the government is truly worried about general labour shortages (although the PBO has noted they don't exist) and must then bring in hundreds of thousands of immigrants annually, why is it making it necessary for our workers to emigrate? Healthy economies don't export their skilled and educated workers.

    2.) I think you misread my post and the linked article. One-third of all visas issued to foreign workers by American authorities are issued to Canadians. It is astonishing that a country with one-half of one percent of the world's population (Canada) meets one-third of America's (legal) skilled foreign worker demand. Although I'd have to research the issue further, my guess is that probably 80 percent or more of Canadian raised and educated workers who leave the country for work go to the U.S. and far fewer to other countries. I believe that many of the Canadians who go to Asia to work are actually Asians who acquire Canadian citizenship and then return to Asia. It's possible that many of their offspring do so as well.

    3.) The problem is that we're moving in the opposite direction. The middle class is declining and the government expects it to keep on doing so. According to Thomas Walkom's column in yesterday's generally pro-Lib Toronto Star, our foreign minister, Freeland, admits that the government is going to have to massively expand subsidies just to keep its increasingly marginalized labour force from rebelling against the corporate "liberal world order" (not my words, so don't accuse me of wearing a tinfoil hat) the Lib government is promoting. Please don't imagine that the taxes to pay for this fantasy will come from corporations or the rich. Instead they'll come from the ever-shrinking group of ordinary taxpayers just above the subsidy class. Eventually, there will be no money to pay for this deception but by then the rich and corporations will have their U.S. dollars safely stashed elsewhere and what remains of Canada will be left to cope as a poor, frozen economic wasteland. Freeland's dream is Canada's future nightmare.

    • Like 1
  21. 4 hours ago, Rue said:

    1.) That is precisely the point. Coming on this forum and basing your assumptions based on "your friends are Muslim" is bullshit. It can't be proven by you. More to the point just how many Muslims do you know that would then enable you to make the sweeping pronouncements you do about ALL Muslims? Yah yah, some of my best friends are Quakers.

    2.) You asked for evidence of Muslim reformists. I gave you evidence. Now you changed the subject to arguing you don't believe these reformists are influential.

     

    1.) And, where, exactly, do I say that my "friends are Muslim" in any of my posts in this string? (Citation please!) When searching the sting, the closest I could come to any such reference on my part is where I state that "I've met only a couple truly secularist Muslims, for instance, one who renounced her religion after moving to the West and the other was gay." Of course I've met Muslims. I've lived in Toronto for decades, including throughout most of my working years. I've never claimed in this string to have close Muslim friends, although I have worked and socialized quite harmoniously with many. I believe you're simply trying to be derogatory by accusing me of paternalism. If so, you can cut it out because I believe making such statements renders your position defamatory. 

    2.) No, I gave you the names of some Muslim reformists, who've raised their heads above the crowd at great risk to themselves. Although your posts are tediously verbose, it's my recollection that you've only provided personal observations relating to people you know or have met. My question is why we haven't seen the emergence of a Muslim movement in the West, broadly supported by Muslim community leaders, that affirms Enlightenment-derived values like secularism, religious co-existence and the separation of church and state? We're often told that we in the West must accommodate Islam, but should not Islam be equally expected to accommodate Western values and perspectives, at least in the West?

  22. 33 minutes ago, Yzermandius19 said:

    And his competition is non-existent, Trudeau doesn't have to be Usain Bolt, he just has to keep the left from splitting, and it will be a cake walk. Trudeau's base doesn't hate him, and they aren't about to vote NDP, you want Trudeau to be more hated than he actually is, but he isn't. Stop projecting your own views on the electorate, it's clearly wishful thinking that is leading to faulty analysis.

    I see most of those in Trudeau's base as sheep. I was involved a few months ago in a discussion about Canadian politics with several very pleasant people at a social gathering. The two people who seemed happiest with Trudeau, who indicated that they were likely to vote for his party, also admitted that they don't closely follow the news and were just happy they still had decent jobs and the country didn't seem to be falling apart. So, they'd set a pretty low bar. Others, however, were much more critical, including the participants with the most education. So, for Trudeau, the best approach is clearly to keep his people entertained (selfies and cute socks) and make sure there are no big negative stories, like a terrorist attack on Canadian soil, that impinge on the unquestioning contentment of his mainly passive base.

    Trudeau could win by default, which would be unfortunate. It would have been more interesting had Bernier won the CPC leadership race or had a better candidate won the NDP contest. A collapse in NDP, support which is quite possible, is the scenario most likely to give Trudeau another majority. If the immigration debate becomes a factor in the campaign, Scheer's CPC will have to adequately and honestly address legitimate public skepticism with Trudeau's policies or face the possibility that Bernier's party will split the conservative vote.

  23. 10 minutes ago, Scott Mayers said:

     The U.S. (and France before them) embraced Republicanism in light of the means of which a Monarchy logically entices segregation by their nature of distinction: peoples in power are considered as being in favor by nature because of their genetic decrees and beliefs about how some God uniquely favored them. That's ethno-centric by FIAT for being Kings and Queens or loyalists to their supremacy.

    And in the real world, in 2019 all of this means precisely bupkis. All Western democracies, whether Republics or constitutional monarchies, operate on very similar principles that largely emerge from Enlightenment-era values that negate the practical impact of any kind of "God" - or other supernatural entity. The road to representative democracy hasn't always been smooth, and the result isn't always perfect but, as Winston Churchill is reputed to have pointed out, "it's the worst form of government, except for all the others." To employ a time-worn cliche, don't be too quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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