QUOTE (red rooster @ 31st Dec 2011, 05:58am)
Not really alex a president has a lot more political power
It doesn't follow that a president has more political power. The President of the Republic of Ireland is a ceremonial office, in contradistinction to, say, the President of the US.
the idea of attaining the position on merit is an alien concept
A democracy isn't a meritocracy. Think, for example, of the public image of George W Bush as an elected president ; his name has become a byword for the very antithesis of merit.
In these days of press intrusion, where royal family's extra marital affairs, money making scams, sexuality, divorces etc.. have been exposed we have found out that they are no different than anybody else.
There will be examples of that ; Charles was having a relationship with another woman even as he stood taking his vows with Diana Spencer, which is one reason why I do not think he is fit to be a king. But you will look very hard and fruitlessly for any behaviour other than dignity from the present Monarch, or any hint of scandal. You will not have to look far to find a president who stood in front of his wife, children, and entire nation and lied in his teeth about his extra-marital affairs, and tried deceitfully to argue that while being fellated in the White House, she was having sex with him but he wasn't having sex with her. In a tawdry political world, the Queen is scandal-free.
What qualities do they have that any other family in the country don't have?
Perhaps other families could 'do the job', but it is a fortunate reality that the Queen has discharged her duties as Head of State in a manner that is diligent and with a nobility far above that of any president I can think of, and has given a lifetime devoted to service of her country. Whether her successor can match her remains to be seen, but I think there is a strong argument to be made that the esteem in general of the Royal Family is so considerable that its very nature as an institution makes it one that acts to preserve that esteem as its status quo. I think it means it has stability built in.