Obviously not in name, but in theory.

The UK is a representative democracy; its administration is elected by the people, who are recognised as citizens, not subjects, enjoying the various freedoms (speech and so on) that that implies, without an obligation of fealty. The unelected house cannot prevent the elected house from carrying out its will if it's determined enough, and the unelected monarch has limited executive powers which can be nullified or taken away by Parliament, and effectively go unused. Parliament has also demonstrated a low tolerance for dissent from the monarch in the past.

In other words all of the same basic freedoms and mechanisms seem to be present that would be in a parliamentary republic. So from a theoretical point of view, should the UK (and other "ceremonial monarchies", e.g. Japan) be classified with, and regarded as, republics (rather than linking them with true executive monarchies)? Are there any concrete implications to this?

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    Excellent question very well supported by sources. Eager to see an answer. – Jorge Leitao Dec 5 '14 at 12:49
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    "Constitutional monarchy" nowadays seems to roughly mean "monarchical republic", honestly. – cpast Dec 5 '14 at 15:00

No. It's a constitutional monarchy. The difference is that the the monarch still has some political powers even if it's mostly symbolic. In a real republic like the United States, France, Germany, etc, the parliament has all the political powers. The Republicans are trying to fool the people by saying that Obama is a monarch but they are wrong.

The political powers belong to the people in theory because many people argue that the judicial system, the media, the lobbies and other forces are taking powers away from the elected people but that is not in the constitution. Anyway, the judicial system applies the laws decided by the parliament not the other way around.

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  • The legislature does not have ultimate power in the US -- the president is independently elected to a fixed term (he cannot be forced out except through impeachment) and has real power that doesn't derive from the legislature and which the legislature cannot take away. In systems where the parliament has all the power, the effective head of the executive branch serves at the pleasure of the parliament and cannot stay if they don't have the support of a majority of parliamentary support; in the US, the president's party need not have a majority in Congress. – cpast Dec 6 '14 at 3:09
  • @cpast yes and they are all elected by the population – Vincent Dec 6 '14 at 3:19
  • Correct. But the parliament does not have total power; parliament is not a synonym for the population. – cpast Dec 6 '14 at 3:31
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    -1: "In a real republic like the United States, France, Germany, etc, the parliament has all the powers". This is both strictly and broadly wrong. – Jorge Leitao Dec 6 '14 at 14:54
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    @Vincent Still wrong. Parliament is not a synonym for "the people"; it means the legislature, which has less power in the US than in the UK (as the US president's power comes directly from the voters instead of from a majority in Congress, and he does not need approval from Congress to stay in office or do his job the way he feels it should be done, so a majority of the legislature cannot necessarily get its way). – cpast Dec 6 '14 at 19:04

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