I never took a proper Brit-US comparison course, but I thought that the UK royals had been stripped of all real government powers (other than their wealth). Is there something in the unwritten British constitution that would have let Elizabeth II tell Mr. Cameron, "Thanks, but no thanks. I have this cousin who would do a much better job of shepherding Parliament through this kerfuffle" if the kerfuffle met some criteria for severity?
Well, you know, I'm hardly an expert in the subject, but the queen does have quite a few reserve powers. I think of Juan Carlos I as his "ideal" monarch, and Juan Carlos has pretty much a stellar reputation and everyone loves him because he saved Spanish democracy twice and is super awesome and all that. Of course, the issue with hereditary power is that for every Juan Carlos there's someone embarrassing and terrible. My dad and I argue about this issue, and he contends that if you give these people independent, comfortable lives they aren't going to do all that much unless they absolutely have to.
My dad isn't fond of the idea of exporting monarchy to the United States, but other New Zealanders occasionally talk about removing the queen as head of state and my father is opposed to that. A strange position, as my dad never really stopped being a socialist, either.
If we could replace the slaves with non-sentient robotics and get the world to agree to live in independent city-states with less than 50,000 citizens each, I'd be a fan of direct democracy Periclean-style myself.
Re the US founders, I just so seriously wish that the 'strict contructionist' folks had enough imagination to know how little we can understand the late 18th century and how poorly those late-Enlightenment geniuses would have done with an essay assignment on "The United States in 1986." Electricity was a parlor trick, women were mostly chattel, infant mortality was a huge part of motherhood, etc. Even if you try to ignore all the technological change, the simple fact that we now claim the bulk of North America and have a population well on the way to half a billion really wouldn't fit in the minds of folks even as brilliant as Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, or Benjamin Franklin.
Well, my big thing with most strict constructionists is that most of them are "strict constructionists" for a few narrow issues that they care about. Other than that, I used to point out the founders didn't trust the common people enough, and they never anticipated a well-educated public. I'm not so sure I criticize them for that now, as the media has really successfully divided the country on every issue ranging from environmentalism and the economy to Obama's birth certificate. I really despise the media for making us a neo-tribal society and for eroding public unity at every issue. And honestly, it's not just Fox News. We really ought to have our own version of the BBC.