THERE are times when it can be difficult to decide who gets to go to an event and who stays at home.

We’ve all been in the position where there are more people than there are tickets and everyone wants to go. These situations can give way to all sorts of bargaining, deals and disappointment.

Yet, when Scottish Green MSPs were told about our allocation of tickets to the King’s Coronation ceremony in early May, there was no such dilemma. None of us thought it right to attend.

How could we? For decades, my party has taken the view that our head of state should be elected, not appointed by accident of birth. Attending the coronation would go against the core values of our politics.

We know we aren’t the only ones feeling increasingly alienated from a system that looks and feels increasingly archaic and out of step with the country we are and the ones we are becoming.

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Yet, in two weeks, Westminster will be lavishing tens of millions on a three-day festival of pomp, pageantry and mythology. Newspapers and TV will undoubtedly broadcast images of street parties and people happy to celebrate the new monarch. But in truth, they will be in a tiny minority, far from the crowds who lined the streets when Queen Elizabeth took the throne in 1953.

The widespread support that was anticipated seems set to give way to indifference, with poll after poll suggesting that the public simply isn’t interested in the celebrations. According to YouGov, only a quarter of people in Scotland are intending to watch any of it.

It’s easy to see why enthusiasm is so low. With sky-high inflation, soaring interest rates and ever-increasing food prices, it certainly doesn’t feel like much of a backdrop for a celebration.

On the contrary, for millions of households and families all over our country, it is a time of extortionate bills and soaring costs. What could feel more remote than the golden carriages and opulent parades?

It’s such a contrast with the way heads of state operate in some of our neighbouring countries. Just look at Europe. You don’t have to search to find small independent countries with elected heads of state operating on a far more modest basis.

Their citizens choose office-holders that they hold to account, allowing them to express their views openly instead of behind the scenes. But even aside from that basic democratic principle, they carry out their duties for a fraction of the cost of the grotesquely self-indulgent UK monarchy, surely the biggest intergenerational grift in history.

A lot of the press attention of the days ahead is likely to focus on the personal popularity of the King and the dynamics and drama surrounding the other senior Royals.

And, of course, some of them have used their positions to highlight important causes. Charles himself has spoken about the importance of conservation, while his sons have done a lot to promote mental health and remove some of the social stigma surrounding it. While this is very welcome, it’s hardly a justification for the system of unearned privilege that is used to legitimise it.

It is easy to get distracted by the headlines, but the debate we need to have has nothing to do with the personal qualities or flaws of the royals themselves. Fundamentally, it is a question of power.

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As while we are always told that the monarchy is an apolitical institution, nothing could be further from the truth. For many, its historical associations are deeply political and are associated with a legacy of empire and inequality. It is impossible to tell the full story of the British monarchy without delving into some of the most shameful themes and periods in our history.

But it’s not just the past that we need to discuss. It is also the future.

Do we really believe this to be the best system of government we can have? Is it really a suitable way for any country to be governed in the 21st century? I doubt it’s a system many of us would choose if we were to create a new society from scratch.

There are many of us who want better. We know that Scotland has so much potential. We know that we can be a modern and democratic republic with an elected and accountable head of state that any child can aspire to.

We know that we can be a fairer, greener country where power and sovereignty lies with the people and where the vast public wealth currently held by the crown, including the land and palaces, is used for community benefit.

With a cost of living crisis and a climate emergency on our doorsteps, these are very serious times. But that is exactly why we need to be asking these big questions. What could be more fundamental than democracy?

My Green colleagues and I will be discussing this on Sunday in Edinburgh as we hold “For A Scottish Republic” – an optimistic discussion where we will be joined by our friends Our Republic and National columnist Assa Samaké-Roman as we look to a progressive and democratic future and think about how we get there.

All over the Commonwealth, there are countries having these debates and reconsidering their relationship with the monarchy. It’s time for Scotland to do the same.