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Then why bring it up?  It obviously carries some significance.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't the swear-in ceremony?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:18:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's like filling out your W-2 (income tax) forms when you get a new job.  It is required, but by then, you already have the job.  So I really fail to see the comparison.  

What is important about the Oath, is that you can't be held responsible for anything before it.  You're basically saying, Ok, from ... right...  NOW, I am officially in charge.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:23:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... phase in the life of a parliament, "XYZ is invited to form a government".

There was a time in the transition from the monarch as a real executive to the monarch as a figurehead of state when the monarch was more active in trying to get support for the fellow they wanted, but its long past.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:51:19 PM EST
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But not formally past, right?

If a royal were to be extremely popular and extremely ambitious...

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by martingale on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:51:47 AM EST
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Like Simeon of Bulgaria?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 06:01:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still not. They'd be able to remain behind the scenes after a coup. (Supposedly something like this almost happened in the UK with the Wilson Plot - which was an interesting example of how democracy really works in the UK.)

But an explicit return to monarchy via democratic elections would just confuse people.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 06:17:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the existing government was extremely unpopular and the other party likely to win the next election, the monarchy ... or its representative ... might dismiss a government without a vote of no confidence. The Governor-General of Australia did just that, at what is widely believed in lefty circles in Australia to be at the urging of Washington via the CIA, in the 1970's.

This, of course, made it a much greater likelihood that Australia will become a Republic if Charles succeeds Queen Elizabeth to the thrown. Their problem is finding a way to pick a President who would have even less power than the Governor-General, which is a tricky thing, but if the current monarch is sufficiently unpopular, they'll work something out.

Not as long as QEII is on the throne, of course, since she's a good sheila and not at all stuck up.

So the question would be, ambitious for what? Ambitious for power in the short term and the long term abolition of the monarchy in their country?


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 12:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well you'd have to count on the party in power never getting it back again, or there might be a bit of a republican backlash.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 02:22:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you can't count on that, as long as elections are allowed to continue.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 02:44:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the question would be, ambitious for what? Ambitious for power in the short term and the long term abolition of the monarchy in their country?
Ambitious for a less ceremonial role, to begin with. Think along the lines of Augustus, not Caesar. I'm French, so I view monarchies with extreme suspicion anyway, but still. The essential characteristic of unwritten rules of conduct is that they are adaptable to changing circumstances in ways that are not easy to identify right away.

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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 09:57:54 PM EST
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Its not so much the unwritten rules of conduct as the realities of power ... written or unwritten, under constitutional arrangements that retain a monarch as a head of state when power is located in a parliament, in a showdown, the power would normally prevail over the figurehead.

When social institutions are breaking down, as in the Roman Republic under the weight of Imperial possessions, or in Japan as the extensive development of the urban economies under the Shogunate undermined the foundations of feudal Japan ... well, then people will push for revisions of the rules.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 10:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But if you're invoking the realities of power, then you must also accept popularity as a significant factor. In a showdown between the parliament and the monarch, if public opinion lies with the monarch and the monarch is also willing to use old dormant powers, would parliament still win?

For definiteness, imagine Charles had the charisma of Diana and intelligence to match, and that he was willing to lead on environmental causes with the full powers of the monarchy. Such a king could carve out a real (ie non-ceremonial) role in politics in a relatively short time, and a new concensus on the acceptability of (perhaps limited at first) political interference by the monarchy. It would require no new laws to make that change, just shift the unwritten rules of conduct. Would you agree, or does this sound too crazy?

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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 11:28:50 PM EST
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If they were not so inbred, perhaps it would occur :)

They have a position of visibility, and if a monarch were to seize some power they could argue that it was not a formal change. Just like Bush argued that enemy combatants were not covered by conventions. But since all their lines of command would go through positions appointed by parliament or an executive appointed by parliament, chances are that they would quickly face a reaction.

Last time a swedish monarch tried anything was during world war one. Parliament quickly obstructed and teh king was forced to back down.

One might note that the risk/benefit analysis for a king to interfere is not very positive. On the risk side is abolishment of monarchy - thus of cushy very well-paid position - and going down in history as the one that failed. On the benefit side is getting real power, but unless the king actually has an agenda that might turn out to just be a lot of work.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 03:19:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When one parliament is unpopular, you get to vote for a new one. People will stop comparing the monarch to the previous unpopular parliament, and start comparing the monarch to the popular parliament that they will elect.

And, after all, its not like they have to reason this out from scratch ... this is social evolution at work. Those monarchies that survive are those that have learned the lesson that they get to survive as long as they stay above the fray.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 10:39:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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