Friday, September 22, 2006

A King Over the Water?

As long-time readers know, when I want to know what real black-hearted reactionaries are thinking, I go over to Daniel Larison's site. A few points reduction in marginal tax rates are pretty small potatoes compared to the restoration of medieval Christendom.

Larison points out that the intervention of the king of Thailand helped ensure that the recent coup went off bloodlessly. (Disclaimer: the Pithlord knows nothing about Thai politics) This is another example of the advantages of constitutional monarchies -- an individual not directly involved in politics can represent the continuity of the state and of the nation. He concluded, "Monarchy is not suited to all places and all peoples, just as democracy is not, but King Bhumibol gives us a glimpse of what a good monarchy might look like."

One of his commenters took exception to this atypical wetness, arguing that monarchy is always and everywhere the preferable form of government, and the Great Republic's failure to assert that (notwithstanding an odd desire to place close kin of past Presidents in executive office) is "inseparable from the corrosive liberalism that besets the nation."

I pointed out that American monarchists would face the difficulty of agreeing on the appropriate dynasty, with professional sports figures and Hollywood lineages having more-than-colourable claims. "Gabriel" declared, in true Tory style, that the Jacobite line is tanned and rested, and that, after all, without any of that bad blood about stamp taxes and tea duties poisoning relations with the Hanoverians.

One might well argue that a Franco-Scottish nation like Canada should give the Jacobite line (now with the royal house of Bavaria, if I am not mistaken) a look. In 2003, Tony O'Donohue, a former Toronto alderman, brought a constitutional challenge to the Act of Succession on the grounds it discriminates on the basis of religion by denying succession to the throne to Catholics. It does, of course, but the court sensibly declared that it is part of the constitution itself, and therefore s. 15 of the Charter does not apply.

Had it been different, though, and had the court been willing to remedy the discrimination back to its 17th century roots, and had Duke Franz been willing to take on the task of being Francis I of Canada, we would have our own monarchical line.

As Ontario Protestant in origin, I can't be expected to support all this, but I do agree with Andrew Coyne that we should get our own cadet branch of the Windsors. (Cadet lines for allied countries has a long tradition -- from the Austrian Hapsburgs to the Spanish Bourbons). We could adopt gender- and religion-neutral succession rules.

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