Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We should be more like Europe, mkay?

Belgum has been unable to form a government months after the last election, and so the King has started direct rule:
Great news from Belgium: after three months without the country managing to elect a government, King Albert has started making policy. Possibly an actual crisis isn't necessary, and a mere mechanical hiccup is enough to start the transition from democracy to responsible government.

More likely not: at some point the politicians of Belgium will presumably manage to cobble together a democratic government, and he will be expected to hand over. However, if that takes a while longer, the idea will start to implant itself in some minds, that there is an alternative. He is in charge now, and the reason really is that it might as well be him as anybody else, and at least it solves arguments. And that is the whole reason for monarchy. As people come to realise that the problems caused by competition for power, even when mediated through an electoral process, are inevitable and finally catastrophic, any reminders of how to settle on an easy choice will be useful.
Me, I blame Sarah Palin and her vitriolic, "eliminationist" rhetoric.  Seriously, can everyone in Brussels please just shut up about how we Cowboy Americans don't know how to govern properly?

Hat tip: Foseti.


lelnet said...

We should definitely be more like Europe. We can start by building a bunch of nuclear power plants. And then cutting our corporate tax rates. We'll be a lot more like Europe then. :)

Sometimes it seems like we'd be better off with a king, too. Put the reins of power in the hands of some random dude who won the parent lottery, who'll spend most of his time collecting stamps or building model trains or something (or hell, let him dedicate his attention to gambling and hookers and cocaine, for all I long as he's not spending his life bothering _us_), instead of the sort of people who spend their whole adult lives seeking after power, like we've got now.

Anonymous said...

Kings are handy, each country usually only has one.

Of course it is the sedimented ring of hangers-on who are the real issue, and a fair bit harder to get rid of.


The Czar of Muscovy said...

As I've often said, the last 1,000 years of world history lagely consist of countries trying to be LESS European.

Ironic, no, how the Europeans seem to miss the forest for the trees time and again in their appreciation of their vaunted history.

You got plenty of it. Now learn something from it.