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  #61  
Old 12-11-2008, 05:44 PM
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From sun-sentinel.com/Associated Press; the change of the constitution & the Grand Duke's powers seems to have passed in parlament:

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Luxembourg lawmakers trim monarch's powers after he refused to sign euthanasia law

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Lawmakers on Thursday trimmed the powers of Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri, after the devoutly Roman Catholic monarch said he would not sign a euthanasia bill into law.

The 60-member legislature voted 56-0, with one abstention, to amend the constitution so that in the future Henri will no longer have to "approve" laws adopted by parliament.

The vote avoided a constitutional crisis and cleared the way for Henri to "promulgate" — or formally announce — the euthanasia and assisted-suicide bill after it gets its final legislative approval Dec. 18. As in other parliamentary monarchies, such royal assent is a formality but required for laws to take effect.
Complete article: Luxembourg lawmakers trim monarch's powers after he refused to sign euthanasia law -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
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  #62  
Old 12-11-2008, 08:01 PM
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Well ... not a bad resolution of the crisis. At least, Grand Duke Henri is at peace with himself and avoid compromising his beliefs.
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  #63  
Old 12-11-2008, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Royal Fan View Post
The Grand Duke has Earned my respect by this Action.
Why? He achieved nothing at all with his actions apart from creating some drama and he has misused the powers that he has for his personal agenda. To me it shows that Henri is unfit to rule in a secular democracy and it would have been much better if he had been forced to abdicate. His son, who might be more competent than his father, would have gotten a monarchy that would still be in tact.
Can't imagine what Grand Duke Jean must think of this, he signed the abortion law himself and he is no less catholic than his son and he must have had his thoughts about abortion too, but still did not misuse the trust that the constitution gave him. If my own monarch would do a simular thing -no matter the subject- I would turn republican over night, as would much of my country.
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  #64  
Old 12-11-2008, 08:53 PM
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I must say the duke is very brave to refuse to do such a thing. Without getting in too much politics and religion I applaud his resistance.
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  #65  
Old 12-12-2008, 04:41 PM
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Thank you Kelly That in sort was what I Was trying to say
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  #66  
Old 12-12-2008, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Well, I think it is rather irresponsible of the Grand Duke. If he does not want to sign a law he should abdicate in favour of his son, if he does not want to abdicate he should sign the law. He can't have it both ways and he is a constitutional monarch after all! Another thing is that king Baudouin reigned for 40 years or so when he was in a strong enough position to refuse to sign, while the grand duke is just getting started and doesn't has a position as respected as his uncle yet (and probably he never will, as king Baudouin was an exceptional monarch).

But Marengo, if he abdicates in favor of his son won't his son be put in the same untenable position since he too would be a Catholic ruler? Euthanasia is forbidden by the Church-very strictly-as is abortion.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has a traditionally close relationship to the Holy See. So unless the Ruling House renounces the Catholic Faith-which is about as likely as snowstorms in California in June! The dilemma would just be handed down to Henri's son. And he would not be likely to betray his devout parents by signing the law.

I can't help but admire Henri's stance, even though he knows it could weaken his power. It's a risk that he apparently feels is worth it.

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Originally Posted by Sg1fan View Post
The Grand Duke would be excommunicated from the Catholic Church if he signed the document and he made a choice to prevent that from happening. As a Roman Catholic he CAN NOT sign it, even if he wanted to without risking the Pope telling him he can not receive sacraments any longer (which is what excommunication is). It's why his Uncle abdicated for a day. He's between a rock and a hard place here. It's his faith or a rubber stamp which apparently means nothing anyway. Easy choice, in my opinion. If Luxembourg wants a Catholic monarch, they had to have understood that would be the decision. It's not like the Church has changed their opinion on this type of issue from when his Uncle abdicated.
This is the way I see it too. Given a choice of risking ex-communication and being denied the Sacraments and signing the bill and having my powers reduced as a consequence?

There IS no choice. A ruler has a right to his conscience just like the most humble citizen(as the late King Baudouin said)

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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
I don think the Vatican will excommunicate the grand duke, it would be very unwise and they haven done so when the Belgian king signed the euthanasia law. Of course they might have tried to influence the Grand Duke, they tried the same on king Juan-Carlos of Spain when the gay-marriage bill was passed. He told them basically to bugger of, adding that he was no king Baudouin (in the sense of not a 'puppet' of the Vatican).

I thought the gay marriage bill was a consequnence of the Socialist government...and I did not realize that HM Juan Carlos was constrained to put his signature of on it?

Any in my opinion the late Baudouin was very far from being a "puppet" of the Vatican. A man or woman is not a puppet because they decide to follow their conscience and live out their Christian Faith to the best of their ability.

In Baudouin's case he made it clear that he was not passing judgement on the women of Belgium for choosing to terminate their pregnancies, but acting in accordance with his OWN conscience-not that of John Paul II-he could not sign this bill. And he did not, and it was finest hour.

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Originally Posted by wbenson View Post
It's not force. It's consequences, which are a part of making decisions. Henri chose to violate his trust with the people of Luxembourg to suit his personal religious persuasion. He's not going to be able to do it again, at least, it looks like.

Henri did not violate the trust of his people. He is a man with just as much a right to his conscience as the most humble taxi-driver.

He remained true to himself, and the people should be proud to have such a leader.

If not, they can always decide against a constitutional monarchy and go for a full democracy.
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  #67  
Old 12-12-2008, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MamboQueen View Post

I've been trying for a while, to get my thoughts as organized as I can to post my opinion, but the truth is that I have very mixed feelings, and can't agree with either side 100%, although I lean more in support of the Grand Duke.

I do not agree with assisted suicide. I'm a "liberal-catholic" I understand human pain and suffering, it has hit close to home for me, but I could not fathom the idea dying at my will, instead of God's. For me the ideal solution would be to have the government make it easier/more affordable (or whatever) to have relatives make their terminally ill, as pain-free and comfortable as they can those last days, even if it's by sedation, I can only imagine how it feels to be at a funeral knowing your loved one opted to swallow a shot of poison, because one couldn't afford their comfort and maybe they felt they were a burden. My suggestion isn't as black/white and not impossible, especially since it has been expressed by some that the euthanasia process is strict, complicated and lengthy and that patients usually die before they are even approved. You wouldn't have to watch your loved one suffer and the affected would nto have to choose the inevitable.

Monarchs have always represented the Church and made desicions with religion in the forefront. Parliament represents the State and makes every
day desicions that have nothing to do with religion. They may be separate but the goal is to make the best decision for the citizens. The truth is that Luxemburgers have chosen to have both entities and when both are at odds one opinion should not matter more than the other. If it has become the case however, that Henri's beliefs are getting in the way of Luxemburg's progress, then the monarchy should be abolished forever and just remain a democracy which happens to have a catholic royal family, who's opinion mattered at one point but, no longer. Citizens and Parliament would no longer be inconvenienced by the old-fashioned religious stance of the monarchs and the monarchs can live happily ever as symbols of a by-gone era, with no responsibilities to anyone. Because as some one above mentioned even if the GD abdicates in favor of Guillaume, who's to say Guillaume would sign off on the law to appease Parliament? He may feel just like his father.

I'm sorry if this post reads like a vichysoise of words, but like i said I am mixed up and tried to articulate my opinion as best I could. I know there was a point somewhere in all my bantering but I can't recall where I made it. Anyway, everyone here has expressed valid points, but that is all they are, I don't feel this to be a win/win situation.


I wish I had read your post FIRST before I went on with my meandering blathering responses to various posters.

This is quite perfect, and I agree with every word. ..I am a Catholic, a bad one in the sense that I do not always go to Mass when I should.

But the Catholic Faith, it's Sacraments and it's Teachings are life itself to me. I can't imagine being forced between my conscience and my duty as a monarch.

I have nothing but good wishes for the the citizens of this beautiful little country and I hope it all turns out well.
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  #68  
Old 12-13-2008, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaDreamin View Post
I thought the gay marriage bill was a consequnence of the Socialist government...and I did not realize that HM Juan Carlos was constrained to put his signature of on it?
Not putting his signature on it because of his own personal life was probably not even seen as a choice, as he seems to understand his role much better than the Grand Duke does.

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Henri did not violate the trust of his people.
I disagree strongly. His job is not to make policy. I'm sure there are plenty of such jobs for him if he wants one.

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Originally Posted by CaliforniaDreamin View Post
He remained true to himself, and the people should be proud to have such a leader.
All he's done is cause unavoidable trouble for a lot of people. That's nothing to have pride in.

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If not, they can always decide against a constitutional monarchy and go for a full democracy.
I think you mean "republic." Monarchies can be just as much of democracies as any other countries. Unless the monarch decides to do the absolute wrong thing and turn the whole institution on its head, as Henri did. Although if I was in Luxembourg, a republic would be looking pretty good to me right now (and if you know my views on such things, that would be saying something). I would never imagine that my monarch (Elizabeth II) would do something so irresponsible and totally damaging to her reputation and her office in any of her realms. And I imagine that was her thought when she saw this bad news.

I think the Grand Duke and the people are incredibly lucky to have a Prime Minister able to so graciously handle this event and have it end well for everyone.
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  #69  
Old 12-13-2008, 02:37 AM
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I believe this whole situation ended well. GD Henri didn't have to abdicate or sign the law and I feel as though Luxembourg -IMO- is better off not having to have laws only become valid with the GD signature. It will save future monarchs of Luxembourg from going through another situation like this.
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  #70  
Old 12-15-2008, 03:57 AM
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From time magazine, the article is interesting enough, though it calls Henri an Archduke instead of a Grand DUke:

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Luxembourg's Monarch Steps Back On Euthanasia Bill

By JEFF ISRAELY Friday, Dec. 12, 2008





The 20th century was not good to Europe's once mighty kings and queens. Old World royals lost most of their monarchical mojo, with their powers now limited to the purely ceremonial, as in Sweden, or to such roles as the Spanish King's command of his country's armed forces. The last absolute monarch left on European soil is Pope Benedict XV.


Like most of his 20th century predecessors, Duke Henri of Luxembourg has played a mostly figurehead role in his country, a sliver of a nation wedged between Germany, Belgium, and France. But an unfolding royal family drama — replete with a papal cameo — has forced the handsome 53-year-old Duke to fall on what remains of his political sword.
Read more here.
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  #71  
Old 12-15-2008, 09:16 AM
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So this means Prince Guillaume will inherit the position of Puppet Duke, wielding no real power and just be a decoration? How sad.... especially since hes trying so hard to be a well-educated, experienced prince. A king, a duke without real power is rather pointless and pathetic. The next step will be abolishing their monarch completely. Couldnt they have thought of something less drastic than castrating the duke. Duke Henri could have taken his cause to the people, couldnt he?
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  #72  
Old 12-15-2008, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Claire View Post
I believe this whole situation ended well. GD Henri didn't have to abdicate or sign the law and I feel as though Luxembourg -IMO- is better off not having to have laws only become valid with the GD signature. It will save future monarchs of Luxembourg from going through another situation like this.
I don't see how this ended well actually. Nothing was achieved, the GD looks like an idiot, there are less royal perogatives and again we have a monarch here who rather devides than binds, like Queen Sofia last month. Since the binding, neutral role is usually given as one of the main advantages of a monarchy the GD has been very reckless. And again, he achieved absolutely nothing with this stunt.
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  #73  
Old 12-16-2008, 04:40 AM
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I don't see the point in todays society of having a monarch with so much power that the Grand Duke had. I also believe that the GD not just signing the law was pretty stupid. I agree with Marengo that the GD was reckless. I was saying that it ended well considering what a hole the GD dug himself into, of course we all have our own opinions on the matter.
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  #74  
Old 12-17-2008, 09:38 PM
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He remained true to himself, and the people should be proud to have such a leader.
I agree with you, CaliforniaDreamin. Grand Duke Henri was courageous.
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  #75  
Old 12-18-2008, 12:09 AM
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Duke Henri could have taken his cause to the people, couldnt he?
That's not his job. If the law is unpopular, it will be to the detriment of the politicians that passed it in the next election. As it stands, he has made the law his problem when before it was only the problem of the politicians involved in its passage. Had he done his job and just signed it, when people think of it his name wouldn't even cross their minds. Now it's the law the Grand Duke refused to sign. It has his name forever linked to it, and not in a good way.

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Nothing was achieved, the GD looks like an idiot, there are less royal perogatives and again we have a monarch here who rather devides than binds, like Queen Sofia last month. Since the binding, neutral role is usually given as one of the main advantages of a monarchy the GD has been very reckless. And again, he achieved absolutely nothing with this stunt.
I agree. I have to wonder what exactly he was thinking when he did it. Although I do think the PM handled as best he could for the Grand Duke. I might have just came out and said the change in powers was to keep him from doing something so reckless and childish again.

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I agree with you, CaliforniaDreamin. Grand Duke Henri was courageous.
How? He's made other people spend time and energy to clean up a totally avoidable mess he created. That's not courage. That's a tantrum.
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  #76  
Old 12-18-2008, 03:29 AM
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How? He's made other people spend time and energy to clean up a totally avoidable mess he created. That's not courage. That's a tantrum.
How? He did the right things by his soul knowing that people would call him an "idiot" and accuse him of throwing a "tantrum". Everyone who doesn't AT LEAST respect his position as a human being in this VERY sensitive issue, in my opinion has no real concept of the value of life. A lot of people here are so dismissive about spirituality and the importance of following your soul in order to sleep at night. It's also deplorable that some poster have reduced themselves to calling the GD names. Where are you moderators?
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:06 AM
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Nobody is dimissive about spirituality, and I read every post in this thread several times. The point being made is that if the GD's consience and his job do not combine in this case. So the solution would be to change the jobdiscription, which happened and made the GD lose one of his perogatives.

Furthermore nobody called the GD an idiot. The post said that the situation made him 'look like an idiot', neither that or the comparison to a tantrum would qualify into the 'calling names' category.

As a moderator of this forum I urge you and others to stay away from statements that acuse anybody who does not agree with the way the GD acted of 'having no real concept of the value of life' and more of those things. I hoped we could discuss this subject without turning it into a religious minefield, but since the above post does drag this thread into that direction further remarks continuing on this path will lead to deletions by the moderators. Again, this is NOT the place for a religious/moral discussion about euthenasia. it is about the Grand Duke refusing to sign a democratic law and losing one of his perogatives consequently. Those are two different things, and I hope that all of us can distinguish that, as most of the posters have done thus far.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:14 AM
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That's not his job. If the law is unpopular, it will be to the detriment of the politicians that passed it in the next election. As it stands, he has made the law his problem when before it was only the problem of the politicians involved in its passage.
Oh I see. But I dont know about the part about him not being affected by agreeing to such a law. Signing it would be condoning it, that he believed in it. I just think that he as the Duke could have rallied the people on his side to support him, to show that he really was doing it for his people, and so the politicians may be pressured into taking back the law rather than the Duke being pressured to give up his powers.

One more thing, if the President of the United States used his veto powers to reject a bill put forth by Congress, would the president's decision be overridden? So can the presidents role be made ceremonial? That would create a rather dangerous effect to the balance of powers. Anyway, I always thought the Duke had similar powers as a president.

Heres a nice passage from an article sympathizing with the Duke.

"The Grand Duke's stand appears to have achieved nothing except to have lost him and his heirs a constitutional prerogative and to have reduced him to a mannequin. It may, of course have served as an example of moral courage to inspire his country's citizens, but we will probably not know the political results for some time.

Meanwhile, I am reminded of a Punch cartoon published in the First World War, featuring Grand Duke Henri's relative, the King of the Belgians, in which, after German forces have conquered Belgium, the Kaiser tells him: "You've lost everything."

The king replies: "Not my soul." "

(The American Spectator : The Grand Duke's Conscience).
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by aivi View Post
One more thing, if the President of the United States used his veto powers to reject a bill put forth by Congress, would the president's decision be overridden? So can the presidents role be made ceremonial? That would create a rather dangerous effect to the balance of powers. Anyway, I always thought the Duke had similar powers as a president.
If enough of the legislative body agree to override the Presidential veto than the bill that the President has veto'd can go through even WITH the presidential veto in place. That way one man (even if he is the president,) can't force his view on the citizens of the U.S. (Like the Grand Duke Henri is doing- he feels like he can't agree to the euthanasia law b/c of moral reasons but the majority of the Luxembourgish people seem to support it the law. Really he's between a rock and a hard place.)

It actually keeps more of a balance of power actually- the president can do what he feels is right and necessary and Congress can still put the bill through if it feels it is necessary. Usually, this isn't done- the bill is just modified until everyone agrees.

Really it keeps the checks and balance in balance. After all one man shouldn't be allowed to make decisions for the many- if we let that happen we wouldn't be the U.S.! Hehe.

I seriously doubt the President's role would ever be made ceremonial- he just does too much. He isn't just a part of the legislative body he is also commander of the armed forces, etc.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:35 AM
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Signing it would be condoning it, that he believed in it.
It would not be any such thing. That is not how constitutional monarchies work. I do not look through acts passed by the Parliament of Canada and given the royal assent to see how my Governor General and Queen feel, as I know that neither of them would dare use such an inappropriate platform to express their views one way or the other.

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I just think that he as the Duke could have rallied the people on his side to support him, to show that he really was doing it for his people, and so the politicians may be pressured into taking back the law rather than the Duke being pressured to give up his powers.
His job is not to put pressure on politicians, though. It would be unacceptable for him to manipulate the people like that.

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One more thing, if the President of the United States used his veto powers to reject a bill put forth by Congress, would the
president's decision be overridden?
That is an irrelevant comparison. The President of the United States is not a constitutional monarch. The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, however, is. They have different roles and therefore have different expected conduct with regard to the legislature.

But yes, it might be overridden. Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution provides that if the president vetoes a bill, Congress may reconsider it. If two-thirds of both houses vote in favor of it, it becomes a law without his signature.
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