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  #81  
Old 12-19-2008, 05:01 PM
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I think it's going to take a distance of time before people can properly judge the wisdom of HRH's behavior.

I remember in 1990 when Baudouin of Belgium was faced with a similar situation many people in the press and public showered opprobrium upon him and and demanded his abdication be made permanent... He was accused of being a religious fanatic ,and of cynical manipulation of his position even here in the United States.

But by the time of his death a few years after the crisis his subjects and much of Europe were hailing him as a hero, a great champion of the sanctity of human life.

I agree with Marengo that there is a world of difference between GD Henri, and HM King Baudouin who had been on the throne for 40 years and who was generally held in very high esteem in and out of Belgium, but I would be very interested to see what the consensus on the GD's after some time has passed.
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  #82  
Old 12-19-2008, 05:14 PM
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I think it's going to take a distance of time before people can properly judge the wisdom of HRH's behavior.
I don't see why. He willfully chose to overturn the decision of the legislature. He has decided to attempt to be an executive monarch in a country that does not have an executive monarchy. It doesn't matter what the masses say at that moment (as the proper place for the people to give their voice is an election, not as a mob through their monarch) or if euthanasia is right or wrong. This could have been a bill banning euthanasia forever, and I would disagree with the Grand Duke using his personal opinion at all in deciding whether or not to give assent.

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But by the time of his death a few years after the crisis his subjects and much of Europe were hailing him as a hero, a great champion of the sanctity of human life.
Even if he was (which I disagree with), it was not his job to champion political causes. But at least Belgium had plans in place for such an event. Luxembourg did not. The Grand Duke wants other people to clean up after him because he couldn't separate his duty from his private life. That's not heroic.
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  #83  
Old 12-20-2008, 01:30 AM
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I don't see why. He willfully chose to overturn the decision of the legislature. He has decided to attempt to be an executive monarch in a country that does not have an executive monarchy.
At the end of the day regardless of who you are you still need to be able to look in the mirror. The GD obviously felt it was necessary. You don't know that his goal was to be an executive monarch.


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Even if he was (which I disagree with), it was not his job to champion political causes. But at least Belgium had plans in place for such an event. Luxembourg did not. The Grand Duke wants other people to clean up after him because he couldn't separate his duty from his private life. That's not heroic.
How did those laws get into place though? At some point, someone must have foreseen, in Belgium, something like this happening...either that or it DID happen, correct? Something like this would have to happen either in real life or be foreseen to be happening that the GD would not sign a bill. IMO the G.D. wasn't acting as an executive monarch so much as forcing the legislative body to find an alternative to forcing him to sign a bill he obviously strongly disagreed with. If he had no alternative than I really can't fault him for following his moral compass over his job. IMO the legislative body should have had something in place to prepare for a happenstance such as this and if they didn't then one of the only ways to make up for the lack of such laws would be for such an instance to occur.
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  #84  
Old 12-20-2008, 01:50 AM
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At the end of the day regardless of who you are you still need to be able to look in the mirror.
If the Grand Duke has such insecurities that refusing to do a routine duty makes him feel better, even when the only effect it has is to make life harder for some people for a little while before what he disapproves of happens anyways, then he needs some help in that regard.

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You don't know that his goal was to be an executive monarch.
Not the goal, perhaps, but he certainly saw nothing wrong with using it as the means to achieve his ends.

Intent factors less into my scale of determining right and wrong than it does for other people, though. I'm sure he thought he was doing the right thing. Most people do, though, even when they do bad things.

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How did those laws get into place though?
I think they're there in case the King becomes incapacitated, like in a George III-type scenario. It just happened to be applicable in the case that arose. But in Baudouin's case, he researched what could be done before he acted. He saw a loophole and he asked if it could be used. He didn't just refuse to sign it and let everyone else pick up the pieces.

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IMO the G.D. wasn't acting as an executive monarch so much as forcing the legislative body to find an alternative to forcing him to sign a bill he obviously strongly disagreed with.
That's what executive monarchs do. They force the legislature to do things because of their personal whims and desires.

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If he had no alternative than I really can't fault him for following his moral compass over his job.
If his private life makes it impossible to do his job adequately, he should consider abdication.

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IMO the legislative body should have had something in place to prepare for a happenstance such as this and if they didn't then one of the only ways to make up for the lack of such laws would be for such an instance to occur.
I agree. I still don't think Henri did the right thing. He knows (or should know) full well that signing a law does not mean he approves of it from a moral perspective.
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  #85  
Old 12-20-2008, 04:03 AM
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If the Grand Duke has such insecurities that refusing to do a routine duty makes him feel better, even when the only effect it has is to make life harder for some people for a little while before what he disapproves of happens anyways, then he needs some help in that regard.



Not the goal, perhaps, but he certainly saw nothing wrong with using it as the means to achieve his ends.

Intent factors less into my scale of determining right and wrong than it does for other people, though. I'm sure he thought he was doing the right thing. Most people do, though, even when they do bad things.



I think they're there in case the King becomes incapacitated, like in a George III-type scenario. It just happened to be applicable in the case that arose. But in Baudouin's case, he researched what could be done before he acted. He saw a loophole and he asked if it could be used. He didn't just refuse to sign it and let everyone else pick up the pieces.



That's what executive monarchs do. They force the legislature to do things because of their personal whims and desires.



If his private life makes it impossible to do his job adequately, he should consider abdication.



I agree. I still don't think Henri did the right thing. He knows (or should know) full well that signing a law does not mean he approves of it from a moral perspective.
Even if we don't agree with GD Henry we have to say he is very courageous and right ! It's the most important. I don't realy agree with him but I have to admit he is straight, dignified and a great man.
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  #86  
Old 12-20-2008, 08:44 AM
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Even if we don't agree with GD Henry we have to say he is very courageous and right ! It's the most important. I don't realy agree with him but I have to admit he is straight, dignified and a great man.
In this day and age, when an actor/actress or someone famous for just being famous can be elevated to the status orf hero, outlasted their alotted 15 minutes of fame and have been transmogrified into living "Icons", it is more than noteworthy that the King chose to follow the dictates of his heart and his faith rather than perjure his immortal soul.

No matter whether you agree with his stand or not, you have to admire his integrity.
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  #87  
Old 12-20-2008, 02:14 PM
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If the Grand Duke has such insecurities that refusing to do a routine duty makes him feel better, even when the only effect it has is to make life harder for some people for a little while before what he disapproves of happens anyways, then he needs some help in that regard.
The G.D. actions say nothing about him being insecure. My point was that people are going to criticize regardless of WHAT he does and at the end of the day he has to do what he feels is right regardless. If the government didn't have an alternative to signing the bill that he felt was morally wrong in place, then that's their fault. I wouldn't expect someone who is pro-life to sign a law for pro-choice, either. This is too sensitive an issue for someone to 'just do their job.'


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If his private life makes it impossible to do his job adequately, he should consider abdication.
I don't think that statement applies here at all and abdication when subjects as morally divisive as this probably will come up again would be ridiculous. Again, the government should have had something in place beforehand to let him follow what he felt was morally right that didn't involve something so drastic as abdication. If I was signing this law I would feel responsible for the death of whoever chose to use this law. This isn't as cut and dried as you would like to make it.


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I agree. I still don't think Henri did the right thing. He knows (or should know) full well that signing a law does not mean he approves of it from a moral perspective.
Yes, but this isn't a normal everyday law is it? It's a law signing into legislature permission for people to commit suicide or permit others to assist in their legalized murder. I could see how many people would have a problem signing such a law. Whoever signs it is effectively signing the death warrants of whoever chooses to use the law.

I work in the veterinary profession- there are times when I agree with euthanasia for a patient, such as when a dog is terminally ill, or in a lot of pain, etc...

but we also are in a quandary when someone such as the man who came in a few months ago to put his puppy to sleep because the puppy was barking (nothing else wrong with the puppy- simply he didn't want the dog anymore, and decided to euthanize the eight week old puppy as he didn't like it barking in his house.)

From a legal point of view, we are supposed to follow the man's choice (as the pet is legally property) and euthanize the puppy. The staff in that case, felt they had to follow what they felt was morally right, not what was legally right, and refused to euthanize the puppy. The dog was adopted out to one of the receptionists and hasn't barked since. I don't disagree with the choice we made that day and it's similar IMO to the choice that G.D. had to make.

Civilians aren't the only ones with moral quandaries....just because he is G.D. doesn't mean the choices get easier. If anything, they get harder when what you are doing is going to affect the population of an entire country (albeit a small one.)

Obviously the G.D. feels very strongly about this or he wouldn't have chosen such an extreme point of view... In any case, it seems to have been dealt with well enough.
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  #88  
Old 12-20-2008, 02:41 PM
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No matter whether you agree with his stand or not, you have to admire his integrity.
I don't. Everyone has opinions. Everyone acts on them from time to time. Many times people act on them wrongly.

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If the government didn't have an alternative to signing the bill that he felt was morally wrong in place, then that's their fault.
No, it is not. One person is at fault here, and it is the Grand Duke. Royal assent to bills was never about the monarch's personal opinion until now.

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I wouldn't expect someone who is pro-life to sign a law for pro-choice, either.
I would. Constitutional monarchs are not publicly pro-life or pro-choice. They remain neutral to the public on all such issues. The only way to remain neutral is to sign all lawfully-passed bills brought to them. Signing it is not a statement of personal approval, but rejection most certainly is a statement of personal disapproval.

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This is too sensitive an issue for someone to 'just do their job.'
No it is not. He was presented with a lawfully-passed bill. There are no other issues at hand other than ones that the Grand Duke personally injects into it. It was not about anyone's views on "the sanctity of life" until he chose to make the signing or rejection of a bill about that.

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I don't think that statement applies here at all and abdication when subjects as morally divisive as this probably will come up again would be ridiculous.
Whether or not a country should be a constitutional monarchy (as it was) or an executive monarchy (as it is until the legislature gets the constitution changed) is a perfect debate to talk about abdication in.

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Again, the government should have had something in place beforehand to let him follow what he felt was morally right that didn't involve something so drastic as abdication.
I don't see why. When people refuse to do their jobs, why do they get to make other people do it for them and keep their jobs? If I decided to go to work, refuse to do my job for any personal reason, and demand that other people do it for me, I would be out of a job and rightly so.

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This isn't as cut and dried as you would like to make it.
I disagree. The Grand Duke was presented with a lawfully-passed bill from his legislature. He had one valid choice. He rejected that choice. He is now an executive monarch in a constitutional monarchy. It doesn't matter why he made the choice he did. It is not about how anyone feels about euthanasia.

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Yes, but this isn't a normal everyday law is it?
From a constitutional perspective, the only one where Henri should have been looking at it, yes, it is. It was properly passed by the legislature. That means he signs it with no protest. If he can't do that, he's in the wrong job.

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I could see how many people would have a problem signing such a law.
So could I, if we are talking about people who should be using their own morals and beliefs to decide what to sign. Constitutional monarchs do not use their personal opinions to make official decisions like this. They act on the advice of their ministers. If we were talking about an executive head of state, such as the President of the United States, I would not oppose such an action on the grounds that personal opinions should be kept out of it.

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I work in the veterinary profession- there are times when I agree with euthanasia for a patient, such as when a dog is terminally ill, or in a lot of pain, etc...

but we also are in a quandary when someone such as the man who came in a few months ago to put his puppy to sleep because the puppy was barking (nothing else wrong with the puppy- simply he didn't want the dog anymore, and decided to euthanize the eight week old puppy as he didn't like it barking in his house.)

From a legal point of view, we are supposed to follow the man's choice (as the pet is legally property) and euthanize the puppy. The staff in that case, felt they had to follow what they felt was morally right, not what was legally right, and refused to euthanize the puppy. The dog was adopted out to one of the receptionists and hasn't barked since. I don't disagree with the choice we made that day and it's similar IMO to the choice that G.D. had to make.
I think you're making this debate about euthanasia itself when it has nothing to do with it (at least the one I'm debating in). I don't care one iota about what the subject matter had to do with Henri's decision. It could have been a law banning euthanasia, and I would expect a pro-euthanasia monarch to sign it. It's not about whether people agree with the Grand Duke's view on euthanasia. The fact is that a constitutional monarch used his own personal beliefs to decide what course of action the country would take. That is not done. I do not know where my Queen stands at all on any great moral issues. She does not air her laundry in public as the Grand Duke has done. All Henri has done is to make himself a lightning rod for divisive issues. Before this, nobody knew what he felt about these things. Had he signed it, that state of mystery would have continued (as it is foolish to look at what he signs to find out his personal opinion).

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Obviously the G.D. feels very strongly about this or he wouldn't have chosen such an extreme point of view...
I agree. I think that reflects poorly on his attachment to duty, however, and thus on his ability to do his job.
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  #89  
Old 12-20-2008, 05:16 PM
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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.
You're assuming that the majority of people in Luxembourg don't support the law? I have no idea and to be honest I don't think anyone would know. Perhaps the majority do support it? Or perhaps many people don't have an opinion one way or another? Or they might be against it but object to the Grand Duke going against the elected representatives? For the Grand Duke to 'go to the people' would be quite a risk and it could have ended up a complete failure.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:30 AM
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I happen to disagree with Duke Henri position on euthanasia, but I admire his action. He is brave and strong when he refuses to sign a law that is against his belief. Standing for own belief is not easy especially when most people don't share this belief. I am sure Henri knew that most people in his country supported euthanasia and he was aware that it might make him unpopular, but still he had courage to say "no".
IMO Luxembourgian parliament overacted. They didn't have to change constitution just because this one time duke refused to sign a law. They could find some other solution similarly to Belgium and just pass a law without changing grand duke status. JMO.
Euthanasia is something that most people feel very strong about. I am not surprised that in that particular case Henri decided to show his private opinion. I think that he even should because it is one of the most important matters, regardless if someone shares Henri's belief or not. He showed, he was not just a mannequin. And it makes him a respectable head of state.
Again, bravo for Henri for strength of his character. Especially in our time and date where more and more politicians just worry about being popular and being elected next time.
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  #91  
Old 12-21-2008, 01:17 AM
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I happen to disagree with Duke Henri position on euthanasia, but I admire his action. He is brave and strong when he refuses to sign a law that is against his belief. Standing for own belief is not easy especially when most people don't share this belief.
He has an opinion. Whooptidoo for him. I have at least one every day. I'm going to petition my government for the Cross of Valour now.

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I am sure Henri knew that most people in his country supported euthanasia and he was aware that it might make him unpopular, but still he had courage to say "no".
It's not about popularity. This law could have been extremely unpopular and it wouldn't change that he should have signed it. He is not an instrument of temporary mass opinion. He is not there to give his opinion on laws.

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IMO Luxembourgian parliament overacted. They didn't have to change constitution just because this one time duke refused to sign a law.
That's the only way the law will be passed. As Luxembourg is a democracy, the only acceptable option is the passage of the law. The Grand Duke failed to do his job. Either the Grand Duke or the job must be changed. He's not leaving or changing, so changing the job is the only thing left.

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They could find some other solution similarly to Belgium and just pass a law without changing grand duke status. JMO.
Luxembourg did not have a provision in its constitution allowing the monarch to be "incapacitated." Something has to be done to stop Henri's power grab. This is the only option.

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I think that he even should because it is one of the most important matters, regardless if someone shares Henri's belief or not.
If he wants to do that, he should abdicate and stand for election to a job where his opinions can guide him.

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He showed, he was not just a mannequin. And it makes him a respectable head of state.
In a country with an executive head of state, yes. However, Luxembourg is not one those countries. Constitutional monarchs should not have public opinions on divisive issues like this.

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Again, bravo for Henri for strength of his character.
Yes, hooray for his opinion. I wonder if he expects a parade every time he uses the toilet.
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  #92  
Old 12-21-2008, 01:53 AM
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Wbenson, I respect Henri not for merely having opinion and expressing his opinion, but for a courage to stand for his ethical values.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:51 AM
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Not everything courageous is good, however. I would argue that one has to be pretty courageous to rob a bank.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:58 PM
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I'm not seeing what's so courageous and laudable about this action. Over the years Queen Elizabeth has had to put her signature to laws with which she personally disagrees, but it appears that she understands the difference between her personal beliefs and her duty as a constitutional monarch.

Once a constitutional monarch refuses to sign laws that s/he disagrees with, for whatever reason, we're getting back into the realms of absolutism. Parliament exists for a reason - it's there to represent the people. If the monarch decides to ignore Parliament and put his or her own wishes ahead of those of the people, the monarch has struck a terrible blow to the whole concept of constitutional monarchy. Henri is the Head of State there, he isn't the Archbishop.

The Queen doesn't make her feelings about legal and constitutional issues public as a rule, although she's made no secret of her Christian faith. I'm sure Parliament has presented her with laws to sign which she finds morally repugnant for one reason or other, but her assent to those laws isn't a measure of her personal feeling about them. A monarch who's less reticent than the Queen might be able to exert some influence while the issue is being debated, but once it's been decided and a law has been passed, then the monarch's position as Head of State is the one that matters, not the monarch's position as an individual.

And really, if we're going to get into the area of a monarch being afraid of excommunication simply for carrying out his duties as a monarch, the whole matter of the influence of the church should be one for urgent discussion. Either a country is a democracy or it's a theocracy, but Luxembourg seems to have managed to get the worst of both worlds here.
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:30 PM
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If he has to sign the laws though in order to allow them to be passed- doesn't that at least implicitly seem that his permission is needed in order for the law to be valid? That he should have some sort of veto power?

I agree if it's what the people want then it should be something he should seriously consider- but then again laws passed by legislative bodies aren't always, in hindsight, right and proper... What comes to mind for me is slavery and segregation in the U.S.

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No it is not. He was presented with a lawfully-passed bill. There are no other issues at hand other than ones that the Grand Duke personally injects into it. It was not about anyone's views on "the sanctity of life" until he chose to make the signing or rejection of a bill about that.
How can you say it's not about the sanctity of life? This bill is talking about lawfully killing people. I'd say that's a question of the value of life- whether life is worth continuing in the face of extreme disease or pain that isn't going to get better and whether a person hast he right to the choice to die.

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I don't see why. When people refuse to do their jobs, why do they get to make other people do it for them and keep their jobs? If I decided to go to work, refuse to do my job for any personal reason, and demand that other people do it for me, I would be out of a job and rightly so.
I deal with moral issues every day at work- this isn't simply a matter of the G.D. refusing to do a job. It's about the government asking him to put aside his moral values simply because they told him to. I have had co-workers do the same as him for moral reasons, and as long as those moral reasons were for valid reasons- such as, IMO, the G.D.'s on euthanasia- the management never had a problem with it. You can't make this about 'not doing his job' solely- because it's a question of morals. I would have done the same thing in his case.
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I disagree. The Grand Duke was presented with a lawfully-passed bill from his legislature. He had one valid choice. He rejected that choice. He is now an executive monarch in a constitutional monarchy. It doesn't matter why he made the choice he did. It is not about how anyone feels about euthanasia.
Just because the legislature passed it doesn't mean he has one valid choice- obviously he felt that refusing to sign the bill WAS a valid choice. With his refusal to sign it the legislature is, albeit forced, to find an alternative way to get the bill signed. IMO this is simply the checks and balances found within ANY democratic government. Forcing someone to 'just sign' a bill that they clearly disagree with is authoritarian IMO and clearly undemocratic. One of the big parts of democratic government is choice. Forcing him to sign a bill, regardless of whether he agrees with it or not, removes that choice. They could do this just as easily with a rubber stamp and a robot as with a person.
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I think you're making this debate about euthanasia itself when it has nothing to do with it (at least the one I'm debating in). I don't care one iota about what the subject matter had to do with Henri's decision.
My point isn't that euthanasia is right or wrong. I haven't taken a standpoint on that because I feel it goes case by case. However, I do feel it is wrong to force the G.D. to simply sign whatever the legislature happens to shove under his nose simply because he was born into royalty. If the G.D. isn't allowed to have an opinion on what he's signing the legislature shouldn't involve him in the first place. He should simply be circumvented. If the legislature didn't want him to have the option of taking this stance then they should amend the law until the problem is circumvented.

IMO- especially on divisive issues such as this you can't expect someone to take a neutral viewpoint in public especially when that viewpoint is a strong one.

I understand your viewpoint- I just disagree with it. I'm also not saying the law shouldn't be passed simply because the G.D. refused to sign it especially if the Lux. people for the most part agree with the law. What I am trying to say is that the legislature should find a way to deal with the situation- like the American presidential veto- that can circumvent the G.D. refusing to sign the law. The president doesn't make laws either but that doesn't stop him, from what I've seen, from refusing to sign bills he disagreed with. The legislature either amended the laws until the president agreed or overrode the veto with a 2/3 vote.
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  #96  
Old 12-21-2008, 04:24 PM
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If he has to sign the laws though in order to allow them to be passed- doesn't that at least implicitly seem that his permission is needed in order for the law to be valid? That he should have some sort of veto power?
Not really.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
I agree if it's what the people want then it should be something he should seriously consider- but then again laws passed by legislative bodies aren't always, in hindsight, right and proper... What comes to mind for me is slavery and segregation in the U.S.
I'm not saying the law is right. I have expressed no opinion about the law.

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How can you say it's not about the sanctity of life? This bill is talking about lawfully killing people. I'd say that's a question of the value of life- whether life is worth continuing in the face of extreme disease or pain that isn't going to get better and whether a person hast he right to the choice to die.
The law is about the "sanctity of life," obviously, but the Grand Duke should not be considering that in his official role.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
I deal with moral issues every day at work- this isn't simply a matter of the G.D. refusing to do a job. It's about the government asking him to put aside his moral values simply because they told him to.
Well, yes, the government did tell him to "put aside his moral values," as one of them appears to be that constitutional monarchs decide legislative courses of action. He should have said yes. His job and personal moral values are not supposed to intersect. Anyways, all he's done is delay the inevitable. They're going to do an end-run around him and everything will be the same, except a whole lot more work will have to have been done to get around his inability to properly do his job. He has accomplished absolutely nothing except a smug sense of self-satisfaction for making other people run around at his command.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
I have had co-workers do the same as him for moral reasons, and as long as those moral reasons were for valid reasons- such as, IMO, the G.D.'s on euthanasia- the management never had a problem with it.
They have a different job. Using your personal opinion to affect job performance is acceptable in your job field. It is not in Henri's.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
You can't make this about 'not doing his job' solely- because it's a question of morals. I would have done the same thing in his case.
I would oppose you being a constitutional monarch, then, as you would fail to do your job. You would, comparatively, make a better executive head of state, as you wish to use your moral values and personal life to make decisions affecting other people. Only those who can claim popular mandates should do that.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
Just because the legislature passed it doesn't mean he has one valid choice- obviously he felt that refusing to sign the bill WAS a valid choice.
He felt wrong. He is now an executive monarch in a country that is not an executive monarchy. His poor grandmother must be rolling in her grave (she was forced to take on the role as a result of her sister's improper public dealings with the Germans and politics in general).

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
Forcing someone to 'just sign' a bill that they clearly disagree with is authoritarian IMO and clearly undemocratic.
No, it is not. That is how constitutional monarchies work. Constitutional monarchs do not have intersections of their private lives and public duty.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
One of the big parts of democratic government is choice.
He had a choice in 2000 when he took the oath to become Grand Duke. He could have refused if he wanted to be a politician instead.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
Forcing him to sign a bill, regardless of whether he agrees with it or not, removes that choice. They could do this just as easily with a rubber stamp and a robot as with a person.
In many ways, that is what constitutional monarchs are.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
My point isn't that euthanasia is right or wrong. I haven't taken a standpoint on that because I feel it goes case by case.
My point is that this has absolutely nothing to do with euthanasia. Constitutional monarchs do not pass official judgment on the morality of bills. It is not done.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
However, I do feel it is wrong to force the G.D. to simply sign whatever the legislature happens to shove under his nose simply because he was born into royalty.
Then you should advocate for a republic with an executive president.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
If the G.D. isn't allowed to have an opinion on what he's signing the legislature shouldn't involve him in the first place. He should simply be circumvented.
That's the way it worked until the GD decided to change his role from a pro forma one to an active one.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
IMO- especially on divisive issues such as this you can't expect someone to take a neutral viewpoint in public especially when that viewpoint is a strong one.
I do. Maybe I'm just harsh.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
What I am trying to say is that the legislature should find a way to deal with the situation- like the American presidential veto- that can circumvent the G.D. refusing to sign the law.
They shouldn't have to do that, though. I suppose they will, as having no need for rules is easier than making people follow them.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
The president doesn't make laws either but that doesn't stop him, from what I've seen, from refusing to sign bills he disagreed with.
That is irrelevant to this case. The Grand Duke is not an executive head of state like the president. He should have advocated for constitutional change before he usurped power like he did.

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Originally Posted by Nitefeatherz View Post
The legislature either amended the laws until the president agreed or overrode the veto with a 2/3 vote.
That would be unacceptable in a constitutional monarchy unless all bills must receive a 2/3 vote. The Grand Duke should have no role in deciding how bills must be passed. His job is not to inflict his personal whims and fancies on others.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:25 AM
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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.
So it would mean if he went through with signing it, his reason would be that he was just doing his job, what hes expected to do, even though it went against his conscience. I see. Tough call.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:56 AM
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So it would mean if he went through with signing it, his reason would be that he was just doing his job, what hes expected to do, even though it went against his conscience. I see. Tough call.
His conscience has nothing to do with the matter. He must have signed tons of laws he does not agree with by now, but he signed them. All other democratic heads-of-state must sign laws they do not agree with on a daily basis. All of them signed, also on the ethical issues. That is their job, and signing a law does not mean that you agree with the contence but that the legeslative procedures were correct.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:35 AM
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I find this all very confusing....probably because I'm coming from the US perspective of a system of checks and balances between the three branches of government. I think if GDH opposed a bill/law, he should have the right to oppose it, but the parliment should also have a means of overriding the GD's "veto". To simply pass another bill to ammend the constitution thereby stripping the GD of his authority to approve/veto bills isn't right. (To ammend the US Consitution requires a nationwide referendum and vote.). I think that disrespects/devalues/weakens the constitution to the point where it becomes possible for governments to be overthrown and dictatorships to be established.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:16 PM
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But, as Elspeth explained, the role of the Grand Duke can in no way be compared to the role of the President of the USA, or the French President, for that matter. Many heads of state in Europe are, indeed, no more then "puppets" when it comes to politics. The content of the bill doesn't matter, when it is passed in Parliament, it must become a law. They have a symbolical function, and they have no right to meddle with politics (except in extreme cases, like King Albert I during WWI, but even he asked permission in Parliament to take control). A monarch is Head of State by birthright. Because he is not democratically chosen, he has no right whatsoever to stop democratically passed laws/bills.

The President of the US, for instance, has an active influence in his country's politics, he chooses whoever he wants in his government, and he decides on the political course. He is Head of Government as well as Head of State.
Constitutional monarchs, on the other hand, are only Head of State. They symbolize unity, history, and because of their (usually) long reign, also continuity. That is all. That the Grand Duke "had" to sign a law before it could come into effect was only because the people allowed him to have this prerogative. It does not give him the right to oppose a democratically voted law.
And if he feels that this law isn't what the people want, then all he has to do is wait, because if parliament shoves a law through the people's throat which they totally don't want, it is more than likely that the next legislature will abolish the law again. (that's democracy: if you don't do what the people want once you're chosen, you won't get chosen again)

Also, democracy does not mean that everyone can do as they like. That is anarchy. A democracy means that people can have their say, but they have to follow the majority. One person enforcing his views on a whole country is not democratic, on the contrary. And a lot of people enforcing their views on one person is unfair, but democratic. Democracy is not per definition fair for everyone. That's just the major weakness of the system.
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