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  #21  
Old 09-08-2016, 03:54 PM
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This seems to be a problem with this new idea of online petitions being significant enough to warrant either a referendum or parliamentary time. In the UK, the suggestions for various petitions range from the emotional to the downright loopy but very few actually ever get debated. I imagine that it's a numbers issue, Luxembourg doesn't have a very large population and so maybe the barrier for when such a petition becomes a topic for debate or a vote is set too low? Either way, it seems to me that one bored republican has managed to grab the attention of people who are just generally disaffected with the government and have signed up using the Grand Ducal family as a scapegoat.

Which can be very dangerous, as the Brexit vote here proved. Before this sort of online petition business started, the government would look at polls and assess the need for a parliamentary debate. And with the Grand Duke's approval rating being consistently high and support for the monarchy in Luxembourg being equally impressive, perhaps it would never have got a headline, let alone a serious possibility of an actual referendum being held?
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  #22  
Old 09-08-2016, 06:09 PM
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You are coupling a personal popularity of individuals to a preferred system of state. The question is not if you like Grand Duke Henri. The question is: should Luxembourg keep the system in which the head of state is delivered by hereditary succession or not. That is a total different question. I have given the great appreciation and popularity for King Michael of Romania as an example. This does not translate in a desire to restore the monarchy in Romania. Possibly King Felipe of Spain is well-liked. That does not mean that the Spanish monarchy will survive a referendum indeed.
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  #23  
Old 09-09-2016, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
You are coupling a personal popularity of individuals to a preferred system of state. The question is not if you like Grand Duke Henri. The question is: should Luxembourg keep the system in which the head of state is delivered by hereditary succession or not. That is a total different question. I have given the great appreciation and popularity for King Michael of Romania as an example. This does not translate in a desire to restore the monarchy in Romania. Possibly King Felipe of Spain is well-liked. That does not mean that the Spanish monarchy will survive a referendum indeed.
Oh I agree. But let's not overlook that it does play a part. Perhaps the best example of personal popularity ensuring the continuity and stability of the monarchy would be Victoria and Edward VII. Britain came very close to being a republic because the Queen was personally disliked and regarded as selfish which brought the reputation of the whole institution into question. Yet as soon as Bertie took over and brought back a bit of flair, the monarchy was safe as houses.

So I think it does translate somewhat into how secure a monarchy is but I agree with you that it isn't enough to say Henri is popular, therefore the Luxembourgish throne is safe. But certainly you can't have one without the other, the question is, without Henri would the popularity of the whole institution be as high as it is?
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  #24  
Old 09-10-2016, 02:04 AM
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There is a cycle that also follows whether the issue of having a monarchy or republic comes up and usually when a country's is facing a downward economy, the first issue is whether a monarchy is relevant to that country anymore. When the economy is booming, then monarchy is set aside and the government at the time can live with it. In the last several years Europe, as the rest of the world has experienced a downward trend in it's economies plus added costs due to terrorism and the massive influx of refugees which has taxed the most robust of the European countries and even Luxembourg, a wealthy little country has been touched.
Naturally the politicians and public turn to the Royal Families and question what they see as "lavish life styles" that "they're paying for." This follows on a news story a few weeks ago concerning the the amount of funds allotted to the Grand Ducal family by the Govt. and if they "deserved" the money they received. I remember that the Grand Duchess missed a couple of appearances and it was explained she had family matters to attend to when she was really boycotting the events because she was angry at the Govt. inquires. This is kind of what I recall. It'll certainly be interesting to follow.
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  #25  
Old 09-10-2016, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Katrianna View Post
T
Naturally the politicians and public turn to the Royal Families and question what they see as "lavish life styles" that "they're paying for." This follows on a news story a few weeks ago concerning the the amount of funds allotted to the Grand Ducal family by the Govt. and if they "deserved" the money they received. I remember that the Grand Duchess missed a couple of appearances and it was explained she had family matters to attend to when she was really boycotting the events because she was angry at the Govt. inquires. This is kind of what I recall. It'll certainly be interesting to follow.
I hope that she wasn't boycotting events becuase of such an issue.
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  #26  
Old 09-10-2016, 03:12 AM
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I would say that, glaringly obvious though it is, if a referendum on monarchy is presented in any country, it is much easier for the population to get rid of, with a good conscience, a monarch who is regarded as remote, unlikeable, arrogant or lazy. That's why personal popularity of the royal family in question, including the Consort, does come very much into the equation.

How can we say for instance that ex Queen Frederika's personal unpopularity didn't play a part in the subsequent referendums that kept her son from retaining the throne of Greece? Would Prince Henrik's actions impact on Queen Margrethe if a referendum on the monarchy had been held this year? I don't think in the latter case it would have imperilled Margrethe's throne (probably there would instead have been calls for the Crown Princely couple to ascend the throne), but we don't know, do we?

Even in Britain, if there was a referendum in which everyone had to vote, I don't know whether the monarchy would survive. This is in spite of the Queen's decades of selfless devotion to duty, but because Charles, the future King, has a great deal of personal baggage and, (among other things,) is regarded as a meddler in public affairs. So yes, popularity of monarchs and consorts does matter. It can tip the balance between retaining a throne and not having a throne at all.
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  #27  
Old 09-10-2016, 03:47 AM
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The Luxembourgers have the pleasure to be the wealthiest memberstate of the European Union. Their Budget Balance (budget deficit) is around zero or shows a little surplus. Their income tax and VAT-rates are under average (as every passant knows: shopping and tanking in the Grand-Duchy is profitable). So one could say: a heaven of serenity and stability. But exactly when things are going extremely well, people have time "to change". As so often, "change" is the magic word.

Note that in Western-Europe the biggest changes in society happened when the economy boomed. Look at Spain, enjoying a never-seen economic boom but also unrecognizeably changed in state and society. From a once so Catholic country to an almost libertarian open state where everything is possible. Look at Sweden. Is there any country not so prosperous as big, clean, safe, tranquil, beautiful and über-wealthy Sweden? No any reason to change the status-quo, one would say. Still they were the first to change it all, to throw centuries of traditions out of the window and make the Swedish Model (the most ceremonial and most un-political monarch in Europe). They were the first to change the hereditary succession. They have changed the face of the monarchy so, that it is hard to believe that proceedings in 1974 and in 2016 are actually in the same country. Why change? So rich and prosperous? Stayed out of the wreckages of WWI and WWII? Wealthy and healthy Swedes driving in their Saabs and Volvos to their countryside cottage with sauna, listening to Abba and eating from an IKEA-table? Africans fleeing in rubberboats to reach Fortress Europe see Sweden as Paradise.

Conclusion: when all goes well in a country, when people are rich, happy, carefree and the economy is booming, there is no need for a change and the monarchy is safe? I think that is a conclusion which can not be made.
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  #28  
Old 09-10-2016, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
I would say that, glaringly obvious though it is, if a referendum on monarchy is presented in any country, it is much easier for the population to get rid of, with a good conscience, a monarch who is regarded as remote, unlikeable, arrogant or lazy. That's why personal popularity of the royal family in question, including the Consort, does come very much into the equation.


not having a throne at all.
Of course it matters. that's why sensible royals like the queen Eliz II, are very careful to be seen as behaving well and were angry when Charles and Diana were making a big drama of their martital problems. If there is "not v. popular king " who is getting on, people may put up with him and the monarchy because he has an heir who is hard working pleasant and popular. Or people may overlook a not very wonderful consort or Royal because his/her spouse is very good at the job... but it does matter...
From what I know of Luxemburg, (Short visit there) the RF IS pretty well liked and seen as a good thing and devoted to duty
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  #29  
Old 09-10-2016, 10:08 AM
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Since always people of Luxembourg were devoted to the Grand Ducal Family except when they wanted to sell their late Grand Duchess Jewels at an Auction.
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  #30  
Old 09-10-2016, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by maria-olivia View Post
Since always people of Luxembourg were devoted to the Grand Ducal Family except when they wanted to sell their late Grand Duchess Jewels at an Auction.
You forgot the constitutional crisis around Henri refusing to sign the Euthanasia Bill, much to the discontent of the elected parliament and the electorate... The Luxembourg Government acted swiftly: with surprising speed and ease, and almost unanimously, Parliament approved to take away the grand-ducal consent.

Since then the Grand-Duke no longer sanctions bills. With his reckless gamble Henri achieved nothing: the Euthanasia Act is simply in force and he has lost his major prerogative.

Another example: everybody knows hoe pious Henri is. Despite his discontent, Parliament approved to take God away from Acts and Decrees: no longer "Nous, Henri, par la grace de Dieu, Grand-Duc de Luxembourg, Duc de Nassau" but a simple formula without a Christian reference.

These examples show the changing attitude towards the Grand-Duke and the monarchy.
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  #31  
Old 09-10-2016, 10:01 PM
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But surely that happened with Baudouin and the abortion bill and that was years ago, yet the Belgian monarchy still stands? And when a monarch is overtly Catholic, these things will happen as society moves forward and if Henri has lost some of his power as a result, it would only be a crisis or cause for concern if no monarch before him had given up political authority in exchange for a purely ceremonial role. And look at Denmark. Sweden. Norway. It's almost totally ceremonial in these cases and yet the monarchies there are as secure as ever. There may be changing attitudes but one swallow doesn't make a summer and despite the problems and pitfalls, something tells me this petition will come to naught and Luxembourg will remain a monarchy for many years to come.
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  #32  
Old 09-11-2016, 12:14 PM
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Duc you will never find through internat what Grand Duchess Charlotte did to pay her late husband Casino Debts.
When i Lived in Luxembourg old people told me long stories about that.
Grand Duchess Charlotte managed this so well and it remains private.
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  #33  
Old 09-11-2016, 01:51 PM
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I have no doubt that the Grand Duke will "win" a referendum but I am afraid for the domino effect: the call for similar referendums in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.
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  #34  
Old 09-11-2016, 02:30 PM
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Despite calls for referendums, I think it's extraordinarily difficult to actually go about the process of abolishing a monarchy and setting up a new republican system. I can forsee a lot of economic upheaval as well. Why fix what ain't broken? While I certainly understand the point of republicans I can't think of any case, at least in Europe, where the monarchy is the cause of any political or economic problems.
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  #35  
Old 09-11-2016, 08:33 PM
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I agree that Grand Duke Henri is probably safe from the referendum, but the Monarchies in Belgium and Spain will face the same movement in the near future. I'll have to take Duc's knowledge about the Netherlands.
OT: I know it's not about popularity, but I was quite surprised, when a month or two ago polls were released concerning the Monarch's popularity in the Netherlands and the results revealed a noticeable dropped for the King.
Of course, I'm not Dutch, but does the public have a lack of confidence in Willem-Alexander's ability to be Monarch as opposed to his mother, grandmother or are other factors in play? Thanks in advance.
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  #36  
Old 09-12-2016, 03:45 AM
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Of course, I'm not Dutch, but does the public have a lack of confidence in Willem-Alexander's ability to be Monarch as opposed to his mother, grandmother or are other factors in play? Thanks in advance.
It has nothing to do with the popularity of the King, let alone his immensely popular spouse Queen Máxima. It is simply the dry question: "Do you prefer a republic or a monarchy?". That is a rational question and the rational answer of many rational thinking people will be: "I prefer a system in which we can elect our own head of state". To put it better: the system looses its popularity but remains afloat thanks to personal popularity.

Needless to say that this is extremely unsecure. Look at Spain. King Juan Carlos did hit alltime highs in popularity. The same King also experienced an immense downfall in popularity. As the saying goes: "Popularity comes by feet and goes on horseback" (Popularity is slowly won but quickly lost).
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  #37  
Old 09-12-2016, 03:57 AM
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I believe that the saying refers to 'trust' and not to 'popularity'. Popularity can easily be gained and can easily be lost too. I agree with you that personal popularity is a weak base for a monarchy, but it is indeed what keeps them afloat. In this age of meritocracy a monarchy is an anomaly indeed, few people will support the system sec.

I do not agree with your previous analysis that thus far these big changes were done in countries that were stable and prosperous. Most dramatic changes in monarchies happened in times of crisis; lost wars or communist take-overs mainly. No monarchy in Europe has disappeared in a time without a national disaster AFAIK (save the Portuguese monarchy perhaps). During a period of prosperity and stability the government and people can take the luxery of debating minor changes to monarchies and adapting the institute in a way that is more suited to the values of the present day and age. I do not see that as a bad thing but as an absolute necessity for survival.
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  #38  
Old 09-12-2016, 04:08 AM
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Petition 703 "Pour l'introduction d'une république au Luxembourg en remplacement de la monarchie" is available for signatures and ends October 24th.
Chambre des Députés du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg - Pétition publique n°703

Rules for signing a petition at:
Chambre des Députés du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

We'll see if it reaches the minimum 4500 needed to move forward, although I assume the mailed-in signatures are not known until the end.
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  #39  
Old 09-12-2016, 04:09 AM
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That is the danger of these referendums. I feel many fellow readers on these forums are mistaking personal popularity as a sign that the system itself enjoys the same popularity, which is not true.

It is very well possible that the Luxembourgers (or the Dutch, or the Belgians) really wish all the best and good luck of the world to their royal families but indeed want to end the system of hereditary succession.

Most likely they will be generous and forthcoming towards their former royal families to make it possible to live in dignity and style, acccording their status. That would result in a situation like in Germany, where former royal families (Hannover, Württemberg, Bayern, Hohenzollern, Waldeck-Pyrmont, etc.) still reside in their ancestral seats and enjoy a prominent place in society but have no official role anymore.
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  #40  
Old 09-12-2016, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma
Petition 703 "Pour l'introduction d'une république au Luxembourg en remplacement de la monarchie" is available for signatures and ends October 24th.
Chambre des Députés du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg - Pétition publique n°703

Rules for signing a petition at:
Chambre des Députés du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

We'll see if it reaches the minimum 4500 needed to move forward, although I assume the mailed-in signatures are not known until the end.
It seems you can just sign the thing, regardless of your nationality. You can even do it multiple times if you give a false name and adress. They do not seem to ask for a digital ID-check.
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