Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Numbers on the King of Sweden

HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has reason to smile. New polling asked if the monarch, creeping up on 65-years-old (retirement age in Sweden) shows that 2/3rds of the Swedish population support the King of Sweden reigning until his death. Not surprisingly Swedes who categorize themselves as leftists are more likely to prefer the King abdicating in favor of Crown Princess Victoria whereas those Swedes who categorize themselves as "center-right" are more inclined to want the King to stay for life. What struck me as a bit unusual was that Swedes living in smaller towns were more likely to support the King abdicating next year whereas those living in the big cities are more inclined to support the King remaining on the throne. I would have expected the reverse to be true.

Fortunately, of those polled 74% said they supported their monarchy while 19% thought it should be abolished and the country become officially republican -and that is 19% too many! As I have often said, such numbers, while comforting, cannot be an excuse for inaction as the same study also showed that whereas only 19% of the public in Sweden are republicans, a much higher percentage of politicians are! No numbers were listed but for republicans making up such a small percentage of the population, a much larger number of the members of parliament have been open and vocal about wishing Sweden to abolish the monarchy and become a republic.

This means one thing; the Swedish people need to see to it that these MP's are not reelected in the future. It also shows that the democratically elected representatives of the people are obviously not reflecting the views and values of the people who put them in office. Finally, this shows what becomes of those who bargain with liberal revolutionaries. There is hardly a country in Europe more liberal, more socialistic than Sweden and the King has a purely ceremonial position with absolutely no emergency or reserve powers at all anymore. Yet, those who are hard-core revolutionary types will never be satisfied so long as any monarch is on their throne, no matter how powerless or benevolent they may be. Good enough reason in my book to stop negotiating with their types altogether.

Long live the King of Sweden!


  1. Of course they want rid of him. Politicians aren't happy until they can thmselves gain all Power. Even thugh the King is Purely eremonial, his existance prevents them from beign Head-of-State, and he gets media coverage which is important too.

    Besides, they still live in the Mythos of Revolution, in which Revolutionaries are always Heroes, who fight to overthrow an evil and unjust Dictator, and all Kings are Dictators. They don't see reality, they se the Narraive that defines Reality.

  2. Those who dismiss monarchs with a purely symbolic role make some good points but at the end of the day, as I think this study shows, symbols are important. The revolutionary types, sooner or later, will turn against any monarch no matter how powerless. There is no monarch with less power in Europe than the King of Sweden and even his very family descends from a guy who was originally a French revolutionary -but still he is king, and the libs don't like that. Still he is a symbol of Swedish history, which they despise as they despise everything before the socialists took over and the King is at least the inheritor of the long line of Swedish kings going back through the proud history of that nation and these are people who despise all national traditions be they alive or even simply an honored memory. They want them gone, they want them erased and that is why they cannot be reasoned with.

  3. Indeed, that the country supported abdication was a surprise. The countryside is more often a bastion of conservatism, while the cities give rise to more socialist types. Out of curiousity, does the Princess' politics have anything to do with this? Or is it just a "The King should abide by the same laws as the rest of us, and that includes retirement" (which is nice of them, but hardly true - we all need some form of employment in our elder years)?

    As for politicians being more republican than their electorate, that's no surprise. Politicians are generally members of the elite, an aristocracy in all but name. Their membership of that aristocracy is dependent on their agreement with the elite consensus (which, on the matter at hand, is "Republics good, monarchies bad", which has all the dumb five-year-old's logic behind it that this distillation suggests), and only the brave and idealistic speak against it.

    Indeed, the pursuit of power so lauded in democracy is inherently anti-monarchical, for if total power cannot be attained, then its pursuit becomes less than satisfactory to these megalomaniacs. That is why Australians don't trust politicians - the pursuit of power is inherently corruptive, and we know this, even if it's never articulated.

    The scandalous evidence should be sufficient on its own.

  4. I wondered about that myself. I don't know if Crown Princess Victoria has ever made any of her views known, perhaps some Swedish experts will enlighten, but my best guess would be that she simply represents another step in the liberal direction for Sweden as she only became Crown Princess after the law was passed doing away with male premogeniture. It may be that the libs simply favor the symbolism of an elder sister taking the throne for the first time when a son is available for the job.

    I completely agree about politicians making up their own elite class. That is one reason why I do not support 'big government' -I don't like politicians having too much power (or really any power if I'm being idealistic) and even an absolute monarchy is a smaller government than most modern states; goes back to Rev. Byles famous quote about 1 tyrant 3,000 miles away vs 3,000 tyrants 1 mile away.

  5. I myself am Swedish, member of the Royalist Union interest group, member of our version of the "conservatives" and striving for governmental power some day, in the distance. And i have also been shocked to hear that the MP:s are so more supportive of revolution than the people, which is extremely sad and wrong. The government should reflect the will and attitude of the people, and in this issue it clearly don't.

    But when it comes to argument, i follow the Republicans here in Sweden well. And allow me to give a short summary of their arguments and what they want.

    Former leader of the Republicans (Social Democrat Hillevi Larsson) had a open debate against a royalist at Grand Hotell in Lund, and i attended. Some of her main points against the monarchy was the following:

    1. The king was bullied in school because he was crown-prince, and it is not nice.. If he had not been crown-prince his childhood would had been easier.
    2. Kings and Queens can't be prosecuted for any crimes, they are above the law. NO-one should be above the law.
    3. It is wrong to inherit positions in a modern society. Monarchy represents our past as a military dictatorship, similar to that of Saddam Hussein...

    Other very infuential republicans are Birgitta Olsson (Folkpartiet = Liberals) and Karin Pilsäter (also a Liberal), one of em is even our European Minister atm. In 2006 they proposed a bill to bann celebrating our national day, remove our national anthem, remove the king from our coins, and change our national day to something more peacefull. For it is wrong to celebrate a past of dictatorship, brutality, war, opression of the women and so forth. They claimed that Sweden had not had a history of liberation, where something great happend, so there was nothing to celebrate, much better to have the day when universal rights to vote (both male and female) happend as our new national day.

    Sorry for long post, but that is a bit of what the republicans work for.

  6. The Crown Princess has not made any of her views heard concerning politics, she is very proffessional. The King however has made two famous political statements, of which both caused great anger in the liberal press (and of course among republicans and socialist).

    1. He once stated that he thought it was wrong to deprive Carl Philip his place in the throne when he was growing up. Mainly due to the time and effort invested in him to be a good successor. But Victoria seems much better.
    2. After the Tsunami disaster he held a very famous speach, and the days before that he vaguely said "Sometimes it is easier to sit idle and act slow, for the fear of doing wrong is greater then the risk of doing something right". And that was taken as critizism for the government party whom had been accused quite a lot of being to slow to act. The party secretary demanded the King to resign. - This lady is now one of our european politicians.

  7. Thanks for the information sir! Of course, as usual it doesn't take much to dismiss the republican arguments. Common-born children are bullied at school every day and no thinks making them all royalty would solve the problem. Presidents, in the USA for example, are not supposed to be above the law but they effectively are anyway. Nixon was guilty of a number of crimes but he was pardoned by Ford, Clinton was guilty of prejury and he was not punished for it. The "honor" of the office must be protected of course. And everyone inherits positions and in the Swedish monarchy the King certainly does not inherit any power. He might inherit a good life (in the material sense) but were he not king and simply a wealthy private citizen his children would inherit that lifestyle just the same.

    As far as the whole 'military dictatorship' nonsense -that is absurd. It would make as much sense to abolition the Swedish armed forces for such a reason. Swedes should be proud of their history.

  8. I recall another incident when the King was harshly criticized for (gasp) saying some nice things about the Sultan of Brunei when on a state visit to Brunei...

  9. "[The Jewish nation] dares spread an irreconcilable hatred against all nations; it revolts against all its masters. Always superstitious, always avid of the well-being enjoyed by others, always barbarous, crawling in misfortune, and insolent in prosperity. Here are what were the Jews in the eyes of the Greeks and the Romans who could read their books." —Voltaire, Essai sur les mœurs (1756) Tome 1, page 186


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