Friday, April 12, 2013
Abdication Chatter the World Over
We are told that it was not just that the King might have shot an elephant but that he was vacationing while Spain is in the grip of a disastrous economic crisis and is faced with “harsh” austerity measures. Sorry, I don’t buy it. His Catholic Majesty’s little hunting trip did not cost the Spanish taxpayers a single euro and I see no reason why the King should suffer for the poor economy caused by the idiotic politicians that the Spanish public voted into office. It was the people, not the King, who voted for the men who spent money Spain did not have and it was they who kept voting for more spending, more borrowing and on and on until doubts began to surface about the ability of Spain to make good on such a vast debt. Then came the scandal involving the King’s son-in-law and lately the Infanta Cristina which is almost as ridiculous. Overnight it seemed that Spain became a completely different country. A public that once adored their monarch for giving them democracy suddenly became angry and demanded apologies (which they got). How about every Spaniard who voted for the last couple of decades apologize to the King for ruining his country and to their children (the few that have any) for sacrificing their future for their own immediate comfort?
The basic proposition, in so many words, was that the Crown Princess is just not up to the “job” of being Crown Princess or, one day, Empress consort. If she is unable, is it perhaps best for her to make room for someone who can? That is where the idea of abdication comes in. Yamaori suggests that the time is at hand for the Crown Prince to make a choice and perhaps the best choice for his wife and daughter would be to renounce their positions in favor of his younger brother and sister-in-law whose son, according to the current rules of succession, is set to become Emperor of Japan in the future anyway. I have to admit, as much as I dislike abdications in general, this seemed to make some sense to me. The ardent fans of Crown Princess Masako may take it as a slight against her, but it certainly is not as far as I am concerned. She seems like a very kind and lovely woman and I have nothing but the fondest feelings for her. However, I have been annoyed by the way some people have seized on her case as a way of being critical of the monarchy, as though she is the poor, suffering victim of “the establishment” in much the same way that some did regarding Lady Diana in the UK. If they still held such a view, would it not be best to free her from her gilded cage? Personally, I do not take such a view, nor have I ever viewed the Imperial Household Agency as the bogey man that so many others seem to. However, it does seem fairly clear that Crown Princess Masako is simply not up to the task of fulfilling her duties. This little hiatus has been going on for a decade now.
Feel free to share your thoughts; to abdicate or not to abdicate -that is the question.