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About JamesHackerMP

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  • Birthday 07/17/1978

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  1. In other words, the head of government would have to appoint himself/herself, and that would be bad?
  2. I think you mean a "bridge in Brooklyn" lol
  3. wow....just wow.
  4. I started a thread on constitutional monarchy and its utility in modern democracies today. Not all countries with parliamentary political machinery are monarchies of course. Some are republics, some are constitutional monarchies, and some are what Wikipedia refers to as "crowned republics". What is the purpose (and advantage) of separating the position of head of state and head of government in a democracy? A mostly-ceremonial head of state is a concept that bemuses American political science students, since it's something we're terribly unfamiliar with--we combine the divine and the human natures in one role, like...I dunno, Jesus or something. (Appropriate for its present occupant.) One wonders, if some monarchies are simply "crowned republics" (their chiefs of state have only ceremonial duties, not even in theory do their legal roles bear constitutional substance) then why is there even a head of state at all in some parliamentary governments? The emperor of Japan for example, is little more than a notary public with ceremonial duties. I think it was Walter Bagehot who said the Queen has three roles: the right to be consulted, the right to advise, and the right to warn. The emperor has no such rights, if I understand correctly. The President of Ireland, if I understand, has no rights either. No mystical concept of sovereignty is inherited from the old kings of Ireland. Even the Taoisich--which means "cheiftain"--refers not to their president but to their PM. Here's my question: can you have a parliamentary republic that has no head of state position whatsoever? (Think of the Star Wars prequels: the Supreme Chancellor is elected by the Senate but there is no separate head of state of the Galactic Republic....closest example I can think of.) Would it really matter?
  5. I never insinuated she was being rude (!!!)
  6. Right. It doesn't mean that all of Europe's leaders are the pope's stooges. So in general, Altai, what are you trying to say about these democracies in question?
  7. So who has the ultimate authority to interpret or enforce this law? the provincial Human Rights Commissions?
  8. how far do these hate-speech laws in Canada go?
  9. good point Rue! I think when people bitch about an "elite" it's usually the proverbial "smoke filled room" type of elite. But even that, I would think, bears some further explaining.
  10. Very interesting. The Catholic Church has had enormous influence over Italy, I know. It might still. However, there's nothing wrong with having a photo op with the pope and getting "advice" from him. John Paul II chewed out George W Bush over the Iraq War, yet that didn't cause us to reverse our policy. Even Catholic-dominated democracies, particularly in Europe, are secular enough these days that the Church can't just tell a president or prime minister what to do. They may show the Holy Father respect especially if they are Catholic and in a Catholic-majority country, but that doesn't mean they really give a damn what he thinks. They will politely listen to his advice and do what they please. Don't forget that it was only a couple centuries ago the French were arresting priests and bishops and sending them to guillotine. Since then, France and other Catholic countries of Europe have cut back the church's influence drastically and "secularized" their governments. Rome was probably chosen for the site of the treaties, not because it is a suburb of the Vatican, but because of its symbolic location as the capital of the Roman Empire--the last time those European peoples were united under one roof was under Roman rule (before the Catholic Church existed). So it's pretty symbolic to sign your united Europe treaty in the city that was the last capital under which Europe was united, eh? Don't forget, a lot of countries in the EU do not contain Catholic majorities, or even significant minorities, necessarily. UK, Netherlands, Germany (though there are plenty of Catholics, the majority are Protestant), Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Greece, many of the former Eastern bloc members. And Turkey. Let me try to see clearly what you're thinking. It seems that you believe a democracy shouldn't be influenced or ruled by elites, right?
  11. Can you give me the url link to the photo on the Vatican website so I can study it in detail.
  12. As for the Catholic Church, and the power of the Pope, it is related to the fact that he is the spiritual leader of 1.5 billion Catholics worldwide. The Vatican City-State is also a sovereign country, a political entity designed so as to enclose and protect the "Holy See" (a term which is kind of ephemeral in a way). So he's the head of state of a tiny city state, and the diplomatic power of the Holy See is used to protect and promote the interests of Catholics worldwide. Does that help? I can give you more information, but where specifically would you like me to begin? It's hard to describe someone's power, since power is an ephemeral thing. Whole books have been written about the Pope/Vatican/Catholic Church/Holy See (whatever one cares to call it). My apologies if I sounded sarcastic above. That was inappropriate of me.
  13. What? I don't understand you now. What was your actual question, then? I was responding to your statements. I thought that it is a flawed argument to draw a conclusion before finding out the facts. Is that not logical? I was saying "excuse me" to hotenough, not to you Altai. Hot enough was accusing me of deception, so I responded with a degree of polite levity.
  14. Perhaps you should have done that research BEFORE drawing your conclusions. That usually helps. But to fulfill your desire to know more about the political power of the Pope, I might be able to help there, since I'm Catholic and have done a little reading on the subject of how the Vatican works. It was the previous pope, Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) who was in the Hitler Youth in his youth. You couldn't get out of it, though. Try to get out of the Hitler youth and you end up in deep trouble in National Socialist Germany. At one point I think every young male was enrolled in it upon reaching a certain age. So I can't hold that against Pope Benedict. Oh, excuse me. I'll try to avoid that in the future. My bad.
  15. [glad to see I'm not blocked anymore] So? That doesn't mean anything at all. The pope is also a very influential man worldwide, and a head of state to boot, so it stands to reason that democratic countries would make state visits to the Vatican.