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Old 07-22-2017, 07:01 AM   #1
Phantasm
 
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Default Admin Rank question

I didn't actually pay attention in my poli-sci class when we discussed theories about Parliamentary Monarchies, particularly when the Monarch has actual political powers instead of being a figurehead, so I'm not entirely sure how to handle this:

A few assumptions I'm working with:
  • The Monarch is head of the Executive branch with possible Judicial powers as well.
  • The Prime Minister is head of the Legislature; in this particular example this is a Parliament, but it could as easily be a Roman-style Senate.
  • The Monarch appoints and can dismiss/replace the Prime Minister.

For argument's sake let's give the Monarch an Administrative Rank 7, and a Member of Parliament an Administrative Rank 6.

Is the Prime Minister Rank 6 or Rank 7 in such a system? Are other Ministers - heads of such things as Ministry of Diplomacy/State, Ministry of Finance/Treasury, Ministry of War, etc. - effectively Rank 6 or 7 in this schema? Does the Prime Minister answer to the Monarch or considered an "equal" of sorts?

In the United States style system, I'd rate the President (head of the Executive Branch), Speaker of the House, President of the Senate (co-heads of the Legislative Branch), and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (head of the Judicial Branch) as all Rank 7, as none of them actually answer to any of the others (with the exception of the President of the Senate being the Vice President of the Executive branch, but we can sub the president pro temp for that role if need be, in a situation where the VP is unavailable to fill the role, like when VP Agnew resigned). But I have no clue how things really work in a Parliamentary/active Monarchy combination system.

Can someone knowledgeable about the relevant political theory help me out?




I shouldn't have to say this, but please keep the comments about any particular administration to the theory and not commentary about the people involved. Please avoid terms like "Republican", "Democrat", "Tory", "conservative", "liberal", "socialist", etc., unless using them in the vaguest sense as labels in examples. I'm not trying to start a political debate, just stat out a character who happens to be a Prime Minister where the Monarch has actual political authority.
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Last edited by Phantasm; 07-22-2017 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Admin Rank question

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
IFor argument's sake let's give the Monarch an Administrative Rank 7, and a Member of Parliament an Administrative Rank 6.
I think that's where you've gone wrong. I'm arguing from analogy with the British system in the days when the Monarch had actual executive power. Basic Members of Parliament have nothing like that much Rank; they arguably do not have Administrative Rank at all, since they have no individual executive power, and are generally far less significant than members of the US Congress.

A Prime Minister may be "strong", with definite authority over his ministers, or "weak", first amongst equals in the senior ministers. One way to tell is if the senior ministers have a right to consult the monarch without going through the PM. The British system started with a relatively weak prime minister, but the role has gradually strengthened over two centuries.

That's another place where US experience is misleading: the authoritative US constitution was constructed in response to arbitrary behaviour by monarchs, at least in part. You won't find anything like that in a country with an executive monarch, and as a result, the actual, as opposed to formal, structures of government will evolve far more freely than they do in the USA.

I'd give a strong Prime Minister Administrative Rank 6, and his senior ministers Rank 5. Their junior ministers would have rank 4, as would the top levels of the civil service.

A weak Prime Minister still has Administrative Rank 6, and so do his senior ministers. Their junior ministers would have rank 5 or 4, as would the top levels of the civil service.

The actual operation of government is very strongly driven by influencing the monarch. A result of this is that the members of his household become important political positions.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:25 AM   #3
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This is discussed at length in GURPS Social Engineering.

The monarch does not have Administrative Rank as a monarch, any more than they have Clerical Rank as head of the church, or Military Rank as the person to whom generals and admirals swear their allegiance. Or any more than the President, as commander in chief of the armed forces, has Military Rank.

The monarch has high Status, from 6 (for the monarch of a minor country) to 8 (for the emperor of a world empire, or for a divine king). And if they have actual executive or judicial power, they also have equal Political Rank. So you may end up, for example, with a king with Political Rank 6 [30] and Status 6 [20] being in command of a general with Military Rank 8 [40].

There are several worked examples in Chapter 2 of SE.
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:32 PM   #4
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Admin Rank question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
I didn't actually pay attention in my poli-sci class when we discussed theories about Parliamentary Monarchies, particularly when the Monarch has actual political powers instead of being a figurehead, so I'm not entirely sure how to handle this:

A few assumptions I'm working with:
  • The Monarch is head of the Executive branch with possible Judicial powers as well.
  • The Prime Minister is head of the Legislature; in this particular example this is a Parliament, but it could as easily be a Roman-style Senate.
  • The Monarch appoints and can dismiss/replace the Prime Minister.

For argument's sake let's give the Monarch an Administrative Rank 7, and a Member of Parliament an Administrative Rank 6.

Is the Prime Minister Rank 6 or Rank 7 in such a system? Are other Ministers - heads of such things as Ministry of Diplomacy/State, Ministry of Finance/Treasury, Ministry of War, etc. - effectively Rank 6 or 7 in this schema? Does the Prime Minister answer to the Monarch or considered an "equal" of sorts?

In the United States style system, I'd rate the President (head of the Executive Branch), Speaker of the House, President of the Senate (co-heads of the Legislative Branch), and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (head of the Judicial Branch) as all Rank 7, as none of them actually answer to any of the others (with the exception of the President of the Senate being the Vice President of the Executive branch, but we can sub the president pro temp for that role if need be, in a situation where the VP is unavailable to fill the role, like when VP Agnew resigned). But I have no clue how things really work in a Parliamentary/active Monarchy combination system.

Can someone knowledgeable about the relevant political theory help me out?




I shouldn't have to say this, but please keep the comments about any particular administration to the theory and not commentary about the people involved. Please avoid terms like "Republican", "Democrat", "Tory", "conservative", "liberal", "socialist", etc., unless using them in the vaguest sense as labels in examples. I'm not trying to start a political debate, just stat out a character who happens to be a Prime Minister where the Monarch has actual political authority.
The powers of a British monarch vary according to time period and the political theory and personalities involved. For instance in the eighteenth century a British monarch was very much like a US President in executive role whereas in modern times, a monarch is mostly clerical, literally or figurative(he or she takes on the ceremonial functions of government including any religious ones becoming like an Archon Basilus). This separation of ceremony from concrete is a common organizational technique and has many advantages, although it does have the disadvantage from the monarchs point of view that being an icon is a hard thing to live up to.

A prime minister where the monarch has actual authority would probably be a professional statesman appointed either by the monarch or the parliament-moot-estates to council him on the details someone born to the purple can't be trusted to have as well as someone who did politics for a living. He would have to have Savoire-Faire just to start with to be able to work with his master.

I hope to get back to you.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
The powers of a British monarch vary according to time period and the political theory and personalities involved. For instance in the eighteenth century a British monarch was very much like a US President in executive role whereas in modern times, a monarch is mostly clerical, literally or figurative(he or she takes on the ceremonial functions of government including any religious ones becoming like an Archon Basilus). This separation of ceremony from concrete is a common organizational technique and has many advantages, although it does have the disadvantage from the monarchs point of view that being an icon is a hard thing to live up to.
I believe the technical term for that role is "head of state" as opposed to "head of government."

Quote:
A prime minister where the monarch has actual authority would probably be a professional statesman appointed either by the monarch or the parliament-moot-estates to council him on the details someone born to the purple can't be trusted to have as well as someone who did politics for a living. He would have to have Savoire-Faire just to start with to be able to work with his master.
Other arrangements are possible. It appears that under the ancien régime, in France, the legislative power was held by the roi, the executive power by ministers who reported to him, and the judicial power by the parlements. There were situations like the roi decreeing a law, and the parlement refusing to register it as valid, and in some cases the roi would stage what amounted to a sit-in until parlement surrendered.

And then there was Louis XIV, who for much of his life was his own prime minister, holding both legislative and executive powers.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:48 PM   #6
roguebfl
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Default Re: Admin Rank question

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
whereas in modern times, a monarch is mostly clerical, literally or figurative(he or she takes on the ceremonial functions of government including any religious ones becoming like an Archon Basilus). This separation of ceremony from concrete is a common organizational technique and has many advantages, although it does have the disadvantage from the monarchs point of view that being an icon is a hard thing to live up to.
the monarch does hold a very important apolitical power that blends very well there cultural role. They wield the power pardon, where the letter of the law doesn't not sit justly with the communities needs.
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:01 PM   #7
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the monarch does hold a very important apolitical power that blends very well there cultural role. They wield the power pardon, where the letter of the law doesn't not sit justly with the communities needs.
They also have the power of patronage, not necessarily the official power to dig into Human Resources and move favorites around(though it is hard to avoid that happening behind the scenes at times), but the power that occurs to all wealth and prestige to sponsor things.

A monarch also always has hidden powers. They have access to state secrets and can change policy by subtle pushing.
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