I'm Glad She Is OK

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands survived an assassination attempt, though several of her staff and onlookers were not so lucky.

Years ago, my parents actually hosted Queen Beatrix's visit to Houston.   As a libertarian, I don't have much use for hereditary monarchy, but she was quite approachable and helped smooth over my wtf-am-I-doing-here nervousness at the event.  She also paid a visit to Princeton University while I was there, so she's got that going for her too.


  1. dearieme:

    "As a libertarian, I don’t have much use for hereditary monarchy": how contrary of you. Surely a device that helps defend a nation from the temptation to fawn over an elected politician should be welcomed by libertarians? It was a useful Separation of Powers that your founding fathers overlooked.

  2. richard:

    I'm not sure what to think of the queen. It is not so easy.

    The costs are the better part of 100m US$ a year, but then again: Having a president would cost the same. Don't think that Sarkozy would be any cheaper!

    The real power the queen has is 2 fold. One very visible, one not so visible.

    The first point is that when elections in the netherlands have been held, the queen appoints the guy who should investigate which parties could form a government. This is real power. Remember: In the netherlands, it is really one man one vote. The result is: you have app 10 different parties in 'congress' (dutch: 2nd chamber). And we don't have a system that elects a president. So you vote for a party and this party deals and wheels and suddenly here comes the prime minister. Nobody voted for him, he just got the majority in the '2nd chamber' to get along with him and his fellow cabinet ministers.

    So to cut it short: You vote for a party, the queen investigates which parties could form a government and the president is just the party with the most votes.

    The second, more subtle power she got: She has vastly more experience.

    Just imagine: Here comes a politician who has been in the '2nd chamber' for maybe 4 or 8 years. He doesn't know shit. Only what he heard at the coffee machine. He has to discuss with the queen how his new cabinet-team will look like and on what common shared basis they will rule the country. Here is the queen who has been the head of state for 25 years. She also has a formal training how to act as a president (so has her son who will replace here in a few years). She gets a briefing on about every significant subject on a daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly basis. She knows everybody, everybody knows her.

    That's real power.

  3. Shenpen:

    "As a libertarian, I don’t have much use for hereditary monarchy, "

    Read this pls. (PDF) http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/11_2/11_2_3.pdf