[Ansteorra] Ducal Perogative

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Sat Nov 10 09:15:19 PST 2007

"robert segrest" wrote:

>At any rate, I am continually amazed that a system of governance that
> theoretically should be one of the worst possible methods for choosing
> leaders seems to usually produce high quality administration, not only
> from our monarchs, but also from the officers they appoint.

The SCA is a volunteer organization, and the principles of government are 
different.  The essential control over the government is not the vote, but 
the fact that we can always walk away.  In essence, the Crown's word is 
law, but they still have no absolute authority over the power of the Crown, 
because their power works through other people (officers, peers, baons, 
event stewards) who can always just resign.

In the East kingdom, if the king decides to dig a privy on the listfield, 
the Curia meets and votes not to do it.  In the West kingdom, if the king 
decides to dig a privy on the listfield, everybody says, "Yes, Your 
Majesty", but it takes several months to find a shovel.  In Ansteorra, if 
the king decides to dig a privy on the listfield, the queen says, "No, 

But in all three places, the system prevents the kind of excesses that 
absolute power usually causes, becase royal power in a volunteer 
organization just doesn't work that way.  We forgot to re-create the 
dungeons, iron maidens, gallows and other little homey touches that make up 
a medieval dictatorship.

> So much for the benefits of democracy.

If you'll think about it, the benefits of democracy are not expected to 
serve a monarchy well.

> I would love to hear from some of our older fighters/marshalls who may
> know more about the history and thinking that led to this unusual custom.

I discussd it at length with King Lloyd, who was our second king, and I've 
watched its history.  It's too complicated to write down, but come up to me 
some time at an event.

Bring beer.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin 

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