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CONLANG  June 2004, Week 3

CONLANG June 2004, Week 3

Subject:

CHAT: figureheads etc [WAS: Re: For information only !]

From:

Stephen Mulraney <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 19 Jun 2004 09:37:33 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (54 lines)

Joe wrote:

> Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>
>>
>> Actually, the French system makes so much sense that it's far from the
>> only country having such a system. Like parliamentary systems like the
>> British one, France has separate heads of state and government. It
>> just happens that our head of state is a president, like in Germany
>> and Italy for instance. The only difference with Germany and Italy
>> being that our head of state is elected directly by the people rather
>> than indirectly by the parliament, and has actual executive powers
>> (which go in line with being elected directly. One wouldn't waste a
>> direct election for a figurehead).
>

Why not? A figurehead serves a very visible and public function too,
even if it's not a position of power. The issue of whether these
functions are of value or not is another argument, but given a
figurehead, why not have an elected figurehead? But see my remarks below.

>
> Of course, Ireland is an example of a Parliamentary system with a
> directly elected President - where the Taoiseach(Prime Minister) leads
> the Executive.
>

The Irish president *is* directly elected, however she's mostly a
figurehead. A waste? I don't think so; if you're going to have a
figurehead, I think he or she might as well be personally popular. A
contrast is the Lord Mayor of Dublin: a figurehead, but elected by the
Council (formerly Corporation). The Lord Mayor commands no particular
respect or loyalty, and it's widely regarded as a pointless position
(and add to that the fact that the term is only a year...). The
President is fairly popular, on the other hand, with most criticisms of
her really taking issue with the value of having a figurehead head of
state, rather then with her personally. (The incumbent is also the first
President to come from Northern Ireland).

ObUsage (ObRant?): "Prime Minister" for "Taoiseach" is more or less
wrong. It's never used in Ireland, and sounds like nothing but a typical
mistake by a foreigner (well, a British person, really ). Only after
living in England for three years, have I come to condone it, and only
because the misuse is so widespread here. If you really must use a
generic title in place of "Taoiseach", then say "Premier", not "Prime
Minister".

:)

s.
--
Stephen Mulraney                            [log in to unmask]
The best way to remove a virus is with vi and a steady hand -- me

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