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Good Gentles at Large,
I have received several messages to the effect that the Holy Roman Emporer was elected democratically, and that right-of-arms-royalty threatens our status as an educational organization. This is my rebuttal.
Touche/ (which way does the accent go?).
However, as was pointed out Alianora (mka. Lisa Steele firstname.lastname@example.org):
>> As for democracy, it is certainly period for say the Northern Italian
>> city-states. And was not the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire elected?
>Yes, but democracy in what form? Surely not democracy in exactly the way
>we know it. And yes, the Holy Roman Emperor was elected, but by the
>*princes* of Germany, and candidates came from only one or two elite
>families (Hohenstaufens, Welfs, Hapsburgs). Any adaption of that sort of
>system for SCA use seems to me as mistaken as the king-by-right-of-arms
>system. There is as much room for abuse (if not more) of that sort of
>system (peers jockeying for favour with candidates, and rising
>factionalism) as there is with the present system.
I submit that this method of electing the Holy Roman Emperor be reserved for just that -- an emporer elected by the 13 (more to come?) Laural Crowns. The need for an emperor is, however, a topic which I will leave for my fellow nobles to discuss.
I do wish to address the claim that Crown tourneys are not strictly period (or at least using the titles King and Queen). I cannot respond as to whether this method of selection is period, but I can and do defend the current method. The other alternatives I can think of, to whit, election and primogeniture. These to methods would certainly be period, but IMHO are not tenable in the SCA.
First, election. While election is in period (in the HRO), it was election by the high nobles/princes of Germany/the HRO. As all members of the SCA are considered to be minor nobility, who is to say who would be electors. The princes cannot be electors as the is only one prince/princess at a time (unless you include those of other kingdoms, and that could lead to elitism and royals being chosen from those of a certain class). Royal peers (i.e. dukes, counts) would in tend to chose from among themselves in effect turning the rest of us into serfs.
This leads me to the system of primogeniture (strict heredity). This would leave a very select few being king/queen. As the system is any member has a chance, however slim, to raise his/her Lady/Lord to the title of Princess->Queen/Prince->King.
In Service to Atlantia,
Fhearghuis mac mheic Iain