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Selecting Crowns -- Definitions
I have seen a great many very good points made on all sides in the
"Selecting Crowns" thread, but I've also seem some evidence of
unclear thinking and talking-at-cross-purposes. I think that it
may be helpful to Define the Terms of this debate.
First of all, this is what does Corpora currently says about the
Selection of Royalty:
V.A.1 A kingdom is a sovereign entity within the Society which has the
right to select a ruling King and Queen by combat.
VI.A.1.a.(3) Royal Lists. Properly constituted Lists to determine, by
combat, the successors to current royalty. Royal Lists must be conducted
at a tournament announced in the kingdom newsletter as being for that
purpose. They are known as "Crown Lists" for kingdoms, and "Coronet Lists"
VI.A.1.b Selection of Royalty
(1) Each competitor in a Royal Lists must be fighting for a
prospective consort of the opposite gender.
(2) Each competitor in a Royal Lists and each prospective consort
must be at least an Associate or Family member with immediate access to
newsletters provided by a subscribing membership at their residence.
One or the other must be a subscribing member. The victor and
prospective consort must maintain their memberships throughout their
tenure as royal heirs and as royalty. (See Governing and Policy
(3) No one may take part in a Royal Lists, either as a competitor
or as a prospective consort, who has any reason to believe that either
member of that competing couple will be unable to fulfill the duties of
Now let's Define some Terms:
Let us use the term "Corporate Challenge" for the requirement that the
Royal Heir must be the winner of a properly constituted Crown Lists.
Let us use the term "Old Tradition" for the current system wherein a
Royal Heir who has met the Corporate Challenge automatically becomes
Let us use the term "Alternate Selection" for a hypothetical nonmartial
substitute for the Corporate Challenge. Note that this would require
a change in Corpora
Let us use the term "Additional Challenge" for a hypothetical nonmartial
contest which a Royal Heir would be required to meet after meeting
the Corporate Challenge. Note that this would not require a change in
Now, there are two separate arguments that have been advanced for changing
the Selection of Royalty. One is the argument that it is unfair to
exclude non-fighters from any chance of winning the Crown. Let us call
this the Argument of Fairness. The natural counter to this argument is
that various undesirable consequence might occur if a non-fighter were
to rule. Let us call this the Argument of Might.
The other argument advance for changing the Selection of Royalty is that
the Old Tradition has produced, or may produce, an undesirable amount of
Bad Kings. Let us call this the Argument of Deficiency. Its natural
counterargument is that the quality of kings is already high enough;
let us call this the Argument of Sufficiency.
Now that we have clearly defined our terms, it becomes clear that is
illogical to use the Argument of Might to support maintaining the Old
Tradition, or to use the Argument of Sufficiency to counter the Argument
of Fairness. Also, it is clear that if one can assert the Argument of
Might and the Argument of Suffiency, the correct course to pursue would
be to maintain the Old Tradition, rather than, say, adopting a trivial
Additional Challenge such as flipping a coin.
OTOH, if one asserts the Argument of Deficiency, one should logically
call for an Additional Challenge rather than an Alternate Selection
(unless one were arguing that martial prowess was a deficiency (not a
likely scenario!)) and the type of Additional Challenge proposed should
be based on correcting the deficiency asserted about the Old Tradition.
I thank you for your time and consideration.
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