Talk:Elective monarchy

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Does anyone have any idea what distinguishes an elected monarch from a president for life? DJ Clayworth 18:33, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

  • From what I know, just the title separates the 2. Plus, presidents for life generally get that title through coup or non democratic action. Elective monarchs tend to be elected by a small democratic base. --Woohookitty 04:38, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Also, Presidents for Life tend to be "elected" as an extraordinary event, while elective monarchies are contiuous through several reigns.

And if the monarch is elected by a popular vote, wouldn't that make it a monarchical republic? Xyzzyva

Could the Rashidun Caliphs be described as elected monarchs? GCarty 20:11, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Roman emperors[edit]

Were Roman emperors formally elected by the Senate? The dynastic principle was not very effective in some cases and they were crowned after wars. --Error 01:34, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Not only formally. In several cases they vere effectively elected.--Planemo 20:36, 27 December 2006 (UTC)


Question: Isn't the Iranian Supreme Leader a monarch appointed by an elective monarchy (the assembly of experts)?Sandwich Eater 04:46, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Can't say for sure whether Iran fits this criteria, but the main difference between Iran and the other states mentioned is that Iran is the only one that is constitutionally a republic. It would be better to answer this question if and when some references and citations are added. Green Giant 01:44, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


Isn't Samoa technically already a republic, which will start to function properly once the last traditional ruler dies? —Nightstallion (?) 07:14, 29 June 2006 (UTC) No, Samoa is a de facto elective monarchy, quite similar to Malaysia. The constitution of Samoa states that the candidates for Oleao-Olemalo (Chief of State) can be any Samoan person eligible to be Matai or Orators, but, traditionally, they have been elected from one of the four noble and hereditary (royal) chieftainships. The current Oleao-Olemalo's have been accorded the style of 'His Highness" (his wife is 'her highness')for their 5-year terms only. The Samoans culturally are quite democratic, and may be trying to escape from a concept of modern feudalism. In any case, they do not call Samoa a republic. Kaelin von Gross —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

New Zealand Maori[edit]

It is very arguable that this is elective. A tribal council has been rubber stamping direct descendants. This is no different than a parliamentary approval of any hereditary monarchy's succession. The maori have clearly established a hereditary tradition though it may be true that the tribal chiefs could change that. Sandwich Eater 17:42, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that we need to recognise if we discuss the concept of the Maori monarchy that the King movement is a North Island political movement- were the Kāi Tahu "consulted" about the successor? I have seen no report saying that they were; I'd say that it is an elective monarchy with very strong hereditary characteristics.

Grant McKenna 23:39, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I think there has to be a nominations process from some pool of potential candidates for it to be elective. This appears to be hereditary with an approval process just like the UK's parliamentary approval. Parliament could appoint any successor they wish to, which they did, when they imported the curret line from Germany to replace Charles II. The Vatican, in contrast, is an elective monarchy because it draws from the pool of Cardinals. There are clear candidates, a nomination process, and elective succession process. Other systems, like Iran's, are arguable because the consitution defines a Republic but the elected Supreme Leader has a lot of similarities with an elected Monarch. The Maori, and I am happy to be corrected if I am missing something, don't seem to have any clear elective processes in place from a clearly defined group of candidates and they appear to be hereditary in practice, but they must define the system as elective since folks on wikipedia like to write about them. I'm not saying they are not elective, just that it is arguable. Sandwich Eater 00:40, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Reorganize Article??[edit]

I wonder if this article should be reorganized into different categories.

1-commonly accepted criteria to be considered an elective monarchy (sourced) and what is not an elective monarchy 2-Clearly Elective Monarchies 3-Monarchies with a very democratic approval process and nomination system 4-Arguable monarchies, that perhaps define themselves as republics or by some other term.

I deleted the Maori example because it seemed to be an example of approval by an elected group or oligarchy. It seems to me that most, or at least many monarchies have had an approval process throughout history. The UK is a hereditary monarchy with a clear line of succession, so despite the fact that parliament approves the monarch, I think it would be safe to say it is a hereditary monarchy, though I haven't looked it up (I don't think anyone argues that it is elective). What would make it elective is a nominations process and a non-hereditary line of succession that is determined via an elective process, even if it were from a pool of candidates of "royal" blood. So I propose that an elective nominations process and a non-hereditary line of succession is a necessary criteria for a monarchy to be considered elective.

But I do not have references for this. I think this article is in need of an expert on the subject who has such references at hand. Sandwich Eater 18:38, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Clarification needed[edit]

Will Samoa be an elective monarchy once the current king dies, or will it be a republic? I've read that the next head of state will be elected by parliament for five-year terms, so it seems to be a republic with an indirectly elected president, but I'm not certain, and different Wikipedia pages state different things about this... —Nightstallion (?) 10:04, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, it's a republic, period. :)Nightstallion (?) 10:08, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

UK case[edit]

In form, the UK is still an elective monarchy; it's just that matters now take place in a degenerate manner. The Council of Accession, a special aspect of the Privy Council, is the direct successor of the Witan in this matter. It's just that it is "obliged" to follow a set of standing orders that make it hereditary in practice - usually. However this still allows variation by breaking the rules (maybe ratifying the breach retrospectively). That's pretty much how dynasties change; the Stuarts came in when the Council of Accession ignored the standing orders embodied in the will of Henry VIII, and went out after the current Act of Succession was brought in. So the form isn't a mere quibble, but instead works as a constitutional circuit breaker in emergencies.

  • I have changed it from "President" of Parliament to "Prime Minister", since the United Kingdom has no President. I would also suggest that this section is looked over, as William of Orange and Mary II, whilst being invited to replace James II, were not in any way elected. MILLANDSON (talk) 18:26, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
No, you removed a legit part of a section that doesn't mention anything about a "president." [1].--Ave Caesar (talk) 20:42, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

This is not true, or at least, not any longer, as Council of Accession explains. Since the current Act of Settlement 1701 the proclamation from the Council of Accession is ceremonial, but of no legal importance; the monarch is such from the death of the predecessor, without any meeting of the Council of Accession being necessary. An elective monarchy is not a country which has, in extreme cases, elected the monarch; it is a system in which the monarch is elected as a matter of course. Tb (talk) 22:27, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I agree with the removal now - the assertion that the monarchy was elected is ridiculous. I only glanced over it and, noticing that millandson had no prior edits, assumed that it was poor edit. --Ave Caesar (talk) 23:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Kingdom of Naboo[edit]

I thought that Padme Amidala was 13. (My, My this here Anaking Guy, the song written by Wierd Al Yankovic)

The reference should probably be excised entirely anyway, given that there was no requirement for royal blood, and the "queen" held a fixed term of office, it seems more like that's a case where an elected head of state is merely a monarch in name only. Sarcastic Avenger (talk) 05:51, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Removing prod[edit]

A proposed deletion was placed because of the "chronic lack of sources." I'm removing it because there are plenty of sources out there, and this is an important article. They just need to be hunted down and incorporated. I've taken a few minutes to add three sources under "external links." You can help in a few ways: 1) find more sources and add them; 2) add inline citations; 3) add info from the sources and correct the article as needed. The "external links" can become "references" as the article comes to rely on them. --Reuben (talk) 21:16, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Doges of Genoa and Venice[edit]

Should we mention the Doge of Genoa and the Doge of Venice since those states were sometimes described as crowned republics? The Doge (the word derives from Dux, same root as Duke) was elected but treated with all the pomp and splendor of a monarch of those times. Many of them had more practical powers than the present parliament enchained constitutional monarchies? We should also try to i82.132.220.3 (talk) 20:26, 3 May 2013 (UTC)nclude more about Gaelic Irish monarchies in general, which mixed in hereditary rule, with an elective system (a monarch elected by the royal family, based on being of kingly material) - Yorkshirian (talk) 05:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

No, because both were constitutionally republics. (talk) 20:26, 3 May 2013 (UTC)


At the start of the 20th century, the first monarchs of several newly independent nations were elected by parliaments: Norway is the prime example. You could claim that the parliament elected the monarch, still this would be a half-truth. There was a referendum, and as other Norwegian referendums, like EEC/EC/EU referendums in 1972 and 1994, it was officially advisory. In other words, monarchy was elected by referendum. If you claim that the parliament elected monarchy you'd have to claim that the same parliament which applied for EEC/EC/EU twice, turned it down twice (without mentioning the referendum and the resignment of a government).--Tordenskrall (talk) 22:49, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Kuwait and UAE[edit]

I have removed Kuwait from the list of current elective monarchies. Very similar to UK and others case, where the Emir has to be ratified by parliment. The article for Kuwait even states the position of Emir is hereditary.

The case with the United Arab Emirates is similar to New Zealand Maori Monarch, where the President is the Emir of Abu Dhabi, and so the position is essentially hereditary. Similarly with the Prime Minster of the UAE being the Emir of Dubai, and although I'm not sure that mention of the Prime Minister is entirely necessary or appropriate in an article dealing with the monarchy, I've left it in for the time being. I've moved UAE to below the list, leave only three real elective monarchies - Malaysia, Cambodia and the Vatican.

Any comments? - timothykhoo (talk) 13:07, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

A general Wikipedian opinion on "In fiction"[edit]

Yeah, such sections may exist – they could be interesting from Fantasy and SciFi fiction perspective, as well as contrafactual history experiments. But in order to be interesting, there must be something more than

in the Dr. Death SciFi series from 1993, the nations of Straengia and Wierdia chose their kings from noble families

such as:

similarly to the old viking kingdom


as opposed to the Grand Republic of The Great Old Ones

Otherwise the In fiction sections tend towards lists of trivia. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:31, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Some re-organization[edit]

I’ve moved a few bits around, predominantly in the ‘When it was usual’ section, which I’ve re-titled as I reel the previous was clumsy.

Secondly I utterly agree with Rursus about ‘in fiction’. Does every single article have to be followed with a list of every sci-fi or fantasy computer game/ TV series or film that happens to mention that thing? Just because a load of editors are fanboys? Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much a sci-fi geek as the next Wikipedian, I just don’t see the point of making every single article reference Star Wars.

I was going to try and prune the section, but to be fair with the exception of the Shakespeare point they all seemed worthless to me, so I would have just deleted it all, which would no doubt cause ructions. I’ve left it, but if someone wants to trim I think that would be a good idea. I mean honestly, is anyone going to come to this article because they desperately want to know the constitutional makeup of the Dwarves of Orzammar?

Finally, I came here because I was interested to see if there was any movement in the UK, or other Commonwealth Realms, to institute an elected monarchy. Nothing is said here, but if anyone has anything to add on those lines it would be appreciated. Phunting (talk) 14:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Problems with article[edit]

Two big problems with this article. 1. An elective monarch is where there is a genuine contest or "election" for the position among several candidates. It is not where a council or some other body rubberstamps an hereditary monarch - that would make every monarch on the planet an elected monarch. So many of the examples here should be removed. 2. The fiction section is inappropriate here and should be deleted. This article should be what about what happens in the real world. As it stands, it implies the monarchs of Malaysia and Naboo are on an equal footing which is probably offensive to someone. If somebody wants to create an 'elected monarchs in science fiction and fantasy article' that is up to them, but it has no place here. Neelmack (talk) 10:06, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

No fiction[edit]

I add my vote to three earlier comments (in the preceding three sections) that the "In fiction" section does not belong in this article. If someone wants to create a separate Elective monarchy in fiction article using the information in this section, and even to link to it in the "See also" section at the bottom of this article, please do so. That sounds like a great idea.

Since it does not belong here, and since in effect we have established a consensus (four votes for deleting the section, none against), I am going to delete it. To make it clear exactly what I am doing, and for the convenience of anyone who might want to create such an article, I will move the contents of the section here. I have had to add some formatting tags to get it to display reasonably within the {{Quotation}} template, but those nowiki and br tags should be easy enough to remove. Although I regret deleting the Shakespeare entry along with the rest, it would be unfair to exclude some fictional monarchies but not all.

==In fiction==

In the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films, the planet Naboo is governed by an elected monarchy. Padmé Amidala, one of the series' main characters, was elected queen at the age of fourteen but was not the youngest ever to reign. She then went on to serve in the senate of the Galactic Republic. A system of elective monarchy was also present in the Galactic Empire. The next Galactic Emperor was, in theory, to be chosen by the Imperial Senate whenever the throne became vacant. However, the dissolution of the Senate by Palpatine prevented it from ever occurring. In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the remnants of the Empire had no Emperor for decades after Palpatine's death, until Jagged Fel obtained the throne. Afterward the Galactic Empire became a hereditary monarchy.

In Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy fictional universe, The Empire is ruled by an Emperor who is chosen by majority voting of the various electors.

In the Lord Darcy universe, set out in a series of works by Randall Garrett, the Kings of the Anglo-French Empire are elected by Parliament from a small group of eligible members of the Royal Plantagenet family. See Michael Kurland's additions to the canon.

Shakespeare's Hamlet is often staged with the assumption that Denmark is or was an elective monarchy (which technically was true of Denmark at the time Hamlet was written). A similar system can be read into Macbeth to explain why the title character ascended to the throne.

In Hiroyuki Morioka's Crest of the Stars series of science fiction novels, the Abh Empire (Frybarec Gloerh gor Bari) is an elective monarchy. While the ruling monarch (speunaigh) is absolute, he or she is elected by the Dynasty Council from eight eligible royal families and usually does not rule for life.

In the Inheritance Cycle of fantasy novels, the monarch of the Dwarves is elected by the Clan Chiefs from within their number, holding the position from then until their death (although they must also receive divine approval).

Similarly, in Bioware's game Dragon Age: Origins, the Dwarves of Orzammar features an elective monarchy in which the monarch is elected by the Assembly of Nobles of the city, and then rules for life. He may choose an heir to the throne, but to the Assembly, this is little more than a recommendation on whom to vote on. The player character takes part in choosing a monarch during the original campaign.

If this upsets anyone, please seriously consider creating a new article with this material instead of restoring it here where it clearly is not universally welcome. Thanks very much.--Jim10701 (talk) 03:30, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

19th-century elections of kings[edit]

Should we not add a section in which we bring together some 19th-century election of kings of new countries or of countries who have deposed their ruling family. These are not elective monarchies because after these first elections, the monarchy becomes hereditary, but these were important political choices for those countries, in which those countries mostly have chosen a foreign high noble (a cadet prince of a foreign royal family). I am thinking of the elections of:

Charles XIV John of Sweden (elected heir-presuptive in 1810, ruled 1818-1844)
Leopold I of Belgium (1831-1865); other candidates voted on by the National Congress of Belgium were:
Louis, Duke of Nemours (second son of the French King Louis-Philippe)
Auguste de Beauharnais
Archduke Charles of Austria (younger brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor)
Otto of Greece (1832-1862 deposed) (second son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria)
George I of Greece (1863-1913) (second son of Christian IX of Denmark)
Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (second son of Victoria) was their first choice — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bancki (talkcontribs) 12:45, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Maximilian I of Mexico (1864-1867 executed) (younger brother of Franz Joseph I of Austria)
Amadeo I of Spain (1870-1873 abdicated) (second son of Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy)
Alexander of Bulgaria (1879-1886 deposed)
Carol I of Romania (1881-1914)
Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (1887-1918)
Haakon VII of Norway (1905-1957) (second son of Frederick VIII of Denmark)
Vidi I (or Skanderbeg II) of Albania = William of Wied (1914-1914 abdicated)
Tomislav II of Croatia = Aimone of Savoy-Aosta (1941-1943 abdicated, never really ruled)

Bancki (talk) 12:22, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

To these can be added: the Netherlands, after the abjuration of Philip II of Spain, attempted twice to install another monarch, but these two failed after arrival. They were Francis, Duke of Anjou, younger son of Henry II of France (1582-1583) and Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester (1585-1587).----Bancki (talk) 20:25, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Pope as elected Monarch[edit]

As far as the functioning of the Vatican City State is concerned, its government has the Pope as absolute monarch serving from selection until death or resignation and exercising his state powers through officers he appoints. Why isn't this included in this article? More specifically, the Vatican article says "The politics of Vatican City takes place in an absolute elective monarchy, in which the head of the Roman Catholic Church takes power." KevinCuddeback (talk) 16:29, 8 January 2015 (UTC)