Richard and Alarice
Baron and Baroness of Rowany
9 December AS XXXII
The following is an outline of feedback obtained during a Baronial meeting
held on 3 December 1996, at which Lochac's possible elevation to Kingdom
status was discussed. Because there was much other business of a local
nature to be discussed on this evening, the meeting lasted only a half
hour, and unfortunately many of the issues raised could not be fully explored.
However, since the deadline for feedback was 31/12/96, we have decided
to give you the information we have so far gleaned.
Present at the meeting were 13 members. Almost all were long term members,
four were peers, two were royal peers. It could not be said that the views
of the newer generation were well represented at this meeting. In addition,
the views of a couple of other members not present at the meeting (but
which were consistent with those reported below) was also received verbally
during the Yule Feast on 30/11/96.
- More than half of those present thought that Lochac should become a
Kingdom within two years. Virtually all believed we should be a Kingdom
within five years. Perceived impediments include:
- There is no set of laws yet written for the proposed Kingdom. This
would be expected to take some time.
- We would need to decide on a Kingdom device and on the award structure
of the new Kingdom. These could be long, hotly debated issues which, although
less important, will need to be addressed.
- One member felt Lochac had a "lack of maturity". He had difficulty
defining this idea off the top of his head.
- A couple of members expressed the view that Lochac does not know how
to treat royalty. It was commented that when foreign royalty visits Lochac,
we fawn over them, but we do not give the same level of attention to our
own royalty. We have ignored our Prince and Princess at some events. This
premise was disputed by others in the meeting. Thoughts included:
- Does this phenomenon stem from the fact that Princes and Princess'
are local people who we often know well, and we therefore treat with less
mystique and reverence?
- Does Central West treat all Crowns with the same level of reverence,
or is familiarity with the people in Central West a factor there as well?
- Are we able to treat foreigners with more reverence because they are
unknown people, on whom it is easy to endow good qualities? If this is
the reason we treat foreign royalty better, will this ever change?
- Do newer members feel the same way about this as older members? The
newest member at the meeting (who had been in the SCA for 2 years) expressed
the view that she felt quite in awe of the Prince and Princess, because
of their position. She felt they might be ignored a little because they
were held in awe, and newer members were scared to talk to them. She felt
she could differentiate from those people when they were being the Prince
and Princess, and when they were being their mundane selves. So perhaps
this perceived problem exists only with older members, or those higher
up the hierarchical tree, where it is felt to be easier to be too familiar
- Is the level of reverence and respect with which we hold various royalty
effected by the personalities of the royalty holding the position? Are
some treated better than others because they command respect (because of
their skills, or their own level of ceremony/familiarity, or the decisions
they have made, etc)? How do we train the populace to treat all royalty
equally well, as a sign of respect of their Crowns/Coronets, rather than
the people wearing them? Is this necessary? Does it happen in Central West?
(Some said yes, others were very sceptical about this).
- If there were a Kingdom poll now, around half felt they would vote
yes irrespective of the structure of the new Kingdom. The other half would
vote no, or would only vote yes if the structure were known in advance.
- Regardless of willingness to vote without knowing the structure, almost
all would prefer to see at least a skeleton set of laws before voting.
- There was a feeling that Lochac may have become apathetic about the
Kingdom issue because of the failure of previous polls. This was seen as
mainly an administrative problem, not a reflection of the views of the
populace on the Kingdom issue. Is the next poll likely to be run any better?
- There was also a feeling that the views of the populace on the issue
had matured. The fact that a large proportion of people did not want to
vote on the subject unless they knew more detail of what they were voting
on, was seen as a sign of the maturing of the populace on the subject.
- There was virtually universal support for non-absolute Crown power.
Most accepted that the Sovreign's word should be law for the duration of
the reign, but that there should be some stop-gap measure on permanent
law changes. The idea of a parliament or large council was not popular
- a feeling prevailed that having too many people involved would mean that
nothing would ever get done. However, ideas such as:
- having a small council with limited powers (eg. power of veto only);
- that a law would not be published until confirmed by a couple of subsequent
- that a simple majority of some sub-sector of nobility who were available
at Kingdom events would have to agree to a law change;
were all ideas which received better support than the idea of absolute
monarchy. Only one or two of those present disagreed.
- There was less vehement support for the idea that the peerage council
should have the right of veto over the Crown on the making of peers, although
the view was agreed with by almost all present. Not surprisingly, peers
present had stronger views on the subject than non-Peers, probably because
they understood the issues better.
- The suggestion was also raised by our newer member that many people
do not have strong views on the subject of a move to Kingdom status, because
they don't know the issues involved, the process necessary, or the options
available. It was felt that an article should be published which explains
what is required to become a Kingdom, something about the for and against
views, and some of the alternatives available to the new Kingdom. This
would allow better discussion of the issue.
- Also of concern was:
- who would write the proposed laws?
- who would get the chance to comment on them?
- who will make the final decision on them?
- It was felt that the laws should be kept very simple initially, that
everyone should get the opportunity to comment on them, and that the decision
makers will need to be a small group of well respected people. This issue
is part of the comment above that there is little understanding of the
process or options. It was generally felt that Lochac should start working
on proposed Kingdom laws now.
Therefore, in conclusion, there was support for a move to Kingdom, at
least within five years, and probably much sooner. Generally speaking,
there was some caution about the move to Kingdom in that most preferred
to see the laws (or at least a skeleton of laws) before voting in a poll.
There was strong support to move away from the concept of absolute power.
There was a feeling that the processes and options involved were not generally
well understood. Almost all agreed that the process should begin now.
We hope that we have reflected the views of the meeting impartially
and accurately, and we trust that this is the type of feedback you were
seeking. We would be happy to obtain further, more specific information,
if it is required.
Yours in Service
Baron and Baroness of Rowany