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View Diary: Kate a pampered princess? Not even. (232 comments)

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    Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Scandinavian unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and the subantarctic Bouvet Island. ... Norway is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with King Harald V as its head of state and Jens Stoltenberg as its prime minister. It is a unitary state with administrative subdivisions on two levels known as counties (fylke) and municipalities (kommuner). The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act.
    Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. ... Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy form of government and a highly developed economy.
    Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe, with two additional overseas constituent countries also forming integral parts of the kingdom; the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. ... The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy organised in the form of a parliamentary democracy, with its seat of government in the capital city of Copenhagen. The kingdom is unitary, with powers to manage internal affairs being devolved from the central government to Greenland and the Faroe Islands; this polity is referred to as the rigsfællesskab (the Danish Realm). Denmark proper is the hegemonial area, where judicial, executive, and legislative power reside.
    Officially, the monarchs in the three Scandinavian countries do not have much power.  They are mostly figureheads.  All three of the countries did away with Salic Law several years ago, so someday Princess Ingrid of Norway will take over after her father, Prince Haakon (son of the current King Harald).  This year on Feb. 23, Sweden's Princess Victoria (eldest of the current king and queen's offspring and who will become queen one day instead of her brother or younger sister) gave birth to Princess Estelle who will someday be queen.  Queen Margarethe of Denmark is the current monarch and her son, Prince Frederick, will become king, and his eldest son, Prince Christian will rule after him.  He has two younger sisters, one a twin of the younger brother.  The two elder children and the twins were born to Princess Mary, an Australian by birth.  All the current monarchs have commoners for spouses.  The young royals of all three countries are quite handsome/pretty, and the children are adorable.

    The reigning king of Norway is a descendant of the second son of the Danish royal family who became king of Norway in 1905 when Norway became a definitively separate country again.  Originally, ca 1347/49 when the plagues swept Europe, Norway lost its royal family members, the people ceded Norway to Denmark.  When Denmark lost land in the Napoleonic wars, they made their own constitution, signed it on 17 May 1814 [still celebrated on Syttende Mai = 17th May, huge parades, etc., like our July 4], and ceded themselves to Sweden.  Through all this time the Norwegians retained their own sovereignty.  In the 19th century the intelligentsia of Norway was upset that they were losing their national identity, their language was being corrupted, and pushed for complete independence (they also now have two forms of their own language).  Lacking a monarch, and knowing the customs and language were closer to Danish after some 500 years of Danish rule, the Norwegians chose the second son of the Danish royal family as their king.  He changed his name, became the king of Norway in 1905 when Norway became independent again.  They just celebrated their centennial in 2005.

    The stability of the Scandinavian countries cannot be denied.  They have a high tax base, yes, but all medical care is identical, be the people king, queen, or commoner, rich or poor.  All education is paid for from kindergarten through college.  If the students are attending a college away from home, they receive a stipend to pay for rent and food (no borrowing for tuition, no being in debt after college).  All teach English as a second language from grade school forward through high school or college.  When a new baby is born, BOTH parents get up to 18 months leave to raise and bond with their child(ren).  Fathers are expected to take several months off for parental leave, as well as the mothers.

    These videos are about Sweden, but Norway and Denmark have similar programs:
    Sweden: Land of the Stay-At-Home Dad

    Sweden's Health Care System

    The health care system that they have in all three Scandinavian countries is what I wish we had in the US.  Unfortunately, we don't have legislators who are as smart as the people elected in those three countries.

    I know nothing about Japan except one of the people on the Norway genealogy list I belong to lives there, so I know nothing of the health care in Japan or their monarchy.  I have ancestors from the three Scandinavian countries (and four other countries), so those three I know something about.  Plus which, in terms of yearly surveys for best standard of living, best health care, education, happiest people, the three Scandinavian countries make the top ten, often top five places, in virtually every survey I've seen for at least a decade.  Yes, the tax rate is high.  Everyone pays something for these benefits..., and they actually don't mind paying such a high tax rate for the security of knowing they have good health care and education and parental leave with jobs guaranteed when they return to work, and when they have to take time off for things like long-term health issues, their job is waiting for them when they get permission from the doctor to go back to work, as well as excellent public transportation, good roads, etc.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:02:03 PM PST

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