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Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Royal referendum

Royal equality has come a step closer in Denmark after Parliament has passed a law on changes to the constitution regarding succession to the throne.

The bill was passed by all parties in parliament save the Unity List, which abstained in the vote.

It is now up to the electorate in a referendum on June 7, to decide whether princes and princesses are to be equal in succession to the monarchy.

Under constitutional rules, the law must now be accepted by a majority of voters and at least 40 percent of eligible voters. Denmark normally has turnouts of between 70 and 80 percent, which may also benefit the European parliamentary elections, which are to take place simultaneously.

The changes in the law mean that a monarch’s first-born will succeed to the throne irrespective of gender. Although the proposal has already been passed by parliament once, its constitutional implications have meant that it must be passed twice by Parliament, each side of an election.

Tuesday’s second passing through the Danish Parliament came as neighbouring Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria, who is assured succession to the Swedish throne, announced her engagement to her former fitness trainer Daniel Westling. The Swedish royal family chose to make their announcement on Youtube (in Swedish).

Neither Denmark’s new law – if it passes referendum – nor Sweden’s laws of succession are completely equality-minded. While the wife of a king is given the title of queen, the husband of a queen does not become a king.

Daniel Westling is to be titled Prince Daniel of Västergotland.

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