[LMB] OT: Saudi Arabia more democratic than Barrayar

phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Sun Sep 25 17:20:36 BST 2011


"Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has announced he is giving women the right
to vote and run in municipal elections, the only public polls in the
ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom.

He also announced on Sunday that women would have the right to join the
all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, in an address opening a new
term of the council."

"More than 5000 men will compete in Thursday's municipal elections, only
the second in Saudi Arabia's history, to fill half the seats in the
kingdom's 285 municipal councils. The other half are appointed by the

The first elections were held in 2005, but the government extended the
existing councils' term for two more years."

"Shura is an Arabic word for "consultation". Quran and the Prophet
encourage Muslims to decide their affairs in consultation with those who
will be affected by that decision."

To be rigorous, I don't think we know what happens at Barrayaran
municipal levels, and it might vary from County to County anyway.  Also,
Barrayaran women can drive and go outside on their own, so plus for

OTOH, this is one version of what reform in a monarchy looks like.
Create an appointed formally powerless consultative body; have low-level
elections; have elections to the powerless consultative body; yield
powers to the consultative body...  Pretty common path, with various
permutations. (Cf. again all those Estates-General and Parliament

-xx- Damien X-) 

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