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Thursday, August 02, 2007

The tyranny of the majority

Magister has a piece on the motu proprio that Benedict XVI released regarding the election of the Pope. As we recall, it changed John Paul II's constitution and did away with the absolute majority provision after thirty-four ballots.

In the piece, an essay written by a prominent 'progressive' is given. In that essay is an interesting thought experiment detailing how the second 1978 conclave might have gone had it been under the rules promulgated by its eventual winner and it offers insight into the history of the Church ruled by the tyranny of the majority.

2 comments:

Louis E. said...

I have to wonder what will happen under the rule as presently contemplated,if a conclave in which votes are widely scattered is suddenly stuck with no alternatives allowed to two candidates who were barely ahead of the field,and both of whom are absolutely opposed by more than a third of the electors.

Perhaps a full-fledged Election Constitution will be drawn up that details a procedure for allowing other candidates to be considered if efforts to get two-thirds for one of the anointed two remain fruitless.

Jacob said...

Louis:
I have to agree. Personally, I think the Pope should have just gone back to the old rule altogether. These funky changes like ansolute majority and a run off just seem like modern innovations that serve no useful purpose. A Pope needs two-thirds plus one to be elected. That's simple and easy to follow and candidates have to have broad support to win.