87 votes
Accepted

Why does US tend to have rather old leaders (> 60) while more and more European countries have young ones (<40)?

I'm not terribly sure that leaving outliers aside (both Trump and Macron are such) there's that much of a difference, historically, between the major European countries and the US. The Economist ran a ...
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  • 104k
75 votes

What is the point of the president visiting regions struck by hurricane?

To express that he cares and is taking the emergency seriously. To see what the area's needs are first hand. Cynically, to garner votes. During Katrina, George W. Bush was criticized for not ...
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  • 88k
59 votes
Accepted

Could the Queen have stopped Brexit?

In theory: Yes. Brexit requires legislation, which the Queen can veto; and the Queen also has prerogative over international treaties. It was decided by the UK Supreme Court that the government ...
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40 votes
Accepted

What countries have several heads of state with equal power?

San Marino has two heads of state - Captains Regent - which are elected every six months by the parliament, the Grand and General Council. The positions are mainly symbolic, but include powers such as ...
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  • 81.4k
35 votes

What is the point of the president visiting regions struck by hurricane?

When a large-scale disaster happens, the head of government is expected to visit the site in person. The intention is to provide emotional support for the disaster relief forces and the victims of the ...
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  • 67k
29 votes

What is the point of the president visiting regions struck by hurricane?

In the military, it's called "leadership function". Being seen "leading" is important to the people, even if there's no tangible benefit from your presence. At the very least, it doesn't give ...
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29 votes
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Why was Edward VIII's marriage a problem, but not Prince Charles's second?

The difference in this case is that Prince Charles already had two heirs from his first marriage with the deceased Princess Diana Spencer (Prince William and Prince Henry). Should he have another ...
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  • 67k
17 votes
Accepted

Are there any heads of state who are dual citizens?

The current president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, is a dual Somali-US citizen.
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  • 3,534
17 votes
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Why are there so few democratic governments with multiple rulers?

Multiple co-equal rulers are used as a check and balance on each other. For example, in a triumvirate at least two have to agree. This, in theory, avoids one corrupt ruler from sending their nation ...
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  • 4,206
14 votes

Oldest head of government / state at time first elected to office

A possible contender is Nicolo de la Ponte (born on 15 January 1491). He was elected Doge of the Republic of Venice on the 3rd of March 1578. He was aged 87 years and 47 days at the time of his ...
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14 votes

Are there any heads of state who are dual citizens?

Andrej Babiš, the winner of the 2017 election in Czechia holds dual Czech and Slovak citizenship. He became the Prime Minister and Head of Government, after coalition negotiations in December 2017.
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  • 92.7k
13 votes

Why does US tend to have rather old leaders (> 60) while more and more European countries have young ones (<40)?

Part of the answer may be that the US constitution does not allow the president to be younger than 35 years old. And there are also minimum ages for congress.
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  • 687
12 votes

Are there any heads of state who are dual citizens?

Salome Zurabishvili, recently elected President of Georgia, is a dual French-Georgian citizen. She had a long professionnal career working as a diplomat for France, including acting as the ...
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  • 5,943
12 votes

What is the point of the president visiting regions struck by hurricane?

TL;DR Leadership is about symbolism, not just utility There are wider issues than the immediate practical needs of the area struck by disaster. Leadership works on a symbolic level as well as a ...
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10 votes

What is the point of the president visiting regions struck by hurricane?

The implication of your question is that there is no point, and you may be right. There may be no practical benefit to a leader being physically present at the site of a disaster. Their presence may ...
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10 votes

Could the Queen have stopped Brexit?

She could, but would have been unlikely to happen. The Supreme Court ruled in January that Parliament must vote on whether to invoke Article 50 (although the devolved parliaments do not need to be ...
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  • 1,814
10 votes

Oldest head of government / state at time first elected to office

Beji Caid Essebsi was elected President of Tunisia in the 2014 Tunesian election which took place on the 23rd of November 2014. He was born on the 29th of November 1926, meaning he was 87 years and ...
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10 votes

Why are there so few democratic governments with multiple rulers?

Switzerland has its Federal Council which is composed of seven members from (currently) 4 different political parties. There is a president of the council (which changes every year), but he (or she) ...
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  • 201
9 votes

Can a sitting president of a country be arrested while traveling?

There are different answers, depending on what you mean by "can". A nation is sovereign, and so "can" do anything within its borders. The only way to force a country to do something is the use of ...
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  • 92.7k
9 votes

Are there any heads of state who are dual citizens?

Saad Hariri, the current/former/it's complicated prime minister of Lebanon, is also a Saudi citizen. He's not a head of state, but a head of government.
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  • 2,588
8 votes
Accepted

Immunity from prosecution for heads of state

Three different explanations, which mix to different degrees: A holdover from feudal times. The Queen graciously allows her subjects to have a parliament, and she summons it to tell them what she ...
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  • 81.9k
8 votes
Accepted

What are the arguments for having a democratically-elected, ceremonial President?

While the presidents may have mostly ceremonial roles in practice as far as day-to-day politics are concerned, they do often have important roles in managing transitions in times of crisis. They are ...
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  • 493
8 votes

What countries have several heads of state with equal power?

Andorra’s heads of state are two co-princes, who are the Bishop of Urgell (in Spain) and the President of France. They have (in Andorra) equal powers, but since Andorra is a democratic constitutional ...
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  • 3,208
7 votes
Accepted

In the Commonwealth realms, who succeeds when a King dies leaving a daughter and a son in-utero?

As multiple comments have mentioned, the laws governing succession in the Commonwealth are currently changing from male-preference primogeniture to absolute primogeniture. In either case, though, a ...
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7 votes

Why does US tend to have rather old leaders (> 60) while more and more European countries have young ones (<40)?

The US political system at the federal level currently vastly favors individual office holders over political parties. The parties have very little power other than as "alliance arrangements" between ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Who is the sovereign of the Vatican between papal elections?

The College of Cardinals serves a caretaker rule, but doesn't exercise the full rights of a Papal head of state. After the death or resignation of a pope, the Holy See enters a period of sede vacante....
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  • 52.5k
6 votes

Are there any heads of state who are dual citizens?

The Wikipedia article on Alberto Fujimori (President of Peru in the 90s) states that he has both Japanese and Peruvian Nationality, and this had been obtained by his parents, who were both Japanese ...
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  • 92.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Whose agreement is needed to use nuclear weapons in different countries?

USA The United States has a two-man rule in place, and while only the president can order the release of nuclear weapons, the order must be confirmed by the Secretary of Defense (there is a hierarchy ...
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  • 89.1k
6 votes

Must parliamentary democracies hold a vote of confidence when choosing its Prime Minister?

In the United Kingdom, there is a de facto vote of confidence after a general election. When a new session of Parliament begins, the government is expected to prepare a Queen's Speech, outlining its ...
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