86

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 short article on this in 2017, the best part of which is this graph: They observe than in all four countries the gap (between the median population age and ...


75

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 going sooner. During Sandy, Democrat Barack Obama was effusively praised by Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie for Obama's show of support. It is ...


58

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 cannot instigate Brexit at all without the approval of Parliament. Parliament has already passed an Act authorising the Prime Minister to trigger article 50 of the ...


35

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 catastrophe by showing that the government is aware of their situation. Here is Barack Obama visiting the area of the Waldo Canyon Fire: Here is German ...


29

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 impression that you are out of touch, hiding, not sure what to do, or any other thing they don't want to see in a leader. It shows "caring". Yes, it's for show, but ...


29

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 child with Camilla Parker Bowles (very unlikely, considering that she was 57 when they married), that child would have been 3rd in succession after Charles, but ...


24

Because there are more effective ways for Her Majesty to change or veto laws. The Queen can indeed veto a law after it has passed the Houses of Parliament, but it would be ill-advised. Instead, she can use her considerable "soft power" to warn the Prime Minister of her disagreement with the law before it is voted upon. Such warnings are secret, but are ...


17

The current president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, is a dual Somali-US citizen.


14

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.


14

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 election. Venice in this period had a habit of electing elderly rulers; between 1400 and 1600, the average age of a Doge at election was 72.


13

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.


12

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 Ambassador of France to Georgia in 2003-2004.


12

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 pragmatic one. A head of government makes decisions about budgets and policy; but he or she is also expected to articulate a response to the hopes and fears of the ...


10

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 consulted). The president of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, stated “Section 2 of the 1972 [European Communities] Act provides that, whenever EU institutions ...


10

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 even interfere with rescue efforts. Other answers have cynically examined the leader's motives, suggesting that it's an attempt to garner votes, etc. My ...


10

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 359 days old at the time of his election. He was sworn into office on the 31st of December 2014.


9

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.


9

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 force, i.e. defeat the country in a war. But there are various rules, norms and expectations. Among these is the immunity for high ranking government officials, ...


8

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 wants her government to do in the next term. At least formally. We all know who wrote that speech. Similarly, the sovereign cannot be arrested by her subjects. Why,...


8

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 expected to be non-partisan, speaking for the country as a whole and being a unifying figure. Besides that, separating the ceremonial roles of the president and ...


7

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 foetus not yet born has no rights under the law of the UK, and as such would have no claim to the throne, as it would have no claim to inheritance from its father'...


7

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 office holders, despite their considerable organizational and fundraising abilities. And to the limited extent that parties are important in the US, only two ...


7

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. In this case the particular church is the Diocese of Rome and the "vacant seat" is the cathedra of Saint John Lateran, the cathedral church of the ...


6

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 of succession in the event that the president is killed in an attack). Once all the codes have been verified, the military would issue attack orders to the ...


6

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 citizens. I'm slightly doubtful, as I understood that Japan doesn't allow for dual nationality, but the situation may have been different in the past, or there ...


6

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 priorities for the upcoming session, and the House of Commons will then vote on whether or not they approve of the contents of the Speech. If the contents of ...


6

A lot of it comes down to trust, goodwill and respect for the democratic norm. I'll focus this answer mostly on the UK, since that is the system I'm most familier with: "Could the Head of State hijack the government formation process" Not if she wants to remain head of state. Its been quipped that the Queen gets a veto, but she get exactly one veto. ...


6

In part this is tied to the notion of the Commonwealth of Nations. Unlike the US, nations of the Commonwealth gained independence through civil and legal procedures as the British colonial system dissolved. Those nations with long, favorable histories as part of the Empire — like Canada and Australia — largely opted to retain the Queen and the constitutional ...


5

Yes, the head of state of Vatican is expected to keep his original citizenship. At the time of writing this, Francis I is a citizen of Argentine. I do not know what would happen if a citizen of a country that automatically strips the citizenship if someone acquires another citizenship (such as Slovakia or Japan) is elected.


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