Luxembourg usually doesn't attract the attention of very many, but the small country has made some serious waves in the past week. Specifically, the Grand Duke, Henri, has refused to sign a law permitting euthanasia and "assisted suicide", a peculiar little Orwellian neologism which doesn't seem to recognize the lexical fact that if someone helps you along, it's a different "-icide" altogether. Voici and also here
And herein lies one of the highly useful functions of a mixed constitution, in this case, a constitutional monarchy. The nastier tendencies and foibles of the demos can be checked by a royal veto. Now, it hasn't said anywhere in these articles that the Grand Duke is opposing from a specifically Catholic stance (I believe he is Catholic, but wikipedia doesn't confirm that), but I don't think that it would be a stretch to say that His Royal Highness does so from moral and religious conviction. Too often, politicians and people in general are willing to roll over and die because "the people" don't agree with them. There's a pretty sick mythology which has the lives of nations in a stranglehold, and that is that whatever the people "want" is right and cannot be questioned. This is foolish.
Luxembourg's PM, Juncker, in the meantime, is holding true to his ominous name. Feeding off of that damn fool mythology I just mentioned, he's now pushing to have the country's constitution changed. It seems more than a little bit antithetical to the very nature of a constitution to alter it on such a whim. Time was, if the executive didn't want to sign something, you griped about it and called him nasty names, and waited for a more amenable fellow to land in office, but you didn't screw around with the system to get your way. There was an understanding between the present and the future, with the folks in the present being wise enough to understand that if they could tinker with the very fabric of their government and tradition on a whim, some people in the future could also do so, and not to good effect.
Bah. They were more civilized in the Middle Ages. With all our wonderful modern science, we haven't learned a thing. We're cleverer savages with much more refined tools.