Space Ramblings

Klingons, Honor and Politics – Part 2

> But you forget, the military officers are virtually all of noble blood.
> (refer to “Once More Unto the Breech”) Given the strong family ties and
> family honour, I’m sure that outside of a time of war, their loyalties
> are to their families and the noble houses so supported rather than the
> Chancellor. Gowron was enough of a politician to make alliances and
> garner support. Marok has only his war record, and without the promise
> of more war, glory, and pillage, he has nothing to offer them.

Officers can be replaced quite rapidly. If he has military support that
means he can promote those officers who join with him and eradicate
those who oppose him and their houses as Gowron did to the House of Mog.

Martok has proven he can hold his own as a warrior in a duel with Worf,
who was able to defeat Gowron who was by all indications a pretty top of
the line duelist who’d bested a long list of challengers.

> So how did K’Mpec survive? One would think the currently ruling
> Chancellor is somehow protected from direct challenges, or he would
> always have to spend all his time dueling. Perhaps it’s okay and
> honorable for a Chancellor to have a stand-in for duels? Using Worf
> or a similar able young man would serve to reduce the number of duels
> Martok would face, for the opponents would both fear the young warrior,
> and feel that an indirect duel would do the challenger dishonor even
> if he won.

Well he couldn’t use standins one he’s allready been challenged but Worf
and Co. could engage in preemptive challenges against potential
challengers. The Chanchellor clearly is not protected against a
challenge if there’s valid cause, but chanchellors like K’Mpec were
ineffectual chief executives kept there because it was in everyone’s
interest not to have a strong executive branch…until the House of
Duras became overambitious and tried twice to make their candidate
chanchellor which is how K’Mpec got killed and nearly Gowron too, and
the civil war began.

> However, we have seen the Chancellor challenged before – once
> during the Civil War, once at the end of the Dominion War.
> Perhaps there are special wartime rules that make the Chancellor
> more accessible to duels when he chooses to take on the robes of
> the First Warrior? Perhaps only a charge of cowardice or treason
> in *battle* is strong enough to warrant a duel with the Chancellor,
> while charges of inept politics or cowardice in negotiation tables
> just aren’t all that grave…

Looking at Klingon society and their code it doesn’t seem that anything
would exclude a warrior from challenges, whether he’s the chanchellor or
not. Worf’s protests about the inappropriateness of a duel in the middle
of a war were brushed aside as being un-Klingon, Martok displayed
similar values but it may have been part of his “commoner” syndrome.

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