"As his Excellency Mikyl asked earlier." Lothar speaks in agreement, for a change, not sarcasm. "Though it raises a related question: how much of our power comes from the power of the Emperor?" Lothar begins to pace again, then thinks better of it and holds his place. "I mean, if we are the Emperor's representatives, his stewards, as Her Noble Excellency says," and here he bows gracefully to her, "then our strength comes from him. As measured against the higher nobles, or against our vassals." Lothar sweeps a hand out, broadly but aimlessly. "Which only helps if the Emperor is on our side. That is what this law is about, isn't it?" He looks again to the Viscountess, but keeps his tone polite. Anna would be so proud. "Sides? Whether the nobility is split in two, so the Emperor can play us off against each other?" The other hand sweeps out. "Or are we already split? It seems to me we are. Then the question is, do we gain or lose power by making the split clear-cut?" He takes back the two steps he took away from his seat earlier. "Her Noble Excellency Lubelinda, who is the head of my Duchess's Regency Council, spoke with me yesterday. She mentioned 'Capitulations of Election', conditions imposed on an Emperor candidate in exchange for votes. She had some specific ones in mind when she did, of course. The law to allow my Duchess to be declared of age, and the law to strip the Countess of Grenteheim of her title. She wants both passed. And I agree with her on both." Both hands go out now. "Well, we are not Electors. But five of the Electors are Dukes, maybe more if the law to increase the number of Electors passes. They will still have to work with those of us who are their vassals, whether or not they remain Barons and part of this Council." He smiles. "So let us come to agreement on those laws that have not been decided yet. Then let us tell the Electors what Capitulations we want, and let them find the Emperor who will give them to us." He pauses a moment to let the others think on this. "Or else we find an Emperor who thinks the future support of this Council is worth having, no matter what the Electors want. Then let him play us off against other factions. To our advantage." Lothar sits. "Since I already have two issues, I move that we vote on those. Then move on to the others, quickly, before the Election is decided without us."