>Which leads to the questions of how she got into position to be
>elected (and even being electable, in the socio-political sense) in
>the first place, not to mention why the people of Naboo would trust
>the position of the monarchy to someone that young...
She did really, really well in the fifth grade student government elections, and her political career just sort of snowballed from there.
More seriously, I suspect the Naboo culture is much more politically alive than we're accustomed to in the modern world - bit like the romantic ideal of ancient Greece, only with universal suffrage - and talented political operators are recognized and cultivated from an early age. (There are allusions to this in Attack of the Clones, but as the scene where Padmé is talking about her early career happens to be the Agonizing Field-of-Marigolds Scene, readers can be forgiven for having struck it from their mental transcripts. :)
Mind you, for all that they were quite rightly impressed by her poise, savvy, and oratorical skill (one assumes she only talks like a badly tuned AI to foreigners), I imagine the good voters of Naboo didn't expect that within weeks of her coronation, Amidala I would become a wartime monarch - a task which requires a whole different kind of brilliance to prosecute successfully.
Fortunately for the Naboo, she has both, and the Force is with her.
The thing about Naboo is that, unlike in the real world, politics is an honorable profession with standards of conduct, and the Opposition is as a matter of course both loyal and civil. You wouldn't expect, for example, to see MPs for the Splendid Isolation Party trying to cause public panic by calling Her Majesty's readiness to protect her kingdom into question in an open session. There's a lot of rolling up sleeves and getting on with it on Naboo in a crisis.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.