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Old 01-30-2018, 08:55 AM   #41
ericthered
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
I think they call gerrymandering impossible and any system that has electoral districts gerrymandering.

And why is this system more corruptible than another? A computer gives you a number and that's the constituency you vote in. There's no point in limiting the voting facilities at a particular location since the voters could live anywhere. There's still a point in making voter registration difficult for particular classes of people but that would probably be handled remotely by computers anyway.
To be precise, its very difficult to detect vote tampering.

The exact mechanism for assigning the number will be something people want to manipulate. How are the numbers assigned? We must run analysis to ensure that an equal number of men and women are assigned to each group! Lets use the first two numbers instead of the last two! Is there a difference in how naturalized citizens are assigned numbers as opposed to born citizens? Packing, cracking, and redistributing are still very possible. And I suppose packing and cracking are one thing they could call their versions of gerrymandering.

The devil is always in the details.

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Localism, Up To Eleven
This could work with large enough districts, but at that point you're dealing with a military alliance rather than a system of government.

My alternate take on this would be to restrict ownership to within districts and limit contracts by time. A company can only own land, factories, and goods within the borders of their district. You can set up a web of contracts to build an alliance, but the ability of people to walk away (short term contracts only) keeps that from becoming too stable. you probably need to nerf copyright law as well.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:39 AM   #42
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Towns vanish as everybody in them starves to death. Well those where they didn't die of thirst first when the aqueducts shut down. You can't even make food an exception - cities can't pay for it without an exception for something they produce too, which will need an exception for the materials they produce it *from* which.... And couldn't transport it anyway what with your cart no longer being your property when it crossed a border.
In fact, this sounds rather like one of Frédéric Bastiat's satirical essays in the 19th century (published as Economic Sophisms) in which he proposed variants on the idea that if trade protection and tariffs were so good for the economy, every village and every city neighborhood should have them, and depend on what it produced locally. I seem to recall an essay of his on the "negative railroad" which proposed that there should be a break in the tracks between every two major stops, where goods would have to be transshipped. . . .

Then there's the old Soviet system of internal passports, where movement between different cities required hard-to-obtain bureaucratic permission.
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:04 PM   #43
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Towns vanish as everybody in them starves to death. Well those where they didn't die of thirst first when the aqueducts shut down. You can't even make food an exception - cities can't pay for it without an exception for something they produce too, which will need an exception for the materials they produce it *from* which.... And couldn't transport it anyway what with your cart no longer being your property when it crossed a border.
Actually I can recall three tv series off hand which had that set up, worlds of autarchic communities separated by uninhabited space that lacked the local necessities of life. As you might expect in each case the communities were almost all small due to the limitations of how many people each bubble could support and they were mostly insane.
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:15 PM   #44
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Towns vanish as everybody in them starves to death.
Well, it's probably possible to do stone age subsistence agriculture without long range trade, and sufficiently large districts could manage more advanced technology.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:11 PM   #45
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post

1. Constitutional Republic in which lawmaking power is invested in an assembly selected by random lot among the citizens, one per district.
This is not quite that. However the Doge of Venice was chosen by a convoluted series of lotteries and elections to make absolutely sure no one was manipulating it.

One version I used myself was that any member of the Councilio Civium(basically any citizen)was subject to be chosen as a "Lotman" or "Lotwoman". Depending on the constitution of the local or federal government they would be inserted into the legislature or the electors for temporary elections(like a new Doge, say), or whatever depending on local circumstance. The Lotfolk are only one aspect of what is intended to be a highly convoluted system that maintains balance between various interests and part of the fun I get is putting in all sorts of interesting "stuff" to satisfy myself.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:28 PM   #46
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Republic of Tribes/Races/Families:

A society is made up of separate groups that remain separate, legally, generation after generation. That could be ethnic groups or family clans or whatever, but might fit esp. well in a society made up of non-interfertile races like some SF and fantasy settings.

The tribes (of whatever nature) are federated, and each tribe elects one representative to the council, regardless of population. They might live in separate cities or all mingle in cosmopolitan communities.

Or there might be two councils, one equal and one weighted by numbers, basically you'd have tribes as 'states' instead of territorial systems.

Weighted for the future: A democracy in which everybody has one vote, but parents have two, permanently, on the grounds that they have a vested interest in the society's future. They might gain still extra votes with more offspring, but that would produce a very different society than one in which parents just get an extra vote each for the fact of parenthood.

Deliberate instability: A democracy in which he member of the electorate has one vote, but every election, an additional number of votes (say 20% of the total) is distributed at random across the electorate. The idea would be to help keep stable coalitions and vested interests from dominating year after year, since the power base would shift by a fifth at random each time.

Alternatively, the legislative body might have 20% of its members up for reelection every year, but which 20% would be chosen at random. (You'd probably also need a formal term of office for any that luck out a lot, you have to stand for election every five years (or whatever) even if your number doesn't come up.)
I used both of these too. Each "registered clan" has a certain share of vote and could sell, or lend the share to someone else. Then I realized that that would lead to a rigid plutocracy, so I added that "recurring shares" were regularly fed into the market. The concept was based on the assumption that to many increases will make for inflation while recurring shares die after a certain time. They are fed in to balance which means the leader will of course have to fight hard to get any of them.

Additionally recurring shares can be given as a reward for service to the state. For instance having a clan member perform some feat. Or just having the clan win the militia exercise.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:53 PM   #47
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Bengt View Post
Well, about half the nations listed here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_...icts_by_nation
have multi member districts.
Yeah? So? "Exotic" doesn't mean "unusual" or "rare".
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:59 PM   #48
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Additionally recurring shares can be given as a reward for service to the state. For instance having a clan member perform some feat. Or just having the clan win the militia exercise.
They gave him of the corn-land,
That was of public right,
As much as two strong oxen
Could plow from morn till night. . . .

Macaulay, "Horatius"
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:20 PM   #49
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

One I found interesting was of replacing the welfare state with a network of endowments.

Most of the taxes are levied by vote of the Tribunes(elected by the citizens in general, one citizen one vote) and distributed by the Senate(representing the clans in the form of a joint stock corporation as described above). Except the stuff that isn't(whatever).

So far so good.

Now instead of making a welfare state it is the custom, once enough has gone into security and infrastructure to hand it to the "Vidoges"(something like nobles only not), for "adornment and benevolence"(basically prettying up the city and helping out with loose ends, like clanless folk, unlucky people, generic whatevers). Basically it is intended for what Plunkitt called "honest graft". The Vidoge(presumably in conference with local community leaders and whatever) will endow the money on something or other like a park or a hospital and of course will get his name on it. After a term there will be an audit which decides which Vidoge has done best. This audit decides where the next issue of funds goes, who gets their name broadcast and who gets the most bonus reward for a privy purse.

The advantage I see is that it gives the administrators a direct interest in the funds being used efficiently where they are used. The disadvantage is that it will make for an unequal distribution, and now that I think of it might well favor the better parts of town(where of course the well-off will compete to live).

Some of this was borrowed from Jane Jacob's concepts of "Ostentation" and "Largesse". I realized comparing the American and British system that a frank aristocracy does that aspect of government more gracefully than others. I also realized from history that aristocratic systems are often to brutal if they are given any other aspect of state to care for.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:36 PM   #50
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Towns vanish as everybody in them starves to death. Well those where they didn't die of thirst first when the aqueducts shut down. You can't even make food an exception - cities can't pay for it without an exception for something they produce too, which will need an exception for the materials they produce it *from* which.... And couldn't transport it anyway what with your cart no longer being your property when it crossed a border.

I know the OP wasn't too interested in workability, but I think this one leads to disaster in *such* a very near term that it's virtually unusable in a game. You need something that works for long enough (on the enthusiasm of its followers if nothing else) that it can stand up long enough for the PCs to have to interact with its weird rules before it dissolves into chaos or civil war.
If the local units are small enough, yes. This would work with 'city states' as units, using the old definition of a city-state in which you have the city, an attached territory, and possibly smaller towns associated with it.

It could work, at least for a while, if the component units were themselves big enough to be semi-self-sufficient. Nor would it necessarily ban all inter-unit business, as I suggested, permits for such would exist, it would just be hard to get. Nor would trade in raw materials necessarily be prevented by prevention of inter-jurisdictional ownership.

Granted, as I said, it would be incredibly inefficient.
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