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Old 02-23-2021, 03:25 AM   #681
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
It also means that there's a strong political pressure toward big families, since the bigger the clan, the more voting power in the third house. There might be all sorts of official and unofficial incentives toward large families.
I don't think the pressure is all that "strong". Sure there is some, but note that our world is full of legislative bodies where the representation of a statoid is determined by its population, and yet they don't often compete with each other all that hard to lure people to move from their neighbors

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Political parties of the traditional sort might well exist in the first house, with the traditional franchise, and might cut across Clan lines, since it would be elected 'normally'. The third house might have parties within the clans,
but would seem to serve little function across Clan lines for the third house.
That makes no sense to me. Political factions within a clan seem to have no effect at all, and unless one clan has half the population of the state to itself, it will need allies to pass anything even through the third house, which is after all the basis of parties. Again the clans in this system really do seem to me to function a lot like subregions, except they aren't *strictly* geographical - though given the tendency of families in most societies to settle near their kin there is a good deal of that character too.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:08 AM   #682
Michael Cule
 
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I've contemplated a similar clan-based system but with each clan electing its head rather than having hereditary leaders. (Not to say that the more conservative clans wouldn't always favour particular bloodlines: "My dear, it just wouldn't be the same without a De Crucis in charge!". The Tribune in charge of their relations with the state just rolls his eyes every time and says: "Does anyone else wish to put their name forward?" whenever there's a turnover in the chieftainship and he has to supervise the election.)

You do get a permanent state of tension between the elected-by-the-people House and the elected-by-the-clanmembers House. The Clans are not equals except in voting power in the Chamber. Some are each others clients or otherwise obliged: some have much more financial clout than others. This isn't what we in the UK are used to: the submission of the Lords is over a century old. But the US seems to manage more tension, sometimes creatively.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:52 AM   #683
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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I've contemplated a similar clan-based system but with each clan electing its head rather than having hereditary leaders. (Not to say that the more conservative clans wouldn't always favour particular bloodlines: "My dear, it just wouldn't be the same without a De Crucis in charge!". The Tribune in charge of their relations with the state just rolls his eyes every time and says: "Does anyone else wish to put their name forward?" whenever there's a turnover in the chieftainship and he has to supervise the election.)

You do get a permanent state of tension between the elected-by-the-people House and the elected-by-the-clanmembers House. The Clans are not equals except in voting power in the Chamber. Some are each others clients or otherwise obliged: some have much more financial clout than others. This isn't what we in the UK are used to: the submission of the Lords is over a century old. But the US seems to manage more tension, sometimes creatively.
In the version I have political adoptions are a common substitution for this. That is the previous chief is "officially" the father (or mother but consorts usually take the job of consigliere) but is really chosen by perception of their convenience to the Clan interest.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:01 AM   #684
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Imagine a republic (loosely defined) emerging from a beginning a little like the Roman Republic, but in a Western cultural pattern.

The founders of the state were all males and heads of extrended families, and they designed the state's constitution partly around a concept a bit like the early-Roman 'gens'. The mature Republic has a three-chamber legislature:

1. The popular chamber is elected by the general public along traditional Western lines, i.e. the U.S. House of Representatives or the House of Commons.

2. This chamber is made up of appointed members, along the lines of the UK House of Lords (life peers) or the Canadian Senate. If the Republic is federal in nature, this chamber might instead or also be made up of representatives of the federal components, like the original form of the U.S. Senate. The existence of the second house might be optional, there might be no second house unless a specific purpose for it existed.

3. This is the exotic chamber. Each of the founders of the state also founded a 'gens', the blood-line descendants (presumably patrilineal but other arrangements could exist), and all the direct descendants make up that gens. The head (laird, chief, whatever) of the gens/clan sits in the third house and casts the vote for his gens. The headship might be transmitted by primogeniture, but it might possibly more likely go to the oldest member of the gens. Either way, it's passed down within the family.

The head of state has to be chosen from among the heads of the clans in the third house, though most likely with the approval of the two lower chambers.

Where it gets really complicated and exotic is that the voting power of a clan head depends on the size of his clan. So if Clan A, descended from Founder A, has twenty million people, and Clan B descended from Founder B has 90 million, the clan head B has 9 votes (say) to Clan head A's 2 votes. Or something along those lines, the bigger the clan, the more voting power in the third house.

Which in turn means that rules about who qualifies as being part of what 'gens' are absolutely critical! For ex, can you be 'adopted' into a gens? If so, that gives the great clans a huge incentive to adopt new members. If a member of clan A marries a member of Clan B, which Clan are they part of, and which Clan are their kids part of? I suspect that marriage rules would require that inter-clan marriage means that one of the spouses leaves their native clan to join the other.

This could work several ways. It could be that the couple chooses which clan, or maybe the wife always joins the husband's clan, or vice versa. This rule would have a huge effect on the popularity of inter-clan marriage. For ex, say the wife leaves the native clan to joint the husband's clan, and the kids belong to the father's clan.

In that case, small clans have a vested interest in their males marrying out, but in their women marrying within the clan. Big clans have the same interest but with far less intensity.

OTOH, if a couple chooses which Clan they are part of, then Clans might compete to be the 'preferred' clan, while individual families might put tremendous pressure on their young people to only marry out-clan if they can find a mate that will join their native clan.

The permutations are almost endless. What is the clan-status of 'illegitimate' offspring? What does divorce do in inter-clan marriages? Is there any acknowledged divorce?

It also means that there's a strong political pressure toward big families, since the bigger the clan, the more voting power in the third house. There might be all sorts of official and unofficial incentives toward large families.

Political parties of the traditional sort might well exist in the first house, with the traditional franchise, and might cut across Clan lines, since it would be elected 'normally'. The third house might have parties within the clans,
but would seem to serve little function across Clan lines for the third house.

There would probably be some legal (and probably more unofficial) powers of the elders of the Clan over the general membership. Exactly what those would be could vary, and would have a significant effect on how the whole system operated.
I don't separate the clans from the lords. Rather the noble titles have votes attached to their estates and vote in the same house as the chiefs. As many chiefs are also nobles and the lowest level of nobility is in the gift of whatever chief it is given to as soon as a title is emptied there are more overlaps. The last has an interesting subtlety: titles in industrial parts of town are used to play politics with but titles in residential ones are often given to descendants of previous holders (exceptions include such things as the local inhabitants appealing that a given heir is to obnoxious to be given power).
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:59 AM   #685
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Behind (or more specifically, underground below) the corridors of politics, a powerful lich sets most policy through a covert police. The lich is primarily concerned with magical advancement of the art, and sees the establishment of a utilitarian mercantile state as important to its goals. Its covert police have a mission primarily to keep the Sovereign Council in line, the tribunes and syndics weak enough so the aristocracy never reforms (meaning "never recovers from its dissolution"), and the guilds loyal and orderly.
This has been lingering with me a bit, I think in large part because the lich's policy imperatives are well aligned with keeping things ticking along in an orderly manner with no faction getting enough power to push through huge changes, which for your average citizen is the best option for them too.

I mean, on the one hand lich. On the other hand, if you murder the lich you might well get a civil war.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:10 PM   #686
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I mean, on the one hand lich. On the other hand, if you murder the lich you might well get a civil war.
That's the effect I was going for - yes. The lich could be like a Hari Seldon, propagating its psychohistory on a much larger scale.

("Right, once you've done burying the corpses of the former parasitic aristocratic ruling class, report back to me and we'll get a quorum going. Let's get this anarchy organized.")

This is a rather philosophical dilemma, and one that PCs could very well just choose to ignore. "Yes, our government is dependent on the benevolence - or at least utilitarianism - of a horrific undead eternal overseer from beyond the pale. But you should see how the stagecoaches run on time!"

Another level of potential conflict may be in the lich's relationship to religion. In my campaign, the former religions were largely ineffectual by the time the lich arrived in the realm, making for comparatively easy pickings. The lich set up a nondenominational federation and thought no more about religions... until a creed that it set up started to grant priestly spells.

Now the lich is worried, because the creed was founded specifically to channel theist behavior into more secular tangible focuses. But if something on the divine level is generating spellcasting powers for its faithful, then that gives tantalizing clues to the nature of theogenesis.

The lich is intrigued by the possibility of becoming a divinity, and has begun this research with the same attitude in which it hopes to end its research - by believing in itself.
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Old 03-13-2021, 01:34 PM   #687
David Johnston2
 
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Ordeal Democracy: A system where the legislature is elected normally except that in order for a citizen to vote they must fast for 24 full hours before voting to prove they actually care about politics.
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:34 PM   #688
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Ordeal Democracy: A system where the legislature is elected normally except that in order for a citizen to vote they must fast for 24 full hours before voting to prove they actually care about politics.
It matters a lot when. If this is a do it once kind of thing, as a slightly inconvenient barrier to initial voter registration, it's just a bit of a cultural quirk. It's likely to be just another fairly common rite of adulthood ritual along the same lines as taking a confirmation class or getting a drivers license. With many people doing it just for the rite, before they even have fully formed political opinions yet, let alone really care all that much.

As the ordeal gets harder, or you have to do it more often, it becomes a more serious thing. If you need to repeat the fast before each election, well, the political concerns of the elderly or sick don't matter nearly as much anymore....
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Old 03-15-2021, 12:07 PM   #689
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As the ordeal gets harder, or you have to do it more often, it becomes a more serious thing. If you need to repeat the fast before each election, well, the political concerns of the elderly or sick don't matter nearly as much anymore....
Will probably make for more radical politics, don't really need to concern yourself with the very elderly, a lot of people who vote mostly because it just ain't that hard to vote for the party you've always voted for and your dad voted for just won't do it if it requires any ordeal.

All while the crazy people on both sides of the normal line will vote regardless.



The idea made me wonder if you could have a few other variants on democracy like not for american democracy but for multiple party democracy.
Variant 1 - You can only vote for a party if you can name three of their candidates for office and a few of their key policies.
Variant 2 - You don't get to vote instead you take a list of questions and your vote falls to the party which you agree most with.
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:18 PM   #690
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Instead of an election they have a gambling tournament. Anyone who can pay the ante can play. Winner gets the office. At the end the remaining moneyis put into a bank account and left until the end of term whereupon accountants decide the performance of an officeholder and whether or not he is worthy to receive his winnings.
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