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Old 05-31-2019, 06:23 PM   #561
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

This is something of a classic "nested" goverenment.

1. The Head of State is the ceremonial leader of the country and the head of the predominant religion. He is less like a a British monarch and more like a Japanese Emperor

2. The Head of Government is the most powerful noble. He has extensive estates as well as off-planet investments and is able to fund a regular military. He is also given by Constitution a monopoly on certain kinds of military equipment.

3. The Great Council includes representatives from City-States, powerful nobles, nomad tribes, basicallly "anyone important". This includes one or more off-planet trading corporations with local investments.

4. Below the Great Council the Commoners are divided into "Children of the Sword", "Children of the Soil", "Children of the City", "Children of the Saddle" (warriors, farmers, burghers, nomads and ranchers). None of these categories is fixed per se and it is possible to change categories or for a family which to have representation in more than one group.

5. Each member of the Great Council has it's own "turf" which it guards. There is seasonal warfare and the territory shifts regularly according to the results. If one gets to ambitious it will simply get him in trouble. Some disputes are handled by combat by champion. General threats allow the Head of Government a limited amount of collective response

So far this is a fairly conventional arrangement for speculative fiction. More complexities will have to be added.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:01 AM   #562
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Imagine a hereditary monarchy (and the same system might apply to the aristocracy too), in which the crown passes, not necessarily to the child of the previous monarch, but to the candidate with the most 'points' in a complicated point system.

For ex, being the oldest son of the monarch might be worth 50 pts. Depending on the society, being a son or a daughter of the previous king might be worth equal or different points.

But you also get points for, say, being descended from other kings, or for being fewer generations away from the founder king.

You might get extra points if your other parent (queen mother or prince consort) was also descended from the royal family. Or pts if your parent who wasn't married to the king is so kin.

For ex, Prince David is the legitimate oldest son of the former king. His mother was the queen consort. His hereditary point total looks like:

Eldest Son of the King: 50 pts
Legitimate: 25 pts


For a total of 75.

But his older brother Tom is:

Oldest biological son: 25 pts (not legitimate it worth less)

His mother is a mistress of the previous king rather than wife: 10 pts

BUT...his mother was descended from the royal family on both sides, she includes in her ancestry multiple nobles and royals who add up to 30 pts. Plus, some of her ancestors reproduced late, she's fewer generations removed from the founder than the queen consort, it all adds up to 40 pts.

Plus...Tom has taken part in various victorious battles and wars, while the relatively young David has not. Extra 20 pts.

Boom. Tom has 95 points, and become the new king.

Of course there could be many many ways to gain extra points or forfeit them.

If the exact value of the points a given action or inaction or hereditary status are publicly known, and there are mechanisms to track who is entitled to what, it might just function. But it would have a lot of weird effects. What those effects would be would be would be sensitively dependent on exactly what actions accrued/lost points, and how many points.

For ex, it means that the children of the king are in competition with various cousins and nephews and so forth, quite openly, for the throne. It would amplify the tendency for royalty to marry their close kin, for the point value. But it would also provide a route for ambitious distant kin to try for the throne quite openly and above board, by military service, public service, whatever gets you points.

There would need to be a mechanism to break ties. The authority that determines what points accrue to what would be a key power center, too.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:18 PM   #563
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

I think there could be negative points as well as positive points.

Perhaps points could be deducted for being the king (or heir) of a different kingdom. I can certainly see religious clauses being thrown in there (the English have a clause that outright forbids catholic monarchs).

The point system could reveal a lot about what the culture valued. Imagine a meritocratic version where the executive leader is the man with the most impressive resume of civil, military, and academic achievement, carefully calculated each year.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:30 PM   #564
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Really any combination of values can be factored in. This can be the foundation of a meritocracy or a hereditary aristocracy (probably one more like an Anglo-Saxon one rather than one based on Norman style primogeniture). It can also be a good way to found a Cursus Honorum. It can be a combination of these (a son of the Duke of Earl gets so many automatic points, gets so many added for this service to the state, so many for that, so many because daddy did an extra service and wanted his points flagged to his son, etc.

In real life of course you often have a tacit "points structure". What makes this different is it is explicit and precisely counted.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:53 AM   #565
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

A nigh-outsider (is royal blood necessary?) might step forth with a list of valid achievements and claim the throne by surprise.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:35 PM   #566
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

This is a suggestion I could imagine being tried, if a group of idealists got control of the system for a while, though it's very hard for me to imagine it lasting long, since it runs directly counter to human nature. But still, it would be exotic while it lasted.

Imagine a hereditary aristocracy/monarchy, but with an iron rule that the crown or the family title cannot pass to the offspring or near kin of the noble. Instead, he or she must adopt an unrelated commoner, and that adopted offspring inherits, while the blood heirs become commoners (and first-generation blood offspring are precluded from being adopted by nobles, to block off that route around the rules).

Like I said, this goes so against the grain that I can't imagine it working for very long, but while it did the effects could be very odd.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:34 AM   #567
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
This is a suggestion I could imagine being tried, if a group of idealists got control of the system for a while, though it's very hard for me to imagine it lasting long, since it runs directly counter to human nature. But still, it would be exotic while it lasted.

Imagine a hereditary aristocracy/monarchy, but with an iron rule that the crown or the family title cannot pass to the offspring or near kin of the noble. Instead, he or she must adopt an unrelated commoner, and that adopted offspring inherits, while the blood heirs become commoners (and first-generation blood offspring are precluded from being adopted by nobles, to block off that route around the rules).

Like I said, this goes so against the grain that I can't imagine it working for very long, but while it did the effects could be very odd.
The Tibetan system of getting Lamas from random babies chosen from some kind of priestcraft that I don't know the details of is an example.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:30 PM   #568
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

The roman emperors did try an adoption scheme a few different times, adopting a competent heir intentionally. It always ended with a return to hereditary rule for some reason.

Of course, the emperors would generally adopt an aristocrat, and their children certainly didn't become plebeians.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:40 PM   #569
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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The roman emperors did try an adoption scheme a few different times, adopting a competent heir intentionally. It always ended with a return to hereditary rule for some reason.

Of course, the emperors would generally adopt an aristocrat, and their children certainly didn't become plebeians.
Really? I thought they were distinguished military officers. Of course probably the one was usually the other and it depended on what trait you wanted to emphasize.

Though while we're at that, why not make a horse an emperor? Actually it sounds funny but come to think of it, Iroquois made animal spirits the heads of the clans.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:20 AM   #570
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Though while we're at that, why not make a horse an emperor? Actually it sounds funny but come to think of it, Iroquois made animal spirits the heads of the clans.
A divine oracular animal, given by the gods to guide matters of state.

Give it a functioning bureaucracy and reasonable competent set of diviners who can present the questions correctly and you may not even notice.
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