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Old 05-20-2019, 10:38 AM   #551
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Imagine a system that incorporates something a little like the Roman 'course of honors', but in modern terms.

One enters politics by running for the local council (city or rural district). If you win you take that seat, for whatever term of office. So far familiar.

At the end of the term, you face the voters again, but in reverse. The default assumption is that you rise to the next level up in the system, becoming (for ex) a State Legislator. This will automatically happen unless the relevant voters block you, in which case your political career either ends or you go back to GO and run for local council again.

At the end of the term of the state legislature (or whatever) you automatically go up to the national Congress, again unless the voters veto it. Except for that first election, you don't convince the voters to hire you, to convince them not to fire you.
That is actually a pretty good one. I could also picture it happening and it might even work.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:38 AM   #552
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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That is actually a pretty good one. I could also picture it happening and it might even work.
Not without some corrective measure, otherwise you end up with an unmanageably large national legislative body.

Also, imagine a local council which collectively underperforms: they are all corrupt and incompetent. They all get vetoed. That means the state legislature receives no members at all from that local district. How is that a good thing?

An inspiration actually taken from the Roman cursus honorum would be just that you cannot run for the state legislative body unless you have done at least one term as local councillor.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:14 AM   #553
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Not without some corrective measure, otherwise you end up with an unmanageably large national legislative body.
It does need an incentive for people to leave politics, or for voters to turn them out. For the Roman system, at least some of that appears to have been running out of money from the cost of paying for all your clients. Maybe if the voters turn you out, all your property (and the price of whatever you are worth as a slave) is divided among the ones who voted against you. Admittedly that's a stronger filter at the lowest levels.

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Also, imagine a local council which collectively underperforms: they are all corrupt and incompetent. They all get vetoed. That means the state legislature receives no members at all from that local district. How is that a good thing?
How is it a bad one? District representation is over-rated anyway, and if a district could not manage to elect *anybody* competent locally, why would I want them electing somebody who was going to be governing me too?
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:56 AM   #554
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How is it a bad one? District representation is over-rated anyway, and if a district could not manage to elect *anybody* competent locally, why would I want them electing somebody who was going to be governing me too?
Well, if the alternative is bad representation of my district, obviously I prefer no representation. But with the current system, the available alternative would be electing a better representation.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:25 AM   #555
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Well, if the alternative is bad representation of my district, obviously I prefer no representation. But with the current system, the available alternative would be electing a better representation.
But the premise here is every person your district elected in the past is so bad even *you* now think they aren't fit for office. Why would anybody trust you to select someone (who by definition has no prior government experience) to an even higher position?

Hm, the goal of one of these systems is that the decreasing number of slots at each level should exactly match the rate at which people are not promoted, the fixes you need are when that isn't true - there are either too many or two few at the lower level to fill them. If there are too few, really the best solution probably is to leave them vacant, or maybe let the competent guys in the next level up appoint someone. For too many you need a filter. Random draw is a possibility, but the losers may not be very happy. A good compromise might be to do an approval vote of everyone in office. Anybody who loses is out, and his job is filled by the person in the next tier that got the highest approval rating. After you've sorted that, you need an election to fill a number of vacancies in the lowest tier equal to the number of people not confirmed in all the higher levels combined.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:20 AM   #556
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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But the premise here is every person your district elected in the past is so bad even *you* now think they aren't fit for office. Why would anybody trust you to select someone (who by definition has no prior government experience) to an even higher position?
For starters, the guys may have been elected with a 51% majority and they might now not be eligible to go ahead because they are supported only by a minority of the electorate. That means that not every last voter in the district was, even back then, such a fool that he can't be expected to choose the right people.

Additionally, the fact that now a majority of the voters are able to see that the councillors shouldn't be sent to Capitol City might be seen exactly as a sign that those voters who changed their minds can at least now be trusted more than before.

In any case, another possibility is that the councillors actually aren't bad, but that the voters are wrong now and had been right back then. Unfortunately, that's a problem not just with this system but with any representative democratic system.

I also think that living in a disenfranchised, unrepresented district won't affect positively the local population's stance towards the state legislature. The other districts may feel that it's better that way, but we in Smalltown will have a big chip on our shoulder.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:01 PM   #557
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For starters, the guys may have been elected with a 51% majority and they might now not be eligible to go ahead because they are supported only by a minority of the electorate. That means that not every last voter in the district was, even back then, such a fool that he can't be expected to choose the right people.

Additionally, the fact that now a majority of the voters are able to see that the councillors shouldn't be sent to Capitol City might be seen exactly as a sign that those voters who changed their minds can at least now be trusted more than before.

In any case, another possibility is that the councillors actually aren't bad, but that the voters are wrong now and had been right back then. Unfortunately, that's a problem not just with this system but with any representative democratic system.

I also think that living in a disenfranchised, unrepresented district won't affect positively the local population's stance towards the state legislature. The other districts may feel that it's better that way, but we in Smalltown will have a big chip on our shoulder.
Here's a variation on my initial suggestion that might have interesting effects:

You run for city/district council just as you would in the real world, and if you win you get your term of office. At the end of that term of office, you and the other local councilors are automatically the candidates for the regional/state seat in the legislature, and the voters for the region chose from among this group to fill the empty seats.

That might not be clear, so let me illustrate it. City A, City B, City C, and City D, plus Rural Districts E, F, and G are all part of Region 1, which is represented in the state legislature by, say, four seats. Each city/district council is, let's say, 10 people.

So when a seat comes open at the State level, there are 70 candidates automatically in the running, the one with the most votes gets that seat. The same process applies for the national legislature, when a seat comes open for the state, all the state legislators are candidates for it and the one with thhe most votes from at large in the state wins. If there are multiple open seats, the second most popular and third most popular also move up.

This also produces peculiar knock-on effects. It might amplify city/rural rivalries ferociously, since I suspect it would amplify the voice of large population centers.

(If all the state legislators in, say, New York State are in the running for that open seat in Congress, the ones from NYC have an obvious head start in an 'at large' election. Same deal with Chicago in Illinois, say, or Denver in Colorado. Or London in England or Cairo in Egypt.)
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:17 PM   #558
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Here's a variation on my initial suggestion that might have interesting effects:

You run for city/district council just as you would in the real world, and if you win you get your term of office. At the end of that term of office, you and the other local councilors are automatically the candidates for the regional/state seat in the legislature, and the voters for the region chose from among this group to fill the empty seats.

That might not be clear, so let me illustrate it. City A, City B, City C, and City D, plus Rural Districts E, F, and G are all part of Region 1, which is represented in the state legislature by, say, four seats. Each city/district council is, let's say, 10 people.

So when a seat comes open at the State level, there are 70 candidates automatically in the running, the one with the most votes gets that seat. The same process applies for the national legislature, when a seat comes open for the state, all the state legislators are candidates for it and the one with thhe most votes from at large in the state wins. If there are multiple open seats, the second most popular and third most popular also move up.

This also produces peculiar knock-on effects. It might amplify city/rural rivalries ferociously, since I suspect it would amplify the voice of large population centers.

(If all the state legislators in, say, New York State are in the running for that open seat in Congress, the ones from NYC have an obvious head start in an 'at large' election. Same deal with Chicago in Illinois, say, or Denver in Colorado. Or London in England or Cairo in Egypt.)
One thing I am thinking is if there are families similar to the old Boston Brahmins (which will probably continue) then certain cities will gain extra prestige according to the resident dynasty. Likewise those cities will be encouraged to elect the family that gives them prestige. This would evolve an aristocracy possibly one with enough resources locked in semipermanently to be more firmly based than what passed for American aristocrats (a Dulles or a Kennedy) in the past.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:28 AM   #559
Michael Cule
 
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Two things strike me about the 'enforced cursus honorum' idea.

1) Some people don't want to rise to a higher level. They are perfectly happy being responsible for the collection of refuse, the provision of libraries and the supervision of schools. They don't want to risk being in charge of the nuclear football.

2) It is enforcing the Peter Principle as it pushes people to take jobs that are further and further from the last job they were good at.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:43 AM   #560
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Not quite a government, but I have an idea for a magical underground full of factions (extended families, secret societies, magical style schools, etc.) that use the wizard duel ("certamen" for you Ars Magica fans), that was detailed in a Pyramid issue, as a means of settling various matters (unless they go straight to all-out war...).
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