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Old 12-14-2016, 05:15 PM   #31
warellis
 
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Considering the whole space feudalism thing the OTU has, I've always wondered, is it more a federation than a feudalistic realm?

Because I wonder if you could have a democracy like that of the early US with an FTL drive like the Jump Drive and no FTL comms.

I imagine voting by mail would be common.
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:35 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by warellis View Post
Considering the whole space feudalism thing the OTU has, I've always wondered, is it more a federation than a feudalistic realm?

Because I wonder if you could have a democracy like that of the early US with an FTL drive like the Jump Drive and no FTL comms.

I imagine voting by mail would be common.
Classic feudalism as we think of it(which is more a model then an actuality anyway) was a form of clientage based on real estate and military service in primary. However as other players came on the scene they negotiated a place according to the negotiating power they had to wield. There are a number of differences between feudalism and the Imperium. In the Middle Ages monarchy was so desperate for military support that it was willing to make concessions that could not be tolerated today which would enable nobles to live by banditry, set up local tyrannies, or even provide a threat to the crown. Those conditions are not present in the Imperium. There is plenty of wealth to be had and the Emperor can afford an ample amount of force, enough to keep a reasonable degree of law and order.

In canon, each member state has a form of government acceptable to itself with no limitation beyond what is considered an abomination by the Imperium which has a wide tolerance in that regard. Some things like slavery(for obvious reasons) and Psi-ocracy(which is not something to fiddle with and looks like being a Zho-lover in any case)are blatantly forbidden and others are common sense in that regard. But in principle any member world that feels like it can be a democracy. The aristocracy referred to in Nobles is mostly the Imperial aristocracy which is a different order then the planetary nobles or other dignitaries. Imperial Nobles have limited power locally.

Now an Imperial wide election by mail would be logistically impossible, and a subsector one is uncanonical. However one can, I think picture a multiplanet county electing by that means. Furthermore there is an effective House of Lords in the Imperium. Sector Dukes are elective. And from the Imperium down to the subsidiary courts there are moots and parliaments and senates of various types. They do not in fact have legal power that is the noble in charge of a respective court(at Capital the Emperor) has ultimately absolute power. But the desire for support will tend to encourage cooperation.

There is no House of Commons as such. But every voting member would have numerous lobbyists. A good comparison is the Congress of Vienna which was chock full, not only of sovereigns and pseudo-sovereigns(I.E. the gaggle of conquered, exiled, weak and otherwise obscure dynasties), but lobby groups like the Jews, the Abolitionists and anyone else that had enough influence. In effect there would be a number of commons at court and some more powerful then nobles but there wouldn't be a House of Commons. Another faux House of Commons is the recently enobled who have enough connection to form something of a representation. These would be Honor nobility who gained their title from achievement and rank nobility, that is state servants and similar useful sorts who were granted a title to allow them precedence. These will be disproportionately from occupations that allow opportunity for such naturally but on the other hand will usually be fairly intelligent.

As presented the Imperium is not a Federation in the sense that you describe. However local government can be of that nature and the procedures of large representative structures are familiar higher up. It is best not described as a "feudalism" in the medieval sense or as a federation. It is more like an eighteenth or nineteenth century aristocracy. The nobles will not be the brutal savages our ancestors were all to familiar with but neither will they be baby-kissing campaigners. They will be more like an elegant political machine where horse-trading is done between sips of wine.

A good insight to what it might be like can be found in the biography ''Champlain's Dream'' where Fischer describes what it is like for the title character to go to Paris and beg subsidies for the colony of New France.
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:10 PM   #33
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One thought I had was incoming ships beaming their cargo manifest(with perhaps a glitzy ad) into port.


Another was that orbiting ships, at least those still waiting their turn to land might take part in the on-planet electronic conversations.
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:18 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by warellis View Post
Considering the whole space feudalism thing the OTU has, I've always wondered, is it more a federation than a feudalistic realm?

Because I wonder if you could have a democracy like that of the early US with an FTL drive like the Jump Drive and no FTL comms.

I imagine voting by mail would be common.
It's a little of both.

The interstellar government has member worlds, but the member worlds are represented by (usually hereditary) nobles appointed by the Archdukes and/or the Emperor.

The subsector government, the lowest level of official 3I government, operates as a republic of nobles; the subsector duke acts with the advice and consent of the local nobles, bur may act unilaterally in the Sector Duke's, Archduke's, or Emperor's name.

The individual worlds are generally free to have whatever form of government they want, provided (1) they uphold the few imperially mandated local crimes, including prohibitions on chattel slavery and murder, (2) don't try to overthrow the imperial government on any level, and (3) don't interfere with interstellar trade between other worlds. They are free to influence their assigned noble in a variety of ways, too, and to lobby the subsector and/or sector moot.

The moots, for their part, are a form of representative democracy.

There are 2 layers of infeudation...
Emperor - Imperial Nobles (Baron, Viscount, Marquis, Count, Duke) and knights
Emperor - Archduke - Domain Nobles (Baronets) & knights
All three have (per T5) fiefs with direct vassalage allowed but not with titles.
The worlds themselves are not vassals, but are virtually represented by the local nobles; most worlds also house a fief or three... so there are vassals and subjects of the nobles and knights, and then other citizens.

IIUC, per T5, fiefs are extraterritorial to the world.
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:57 PM   #35
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It's a little of both.





The moots, for their part, are a form of representative democracy.
With the Caveat that the chief executive has the theoretical right to override.

In practice this will probably not be exercised very often because having a support base is more important then getting ones way over petty issues. But it is there.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:53 PM   #36
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With the Caveat that the chief executive has the theoretical right to override.

In practice this will probably not be exercised very often because having a support base is more important then getting ones way over petty issues. But it is there.
Not quite; Subsector dukes have no direct authority over other worlds nobles (JTAS 24)... only over the subsector fleets and forces. Which he maintains out of his own fief and agreed upon commitments from below. Except in GT.

He also has to answer upchain, to the sector duke, and the domain Archduke.

The Sector Dukes, however, do have executive authority.

In practice, local worlds answer to someone other than who they were enfeofed by...

The Subsector Dukes have a combined reporting and supervisory role (but not authority) over all the local nobles; a few Marquis and counts also hold this same duty on a smaller scale, in parallel with the subsector duke. Note that non-GT canon NEVER calls that subsector a duchy; this is because he's primus inter pares.

It's one of the big differences (and one we can blame squarely upon Hans, may he rest in peace) between GT and the rest of Traveller.

The only real "Duchy" for a subsector duke is his fief; his role in the SS is figurehead and adminstrative in all non-GT sources, and his role on-world is as figurehead, head of imperial forces on-world, and represents the world in the moot.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:26 PM   #37
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With the Caveat that the chief executive has the theoretical right to override.
.
As the Imperium is supported by The Divine Right of Batrons it might not be so theoretical.
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:33 PM   #38
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As the Imperium is supported by The Divine Right of Batrons it might not be so theoretical.
It is theoretical in the sense that it is likely not to be used very often. Probably it gives the Emperor authority for emergency degrees(like forcing through a solution to a diplomatic crises) while leaving much of the rule to consensus. It must be remembered that the nobles, bureaucracy, and member world governments have enough power at their behest to do an Imperial-level version of a work stoppage if put upon.
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Old 12-17-2016, 06:53 PM   #39
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It is theoretical in the sense that it is likely not to be used very often.
That just makes it relatively rare and not theoretical. With 5 Frontier Wars and some similar events Imperial martial law may not be all that rare at least in limited areas.
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:33 AM   #40
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It is theoretical in the sense that it is likely not to be used very often. Probably it gives the Emperor authority for emergency degrees(like forcing through a solution to a diplomatic crises) while leaving much of the rule to consensus. It must be remembered that the nobles, bureaucracy, and member world governments have enough power at their behest to do an Imperial-level version of a work stoppage if put upon.
The Emperor rules absolute.
The Emperor commands fanatical obedience from the IN and IM in Marc's novel. You try work stoppage tactics and you will be replaced at the end of a plasma gun and a new noble appointed in your place.
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