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Old 05-01-2021, 01:46 AM   #711
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
On the coming of age a seal is presented in a rite-of-passage. It is shaped like a traditional royal seal implying that being a citizen is a kind of universal nobility. On election the voter stamps the form he turns in with a code distinct to himself to present his vote.

Note: I realize there are disadvantages to having an ID which the other team can trace if it has a spy. As well as advantages to making sure no one can cheat by importing unqualified voters. This is not about that it is about making an interesting cultural quirk.
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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
This may be difficult to have each code be unique (enough to be readily distinguishable when used as a stamp) with a large population, at least if you want them to look sufficiently interesting (something like an SSN in barcode form is easy enough, going 2D if necessary, but doesn't look as interesting as, say, a Winged Lion Rampant below a Chevron, or whatever), and particularly if each person chooses their Seal (just think of the "fun" making an email address on a popular mail service - "Sorry, that Seal is already taken").

Still, it would certainly make for an interesting cultural quirk.
I believe in Japan people use a personal seal for pretty much all the things we use a signature for in the USA.

(And as I recall from the movie "A Taxing Woman" having separate seals is part of the secret accounts you use to hide income from taxes. And you can use all sorts of sneaky places to hide these seals.)
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:34 AM   #712
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I believe in Japan people use a personal seal for pretty much all the things we use a signature for in the USA.
Interesting. Looking them up, it looks like theyíre just made with the personís name - indeed, Iíve seen such used in the States, where someone just stamps documents with their name in lieu of signing. The Japanese can avoid this looking boring because they have a pictographic script available, and it looks like they often use highly-stylized kanji.
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:46 AM   #713
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
I believe in Japan people use a personal seal for pretty much all the things we use a signature for in the USA.

(And as I recall from the movie "A Taxing Woman" having separate seals is part of the secret accounts you use to hide income from taxes. And you can use all sorts of sneaky places to hide these seals.)
I was thinking of a heraldric emblem for decor and a DNA mark, code number, etc for actual reading.
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Old 05-10-2021, 03:22 PM   #714
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

There is no stratified class system as such except the monarch and everyone else. Rather there is a seniority system. Everyone in the kingdom (theoretically including slaves if slavery is allowed) is in the hypothetical line of succession and has their status decided so. Where a person stands is determined by a guild of heralds but everyone is somewhere.

The social life of the whole society is decided by reference to this. The higher status the better privileges.

Obvious ramifications include such things as trying to get away with murdering the guy ahead.

In real life this wouldn't work; low status people would just form cliques around a patron and raise their status indirectly. But it is an exotic system.
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:49 PM   #715
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

This is a variation on a hereditary aristocratic ruling body that I've used in my Orichalcum Universe setting, but it wouldn't have to be specific to it, adjust details to taste:

The Chamber of Princes is made up of 26 Great Families, each with the primary aristocratic title of Prince. This doesn't refer to royal descent, but rather to 'prince' as a title of (semi)-sovereignty in itself, and is also a play on 'merchant prince', since this aristocracy had its roots as much or more in corporate business activity as military prowess.

There are 26 Princely families, and no constitutional provision to increase it or add to it, though a new Great Family could be admitted to replace one rendered extinct by accident or infertility. Each Family is entitled to two seats in the Chamber, however.

The Senior Seat is held by the Prince (or Princess) proper. The Junior Seat is held by the confirmed and recognized heir to the title. This system was set up by the founders of the Empire because they recognized from history that a dissolute or incompetent noble could shatter a hereditary state, if he or she took no thought for the future. Giving the Heir a vote in the legislative body and a seat was expected to help create continuity and some thought for the future.

Thus there are 52 people from 26 Great Families, with an additional four Princes who hold office because of other special-case status, and their heirs (in their case, the Heir might not be genetically hereditary), for a total of 60 seats and 90 votes in the Chamber.

Ninety votes? Each actual Prince has 2 votes each, the various Heirs 1 vote each. The Prince can not split his vote, he has to cast both his votes for or both his votes against, or abstain with both votes, but this does mean that the actual Princes outvote the Heirs by 2 to 1, keeping the balance of the Chamber's power with the senior seats, even if all the junior seats are occupied at a given time, which may or may not be the case.

If a Prince has not yet had his Heir confirmed, the junior seat for that Great Family is vacant, and its vote is counted as 'abstained'. From a dynastic politics standpoint, this means that most Princes want their chosen heir confirmed as quickly as they can reasonably manage this, to gain the voting support...unless, of course, the potential heirs are all troublesome.

Technically, the Prince chooses his heir, from among his offspring or close genetic kin, but the Chamber must vote to confirm before that person is actually, legally the heir to the title and entitled himself to his seat in the Chamber. Confirmation requires a majority vote of the other Princes (the other Heirs do not get a say in this issue), unless the Prince chooses someone besides his 'default' heir, in which case a two-thirds majority of the Princes (17 or more) is necessary to confirm, and again this vote is only taken from the Princes proper.

The 'default' heir is the oldest maritally legitimate genetic offspring of either sex. This is assumed to be the heir, and requires only a simple majority of the current Princes (14 or more) to confirm. The Prince can, however, designate a different offspring, or other genetic relative in the approved lines of succession, and make that one his or her Heir with the consent of 17 or more of the other Princes. If that happens, that relative is the Heir, gets the Junior Seat and its vote, and becomes the new Prince or Princess in due time.

An heir can be formally designated and confirmed while still a minor, but in that situation he or she can not claim the Junior Seat or its vote until reaching majority (age 20 in the Empire). Likewise, if the current Prince dies while the heir is still a minor, then both seats sit empty and all 3 votes are counted as 'abstained' until the Heir is 20 and becomes the new Prince. If no heir has been officially designated, the 'default' heir is put up for a confirmation vote in the case of a deceased Prince.

Princes can adopt but adopted offspring can not inherit the title or anything held in right of that title (purely personal properties can be disposed as the Prince wishes).

The founders wished to avoid the inbreeding issues that plagued the European (and other) hereditary aristocracies in the past, so they laid down constitutional provisions forbidding the Great Families from marrying each other. If a Prince and Princess have a child, that child is excluded from inheritance of anything held to either title. (Again, purely personal properties can be left as the noble desires.) Likewise, maritally illegitimate offspring are excluded from succession.

In light of these provisions, a Prince, Heir, or relative who thinks he or she might someday be in line to be a Prince (such as a younger brother or nephew, say) must submit his choice of bride (or her choice of groom) for confirmation as well. A simple majority of the Princes is sufficient to recognize a marriage for Princely inheritance purposes, but while this is usually a formality, it's absolutely necessary for legal inheritance and there have been instances where a Prince or kin was told, "No, you can not marry him or her, pick somebody else.)

Note that a Prince could defy this, and the resulting marriage would be legal for most purposes...but the offspring of the resulting marriage would be O.U.T. of consideration for title inheritance, a seat in the Chamber, the whole kit and caboodle. The family title would pass the 'default heir' who would have been the heir absent the marriage in the first place, often a nephew or niece or cousin or younger sibling.

The 'officers' (Lord Chairman, Speaker, etc.) of the Chamber of Princes must be chosen from among the actual Princes, though the Heirs can vote on this selection (again with 1 vote to each Heir and 2 votes to each Prince).

Note that there is no requirement whatever that the Heir to a given Family vote as his or her Princely parent (or other) would prefer! Lord Heir Jonathan is free to cast his 1 vote in support of Mom or Dad, or against, it's equally valid. Likewise, there's nothing stopping him from abstaining on something his parent really wanted him to vote on (other than whatever practical repercussions might follow).

A Prince can request the Chamber to 'deselect' his confirmed Heir as well, but this takes a 2/3 vote of the Princes. So there is an incentive to choose carefully because it's harder to unchoose an Heir than to choose one. If a Prince really thinks his younger son would be a better Heir, he is better off to go ahead and try for that 2/3 confirmation vote now rather than let the older kid take it and then try to undo it later.

Though the theoretical power balance in the Chamber is fairly simple, in practice it can become byzantine under these arrangements.
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Old 06-17-2021, 07:55 AM   #716
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

One which word work any feudal or tribalistic system (something like Vorkosigan or Honor Harrington) would be having the children of aristocrats "apprentice" in the parliament or council of wise men or whatever it's called.

It would work like this. A youth of a certain age would cast the vote of their house. However their parent or guardian will have a legitimate right to order. As time goes more and more votes are to be entrusted to a given young aristocrat.

This by the way would be paired with the idea that a house has an abstract number of votes. This means the votes can be directed from "mission-control" (like a UN vote). It can also mean some houses employ "fixers" to cast their votes for whatever reason.
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Old 07-05-2021, 01:00 AM   #717
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
This is a variation on a hereditary aristocratic ruling body that I've used in my Orichalcum Universe setting, but it wouldn't have to be specific to it, adjust details to taste:

The Chamber of Princes is made up of 26 Great Families, each with the primary aristocratic title of Prince. This doesn't refer to royal descent, but rather to 'prince' as a title of (semi)-sovereignty in itself, and is also a play on 'merchant prince', since this aristocracy had its roots as much or more in corporate business activity as military prowess.

There are 26 Princely families, and no constitutional provision to increase it or add to it, though a new Great Family could be admitted to replace one rendered extinct by accident or infertility. Each Family is entitled to two seats in the Chamber, however.


Though the theoretical power balance in the Chamber is fairly simple, in practice it can become byzantine under these arrangements.
I quoted my earlier post because this is another idea that I used in my Orichalcum Universe world, this is another chamber of the same imperial legislature that contains the Chamber of Princes above. Again, this concept could be adjusted to taste for use in other settings.

The future Empire in question is multinational, multiethnic, multilingual multicultural, multifaith, and spreads over several continents. It has an institution reminiscent of 'Roman Citizenship' in the first century AD, however. Some subjects of the Empire are granted 'citizenship' in the Empire as a whole, giving them a status that transcends most of the local authorities and states and so forth within the Empire. All Imperial Citizens are also Imperial Subjects, but the converse is far from true. Once granted Citizenship, it can not be revoked short of death.

All the Imperial Citizens in the Empire, along with whatever other political status they have, are also entitled to vote for representation in the Civil Chamber. Only Imperial Citizens can stand for election to the Civil Chamber, and only Imperial Citizens can vote for the membership of the 100 member Civil Chamber.

What makes this unusual by traditional democratic standards is that Citizenship can come about by birth, by special grant, sometimes it accompanies other accomplishments or status. Citizenship status is not controlled by any one authority, so the exact composition of the electorate for the Civil Chamber changes somewhat unpredictably with time.

Also, instead of geographical representation, each newly enrolled Citizen is assigned to a particular Seat in the Chamber more or less at random, with the process breaking the electorate down evenly into 100 constituencies, and you keep that Seat as your Civil representative permanently, regardless of where you live or go. This spreads the constituencies of the 100 Civil Deputies out all over the Empire, intermixed with each other. An Imperial Citizen living in what is today France might share the same Deputy as a Citizen living in what is today Brazil. Meanwhile, his next-door-neighbor Citizen might share a Deputy with Citizens living in what are currently (say) Norway and Rwanda.

This factor makes the Civil Chamber the most 'geographically' representative body in the Imperial Diet, their constituents are spread out all over the Empire. On the other hand, it has a very restrictive franchise, only about one Subject in 1000 is also a Citizen. On the other hand, Citizens can and do come from almost all walks of life, socio-economic levels, and backgrounds. To the confusion of many observers, it is simultaneously a very elite body and a very egalitarian one.

This also makes campaigning to seek and/or hold a Civil Chamber seat a complex proposition, because any given Deputy's constituents are likely to be scattered from Kamchatka to Madrid, and from Cape Horn to Mexico City, and also from Johannesburg to Cairo and probably a few on the Indian subcontinent, too. The interests, priorities, and preferences of such a diverse constituency can be...challenging...to manage.

Civil Deputies serve five year terms, with 20 seats being open for election every year (the Empire has annual elections).
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Old 07-06-2021, 09:54 AM   #718
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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This also makes campaigning to seek and/or hold a Civil Chamber seat a complex proposition, because any given Deputy's constituents are likely to be scattered from Kamchatka to Madrid, and from Cape Horn to Mexico City, and also from Johannesburg to Cairo and probably a few on the Indian subcontinent, too. The interests, priorities, and preferences of such a diverse constituency can be...challenging...to manage.
It seems like the best bet would be to try to appeal to the voters of whatever region is most populous (for modern Earth, that would be China). The setup sounds like it would result in any given person having the same probability of being one of your voters. Using modern population numbers (but ignoring age), your 1-in-1000 estimate, and each Citizen having a 1-in-100 chance of being one of your constituents, the area that is modern-day China would have around 14,000 of your 78,000 constituents, which is a pretty sizable voting bloc. Of course, this assumes something akin to First Past the Post voting, but the way you describe the distribution of constituents for the Civil Deputies implies that's the method in play. You could end up with the constituents of the most populous region(s) being overrepresented in the Civil Chamber... but then, that may well be better for gaming purposes.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:31 PM   #719
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Imagine a tight federation like the USA, which we'll use as an example. Imagine if, instead of being either directly elected or chosen by the Electoral College, the U.S. President was one of the State Governors, who are elected conventionally in their States. This official continues as Governor, he is simultaneously U.S. President and Governor of State of X.

Which Governor? Possibilities include:

1. Governor of the State with the biggest GDP...
2. Governor of the State with the biggest population (Governor of CA is thus also the President of the USA, until some other State passes CA in population)
3. Governor who won his last gubernatorial election by the biggest margin...
4. Elected by other Governors...
5. Longest serving Governor...
6. Random selection, any of 50 might be President/Governor.

I used the USA as the illustration, but any federalized polity could attempt this with the details adjusted to taste (as a practical matter, if this system worked at all I suspect it would need a federation with much fewer than 50 member-states to be workable).
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Old 07-19-2021, 11:45 AM   #720
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Imagine a tight federation like the USA, which we'll use as an example. Imagine if, instead of being either directly elected or chosen by the Electoral College, the U.S. President was one of the State Governors, who are elected conventionally in their States. This official continues as Governor, he is simultaneously U.S. President and Governor of State of X.

Which Governor? Possibilities include:

1. Governor of the State with the biggest GDP...
2. Governor of the State with the biggest population (Governor of CA is thus also the President of the USA, until some other State passes CA in population)
3. Governor who won his last gubernatorial election by the biggest margin...
4. Elected by other Governors...
5. Longest serving Governor...
6. Random selection, any of 50 might be President/Governor.

I used the USA as the illustration, but any federalized polity could attempt this with the details adjusted to taste (as a practical matter, if this system worked at all I suspect it would need a federation with much fewer than 50 member-states to be workable).
A rotating presidency seems most likely unless it's a situation where say, the founding member of an interstellar imperium democratized but still reserves a bit of senior position for itself.
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