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Basic politics of your favorite concultures. - Gtx0 ?>


Basic politics of your favorite concultures.
Posted: Posted June 30th, 2008 by chiarizio
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How is the person recognized to have the most power in your society's government, given that recognition and that power?
Do they inherit it?
Are they elected?
Is there some other method? If so, what is it?

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Assuming the highest office-holder is elected:
Who can run or stand for that office?
Absolutely anyone? Or, almost anyone?
If not anyone or almost anyone, how do the people eligible for that office become eligible?
Are they a hereditary group? (In Scotland, the King was elected; but to be eligible, you had to be the son, grandson, great-grandson, or great-great-grandson, of a king.)
Are they the holders of some set of lesser offices? (e.g., Popes are usually elected from among Cardinals.) (and, for instance, the U.K.'s prime minister almost has to be a member of the House of Commons.)

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If they are the holders of some set of lesser offices, how do they attain those offices?
Do they inherit them?
Are they appointed to them? (e.g. Cardinals are appointed by Popes.)
Are they elected to them? (Members of Parliament in the U.K. are elected.)
Do they merit or earn them somehow? (If so, how?)
Or is there some other means, and if so, what is it?

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Assuming the highest office-holder is elected:
Who can vote for that?
Absolutely anyone? Or, almost anyone?
If not anyone or almost anyone, how do the people [size=0][color=white]eligible who can vote for that office become [size=0][color=white]eligiblefranchised?
Are they a hereditary group? (Some of the Electors of the Holy Roman Empire were hereditary electors -- at least, in effect.)
Are they the holders of some set of lesser offices? (e.g., Popes are elected by Cardinals. And the U.K.'s Prime Ministers are elected by the Members of the House of Commons.)
Is that office just "Elector" -- that is, the only major duty the officeholder has, is to vote in this election? (e.g. Presidential Electors in the U.S.A.)

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If they are the holders of some set of lesser offices, how do they attain those offices?
Do they inherit them? (Many Electors of the Holy Roman Emperor were hereditary -- in effect if not constitutionally.)
Are they appointed to them? (Cardinals are appointed by Popes. And, many Electors of the HRE were appointed to their positions by the Emperor -- in effect, if not constitutionally.)
Are they elected to them? (Many Bishops, and many Electors of the HRE, were elected -- by law if not in fact. The conflict between the Emperor wanting to appoint the Elector (because many Electors were Bishops and vice-versa) and the average church-member wanting the Bishop to be elected canonically and regularly, was a big deal, especially before it was decided that only Cardinals could vote in Papal elections. Also, Presidential Electors in the U.S.A. are elected -- constitutionally at least -- by their state legislatures; though in practice they are elected by all the voters of their state -- that is, "nearly everyone". And, the Members of Parliament of the U.K. are elected by "nearly everyone".)
Do they merit or earn them somehow? (If so, how?)
Or is there some other means, and if so, what is it?

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If the electors are elected, do you want to go one step deeper and describe how that happens -- who is eligible to become an elector, and who can vote for an elector, etc.?

Is there a big difference between the highest judicial office and the highest executive office?

How much influence does either have on the legislation, if any?

Does the highest executive have to be a member of the legislature?
Or, chosen by the legislature?

Does the highest judge have to be a member of the legislature?
Or, chosen by the legislature?

Is the highest judge appointed by the highest executive?

Is there anything else about their governmental and/or political system you think is worth telling us? Anything you're especially proud of, for instance? Or, anything you think some of us will be curious about?

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That was complicated. I'll try to simplify it.

In Melville, no one has power. However, the highest level of responsability is taken over by the State Representant, which is about the equivalent of a Minister of Foreign Affairs, with a few more duties.

So. He would be elected unanimously by the Assembly of Voters of Melville. It would take time to choose him, if it wasn't for some sort of proposition given by the former State Representant. Also, since he doesn't have any power (he has the duty to represent the Assembly in his duties, and cannot deviate from the Assembly), it is easier to choose someone and reject him.

Only a voter of the State can stand for the office. He must have obtained his majority, though there is no age limit if obtained. To become a voter, you have to be a citizen (which is relatively easy to become) and succesfully passed a Test in which you must show knowledge about the people, the environment, the laws, the institutions and the language of the State. When a voter, you are automatically part of the Assembly of voters, so the Representant is also a member of the body he represents.

A voter has the duty to vote for laws that are Constitutional, and make sure that all institutions under the rule of the State also work constitutionally. The State Representant is the diplomatic head of Melville (and is head of the diplomatic institutions of Melville), so a voter has to make sure everything is constitutional.

Is there a big difference between the highest judicial office and the highest executive office?


There is no executive office, all institutions work seperately, under the Assembly's direction. An administrator may be appointed to any executive institution, but all administrators are technically independant from each other and only answer to the Assembly.

The highest judicial office is the Assembly itself. Any law contradicting a past law, unless explicitly making void the effects of the past law, can be rendered void by the Assembly. No law can contradict the Constitution. However, the judicial office cannot enact new laws, it can only erase unconstitutional laws. The Assembly can delegate judicial affairs to an institution however, which then have absolute power to revoke any unconstitutional law.

How much influence does either have on the legislation, if any?


The executive has none, except if the administrator is himself a voter.
The Judicial institution, if working, can revoke laws at whim, if judged unconstitutional. It cannot, however, create new laws.

Does the highest judge have to be a member of the legislature?
Or, chosen by the legislature?


If there is a working judicial institution, the highest position, the administrator, must be chosen by the Assembly, and answers to the Assembly.

Is the highest judge appointed by the highest executive?


No. Both are appointed by the Assembly, if we think the State Representative as the highest executive.

Is there anything else about their governmental and/or political system you think is worth telling us? Anything you're especially proud of, for instance? Or, anything you think some of us will be curious about?


Unanimity is the norm. If a vote proceeds and unanimity isn't reached, then the conservative position (that is, the position that does not change things) wins.

Any part of the State may secede, dispositions are taken as for the portion of the State the seceding party can receive. Usually, it goes fairly proportionally. Something as small as a neighborhood may secede (technically, even individuals may secede, though it usually results in the individual becoming a mere resident of Melville).

The State of Melville has neither Head of State nor Head of Government. For diplomatic issues, both titles are assumed to held by the State Representative, but he is lower in the decisional hierarchy. He has no freedom of action, all his actions in the name of the State must be approuved by the Assembly. Emergency cases may be approuved in express time, then be evaluated by the Assembly, but if this occurs, the Representative's decision is revoked if the Assembly does not agree.

Political entities within Melville are understood as being sovereign, pretty much as in Switzerland. However, it goes as far as being sovereign about international relations, and Embassies may be exchanged with them. The most spectacular case is the exchange of embassies between Elkebek and Seveland, both regions of Melville. (It is as if New York (State) and California exchanged embassies...)

Posted July 2nd, 2008 by Yiuel
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Yiuel
 

Thanks.

Additional questions;

How long is a term of office?

Is it "for life"?

If it usually lasts until "something happens", e.g. a vote-of-no-confidence, is there nevertheless a limit beyond which re-election is required? (E.g. Parliament usually dissolves whenever the Government (or Prime Minister) loses a vote-of-confidence; but it must dissolve after seven years, anyway.)

NOTE; in practice, a term of 3 years or less has shown to be a problem. Terms should probably be 4 years long or longer (unless you want the problems, for story purposes!)

Is there a limit to the number of times a single person may be elected, and/or the number of terms s/he may serve?

Whether or not there is, is there a limit to the number of consecutive terms a person may serve? (It could be different. For instance, perhaps Governors can never be re-elected to immediately succeed themselves, but there's otherwise no limit to how many times a Governor may be elected.)

NOTE: limits of two consecutive terms or fewer have shown to be a problem. People should be eligible to at least three consecutive terms, unless you want the problems, e.g. for story purposes.

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A different sort of question:

If your society is more "primitive" politically, what is the major ability the "chief" must have?

Ability to judge disputes? And/or criminal matters?

Ability to provide justice?

Ability to feed the people?

Ability to predict the future?

Ability to do favors for people and get people to do favors for him/her?

Ability to protect the people?
  • from foreign aggressors
  • from native criminals

    Ability to beat rivals in a fight?
  • fellow citizens
  • foreign pretenders

    Ability to speak to the gods for the people?

    Ability to speak to the people for the gods?

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    If an officeholder "earns" an office, it is often by one of the above. If an officeholder's term is cut short by some event, it is often a failure in one of the above. These features may be kept, largely modified, even in a less-"primitive" political system.

  • Posted July 3rd, 2008 by eldin raigmore
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    Terms in Melville have no defined limits. If one can indeed end his own term by quitting, if a term does not end with the death of the holder, it will usually end with a destitution. The Assembly has the power to choose an Administrator, but it also has the power to destitute him at will. One can hold an office indefinitely however, if he is good and satisfying enough.

    Voter status has a limit though : 10 years. After 10 years, you must pass again the test in order to retain your right to vote. You do not loose you status of State Representative if you loose your right to vote, but you usually wouldn't stand much longer anyways.

    A person may serve as many terms as appointed by the Assembly.

    Posted July 3rd, 2008 by Yiuel
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    Yiuel
     

    In this post i'm talking about the T'ani. One of the larger Myrmidon nations and the one which the astronauts formed an alliance with. In fact, some myrmidon maintain that New Houston is a T'ani city.

    How is the person recognized to have the most power in your society's government, given that recognition and that power?


    Amt'ani is the sovereign head of the T'ani family simply because she is the immortal ancestor and first born of the Storm Queen. Some of the other Myrmidon nations also claim their queens as first born though, just don't mention that in polite conversation and expect not to get jumped.

    If they are the holders of some set of lesser offices, how do they attain those offices?


    Although the queens are nearly immortal, the lesser castes are not. Holdings are positions of merit cannot be directly inherited through lineage alone, however, an aging noble will often choose one of her daughters of noble caste to carry on her work. While apprenticeship is not a total guarantee of securing a position, the retiring noble is largely the person who chooses her successor. The applicant's ability and talent are of course tested. public debates are held by those who usually have no say over the selection. And generally there's a lot of fuss and punditry.

    Kinda like US politics now that I think about it.



    Is the highest judge appointed by the highest executive?
    Amt'ani, as the the Immortal Ancestor of all T'ani and the sovereign head, IS the highest judge in the land. However, she's only had to directly rule on a few matters in the last 1000 or so years.

    T'ani's legal system is a mess of bureaucracy. Before taking one's case before Amt'ani, one has to go through a council composed of her three queen daughters, Kesseli the Western , Nallesi the Eastern, and Kinat' the Oracle. In order to get the council together one has to come to either Nallesi or Kesseli with an impossible question, depending on which side of the empire it pertains too. If such a question mainly applies to the temple, it can instead be brought before Kinat'.

    In order to be allowed to petition one of the Three Sisters. One must come before the half's appropriate high court. (There are different courts for criminal law, civil law, bureaucratic procedure, legislature (or judicial review if you prefer), or must stand before one of the temple courts.

    the pattern continues down the line to local government offices.

    Oh and if you get in trouble in T'ani, buy a damn good lawyer, money is NO object, trust me. It wouldn't hurt to buy a few officials too for that matter.

    Is there anything else about their governmental and/or political system you think is worth telling us? Anything you're especially proud of, for instance? Or, anything you think some of us will be curious about?
    Kinat' is the Myrmidon most likely to be recognized by inhabitants of New Houston. She is tall and wispy, with platinum blonde hair and lavender eyes. She's often called the Maiden Queen. Whether this is due to a vow of chastity or due to a defect in her reproductive capability is unknown. It is known that she does not maintain an estate like her sisters. She either lives in temple suites or travels the empire.

    Kasseli the Western often yields diplomatic power to her sisters, as her territory is largely bordered by ocean and mountain. Her half is said to be more advanced in infrastructure and less corrupt in government than the Eastern though. Studies of this have been inconclusive however.

    the T'ani tend to think of themselves as a gigantic family rather than a nation.

    Myrmidon queens have no need for strict titles of station since as they are largely immortal there is no station to inherit. The death of Amt'ani or one of the Three Sisters would likely plunge the nation into chaos

    Posted July 5th, 2008 by wheelerpm
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    @wheelerpm;
    Thanks. That's neat. Or rather, it's not neat, and I like that; it gives room for story.
    I'll probably say more later.

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    @Yiuel; in Melville it looks like there'd be a tremendous problem.

    Nearly anyone can be a Voter.

    They have to be unanimous to elect someone.

    Look at the trouble that caused Poland, and there there were only seven electors, if I remember correctly.

    Look at the trouble the Roman Catholic Church has had choosing the Pope, where only a two-thirds majority (plus one vote) was needed, and only Cardinals could vote.

    I'd say after the trouble it took to elect someone unanimously the Assembly would be loath to dismiss him/her and go through the damned election again.

    In fact, even in countries where only a >50% majority is required to elect a Prime Minister, and only members of Parliament (or whatever they call it) can vote for or run for that office, the problem of getting a majority is a major one, and the fact it can collapse at any moment is a major one for the government while it exists, as well.

    The fact that your concitizens aren't human is the only way this has a chance of having our disbelief suspended.

    I like that your voters have to pass a test, and have to do it every 10 years.

    But the Assembly contains all voters? Highly unlikely to succeed, especially when a consensus is required.

    Perhaps the test could be made more difficult, and there could be fewer Voters? Or, perhaps the Assembly could be an elected body, and not contain all the voters?

    Also; there should probably be a minimum term the Representant of the State can serve before he can be removed from office by less than, say, a majority of the Voters; perhaps something like "he has to serve at least as long as it took to elect him"?

    Or, elect him with a smaller majority; I'd recommend that he can win with something <50% (for instance anything over 45% provided it is more than any other candidate), and no motion to remove him be acceptable for 100 days, or for as long as it took to elect him, whichever is more, unless >60% of the voters want it.

    Or something.

    Of course, it's all fantasy; some of your citizens are non-human; the human ones may have "evolved" somewhat since our time, and may not have exactly the same "human nature".

    But I don't see how it could work realistically.

    Posted July 6th, 2008 by chiarizio
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    Saltha has a number of political parties (I think currently around 10-11) with varying degrees of views on issues.

    They have a senatorial system with 40-60 elected senators and one elected head for each of the five districts. The higher court for appealed and national cases is made up of members of the lower courts. There is only one branch, that makes and enforces the laws, but at any time the people can call a vote of no confidence to have a senator replaced. An elected term is 5 years with no limits on maximum terms.

    Any male above the age of 16 can vote, except for criminals (though that is a current hot issue). I'm not sure if they would allow women to vote, I'm thinking not since this is still a midevilish society.

    Posted December 8th, 2009 by Foolster41
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    Vallermoore is a Queendom-the Queen is normally, when she dies, replaced by her eldest female heir. There is a secret police and no political parties or trade unions are allowed, but it is not a North Korea-like state and there is no strong cult of personality. The Queen is advised by a Grand Council of the generals and admirals, the nobles and the richest merchants and traders, and whilst she does not have to do what they say, if they are all agreeing on something she will normally take their advice.

    Posted December 11th, 2009 by Cheka Man
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    A cross-post from Ashroot's Birth Right thread on the ZBB, asking about how the inhabitants justify the placement of their rulers:

    [quote:2a41c78276="In this post I"Mókura: Collective or oligarchal autocracy, led by a chief of state who resides over a lineage-stratified assembly of families in an authoritarian-based communist state and who has absolute rule over the state. The position of Chief of State is completely hereditary and cannot be overruled by other means.

    Shilamzhu - tribe level: Individually-held but partially-elected timocracy ruled by a chief who keeps his power by defeating the chiefs of other conglomerated tribes. The chief gets his power by winning the respect, reverence and loyalty of his tribe, but must protect it on his own.

    Shilamzhu - state level: Elective hereditary monarchy determined primarily by lineage but also by public demand when necessary, ruled by a king of state.

    Tamiran: Haven't decided yet.

    Nok'ii: Tribal meritocracy, resembling a slightly communist micro-state but that elects a chief by democratic-timocratic means. Only prominent members of the tribe are chosen, and this prominence is decided by the member's social status instead of their association with any political party as would happen in a true democracy. There is no heredity, and chiefs do not have absolute power, but they do have enough power to act on personal interests and many times this goes before the interests of the public, so this tribal government is more autocratic than democratic in resemblance.

    All other salmuran societies are anarchist so they don't apply.


    And my reply to Eddy's post:

    [quote:2a41c78276="In this post I"
    All other salmuran societies are anarchist so they don't apply.


    What sort of anarchism?

    Basically a communal living pattern that has no political representation. Most other salmuran cultures - and all Ettic-speaking cultures - are considered ethnic minorities in urbanized areas, so they can't have any political representation of their own. Elsewhere, their social groups are so small-scale that they do not need any political leadership. I use the term "anarchism" because, in all cases, these other salmuran cultures do not vie for any political representation whatsoever. They don't like it, and (in most cases) don't need it.


    The thread is just about to be pruned any time now so the links won't be accurate after tonight.

    Posted July 15th, 2011 by Cerne
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    Cerne
     

    The thread is just about to be pruned any time now so the links won't be accurate after tonight.

    Yes, that's what happened, alright.

    But thanks for posting here!

    Posted July 15th, 2011 by chiarizio
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    Wow, ZBB prunes? That's unfortunate.

    Does it get wiped, or just moved to another server?

    Posted July 16th, 2011 by Blake
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    Blake
     
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