A Proposal For Every Century

For various reasons, I was rereading Meditations on Moloch today, and this leapt out at me:

14. Congress. Only 9% of Americans like it, suggesting a lower approval rating than cockroaches, head lice, or traffic jams. However, 62% of people who know who their own Congressional representative is approve of them. In theory, it should be really hard to have a democratically elected body that maintains a 9% approval rating for more than one election cycle. In practice, every representative’s incentive is to appeal to his or her constituency while throwing the rest of the country under the bus – something at which they apparently succeed.

From a god’s-eye-view, every Congressperson ought to think only of the good of the nation. From within the system, you do what gets you elected.

…if you were wondering, this is exactly why the Charter specifies that Senators should be chosen from the centuries, rather than from geographic areas, where the centuries are themselves filled by random assignment and as such contain roughly equal numbers of every clade, race, and other characteristic, roughly equally spread across all 234 worlds and innumerable subdivisions. Even if a Senator had a motivation for it (not being up for reelection), try figuring out how to serve the approximately 1.5 billion randomly distributed sophonts of the 714th Century specially relative to everyone else.

 

Everything’s Shiny, Not to Fret

CALMIRÍË, ELIÉRA – The new composition of the Chamber of the People following the 7124 reselection has had little effect on the balance of the Senate, indicate the latest declarations of branch affiliation reported by the Scrupulous Monitor of the Will of the People.

The only statistically significant shift identifiable in the data is a 2.4% shift (0.8% overall) towards Status Quo, which gained 14 out of the 576 Senators up for reselection, these gains coming at the cost of no particular branch. Inasmuch as the Status Quo branch’s platform is one of steadfast opposition to shifts in established policy, it would appear that the Empire’s citizen-shareholders once more continue to be comfortable with the present state of affairs.

 

Trope-a-Day: Fictional Political Party

Fictional Political Party: Actually, a remarkable number of them – which has a lot to do, I suppose, with the cyberdemocratic/sortitive (random selection) nature of the Imperial Senate and most local assemblies making running a conventional political party a giant exercise in futility; they function mostly as debating societies, influence brokers, old-boys’ networks, and direct-action organizations, although the larger ones do manage to coordinate a few votes among their members who are conscripted into the legislature.

As such, they tend to be organized around a single issue they care about, or at least a philosophy, rather than being the corrupt and incoherent conglomerates of a dozen disparate positions that we all know and presumably love.

A few of the many, many examples would include the:

Above All, One Imperium Movement (consolidation of the entire rest of the Galaxy)

Alliance for Balance (avoidance of extremism, ensuring that what is done is done well)

Bricklayers of Utopia (mostly direct-action, but a general policy of utopia through innovation)

Party for Efficiency (minimize overhead, run the Empire like a successful business)

Sanguinary Enforcers of the Liberty Ethic (still fighting the old-time revolution; destroy all non-Societies of Consent, everywhere)

Status Quo (professional devil’s advocates; ask difficult questions to challenge all change because the status quo is already pretty damn good)

Universal Indifference Society (isolationists; barbarians are disgusting and we don’t want any on us)

And so on and so forth…

An Unexpected Honor

The Office of the President of the Senate of the Empire of the Star, great and glorious beyond all greatness and glory, to Citizen-Shareholder Horulgavis Lariantinos-ith-Larios, greetings.

In the names of the Imperial Couple, the Senate, the Curia, and the Citizen-Shareholders of this Empire, in accordance with the duly executed procedures for the selection of the Senators of the Chamber of the People in Section VII, Article V of the Charter of the Empire, and under the authority of the Responsibility of Politics established in Section III, Article V of the Charter of the Empire, you are hereby summoned to serve in the Office of Senator for the 1,336th Century for the six year term commencing with the Senate’s 5,980th annual opening.

Commensurately, you are hereby requested and required to present yourself at the Office of the President of the Senate at the Great Hall of the Senate no later than one month before the Opening Session of 5980, or within six months following the dispatch of this writ, for formal induction into this Office.

Given under our hand and seal this day, 5979 Dalethmot 1,

Calcíë Videssos-ith-Videssos
Procurator of Sortition

for and on behalf of

Ches Andracanth-ith-Cyranth
President of the Senate