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Legitimate_Bastard

Future Centers of Power in a Democratic Westeros/Systems of Government

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Suppose for a moment that post Winter/Long Night, Westeros somehow manages to become a fledgling democracy.

Considering the demographics of the continent which system of democracy would best suit a Republic of Westeros?

Would the benefits of an electoral system balance out the population centers of KL and Oldtown with the relatively sparsely populated North?

Or would a parliamentary system work better?

Ideas thoughts? 

Better alternatives?

Ridiculous I know, but fun nonetheless. 

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I think there's a strong likelihood that Cersei levels Kings Landing with wildfire before the end.

Based on this assumption, Westeros will lose its current (individual) seat of power. I don't think that this system will continue and it will be replaced but I do not think an electoral system would work. Westeros is too large, and with it's limited/slow communications systems it would take far too long, and as you mentioned above, the populations don't balance out per region.

However I think some things WON'T change. Individual lords will not get more of an overall say: only the major Lords/houses will as usual. So in this way, perhaps the population size won't be too much of an issue.

I think it's likely that each of the "seven kingdoms" will have a single representative that has their say on each matter just to simplify things. Or the 4 Wardens (of the N, S, E & W) instead. This might either replace a reigning monarch OR replace the small council - each of the kingdoms/regions gets equal say in influencing the king/queen.

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I think it is rather impossible but... something like Switzerland perhaps - confederation of 7 lands. Property qualification to vote and serve in the army (obligatory service for property owners). Decent infantry at last!

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33 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Considering the demographics of the continent which system of democracy would best suit a Republic of Westeros?

 

Well, a good first step would be to decide whether you want a democracy or a republic. ;) And don't go pulling that "democratic republic" nonsense on me. An adjective is not a noun! :P

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Posted (edited)

Republic. Not too democratic. It is not good idea to get worked up over that thing :P

Edited by broken one

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17 minutes ago, broken one said:

Republic. Not too democratic. It is not good idea to get worked up over that thing :P

 

Okay, then I suppose a representative democracy is totally out of the question?

"Your Grace, the smallfolk demand more turnips for their stew!"

"Then we will give them turnips, gods be damned! It is our duty!"

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1 hour ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

Well, a good first step would be to decide whether you want a democracy or a republic. ;) And don't go pulling that "democratic republic" nonsense on me. An adjective is not a noun! :P

Let me rephrase.

If Westeros were to attain a non-oligarchic and non-autocratic form of government where governance is a public matter and the Head of State is not a monarch, which type of system would best be suited to the continent. 

LOL

 

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The problem a republic would face in Westeros is a bad (compared to today) and damaged infrastructure and espacially in the North a small population spread in a huge area. Elections would be chaos. A easily corrupted chaos. Direct Democray would not survive for long.

A representive Democracy could be possible but IMO only with long periods between elections. Its questionable if a party could and would be established.

Personally I dont think Westeros could become one democracy I prefer these options more:

-  9 seperate kingdoms each of them will turn slowly into democracy on their ownes.

- aristocracy or oligarchy

-constitutal monarchy

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First small people would need means to challenge major landowners (nobility). I simplify heavily but firearms made possible that average person had a good change to kill a pony riding tin can. Without firearms any government who want stay in power would have to keep hiring heavy cavalrymen and so had to accept their terms for their service and so keep nobility more equal than others. As long nobles keep their privileges any kind democratic system in Westeros cannot work. So I think that most effective way to destroy old feodal system would be to invent black powder and firearms.

 

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Westeros needs checks on royal power, and it also needs a competent civil service. I think that the fact that the NW is supposed to serve the entire realm is incredibly important. The feudal system comes with a lot of in-built factionalism. The NW is supposed to be above this, as is the Citadel. Indeed one could see the Maesters as the foundation for a class of civil servants, not bound by factional loyalties. I don't think the vows of celibacy are necessary though. People ignore them anyway. Back to the fact that Jon received part of his kingly training in the NW, he is taught to serve the realm, and it is service to the land/people, that GRRM stresses in interviews when he talks about the ideal king. 

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4 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Suppose for a moment that post Winter/Long Night, Westeros somehow manages to become a fledgling democracy.

Considering the demographics of the continent which system of democracy would best suit a Republic of Westeros?

Would the benefits of an electoral system balance out the population centers of KL and Oldtown with the relatively sparsely populated North?

Or would a parliamentary system work better?

Ideas thoughts? 

Better alternatives?

Ridiculous I know, but fun nonetheless. 

Democracy didn't start out as the system that we know today.  My history courses are behind me and it has been decades since I've sat in a classroom.   People of color (i.e. slaves) and non-land owners were excluded from participation in the democratic process.  It's not going to skip from feudalism to modern democracy in Westeros.  The light of progress may come from the east if Daenerys Targaryen creates a system in which the freed slaves are given the power to choose their own leaders.  Such a system can make its way to Westeros after the long night has killed off the Starks, Baratheons, Lannisters, Tullys, Arryns, and any other noble family who would resist losing the status.  

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6 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Or would a parliamentary system work better?

 

Given the probable selection of middle class professions in Westeros, i.e. the knights, maesters, clergy and possibly certain trade guilds (if any, including sellsword companies) and land owners, a lower and upper house system with the nobility could work as a primary step toward a representative government, but I don't think they'd throw off the monarchy so fast. They seem to like having a focal point for their blame when things go wrong.

They were sort of working toward a Westerosi form of Magna Carta already, with the nobles flexing their muscles and claiming more of their rights back from the Crown, ever since the dragons died off and the Targaryens began to lose their overwhelming military advantage. If Aerys hadn't been such a loose screw and had died off peacefully, Rhaegar might have been the one to approach about reforms. Now, only Dany would have that chance when the whole place is tired of war and willing to submit.

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7 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Suppose for a moment that post Winter/Long Night, Westeros somehow manages to become a fledgling democracy.

Considering the demographics of the continent which system of democracy would best suit a Republic of Westeros?

Would the benefits of an electoral system balance out the population centers of KL and Oldtown with the relatively sparsely populated North?

Or would a parliamentary system work better?

Ideas thoughts? 

Better alternatives?

Ridiculous I know, but fun nonetheless. 

The most likely scenario I think is some sort of constitutional monarchy in which the lords do not give up all thier power, but do make concessions. Like the house of commons and the house of Lords in the British parliament or something like that

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1 hour ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

Given the probable selection of middle class professions in Westeros, i.e. the knights, maesters, clergy and possibly certain trade guilds (if any, including sellsword companies) and land owners, a lower and upper house system with the nobility could work as a primary step toward a representative government, but I don't think they'd throw off the monarchy so fast. They seem to like having a focal point for their blame when things go wrong.

They were sort of working toward a Westerosi form of Magna Carta already, with the nobles flexing their muscles and claiming more of their rights back from the Crown, ever since the dragons died off and the Targaryens began to lose their overwhelming military advantage. If Aerys hadn't been such a loose screw and had died off peacefully, Rhaegar might have been the one to approach about reforms. Now, only Dany would have that chance when the whole place is tired of war and willing to submit.

Yeah I think having a very crude bicameral legislature where hereditary peers sit in one house is a must, especially in the early stages.

Doing away with a monarch probably wouldn't fly, I'm sure even some of the smallfolk would be against that at this juncture.

Constitutional monarchy that slowly absorbs power from the monarch and awards it to the legislature would stand the strongest chance of success I think.

Something like universal suffrage would def not yet be a part of any quasi-democracy in the Westeros we know. Starting off by allowing votes for those in the merchant classes, based off of income/land would be somewhere to start.

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All of the people currently alive will be dead or very, very old by the time spring comes again.  A new empire instead of a democracy will rise from the remains of the long night.  My theory is too long to go  into here but in summary, I believe Daenerys is the "Maiden Made of Light" and she will have children with the "Lion of the Night."  It is these children who will start the foundation of the new empire, the new empire of the dawn.  Empire building will take many generations and at some distant future, the royal family might step down and allow for democracy to start.  

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The state of government of Westeros pre-War of the five Kings is also chaotic. The Monarch seems to have power over life and death even to his main bannermen, some of which are as rich or richer than the crown, and with more powerful numerous army. I get that during Aegon I he didn't need such a huge army because any rebellious lords will be answered by dragons but Post Dance we can see that the Monarchs have difficulty enforcing their will to the people. The government is too civil war prone, there's no parliament for a regular meeting of lords. The small council is so small you're wondering how they manage to run the Kingdoms that is larger than the Roman Empire with hundreds of senators. 

The center of power should remain in the Crownlands and extend to the Riverlands, which might be the first step that a King should do after the Long Night v.2. Centralised the seven kingdoms such as what such as what King Louise VI and VII did in France during the 12th century. Incorporate The Riverlands and some of the Vale to the Crownlands, reduce the Reach and Westerlands. Divide Dorne and the North into two kingdoms lessening the potential of revolts that are extremely hard to put down and exterminate the Iron Islands way of Life. The vikings should be taught the way of the seven and their reaving be part of the history books. The King should have at least twice the number of banners than the other Wardens. Make the Nights Watch part of the Royal Prerogative and colonise all the lands north of the wall. Make a strong fortress port in Stepstones. 

Only then after a hundred years when Westeros is fully united, and the people would have a strong identity of nationa consciousness can we strive for the seeds of democracy. Who knows maybe Westeros can have a some sort of French revolution or Glorious revolution in three years time. 

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It should be noted that democracy (or republicanism) for that matter isn't for everyone. Some people are better off with it, some are just fine without it.

I think a constitutional monarchy would do Westeros some good. Keep the King and centralize power within the Iron Throne but make the King sign a Magna Carta document, a contract. Make Hand of the King an official elected by the people and weaken the power/influence of the Lords Paramount. The concept of the Great Council is nice but I would have the Great Council meet regularly as the congressional body of Westeros. But I would allow the Great Council to be populated by maesters, septons, merchants, etc.

The Small Council can continue but representatives from each of the ruling houses of Westeros consist of the Small Council. Not the lord of the Houses, they have business of their own to attend to, but of lesser members. So, for example, if Robb Stark was the Lord of Winterfell, let Arya Stark be Winterfell representative.

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I do not believe westeros would ever be able to have a functioning democracy or any other government form with elections. There is just no administration to hold elections for so many people spread out over such a large area. There would be no way to see if someone votes twice or where someone even lives. I might be able to see a system in which minor lords get more power due to the power vacuum and the death of members of major families (as they would be registered in the area in which they hold land), but the smallfolk have no chance at ever choosing a national representative. There is also no precedent in the world for people to even think of a democratic system (Volantis would be the thing coming closest and even there only landholders may vote).

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