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(LONG) More NAC Politics

From: Hugh Fisher <laranzu@o...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 12:49:09 +1000
Subject: (LONG) More NAC Politics

I seem to be in a writing mood, so here's a draft of how
the NAC might work in the GZGverse. Hope somebody finds
it interesting or useful for generating campaigns or


At the top is His or Her Majesty, eldest child of the
previous king and queen. His or her partner is technically
the consort, a distinction that only concerns those
obsessed with seating arrangements at royal functions.

The Confederation consists of the countries of England,
Scotland, Wales, Canada, East America, and West America.
Each of these has a parliament similar to those of Wales
and Scotland today, able to pass legislation and raise
taxes. The division of America (maybe three way would be
better? Anyone?) is officially due to population size.
Cynics say it is designed to occupy former US citizens in
new rivalries instead of looking back to the past.

England itself has lost the house of lords some time in
the past century, and now has a proportional Senate as
well as the house of representatives. Peers still exist
though: nobility has always been a useful way to reward
the rich and successful and have them working with the
government rather than against it.

There is a Bill of Rights which guarantees the right to
vote, a fair trial, and personal freedom. It's expected
to be honoured throughout the NAC. The British parliament
oftens acts as the trend setter for legislation on other

The British parliament also controls defense and foreign
policy, which usually isn't controversial, and trade
policy which often is. The expanse of space and slow
communications have created conditions similar to the
19th century British empire, with a strong mercantilist
and free trade faction. But where ever there is money,
governments feel compelled to intervene. A tariff on tea
wouldn't cause too much trouble, would it?

The monarch in theory has sweeping powers. The two that
matter the most are being able to dissolve parliament,
and being the head of the armed forces.

The first is also delegated to governor generals on Earth
and viceroys in space. The power is supposed to be only
exercised when the local parliament is deadlocked and
unable to function. Frivolous use is discouraged as it
reflects badly on the monarch.

As head of the armed forces, the monarch helps deter any
military coup, as in the event of such they would order
loyal forces not to become involved or to actively oppose.
(This probably sounds strange to US readers, but it does

The monarch could legally dissolve parliament and rule
solely through military control. For the past few hundred
years the royal families have been bright enough to
realize this would bring them nothing but hard work and
unpopularity. But a particularly ambitious or egotistic
monarch could try it during a major emergency...

Off Earth the Confederation is a number of dominions. A
dominion has at the core one planet with a large enough
population to have a regional parliament and governor
general of its own. There are also a number of attached
protectorates, smaller settlements with a representative
in the parliament. Since the GG is very much on his or
her own with extra responsibilities, they have the title
of viceroy.

Regional parliaments don't have control over the military,
only police, so legally they can't take military action.
What happens in an emergency is that the viceroy, in
consultation with the local parliament, authorizes military
action which will be retrospectively approved by Earth.
Sometimes it isn't, ending the viceroys career. Personality
therefore plays a major role in determining how rapid and
forceful the initial response to any aggression is.

Most settlements of any size in the NAC have permanently
stationed regiments and naval squadrons. Here there can be
variations depending on how benevolent you consider the
NAC to be.

In the nice case, the viceroy is a well respected member of
the local community and the military detachments recruit
heavily from the local population, carrying on the British
tradition of long service in fixed units rather than moving
people around. Military action to defend the settlement will
be swiftly organised and with popular support.

In the nasty case, the local population is recently acquired
or considered independence prone. Then the military will be
brought in from outside and relations with the locals kept
to a minimum. The settlement will still be defended, but the
troops much more self reliant and fully prepared to put down
any rebellion as well.

How do settlements get started? The easy planets were taken
long ago, so expansion these days is either onto more
difficult planets, or establishing new communities on an
existing planet. (This is ignoring the steady trickle of
people joining - or leaving - existing townships.) It takes
financing and resources, sometimes provided by the dominion
parliament, sometimes by a private corporation.

A new settlement applies for recognition as a protectorate
of his/her majesty, and is attached to the nearest dominion.
This entitles them to military defense, access to the legal
system, and representation in parliament.

What happens if the settlers don't apply? Many groups start
with the dream of striking out on their own. A few even
succeeded if they were near Cal-Tex or Alarishi space. Far
too many found themselves being "liberated from royal and
capitalist oppression" by ESU warships. The NAC now makes
sure that would be settlers are well briefed by survivors/
escapees from such settlements, and even the hard core
idealists decide the current government is less burdensome
than a commissar.

Over time these settlers, or frontiersmen, or gypsies,
have become a recognisable sub culture. Whole families
and communities specialise in opening up new worlds,
revelling in the freedom and self-reliance this entails.
(Corporations that try to establish a "company town" of
obedient drones are in for a nasty shock.) Once the
settlement becomes civilised, with taxes and judges and
police, they move on to another. The settlers irritate
and perplex authorities, but wise viceroys recognise
their usefulness as a safety valve for the discontented.

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