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To someone from the real world, the politics of Monarchy World is rather strange. It is a combination of the old and the different.
In terms of the old, there have been fewer political reforms over the years of the kind which led to the modern real world political system.
The British parliament still runs in seven-year terms, and both the Lords and the monarch can veto bills put forward by the Commons. Also, the British monarch retains more power than in the real world.
In Russia the Tsar and the Romanovs still rule, but the Tsar is a constitutional monarch with an elected parliament, the Duma, under them.
In China the Emperor is more of an absolutist, but still has a (fairly weak) constitution to control his actions, and a parliament, the Grand Council, to advise him.
In terms of differences, these include the fact that the concepts of communism and fascism have never arisen, so that modern political systems are directly descended from older ones rather than being radical departures from them, though this does include socialistic and anarchistic concepts. Likewise, all of the major modern states include a Russian-style Table of Ranks, a set of civil service examinations inspired by the Chinese model, and a British-style constitutional monarchy.
THE BRITISH EMPIRE
The capital of the British Empire is still London, from which the British Royal Family, the House of Hanover, rules. The Royal residence is still Buckingham Palace. This has been rebuilt twice, once in the 1830's, when it was enlarged and made more suitable for a royal residence, and again during and after WWII to rebuild it after the bomb damage it suffered during the War.
In the British Empire, democracy grew during the nineteenth century, although less so than in the real world, being limited partly because of the way society, the monarchy and the government evolved during that time, and partly because of the introduction of a Russian-style Table of Ranks which allowed anyone the opportunity to rise up into the nobility in service to the government. However, the course of WWII and the years after it, when extremist political parties flourished, shifted public faith away from Parliament, who were seen as largely responsible for what had happened during and after the War, and more towards the monarch. Parliament is thus rather less powerful than in the real world, and the monarch more so. Most authority is vested in the Empress Elizabeth III.
All of the regions of the British Empire which are considered 'ready' have what are known as Union governments. These grew out of Benjamin Franklin's Plan of Union put forward, and accepted, at the Albany Congress in 1754. Each region of the Empire with such a government is administered by a Crown-appointed President-General and a General Council of delegates from the region in question. It has exclusive control of local affairs, including relations with native peoples and the acquisition of land for the Crown, and is responsible for the defence of the region. Each of the regions of the Empire send representatives to Parliament in London. As such the Empire is ruled for the Empire, not for the British Isles alone. Originally this was just for areas with a majority of European settlers, but since WWII Union governments have been implemented in many other areas. Areas which are not yet considered ready for Union government are run by District Officers, who have a staff of trained locals and ex-pats, and a larger staff of workers under them. This same overall form of government also applies in the other Great Powers.
There are, of course, some mal-contents who want full Home Rule for their part of the Empire, but the vast majority of the populations of the various empires do not want independence from them for their particular region. By 1995 the Union governments give the vast majority of people enough control that they see no need for full independence. They have full and basically equal representation in the government of their respective empire, and in general see themselves as being much better off as part of an empire than otherwise. The world has essentially reached a status quo with which a great many people are satisfied, and there are, at present, no great social problems or upheavals looming on the horizon to disturb that status quo. Again, this same situation applies in all of the Great Powers.
In all of the Great Powers, long experience with loyal citizens of all backgrounds, races and sexes, particularly during WWII, has in recent decades eroded sexism and racism in recent decades. Class-ism is also decreasing, though it is still an issue in some places; there are still social classes and so on, but there is mobility between them now, based on ability and the Table of Ranks. Britain has in the main become more meritocratic.
There are five main British political parties:
The Whig, Liberal and Socialist parties all have quite strong ties to various elements within the Royal Society of London, under the auspices of which much of Britain's scientific research is carried out.
British North America is quite different to real-world America. There have not been huge waves of immigration from Europe into America, though there has been some. There has been a good deal of immigration from other sources, particularly the Indian sub-continent. Because of this British North America is, ethnically, a mix of mainly British (the Anglo-Saxon type), French (from the old French colonies), Indian (from the sub-continent) and Native American with some Spanish, Chinese and Russian thrown in for good measure. Because of the Indian and Chinese influence there are, in some places, lots of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and other temples.
Indian Territory and Mountain Territory are two regions within British North America run by and for the Native Americans with their own Union governments. As such they were, originally, Indian-only areas where non-Natives were not allowed to settle except at trading towns along major transportation routes, particularly the railways. Although there has been a good deal of mixing over time, and the adoption of European technology, these two regions still retain a largely Native American character.
The British flag is the Union Jack, basically the same as that in the real world.
THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE
Russia's capital is St Petersburg, from which the Romanov Dynasty still rules. The current Tsar is Peter V.
In Russia, the balance of power is further towards the monarch. There is an elected parliament, the Imperial Duma, but the Tsar is the final authority. As with the British Empire, since WWII the Russian Empire has changed from one being ruled for Russia alone into one being ruled for the Empire as a whole. As part of this, each region of the Russian Empire has a local government which rules on local affairs, with a governor who rules for the Tsar, not dissimilar to the Union governments of the British Empire.
Russia's political parties, who meet in the Imperial Duma, are as follows:
Many of the members of the New Nobility and Industrial Progress parties have strong links to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, the organisation which co-ordinates many of Russia's official scientific research programmes.
The Russian flag is the traditional white, blue and red tricolour with the Russian double-headed eagle overlaid on it.
THE CHINESE EMPIRE
The capital of China is Beijing, where the Emperor rules from the Forbidden City. In China, the balance of power is biased even further towards the monarch than in the other Great Powers.
The law and government of the Chinese Empire is based upon the system of Collective Responsibility, which is rooted in the teachings of Confucius. Under this system groups of families are mutually responsible for each others good behaviour and share each others punishments for bad behaviour. Households are organised into groups of ten. Each household sends a representative - who can be male or female - to the monthly meeting of its group, and each such group elects a leader to represent it at the level of government above it. The head of each group is responsible to the level above it for the conduct of all members of their group. This is known as the 'bao jia' (tithing) system.
The bao jia system serves as an extension of the central government. It is the means by which taxation is levied on the populace, and also the means by which welfare and other such things are distributed to the population as they require it. Of course, being run by people the bao jia system is not perfect. As such, there is a large corps of Inspectors, a branch of the Civil Service, who work to enforce the proper running of the system.
With the increased democratisation of the Chinese Empire, and particularly the formation of the constitutional monarchy in 1960, the bao jia system provides a means by which representatives of the people are selected upwards from the mass of the Chinese people and sent to the elected parliament, the Grand Council, in Beijing.
Although China does effectively have the full franchise, membership of the Grand Council remains, in practise if not in law, limited to the upper levels of society, and in particular to members of the progressive School of Practical Learning (SPL). As such the nobility, the SPL and the Civil Service essentially run the country, with one of the former powers in the Chinese Empire, the Imperial Household Department, having been much reduced over the years.
There are no official political parties in the Chinese Empire. However, informal groups of people who share common interests perform a similar function.
The Chinese Empire has a different administrative process and a rather younger history of democracy than the other two Great Powers. The lack of democratisation in China is largely because of China's early withdrawal from WWII, which meant that the government there did not need to appease the people as much during the post-war period as in the other Great Powers. The bao jia system used there provides as much of a democratised system as seems to be required, and also provides a mechanism by which the state can call up troops in time of need. It is also the means by which Chinese National Service is administered.
Although China is a progressive nation, because of its lack of democratisation the Empire is still mainly ruled for China as a whole rather than the Empire as a whole. As such, the various Chinese colonies around the world are ruled in the same way as the internal regions of China. That is, in each one the central government structure is copied, and the region is run by an organisation consisting of three commissions, one civil, one military, and one for surveillance.
China is also quite socially stratified. However, the exams for civil service entry are open to anyone, and schooling is universal, so anyone can rise up the ranks from humble beginnings, even into the nobility, the Grand Council, or the SPL. China's attitude to colonisation and the outside world has varied somewhat with time; it has a definite tendency towards isolationism, but as the Golden Emperor showed it is wise to look outwards, this has never been total.
As part of the reforms of the Chinese system that made it one of the three great powers of the world, Chinese criminal law was codified into a set of written laws, greatly restricting the flexibility magistrates could exercise during trials. The accused were granted some rights, some protection from 'unnecessary' torture, and were not allowed to be jailed for long periods while awaiting trial. The Emperor, particularly the later Emperors, did what was necessary to make the courts as appealing as possible, stressing the rule of law over their own moral influence, and working to minimise the loss of face and fear involved in making an appearance in court.
The capital of Chinese America is the city of Yerba Buena [real world San Francisco]. Its northern border with Alyeska is defined by what is the Columbia River in the real world; it eastern border with the British Empire by the Rocky Mountains. It has been blockaded a number of times in various wars.
The Chinese flag is a dragon on a golden field facing a red sun.
THE NOORD EUROPESE UNIE
Of the lesser powers and nations, only the Noord Europese Unie (the NEU) is a true representative democracy, with a largely powerless Royal Family, amalgamated from those of the nations which make up the NEU. Even the NEUs democracy has its problems, as the many industrial concerns in the NEU attempt to manipulate the people and thus the government to their own ends.
The states of the NEU are held together by strong mutual self-protection links - they have to compete or they will be swamped by the Great Powers. They excel at high technology and niche markets. They still have patronymic surnames (that is, the surname of a person is the first name of their father) [as this was something imposed by Napoleon (in Holland) and which were introduced in 1900 (in Sweden)].
The NEU operates a pseudo-socialistic governmental system known as 'poldermorality', which has also been adopted in some other nations around the world. This involves levelling society and job-sharing.
The original flag of the NEU was the combination of the Dutch and Swedish flags. That is, a red, white and blue tricolour overlaid with the golden cross of Sweden.
Over time, as more states have joined the NEU, the NEUs flag has been modified to incorporate elements of the flags of those states, Schleswig (including the island of Heligoland), Holstein, Lippe and Oldenburg. As such the modern NEU flag is as follows:
THE ASSEMBLY OF NATIONS
Founded in 1923, the Assembly of Nations was created as an organisation where representatives from all the nations of the world can meet to try and ensure no repeat of the horrors of World War. As such it is the Monarchy World equivalent of the United Nations. It has no enforcement powers, and is basically a debating society where nations can talk out their problems rather than fight over them.
Its headquarters are in the city of Rosario in Argentina (two hundred miles upriver from the capital of Buenos Aires on the Paraná River), which is basically neutral territory, and because Argentina is where the three Great Powers negotiated the end of WWII.
The Assembly of Nations is funded on a voluntary basis by all of the governments of the world. This does mean that some nations use it for free, and that it has been, at times, seriously under-funded, but so far it seems to work in general.
The full assembly meets once a week to discuss matters pertaining to the world as a whole. These meetings are usually quite short. Members can also call meetings of the full assembly at any other time to discuss matters of urgency. The Chairmanship of the full assembly, which bring no real power, only administrative control over who speaks when, rotates between the representatives of all the member states at yearly intervals. As such it has not yet rotated around once.
Aside from the meetings of the full assembly, most representatives are also involved in the various sub-assemblies and committees of the Assembly of Nations that deal with more specialised or local matters.
Over the years the Assembly of Nations have, among other things, codified a number of items of international law, particularly regarding certain aspects of trade and travel, as well the Rosario Accords on the treatment of prisoners of war. It was involved in the negotiations that ended WWIII. It has also ruled that Mexico remain a neutral exporter of oil to any who want it.
The flag of the Assembly of Nations was designed as a unifying symbol for the world and the organisation. Precisely how well this has worked over the years is a matter of opinion.
It consists of four equal horizontal bands of blue, white, gold and red with, centred on it, a green circle in which is a white left-facing swastika square with the flag.
The four horizontal bands reflect the colours of the flags of the major nations of the world. The green circle represents the world, and also Islam. This was chosen to explicitly ensure Muslim participation and confidence in the Assembly of Nations via Free Mecca. The swastika was chosen as a generally recognised positive and auspicious symbol with links to both east and west. Note that without the Nazis (whose swastika was right-facing, black and at forty-five degrees to the flag), in Monarchy World the swastika remains a positive symbol.
Full democracy is not really considered practical by any of the Great Powers. A benign semi-constitutional monarchy or Imperial throne is considered the best form of government.
There are two main schools of political thought in Monarchy World:
There are also various fringe political ideas, including anarchism and nihilism, both of which grew up during and after WWII out of older ideas, such as the British Levellers.
All the main schools of political thought believe in a monarchical state, with some form of constitutional government and public participation in government. However, there are wide differences of opinion as to how democratic these governments should be, and how much public participation is best.
The three power system in place on Monarchy world is considered the most stable, in the same way as a real triangle is the most stable geometric form. No one power can do anything too outrageous as the others will ally to stop them. On the other hand all the powers are motivated to keep up with the others and maintain some kind of parity. The Great Powers only act against each other when they see that one of the other powers is beginning to unbalance things. This, and the various projects, such as railways, in which the empires share major elements of their infrastructure, lead most people to believe that a major war between the empires is essentially impossible.
There has never really been a period of idealism in the political history of the world. Realpolitik has generally been the driving force, leavened with varying degrees of honour. Basically the 'ancien regime' remains in force in the Great Powers, and continental Europe is rather a backwater.
Political systems tend to be divided into five kinds:
There has never been a war which has destroyed, or forced the unconditional surrender of, a Great Power. There have also not been any (major) wars fought over ideology - only over territory, power, influence and so on. This is partly because there are not really any new ideologies to fight over.
In all of the larger nations there are strong links between nobility, industry and government.
There is a large amount of trade protectionism between with the three big powers and some of the smaller ones. Thus there are four main economic blocs around the world (for the Great Powers and the NEU), which mainly trade within themselves, with much less trade between them.
'Assimilation' has become the name of the game for incorporating foreign types into the various Empires, not integration with diversity, but simply making them British or Russian or Chinese or whatever.
Islam hates both Britain and Russia due to the destruction of Mecca and Jerusalem in WWII. Many Jews also hate Britain for the destruction of Jerusalem (and other places in the Holy Land) during that time. This has led to Islamic terrorism and jihads in many places, and a general distrust of Islam and Muslims by the governments of the world. Majority Islam accepts that they have to live with the Great Powers, but a minority want revenge and freedom. Jewish and Christian terrorism also exists; in some cases there are joint Jewish, Muslim and Christian terrorist organisations. Some terrorist groups do use suicide tactics, up to and including flying aircraft into cities.
There is lots of pro-Chinese activity among certain Muslims, Christians and Jews, as China was not involved in the destruction of Mecca and Jerusalem, and immigration to China is also quite common among Muslims and Jews.
The main British security agency is the Office of Imperial Security (OIS). The main Russian security agencies are the Bureau of Internal Security (BIS) and the Bureau of External Security (BES). There are a number of Chinese security agencies; they all have the generic name of The Eyes of Heaven.
The UK Ministry of Information is the largest power bloc in the Civil Service since the rise of computerisation, being largely responsible for all the computers and so on used in the country. They have risen on the principle that knowledge is power.
Literacy and education are considered important in all the modern states, due to their importance in industry and administration. Thus grants for university-level education are available to the poor (in the UK) on a sliding scale.
There are still a number of small independent nations in Monarchy World. This is for a number of reasons. Some exist as buffer states between the major nations, or as satellites of them, places where a Power can deniably do things that might be illegal in the power itself. Others exist as places where people, and organisations, can buy and sell under-the-table things, or allow things to take place that everyone wants but that no-one wants in their country...