I think I have established democracy, but I am very unintelligible on how they are called in the real world because I doubt I invented something new, I am just politically dumb. Could you please say which type of government I created for my settings so I can look up some details and further inspiration? (It is not supposed to be perfect government - it is a transition from Feudalism and Colonialism in my scenario.) If someone wants to point out the biggest flaws and biggest advantage I would welcome it very much. (Again the system is supposed to be flawed because the races in the world are as clueless about democracy as I am)

Lore: The settings is a fantasy world with technological advancement between the 18th and 19th century of our history with multiple races and magical beings and has potent but far from all-powerful magic as well. This democratic system, called Concord, was invented by NiceGuysTM Old-Bloods after they had to give their knowledge to "lesser-races" in purpose to amass enough power to defeat Dark Realm (Propaganda name, they were just Old-Bloods dominating others, but being mean about it). Once done, they could not easily control the races and soon succumb against the pressure of musket armed "Lessers" demanding the same rights since they shed blood for them and egalitarian movements of exhausted people after long bloody war.

There are still plenty of sovereign nations and even succeeded secession countries, but this is like the central hub of the world and even countries outside of Concord's sphere of influence taking note of their "suggestions".

Eligibility to vote is granted by being Citizen (being able to be drafted OR serve X hours in public services OR compensation - 'buy it' OR earn it by merit). They can also own property(real-estate), land, and run business. Exception are Old-bloods who have citizenship granted by birthright. For other races, citizenship is not hereditary. Another status is Inhabitant - Individuals without the right to vote (Unregistered, incapable of service, draft and without the ability to buy citizenship) but they have the right to work, rent, chattel and conduct informal business.

Cabinet of Deputies: Proportional representation of each race based on the number of their eligible voters in Concord. Race choose their own representation. Mandate is limited for 4 years with re-election. Current members of Cabinet cannot apply for Chancellery. Their purpose is to address the concerns of citizens and propose laws. Law with enough votes gets moved to Chancellery.

Chancellery: Voted in by citizens regardless of race for 6 years (but staggered, so 1/3 is open every 2 years). They are limited on 51 members - Voting has two rounds, the second round is two most voted people from each district - absolute winner is one with an absolute majority (repeated till one wins). It's members participate in specialized committees and commissions. They can delay laws and return them back to Deputies, but Deputies can override the veto with an absolute majority and bypass Chancellery straight to the High Council. Deputies cannot override electoral law, constitutional law, and international treaties which once denied by Chancellery stays denied until voted otherwise.

High Council: Candidate can be only a member of Old-bloods and being Venerated. Their Mandate is time infinite, but can be voted in or out absolute majority from Chancellery and Cabinet together. They appoint committees, judges, declare wars and ratify laws into validity or inviting new members/races to the Realm. They cannot create laws only ratify them or veto them, but their veto cannot be overridden. Old-bloods are three founding races and Veneration is the highest distinction granted by Council for a contribution towards Concord.


1) Specified property as real-estate to separate chattel from it

  • $\begingroup$ It does not have a name in the real world because it does not exist and has never existed. There has never ever been a system where the right to run businesses and own property in general was linked to citizenship. (There were and there are countries where foreigners cannot own land, but they can own chattels, leases, and just about everything else.) (In ancient Rome even slaves, let alone peregrines, could run businesses, earn and own money and chattels.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I polished that part based on your suggestion. Property was too broad. I meant real-estates specifically $\endgroup$
    – Prahara
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 9:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ this kinda resemble rome to me with the serf or plebeian and patrician, so maybe republic? $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP The 19th century is full of examples of empires, colonies, republics or constitutional monarchies granting the right to vote only to rich people (measured in revenue, capital, land, ...). In sweden, some local elections even granted a number of votes proportional to the land owned, with some "counties" having a single person owning more than half the votes. Hence no land, no vote. I will try to find the specific name, if there is one. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 11:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ also maybe this list can help found it or the closest for you. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 11:10

5 Answers 5


Advantages and Disadvantages is subjective, for me? or for your national stability? For the citizens?

I think that a governments description is about giving it context with other types. In comparison to the real world, maybe a Apartheid Government?

If someone wants to point out the biggest flaws and biggest advantage I would welcome it very much

  1. It may force a race divide that in practice is less and less relevant as cultures exchange occurs.

  2. If I was rich enough, I could buy new citizenship and votes. (vote for me, or repay a loan).

  3. Why do the Cabinet of Deputies ever go to Chancellery? Is it an absolute majority to send to the Chancellery and to by-pass them?

  4. The High Council has basically absolute power, they might not be able to create law, but they can otherwise parallelizes everything. They probably control a faction in the Cabinet of Deputies and basically run it all.

    1. Every other race is constantly proving their community members are worthy of citizenship. Sort of think maybe they spend all their time reapply for their child's citizenship, just to get votes. That sucks.

What is good? its good for the Old-bloods, you get all the political power and all the other races constantly sacrificing for the greater good of the community, then you repay that with taking away citizenship each generation.

  • $\begingroup$ 1) alrighty, noted 2) This was made to satisfy former aristocracy 3) The Cabinet is diverse and I watched some voting lately and except raising their own salaries they barely vote with absolute majority 4) Yes it is designed this way - they paralyze the society if they cannot control it anymore to maintain at least some power 5) That is one of the sub-plots and motivator for my story $\endgroup$
    – Prahara
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't absolute majority 50% of the vote +1? Plenty of laws get passed on that, Maybe a 2/3 majority vote for something special. Or every racial block needs to agree $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ @CommanderNirvanahCrane An absolute majority is a majority of those who can vote as opposed to those that do vote. so on paper it is 51% but in practice tends to be closer to 60-70%. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ As soon as you have a form of government that divides power between two bodies, you are going to get party politics and a party ideological divide. In this case, since the High Council can not write laws, they will infiltrate the Cabinet of Deputies by recruiting party members who will present laws that are in their favor. Likewise, the members of the High Council will be voted in or out by the affiliated party members from the Deputies and Chancellery. The ONLY way this system will work, would be for political parties to be unified across all three levels, in order to advance their agenda. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:48

The two closest systems I can think of in the real world would be a Representative Monarchy and an Aristocratic Republic. These systems maintain both feudal and democratic systems side by side.

A Representative Monarchy generally has a house of commons and house of lords similar to how you have your Cabinet of Deputies & Chancellery and your High Council. In fact everything about your Concord from historical events and motivations to structure very closely lines up to Colonial Era England in every respect other than there not actually being a king. If your Old Bloods started off a Feudal society, it is unlikely that your history would oust the king since the government never actually toppled.

An Aristocratic Republic is more like what you see in Ancient Rome. They had a complex tiered system of citizenship similar to what you are talking about where being native to Rome or one of the privileged territories conferred all sorts of rights and privileges as did belonging to a noble house or simply buying a rite of citizenship or serving in the military. The Roman Republic also had an elected senate of nobility and multiple assemblies of elected common folk which is again similar to your High Council and your Cabinet of Deputies & Chancellery. They also had no king so this system more closely resembles what you are talking about in terms of structure. That said, your history does not necessarily support an Aristocratic Republic. Feudalism pretty much guarantees that someone will be at the top. The republic of Rome was only possible because they HATED kings. They had kings when they were an Etruscan territory, and when they rebelled and gained thier independence they did everything they could to build a brand new government that would resist monarchy by design. If your Old Bloods were a true feudalism, then thier king would not just give up that power without a proper rebellion.

Advantages and Flaws:

The biggest advantage here is that these systems balance out the powers and needs of people of different social classes. The upper-class prevents the lower-class from creating unsustainable tax and welfare programs that would empty the state treasury and collapse the nation's economy, and the lower-class prevent the upper-class from creating a system of law that just turns citizens into slave labor. It would be kind of like if the USA replaced congress with one house made purely of democrats and the other made purely of republicans. It would prevent either group from ever legally gaining full control of the government.

The biggest flaw in either of these systems is that lords and commoners don't like sharing power, and not having a legal recourse to take full control of the government can lead either group to rebellion.

  • $\begingroup$ where do you see balance in this system? All the power is concentrated in the council. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ @John It is in many ways the other way around. The High Council can't draft laws or repeal them, and that puts them at a HUGE disadvantage. If every law is drafted by the deputies, then every thing the Council wants is going to come with loopholes, riders, and strings attached decided on by the deputies. Over time they will ratify one law after another that will undermine their authority. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ So, there is actually more power in the "lower houses", but it is more defused by more seats and shorter appointments. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 7:30
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    $\begingroup$ Of course they can repeal laws they control the judges, it doesn't matter what laws are on the books if they never get enforced. worse by being able to decide who sits on the other "branches", and who is on committees making laws, and having ultimate veto, they don't need to physically write a law to control exactly what is in it. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ Assuming the "lesser" races are more numerous, this also means they will control the middle house which would give them the power to oust any High Councilor they want. If Councilors start appointing judges specifically to defy the enforcement of laws, those Councilors will get the boot. Councilors might start off totalitarian, but I can see a ton of ways their power would quickly erode, and they'd have no way to get it back. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 14:44

it really does sound similar to the roman republic which was basically a republic flavored oligarchy. especially during the later days of the republic. your non-old blood races are very similar to roman slaves functionally.

The minutia of operation matter less than overall structure. The high council is the only one with power since they both write the laws* and judge the laws, the Chancellery and Cabinet are little more than a puppet scapegoats.

*but they can't write the laws you say, but they can, whether or not they can legally write the laws is irrelevant, since they pick who is on the other "banches" via gerrymandering, who is on what committees, and have final say in laws, they just reject anything they don't like, and Chancellery/Cabinet members that will do what the council wants will be the only ones who ever pass laws and thus have popular support. It is even perfect for making the system seem more egalitarian than it is.

Note a first of the finish line voting system strongly favors two parties and strongly disfavors minorities. Basically anyone not it the two most numerous races will have no say. A three way split and a 51% voting system is not stable, but the only thing that can change is the number of sides. Worst the two dominate parties don't even have to have the two majority views, just the most irreconcilable views. CGP Gray does a great job of breaking down the problem with first majority wins voting systems, here. This also means most of your citizens are likely unhappy with the government but can't do anything about it becasue they believe it is their (the voting public's) fault.

One problem you may want yo consider is crossbreeding, if representation is determined by race then whomever decides where crossbreeds or just how the race lines are differentiated has a huge influence on the government, they can essentially gerrymander without actual maps. examples: are forest sprites gnomes or elves, are half elves human or elf, are Drow elves or their own race. These decisions can have a huge impact on the political landscape and which department controls them has a lot of power, which is sounds like would be your council again. They can also do this but changing the standards of citizenship. Which they can do indierctly, what are the standards for public service, or the standards for draftability, ect.

  • $\begingroup$ In ancient Rome, there was no term for 'employee' or 'employer', there were no 'working class' citizens. Either you worked for yourself, as a craftsman, or you worked for the government in some fashion, or you were an apprentice, or you were a 'slave' with a 'master'. In fact, some 'slaves' operated very much like 'domestic servants' do today. They received some form of stipend for their own needs, and had a degree of freedom as long as they were available for service to their 'master'. Our concept of what constitutes the definition of 'slave' is very much warped by modern events. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ Rome had many kinds of slaves. The most common were people who sold themselves into servitude to pay off debts. These slaves often had a number of rights as you describe. In contrast, slaves that were taken as prisoners of war or forced into servitude as punishment for a crime were generally treated even more harshly than colonial era slaves. The goal for them WAS to work them to death since their servitude was seen as a punishment rather than an investment. Rome also frequently culled its slave populations through executions and gladiatorial fights. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ @JustinThymetheSecond that is very untrue, Rome had free laborers, who were not slaves nor freedmen. they were literally working class, with no patron working for wages. there was a actually a wide Varity of employment types. forumromanum.org/life/johnston_11.html#419 $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ @John Anthropomorphised western poppycock. Roman history filtered through our Western concepts. America just WANTS them to have slaves back then, and so confirmation bias reinterprets history to make it so. "The guild gave him his social life" made them independent contractors. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JustinThymetheSecond I don't think you know what anthropomorphized means. Also are you seriously arguing ancient Rome did not have slaves? I am also curios as to how the exitance of free laborers is evidence of slaves when we already know liberti (freed men) existed we even have direct writing from freed slaves like Phaedrus. then you have the direct description of slavery by Seneca and Horace. the idea that people would need to make something up to demonstrate the mistreatment of roman slaves is ludicrous. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 3:39

The system you are describing should be anywhere in the broad field of republics, where rights to elect and be elected depended mainly on citizenship. It’s rather unusual that it is possible that a child of a citizen does not get citizenship by birth but details lie in the hands of the creators of such a system. ^^

Advantages and disadvantages can’t be described that easily as those depend mainly on the question ‘advantage for whom?’, from a global view there is no advantage of any political system.

  • $\begingroup$ Only child of the "right" citizens get it hereditary - and a thing I made to oppress lower classes so I can have more blatant underdog rags to riches story $\endgroup$
    – Prahara
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ Right, I get the idea. As I said it's just rather unusual, there is nothing prohibiting it and it seems plausible within your described setting. Will be a reason for conflict I think but that seems wanted. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 10:27

The world has been there, done that, got the T-shirt. It is, essentially, variations on a theme of most WASP governments since the 1400's.

What you are describing is basically not democracy at all, but really just a political system. It is not government of the people, for the people, by the people, it is government of the people by the politicians for the politicians.

It is an adversarial system of win-lose government that is based entirely on mistrust. It is a system of 'us-them', not 'we'. That is, the checks and balances essentially mean that no one can trust anyone else, everyone's motives are to be suspect, and therefore everyone must be held in check. The 'winner' is the party that can dominate through the adversarial system and manipulate the hate and vindictiveness against the other side to its best advantage. One side presents their platform, the other side does their best to demolish it, and the people get to vote on who made the best presentation, who scored the most points, which side best represents and fights for their biases and prejudices. But being 'for the people' it is definitely not. It is government for the side that wins, and everyone on the losing side ... well ... loses.

What your missing, however, is the implied 'P' part of WASP governments - the sense that there is an overall overriding 'god' that will guide the fate of humans in some 'godly' direction, independent of what human governments do, and that this god is the only thing that can be truly trusted. No matter what us poor humans do, somehow it will all be made right in the end by god, that god will intervene in our mistakes. After all, it is god, not our politicians, that is ultimately responsible for the 'people'. Politics is just a game played by humans, but the really big stuff - morality and human worth - are all handled by religion. In our religion, we can trust. Everyone else is to be held in the utmost suspicion, in it for themselves, not for 'us'. (Notice the small 'g' on 'god'.)

So as an adversarial system, you have at least two sides (although you do not mention it, it is inevitable that such a system will devolve into party politics). You have various factions all competing for power, and the public gets to cheer their side on through regular elections. Ultimately, the winner takes all, until the next election, in which case everything might switch over to the other side, which them takes all. Except that, well, with the 'checks and balances', everything has the possibility of becoming stalemated until some faction or side inevitably tries to take dictatorial charge.

Your system is just a variation on this theme - making changes in the definitions, limits, powers, and performance criteria of the various 'levels' of checks and balances, adjusting how they are 'elected', who is a member of the 'evaluation candidate selection committee', and modifying who has the 'right' to cheer on one side or the pother, and 'vote' their approval. Yet it is still, in its essentials, an adversarial system.

The inevitable result of these systems is that they create a power vacuum because of the mistrust and continuous competition, so the real power is assumed by either the elitist financial class, or some religious overlay, that really makes the truly important economic and social welfare decisions - who is poor, who is wealthy, who has health care, who is an indentured slave, who owns land, who is a renter. Just like the NFL - the players compete on the field to 'win the championship', gain fame and fortune, get fans and followers, participate in adversarial win-lose competitions in front of millions, but the real money and power is all in the oligarchs that govern the league. The games are not about being 'for the people', they are all about 'for the league owners'.

Your system will work probably as effectively (or perhaps ineffectively) as any other WASP system since the 1400's, and will lead to the same type of societal stratification and inevitable demise.

But 'democracy' it is certainly not.

  • $\begingroup$ Based on your description, I think the term you are looking for is a "Partisan Democracy". They have been around a lot longer than the 1400s and were certainly not invented by whites, Anglo-Saxons, or Protestants. The term WASP government is a pretty recently invented term used specifically to incite racist conflict by accusing certain partisan groups of over representing part of the population over the other. It is not a system of government; rather, it is a derogatory way of describing the platforms of these specific partisan groups. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Please note, I did not say it was 'invented' as a WASP government, I said it was characteristic of most WASP governments. That is, most WASP governments are characteristic of this form, but not all governments of this form are WASP governments. It is not the term that incites racist conflict, it is the form of government itself that promotes racist conflict. And the term does not accuse certain partisan groups, the term identifies the particular partisan group at the root of these governments. Again, 'democracy' it is not. "Partisan Oligarchy" would be closer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ The term WASP government is basically any government that is based on or descended from the British parliamentary system, first introduced around 1400, and the ensuing concepts of common law that flowed from it. The entire WASP legal system is based on an adversarial system, whereas the French Napoleonic Code is different. There can be absolutely no controversy that the British parliamentary system was essentially partisan oligarchic in nature, and all governments descended from it (including the American government) perpetuated the notion that government was restricted to only a select group. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ So then "Partisan Oligarchy" should be your answer. Either way, I do not think it is accurate to call WASP a form of government. It is neither specific to a single form of government, nor does it describe all governments that have taken said form(s). Also, the adversarial system was adopted in England around 1400, but its origin is Ancient Athens. We see it 1st in Athens, then it was adopted by Rome and formalized. The British parliament was designed to replicate Rome's version the adversarial system almost exactly. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ So if you want to describe it it terms of origin, perhaps calling it "Greco-Roman" would fit better $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 15:02

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