In my world the dictatorship has been overthrown after a vicious mob uprising of an uncoordinated mass and one of the four military leaders taking most of the competent people (The 20% of the 80%) with her for a few months before and while this was going on. They successfully kill the king/leader, who was a dictator and not that good of a guy, but now they have to rule. I want to know how to evenly (Or at least evenish) divide the different sections and powers of government. I would also like to know how long this government would work.

So far I was planning on them becoming a council with three stages of power that overlap for some checks and balances from each other. Each council member should be roughly equal and all of their dealings must be done in a bureaucratic manner or it doesn't count as an actual legal endeavor. If three fifths of the council vote they can kick someone. If the entire council agrees they can remove a seat, if the entire council agrees and so to does three fifths of the people then a seat can be added. The police and military are being separated from each other and the secret police (as it's being dissolved) and will both operate semi-independently from each other. Currently the current leaders are the on the council for various things but if you want to just ignore it and leave them for a later problem that's fine. It won't be a problem for years due to who's in charge at the current moment so if you want to ignore it in favor of other people as the police won't receive a council member and the military may or may not. If you believe the military needs one then make it nineteen with one person being in charge of the military.

There is a rough law system in case for criminal trials but it is precedent based and the 'laws' can be overturned by three council members agreeing to change it. This number can also be changed. I don't know how the legal system should be divided but if you want to split it up or give it all to someone that works too. If you would rather not worry about it and instead focus on different things that's fine too.

The population they would need to rule over is about six hundred thousand and they have no current opposition from external or internal forces. The territory is very compact being almost entirely in one tightly populated area with the rest being the suburbs to rural areas around it.

There are eighteen council members and they would each have absolute power over their specific region, would have a half power over the police below them, and limited power over everything else. So for example:

  • George is the Council Member in charge of Agriculture. He is directly responsible for ordering agriculture plans and can do whatever he wants as long as he can figure out how to implement it. So if George wants to put a ban on people transporting oranges and encourage farmers to plant corn then he would have to set up a group that would check transportation coming in and inform the police to arrest people and also add it to the law books for the judges to know that it's a crime. He would also have to hire people to go and tell farmers to plant corn and determine how to enforce it. This would all be his prerogative and he would be able to fight other people if they tried to interfere. This would be an example of George's absolute power.

  • An example of George's half power would be telling the police that anyone found transporting oranges is to be immediately executed. He could also order the police to go seize someone's carts because they've bothered him. The problem is that the police have been charged to protect the citizens rights and if they think this is wrong then they can just not. This might result in them being fired but it's not illegal and they cannot be legally bothered in any method other than being released. I called this half power because he can order them but they might not obey.

  • An example of George's limited power is this. In times of a crisis then he can take control of other people's duties. The problem is that it's up to the people working for him to determine if it's a crisis. So if George hears that Susan is leaving early for the day to take of her dying grandmother and moves in to remove the ban over importing swords for the next few days, there's a chance that it might work but it probably won't. Another example is that George can walk into Susan's organization and require a copy of any paperwork.

#Current Ideology# There are currently three main groups of opinions. Some of the few things that they all agree on is a separation of police, military, and secret police and the dissolvement of the secret police. Most of them are idealists who want to genuinely do good and believe the best way is to not commit genocide, let people get an education, and make certain people are fed. Past that things get messy. The ideals can be roughly split into three groups, the rich: Who want to have property not confiscated by the government and also want luxuries like art and music to be free trade. They also don't want to pay for things and they believe the best way for this is mainly through handing power to the police as they weren't very affected by parts of it. The working class: They really just want healthcare that doesn't include the doctor recommending that they kill you and harvest you for organs, old people being allowed to live, agriculture, and to provide a united front so people think they know what's going on. The members in it basically think education is the most important part while making certain that the secret police and assassinations don't exist. They also are pushing the hardest on controlling the press because they know how effective lies can be. The other two don't particularly care about it. The previous military people: This is about three to four council members who have the most experience when it comes to working in a government. They want to make this thing work but their main example is a dictatorship. They want to make certain that the police and military can protect people in case of one going bad, a strong government that can ask fast but also have people be overridden and for it to be illegal to assassinate people who try to remove you from office or tell you your wrong.

In Summary

How can I evenly divide the different sections and powers of government to eighteen people so that all eighteen people have roughly equal power levels with absolute control over their sections? Roughly how long would this government last before needing an overhaul? Would it need one?

  • $\begingroup$ 1) What is the tech level here? 2) Is civil war or insurrection a real threat in your scenario? $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 6 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ 1) The tech level is mainly a 1980s tech. So the cool stuff is starting to get invented but it's not there yet. 2) The civil war and insurrection won't be a real threat unless they start being awful again. The civilians were just under a bad dictatorship so as long as they don't start starving or the council members try to like idk genocide people they'll be fine most likely until the next generation which will want more stuff. Should I add this to the question above? $\endgroup$ – Idan May 6 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ 3) How much do you think soviet democracy was different from bureaucratic dictatorship? :) $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 6 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander The answer to 3 I was going to leave to the specific people answering. Should I add that to the question? Sorry, this is my first time posting a question. $\endgroup$ – Idan May 6 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ 600K people is increadibly small and most nations have more than 1 million people in total (to put this in perspective, Baltimore City has 600K people. Even then, the surrounding suburbs and rural areas has a population of 10 million people spread over several states and D.C. (because of the proximity of D.C. the suburbs and rural areas of both communities overlap into a census region known as the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitian Area. By population this is the fourth largest census area in the nation.). New York and LA and surrounding communities are close to 20 million people each! $\endgroup$ – hszmv May 6 at 18:49

So it's actually surprisingly simple, as you need to determine which organizations do which jobs. Governments can be classified broadly. First, your nation is a republic... that is a nation where leadership is not heredity familial title, aka a monarchy. (the American phrase "This is a Republic, not a Democracy", Republic means a government that is a Representative democracy as opposed to a Direct Democracy. This is largely due to the U.S. being one of the first representative democracies in the world and the term not "representative democracy" not existing for some time until the form of government came into being.).

Now, you have generally three powers in any government system. Legislative power (who writes the laws), Executive Power (who enforces the laws) and Judicial powers (who interprets what the law says). There are also two roles that some named office has: Head of Government and Head of State. These terms are a bit more difficult to define, but suffice to say that the Head of Government is usually always given to the office of the highest Executive Power and almost always has the role of chairing the cabinet (which divides executive power among broad categories of legal authorities). The head of state is... less well defined... because it can also be given to the same office as the Head of Government (Such as in the U.S.) or given to another office entirely (Such as is done in Great Britan.). This distribution leads to generally five types of government:

  • Absolute Monarchy (Head of Government and State is a heredity title)
  • Dictatorship (republic version of Absolute Monarchy)
  • Constitutional Monarchy (Head of government is the chair of the lower house of the legislature and is also the executive, while the Head of State is a hereditary monarch who has very little government authority.)
  • Semi-Presidential Republics (the republic version of the Constitutional Monarchy. Presidents may have very limited powers to very broad powers depending on the constitutional layout of the government.)
  • Presidential Republics (The Head of Government and Head of State is the executive officer, who is independent of the legislature.).

A unique sixth form of government called a "Directorial Republic" which only one nation in the world has (Switzerland) which rather than have an individual as head of Government, has an Executive Council of the Seven Cabinet officials. The Head of State is also jointly shared, but generally the senior most cabinet head on the council will perform the traditional duties of the chair of the cabinet is the senior most member of the Executive Council. The term in office for all office holders is seven years, so the person who is the "first among equals" is almost always in their final year in office.

Another oddball nation in this power share is France, which will dance between being a Semi-Presidential Republic and Presidential Republic. The President of France is always the Head of State, but is only the Head of Government when his/her party controls the lower house of the legislature. When that party does not, the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. A recent change to the constitution aligned the voting periods for both the President and the Legislature so that this situation happens less, but it still can come up.

As a final note, with respect to geography, Semi-Presidential government tends to be favored by European, Asian, and African Republics while Presidential Government tends to be favored in the Americas (most notably in South America, which is the only continent with no Monarchies and only one nation is a Semi-Presidential government system). Almost all Monarcies in North America are Independent States that share a common Monarch in the British Crown (Canada being the most prominent. It's not the only nation in the world in this situation). This system of a shared Head of State was actually first proposed in Spain to avoid what happened to the British when they lost the Revolutionary War from happening to it. Unfortunately the Spanish King didn't like the idea and said no... and what happened to the British also happened to the Spanish empire in the Americas to a much more devastating degree. Both Mexico and Brazil were once Empires in their history upon becoming independent nations.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow, this was really helpful. Thank you so much! So to double check I'm understanding correctly in Switzerland, a directional republic, the president position is shared by seven people? This sounds exactly like what I was looking for if so! $\endgroup$ – Idan May 7 at 17:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Idan: Kinda... there is no position in the Swiss government that would meet the definition of "Head of Government" who is the chair of the Cabinet. Rather, the cabinet meet and the person who has been in office longest is in a "First Among Equals" position. Think like how the U.S. Supreme Court's "Chief Justice" role is treated for a good idea of how much power they have when compared to the other 8 members of the court. Swiss designates new members to the cabinet based on the four largest parties in the Federal Assembly (1 to the smallest party, 2 to everyone else)+ $\endgroup$ – hszmv May 10 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Idan: + and generally the next appointment will replace the person who's term has ended. The "chair" is the person with seniority, which, given that one person is always being replaced each year, means that this is the person in the final year of their term. This executive board need not be 7 members for your own uses but there is a rub. While this is a highly democratic and power limiting option, the Swiss are known for being quite capitalistic and they're government is more in step with America than most of their European neighbors. $\endgroup$ – hszmv May 10 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ It's also apt to call the Swiss structure similar to how a company's board of directors operate, which again is not generally a feature of communist governance. (Typically the CEO, CFO, COO roles manage the day to day operations of a company and are hired by the share holders, who have voting powers in investor meetings, with individual voting power determined by number of shares held.). $\endgroup$ – hszmv May 10 at 12:42

Power divided equally 18 ways is too many. At some point it either consolidates to a handful, or the whole thing dissolves into chaos.

As for how it's divided up, traditionally the most stable arrangement is three power bases. The Soviet Union was the Party, the Military, and the KGB, as an example. What you want is for each to have some power over the other two, and the ability for any two to be able to beat the third. There's a reason why Orwell had three superpowers in 1984 and it neatly explains how such a balance is maintained (regardless if you think that the Party is lying about the true state of the world or not); if one power looks to be getting too powerful, the other two gang up on it, but they inevitably turn on one another because neither can allow the other to get even a slight advantage with the third's ultimate defeat.

In crude form, that's how the USSR worked. The military's source of power is obvious: they have all the guns. The KGB knew the secrets and the authority to deal with internal threats. The Party determined political orthodoxy. If the military seemed to powerful, the Party could determine leaders to be bourgeois traitors and the KGB would purge them. The KGB got out of hand, well, having someone knock on the door with the muzzle of a T-72's cannon would tend to focus the mind and the Party could provide the political cover. The Party didn't have the firepower, so they had to rely on politics. If shooting broke out, they were screwed, and everyone knew it.

So for your example, you might have something like the police/military (the ones with the guns), civilian leadership (the ones who make the laws), and the wealthy (the ones with the money who could bribe someone in the other two if they had to). Or it might be Religious leadership/political leadership/business leadership. The Church can get the people in the streets protesting for religious reasons. The politicians keep everything running. The business people supply the bread and the tools. And so on and so forth.


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