[LMB] Ezar - - the hand he was dealt

phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Fri Sep 16 15:44:24 BST 2011

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 07:10:35AM -0400, Karen Hunt wrote:

> Whether Ezar could have made a Betan-style democracy appear looks very
> questionable to me.  The counts won't like it at all, the people

Excluded middle again.  Leaping straight from strong autocracy to full
democratic republic, yeah, that might have problems.  But there are
steps along the way, that real world monarchies have frequently traced.

> underneath will view it as strange, and it'll be very expensive at the

Why would they view it as strange?  FWIW they have democratic ancestors.
They certainly have democratic neighbors and role models in the news;
heck, *Komarr* is comparatively democratic.  Unless Barrayaran
censorship is a lot stronger than we've liked to think, they'll know
about democracies -- especially the elites.

And getting consulted about tax rates is quickly grasped.  Heck, it's
usually the first popular demand.  Especially from the elites.  A
property-qualified House of Commons would be the first step of that
"English gradualism", which England started on in the 1200s.

Plus we know Barrayar has some popular agitation, enough to take over
one of the Counties during the chaos of the Pretendership.

Heck, you talk about the real limitations on nominally autocratiic
power?  Such concerns are part of why kings start summoning parliaments,
to get more popular support...

Now, the Counts can read history books too, so maybe they're extra
allergic to such movements.  Or maybe tax rates are really solidly fixed
so no up to debate.  Though I don't think there's a historical model for

> start.  Further, he's got severely traumatized people beneath him, who
> won't like any new systems at all.  (Mind you, I really doubt he'd

The people usually have grievances, accomodation of which can lead to
change.  It's also not clear that their 'trauma' would lead to support
of the system.

> of B.  Whether he could have done so later is a judgment call on the
> part of the author, not me.  Considering that he gets three major wars
> during his regency, I'd say no he couldn't if it were up to me.  This

The Pretendership and two space-confined skirmishes with the

> sort of changing the world requires quite a few particulars of whether

The Pretendership and two space-confined skirmishes with the

-xx- Damien X-) 

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