[LMB] OT: Saudi Arabia more democratic than Barrayar

phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Mon Sep 26 05:47:27 BST 2011

On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 07:27:57PM -0700, Tel wrote:

> Well, the 'yield power' is the critical bit, and I don't think that's
> really happened in any meaningful way yet in Saudi Arabia (or
> Barrayar). Serious yielding power via elections would be more like
> 1989 Poland.

Hmm, it's suggested that one thing inhibited democracy in the oil states
is the oil.  Demands for representation are often driven by taxation; if
the state doesn't have to tax, and spreads the windfalls around enough,
activism may go "meh". Barrayar has Komarr's tariffs, economic size
unknown.  Similarity?  OTOH Miles says the Barrayaran tax rate is twice
that of Cetaganda's.

Tax activism could be inhibited if there's a traditional tax amount that
people agree is fair and unchangeable.  Don't know if any real society
has pulled that off for long.  Of course you can have activism on the
other end, demanding or petitioning for spending.  That might be easier
to accomdoate, though.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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