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The Orion Congress (not Senate)

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  • The Orion Congress (not Senate)

    Not an expert that knows everything (like some people here)...

    Anyone have an opinion on why they use population to weight the number of votes in the Orion "Senate"

    Why not a one vote one race?

    Or maybe patterning it after (the evel) US Congress and Senate... population votes to introduce - senate to finalize - president to veto?

    ps-try not to be offended by the us-centric suggestion - gaming wise I think its the coolest thing in the game - just wondering.

    ps2- its also the only thing I like in the game so it is returned - maybe when it hits $5 I'll pick it up again.

  • #2
    Well, both MoO and MoO2 use population as the determinant of # of votes.

    The reason is that the Orion Senate is not supposed to be a "fair" body like the United Nations General Assembly.

    It's ostensive purpose is to be a Leviathan-like body as the United Nations Security Council was designed to be. Because such bodies need to reflect real power relationships in the world to be taken seriously in the real world of power politics (or become meaningless like the U.N. General Assembly because they DO NOT reflect real power relationships and everyone routinely ignores their decisions), it's entirely reasonable to give more voting power to those empires or powers that have more power in the real world...

    The UNSC does this (in theory) with veto power in order to ensure that the "International Community" can never make a binding decision on war and peace that is opposed by one of the world's leading military powers and thus leading to world war. Giving each of the world's leading military powers veto power is unfair, but it was designed to prevent a third world war. It's become more meaningless now because the power relationships have changed and certain perpmanent members of the UNSC are no longer global military powers while some countries that AREN'T on the council ideally should be (Japan, India, etc...).

    The original MoO's Orion Senate was designed with a similar idea in mind, but only for the express purpose of choosing who won the game. Only the top two players could even be candidates and the measure of "power" used to ensure that any decision of the Senate would be respected by 2/3 of the actual power in the game was votes based upon population. In effect, no-one could win the game by senate vote without 2/3 of the entire game's population voting for them. This meant, of necessity, that for someone to oppose a decision of the Senate meant that they would have (at most) only 1/3 of the population in the game and be up against (at minimum) 2/3 of the population in the game.

    MoO2 did the same thing.

    MoO3 has expanded on that by giving the Orion Senate a lot of the other functions we see existing in the RL UNSC. What's interesting, however, is that rather than giving the Antarans a straight-out veto power, they instead just give them 1,000 votes and each of the other powers votes based upon population. As powers become more powerful in the actual game, they have more votes in the senate...

    Same idea, you see... If a decision were made by a majority of EMPIRES in the Senate but not a majority of POWER in the Senate, such a decision could easily be flaunted by those with a mind to do so and the Senate would quickly become meaningless. But because a passed vote in the Senate (of necessity) means that a majority of population represented in the Senate is behind it (and population is a rough approximator of power), any empire that flaunts decisions of the Senate has to risk the wrath of AT LEAST over half the population (and perhaps related to at least half the power) represented in the Senate... that's quite a bit more of a deterent.

    Is that "fair" to the empire that's not very powerful and would like to have equal rights as a sovereign state? No. But, as I said... if all empires got one vote, too many votes would pass that a majority of the real powers opposed and thus could easily flaunt w/o fear of retribution from the weak empires that passed them.

    It's a Hobbesian world out there, both in MoO and in real life.
    Long-time poster on Apolyton and WePlayCiv
    Consul of Apolyton from the 1st Civ3 Inter-Site Democracy Game (ISDG)
    7th President of Apolyton in the 1st Civ3 Democracy Game


    • #3
      Well, both MoO and MoO2 use population as the determinant of # of votes.
      True - to decide the winner - not to introduce or decide legislation...

      The reason is that the Orion Senate is not supposed to be a "fair" body like the United Nations General Assembly.
      Not requesting anything to be fair... just more interesting

      population votes to introduce - senate to finalize - president to veto?
      The example above would still grant great power to the leaders...

      But there would be a chance for lesser groups to have a little more impact... and perhaps more fun game-wise... making it important for the most powerful of the races to make attempts at diplomacy with weaker races.

      As it is now - there is no need to bother...