Designing a system of government was a big project, and yet it was usually done over the course of a few months or less, leaving future growth to stand on whatever shaky foundations were hastily decided upon during the change of government. In Cruonia they had time to look at what systems worked and what didn’t, including smaller details.
William had to admit that having him as dictator technically worked. However, he wasn’t sure how well it would hold up in the future… and if he were to die and be gone for a gross or two of years, it seemed less likely to be stable. Sure, Lorelei could hold down the fort… but it was likely that whatever or whoever killed William would be a risk to her as well, and she would probably not reincarnate with full memories.
Likewise, while all of the others running the country were doing an excellent job, they weren’t immortal. They could die through murder, disease, or even old age. Some of those helping run things weren’t gevai, and even gevai could grow old given the right circumstances.
The important thing was the new system should avoid fostering division among the people. It was very easy for a friendly democracy to turn into a split country, with two sides staunchly opposing each other even though individual members might agree with slightly less than half of the other side’s policies. However, they would stand with whoever they agreed with a bit more.
The important starting basis was to have a good voting system that would allow people to agree on moderate candidates instead of having to vote in their extreme or split votes on two people with similar ideals. Such systems were entirely possible, but were often not implemented because there simply hadn’t been research into those areas when most countries were founded. William’s cynical side also said many people didn’t want moderation, but wanted to get everything their way… even though it could also wind up with everything going the other side’s way.
It was critical that the voting system be robust, practical, and easy to understand. While the ease of understanding seemed to be on the side of straightforward first-past-the-post systems, that was actually untrue. That was because people had to think about voting for the most popular candidate they could tolerate rather than starting with their actual first choice. Conversely, there were several other systems where candidates could be ranked according to preference, which greatly increased the probability of one of the candidates a voter liked being elected.
The government would also need to be filled with checks and balances… but also capable of getting things done. That was a hard thing to pull off, but fortunately William had many years to devote to such research, and he was not alone.
When William finally made his announcement, the results were mixed. Those who benefitted from his style of government were worried, and of course any sort of big change filled people with trepidation. Even those who didn’t like William having absolute power had to admit that Cruonia had been doing well under his rule.
However, although the announcement was grand, the change took place over a few dozen years. That was a very long time for humans, and seemed like a short time to gevai.
Some of those most displeased with the changes were the remaining gevai lords… but only a few of them. The rest had become very wealthy over the years, and no matter what the system of government was, the wealthy would be at an advantage. Even when a system of government wasn’t corrupt, wealth made things easier.
Though there were a few complaints, that was the end of things. William had long dealt with the truly troublesome lords, either by killing them or merely causing them to be so economically disadvantaged that they no longer had any power. Even if they had some personal combat capability, on the scale of an entire country they weren’t much. Besides, all of the oldest lords were dead, and the newer ones were weaker. Not just because they were younger, but also because becoming strong was more difficult.
There were many more people in the world, and overall that meant less people grew personally powerful. William wasn’t sure on the exact details, and there was still room for growth, but hugely strong individuals would be rare. There was nobody William was aware of that was his match, and very few on the level of Lorelei, Lila, and Tiburcio. However, Lorelei and Lila would still be vulnerable to being shot by a sniper bullet. Tiburcio… not so much. William would have thought a bullet through the head would have been a bigger deal, but when it actually happened… the fact that Tiburcio was up and walking around a week later- or at all- changed his mind.
Not that attempts at assassination would be common. Security throughout Cruonia was fairly strong, and people carrying around sniper rifles were likely to be noticed. It also helped that only a very rare exception was that disgruntled with how things were.
William was often asked why he chose to step down from his position as Eternal King. In fact, he was interviewed dozens of times about that very subject. He always answered that it was for the good of the people… and for himself. He’d never wanted to be king, and quite frankly there were many other things he wanted to do. Like go to space.
The question of William going to space wasn’t a question of if he could, but when he would. Theo was working on all sorts of designs with great enthusiasm, finally having reached the starting point of what his actual career was in his previous life. He skipped over a few of the more inefficient designs, and at the same time integrated magic where it would be most effective. Of course, Theo wasn’t actually doing everything on his own. Even if he had great understanding of how space shuttles and starships worked, that took a team. Fortunately, there were brilliant and well educated people from all over the world who could help.
It wasn’t just a project for Cruonia, but instead the world. While not perfectly at peace, things had been as close as William had ever seen. People were willing to work together, and everyone was excited for the future. Even William, though he also found himself worried about the more negative aspects of technological advancement. If there was another big war, the weapons available could make everything a disaster.