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In Eco world, players can group together to create the leadership of the world they are on. Governments can range from extremely overbearing and intrusive to very minimalist based on how the players would like their government to act. As of right now (version 9.2) the government is responsible for the whole planet. Only one government can be active (which one is determined by house volume and tier of the room around the constitution table).
A governments main methods of interacting with the world is through Laws which can be set and altered by players who are permitted by the law to do so, and Taxes which can encourage or discourage certain actions based on what the government wants.
In theory you can create any type of government (democracy, dictatorship(->autocracy) , oligarchy, monarchy, technocracy). But since Eco starts as a very basic democracy (everyone can vote), democracy is very likely to sustain, some other forms of government might happen, some are very unlikely to happen.
Government and politics in Eco is similar to the real world. BUT:
- players in Eco have a real life
- players in Eco can always decide to leave the server and play on a different one
- societies in Eco are quite small in general. Social effects will probably differ from real world (bigger impact, more dynamic)
Keep those three facts in mind when trying to apply real world theories (same is valid for economical topics).
A major concern for many governments is how to distribute the currency they have collected as taxes. Hoarding has either no effect (for player credit) or slows down and finally stops the economy (government minted global currency). One way to distribute money can be buy offering public contracts (e.g. for building roads or public buildings). Sometimes, government sets up laws that pay people money for placing roads in certain areas of the map.
The currently active constitution defines how elections work. If there is no constitution, a vote for a new constitution works as follows: Every player has 24h to vote "Yes" or "No". If 24h are over, or more then 50% of the players voted yes, the constitution will be accepted.
Elections can be started at a ballot box. They are also used for title elections (e.g. president).
The voting itself is done in the Web Interface. This place can also be used to discuss about the election. If it is a title election, a preferential voting system is being used. Players may rank their candidates by order of preference.
The constitution defines the system of a government. It defines titles (e.g. president, secretary), the elections for laws and titles and permissions for different titles. Laws are not directly impacted by the constitution. But the constitution changes how laws are being made and changed.
Missing information: are laws independent from a constitution? Will they kept active if a new constitution is in place?
Treasury & Taxes
There are currently 4 types of taxes, all of which are deposited directly into the Treasury bank account:
- Sales Tax (customer pays tax for everything he sells, store owner pays tax for everything a customer sells, reducing total transaction outcome by equalizing selling and buying will not reduce tax)
- Crafting Fee Tax (when using a crafting table of someone else and the owner requires you to pay a fee, then he has to pay tax for that)
- Contract Tax (when finishing a contract, the participants getting payed will be taxed)
- Direct Transfer Tax (from bank account to bank account). People might transfer directly to each other in order to prevent being taxed. But if you tax this too much, using multiple bank accounts for the same player will be useless. Normally, the tax evasion risk is not big, so you better keep this tax low or even zero.