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Double Star

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Political systemEdit

The political system depicted in the book is a constitutional monarchy, with the House of Orange elevated to the role of providing an Emperor of the Solar System. The Emperor reigns (but does not rule) from a palace on the Moon, with the real power in the hands of a Supreme Minister, who must command the support of the Grand Assembly. Elections for the Assembly are held as in a Parliamentary system, there is an upper time limit (5 years) between elections, but they can be called more frequently if the Prime Minister so decides, or if he is forced to it by the loss of a vote of confidence.

The United States is mentioned as initially having an unspecified associate status, and later obtaining full membership. In the system, the U.S. maintains full internal autonomy and is obviously a powerful voice in Empire affairs; Bonforte himself is an American.

The legislative power rests with a Grand Assembly, which also meets on the Moon (where the Imperial bureaucracy is located), most members representing an area of Earth or another planet, with other members representing constituencies not tied to any geographic place; one represents space pilots, for instance, and another districtless university women. As in the British system, representatives need not live in their district or be an actual member of the non-geographical constituency. Candidates for safe seats are determined by the central party office. At the time depicted in the novel, extraterrestrials are not permitted to be members of the Assembly, although they may vote in elections for representatives, and Bonforte has pledged himself to remove this exclusion. An afterword makes clear that he eventually does so, though his party subsequently loses power.

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