The Federation, known by many as the Centauri Empire or Imperium, is officially a representative democratic confederation but it has some elements resembling more of a constitutional monarchy. While the Core Worlds are fully represented in the congress almost all Praetors of the past seven hundred years have been of the same bloodline and the rim systems not yet connected into the network are frequently treated like the personal fiefdoms of their Federation Emissaries.
Federal Government: The Federal government has three branches as with many 20th century republics. The Executive consists of the Praetor and their advisers, who vary in number with each Praetor. When a Praetor resigns, dies, or is impeached (a very lengthy and convuluted process that has only been completed twice in the Federation’s history) a new Praetor is elected by the populace of the stargate network. Campaigning takes five years and every year the candidate pool is winnowed down further and further, the first year the most popular 80 candidates are selected, halved to 40 in the second year, 20 in the third, 10 in the fourth, and finally the Praetor is chosen from the final 5 candidates still in the race. In theory, any citizen of the stargate-connected systems can run, in practice only prominent legislators, planetary politicians, or members of the House of Silver make it past the first year. The Senate has one senator chosen by each planetary government in the network, by whatever means they decide, their primary purpose is to write and debate new laws before passing or rejecting them. The House of Commons, on the other hand, exists to repeal unpopular laws. Representatives of the Commons are elected by each block of 1 million people sectioned out by area every 50 years, 10 candidates are nominated randomly by lottery and 1 is elected by their constituents. 50 years after a law is passed by the Senate it goes before the House of Commons, who vote on whether it should remain or be repealed, if they decide to keep it the law will be reassessed again in another half century.
Out-Worlds: Systems outside the stargate network do not have any sort of representation on SecLand, rather they have an Emissary appointed by the Praetor who acts as a liason between the planetary governments and the Federation. Predominantly running the local Guard starport. It is not uncommon for Emissaries to set themselves up as military dictators of their planets, but the Congress does send an inspector every so often, depending on how far the system is from the nearest gate and the previous inspector’s report. More than one inspector has vanished mysteriously en route to their destination, standard Guard policy is to dispatch an invasion fleet after five disappear.
Bureaucracy: Any large government is going to require scores of administrators, and the Federation is no exception. The bureaucracy is by and large meritocratic, with local branches starting out with Core Worlders in leading roles and later stepping out in favor of natives. However, nepotism and cronyism have yet to be fully eliminated. There are many departments, the Judicial enforces Federal laws, Mercantile affairs assesses tariffs and enforces trade restrictions, etc.
The Federal Guard: The Federation’s military arm. The Guard is usually the first Federal institution to make its presence known in a system and with good reason. It has two duties: to defend Parahumanity from external threats, and to maintain the unity of the Federation. The first is directed primarily at the Berserkers, piracy is unknown as “trade routes” tend to be light-years long and light-days wide, rendering it nearly impossible to intercept a freighter in transit, and there are few known polities outside the Federation that can threaten it. The Federal Guard has never fought the Berserkers on any known occasion, they tend to enact that duty by stopping long-wave radio transmissions. The second duty is invoked far more often, there is always some group of malcontents somewhere. Standard procedure for dealing with separatists and problematic ideologies is to land power-suited marines directly on bases, armed with less-than-lethal ordinance if the insurgents have not yet killed civilians and lethal weapons if they have, round them all up, execute anyone known to have killed someone, and deport the rest in a ship paid for with the auction of their own assets. It is spelled out quite clearly that secession from the Federation is impossible, emigration, on the other hand, is always an option.
Planetary Governments: While the Federal government is democratic-oligarchic, the governments of individual planets vary a great deal. Democracies, dictatorships, feudal estates, corporate states, it runs the gamut, there may even be multiple governments on one planet. The Federation generally does not care unless 60% of the planet’s population petitions for an intervention, in which case the Federal Guard is called upon to overthrow the current government and instate one more to the majority population’s liking. This policy has lead to many planets within the stargate network adopting Pallas-style democracies, either gradually or abruptly. Some Out-World Emissaries are suspected of forging or astro-turfing intervention petitions.
Economy: The Federation economy is generally capitalistic, discounting planetary governments that attempt more control. There are many currencies in use in its borders, but two are in prominence. The Production credit is backed by an industrial complex that forms the heart of every Federal city, fully robotic, capable of producing most goods with publicly available blueprints, and stocked with a large supply of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, iron, and silicon. Anyone with credits on account may use them to order goods from this complex. These complexes are also used by the Federal government itself, relieving a bit of the tax burden from the citizenship. Trade credits on the other hand are issued by interstellar merchants when a planet doesn’t have a strong currency. Natives sell them goods or data and are paid in trade credit, which they then use to buy data and goods from the traders, or try to exchange them with their neighbors. Other currencies include rare elements, favored by merchants, cryptocurrencies, favored by people who don’t expect to leave their native infosphere, and the occasional fiat currency. There are also a few governments with gift or barter economies, though they usually need to actively intervene to prevent the formation of de facto currencies.
The House of Silver: The family descended from the reconstituted genes of Argentum. The House includes many prominent legislators, administrators, Guard officers, Emissaries, and priests. There are numerous clans and branches of the House scattered throughout the Federation, generally following one of two philosophies. Preservers tend to believe that they should be exerting a tighter grip on the Federation, and have a habit of trying to preserve the founders genes as much as possible. Innovators want to experiment, both with their genotype and with governments. While all Silvers have trace genes from Argentum’s companions and lovers the Innovators are known to incorporate scores of other genes, even going so far as to sexually reproduce outside the family on occasion. Features such as wings, taurism, and non-binary sexual characteristics are among the least radical modifications, they are even found among Preservers. Breeding pairs are customarily arranged by House or clan elders for eugenic reasons, and may shift at a moments’ notice. This selective breeding has resulted in a bit of mental instability, anyone with a mental disorder more noticeable than a simple anti-social personality disorder is barred from the breeding lists. Some branches surgically sterilize their “rejects” but they can get that fixed in almost any Core World clinic, so instead they disinherit any children they manage to produce. Something they have tried to encourage is the creation of telepaths, each generation has used a combination of drugs and nanotech to induce twinning in at least one pregnancy, frequently resulting in three or more children with identical genes and some degree of mental connection. They use these telepaths to form their own secure FTL communications networks, unfortunately they have an even greater than average (for the House) tendency towards autism spectrum disorders or psychoses, keeping them out of the gene pool.