2017-06-13

Agatha Christocracy

Alternative Forms of Government
(an occasional series)

Number 2



Agatha Christocracy


As part of a clever system of checks and balances, parliament is divided into subcommittees of a suitable size for putting up at long weekend house parties in isolated country manors.

These committees are put up at long weekend house parties in isolated country manors, and well equipped with ceremonial daggers, antique pistols, rare Amazonian poison frogs, and loose floorboards at the top of the Elizabethan stone staircase, etc.

Each house party is composed of those from all political parties, and also a good mix of those for and against proposed legislation.  The factions take advantage of the natural cover (e.g. secret passages) and resources (e.g. weapons) to try and swing the vote in their favour.

The chairman of the committee, roughly equivalent to a Deputy Speaker, is called The Detective because he maintains order by attempting to "detect" who has murdered whom.  Accordingly each day he calls the members to order in the library and explains, whimsically and at some length, who's going to be taken away by the police superintendent for a lengthy stretch in jail.

As this process inevitably burns through the sitting members at a prodigious rate (considered one of it's most favourable aspects by modern political thinkers), new candidates for public office are also always present in the guise of butlers, police constables, inquisitive neighbours, eccentric artists, etc.  These can achieve election as simply as by being first on the scene when a body is discovered, or for higher offices by more stringent requirements such as unexpectedly being the long lost sister of the Home Secretary, the person with single most compelling motive, but who eventually turns out not to have done it after all.

All those in favour: leave suspiciously deep footprints in the flowerbed outside the orangery window; those opposed: turn up under a false name and only reveal one critical fact on the final page of the penultimate chapter...



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