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#1 2018-11-09 07:40:13

Big_Al
Member
Registered: 2018-10-23
Posts: 10

Martian government and importance of communication

The decision of having an autonomous government or earth ran government is a crucial decision for a colony. My opinion is some where in between working on its own and having off control. Communication would allow most of the time for it to be run from earth but if or when communication is offline it should be able to function on its own. Now how will officials be elected? This depends on the size of the colony. If large a federal republic, if small a democratic system. Having multiple countries merge together and have a joint organization is viable. Communication could consist of several satellites in lagrange points or so they can always be able to talk with earth. This would be every day communication. Emergency communication would similar and have a system of autonomous operations for emergency situations or crisis. Formal communication or inspection would be face to face. Now the medium to relay information back and forth, what will this be? I would say a form of a video call for visual things such as charts but simple may be better. Should private corporations run their own colonies? Reply below what you think.

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#2 2018-11-09 15:31:04

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,295
Website

Re: Martian government and importance of communication

Video calls won't be happening, not without ansibles. The lag is, at best, 4 minutes one-way. Communication will be by email.

The most likely scenario I see is nominally dependent colonies, operating under flags of convenience whilst having a autonomy in their own affairs. Space is almost certainly going to fall under the law of the sea. A country can't claim territory, but anything happening in bases flagged to it falls under their jurisdiction.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#3 2018-11-09 17:28:48

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Martian government and importance of communication

We have had a rather interesting thread of corporate government .

I was thinking of dependent colonies, either from private corporations or other countries, being in practice somewhat autonomous, in practice much like the former British Empire/current Commonwealth.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#5 2018-11-09 19:37:15

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,854

Re: Martian government and importance of communication

I think if we are looking for a rational approach with democratic motivation there should be a gradual evolution towards a democratic form of governance on Mars. This will change as population grows...

1. Under 10 - Clearly there will be a leader with nominated deputies ( a line of succession in event of mishap).  The leader will be appointed from Earth.  What title will the leader have?  I doubt they will run with Commander as in the Apollo years. I would recommend "Lead Pioneer".

2. 10-100 - Gradually I think you will see formal appointments of "Directors" to supervise particular areas of activity e.g. Life Support, Mining and Exploration, Agriculture and so on. At this stage meetings of the lead officer and directors will be fairly informal in nature.

3. 100-1000 . The lead official - perhaps termed the CEO - will be working with designated Directors of services in a more formal manner.  At this point there will be a need for a formal council, with published decisions (= law).

4. 1000-10,000 - At this point it might be considered wise to elect some "people's tribunes" on the Roman model to representative the people on the formal executive council...they might be dealing with such areas as leisure and infrastructure planning. You will need courts of law by this point.

5.  10,000 - 100,000 - I think you'd want most of your Directors to be elected. The CEO might be subject to confirmation by vote of the Directors. The court system needs to be formalised.

6. 100,000 - 1 million  You'd need a full democracy. The CEO should be elected as well as the Directors and there needs to be a full system of law with courts. At tjhis stage the Earth agencies that initially promoted Mars colonisation will be hived off from the Mars Government.  Space X or the Mars Consortium will simply become one of the formal organisations operating on Mars, albeit a very powerful one.


Big_Al wrote:

The decision of having an autonomous government or earth ran government is a crucial decision for a colony. My opinion is some where in between working on its own and having off control. Communication would allow most of the time for it to be run from earth but if or when communication is offline it should be able to function on its own. Now how will officials be elected? This depends on the size of the colony. If large a federal republic, if small a democratic system. Having multiple countries merge together and have a joint organization is viable. Communication could consist of several satellites in lagrange points or so they can always be able to talk with earth. This would be every day communication. Emergency communication would similar and have a system of autonomous operations for emergency situations or crisis. Formal communication or inspection would be face to face. Now the medium to relay information back and forth, what will this be? I would say a form of a video call for visual things such as charts but simple may be better. Should private corporations run their own colonies? Reply below what you think.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#6 2018-11-10 09:51:32

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,035
Website

Re: Martian government and importance of communication

Hi Big_Al, and welcome. IanM mentioned corporate government; I started that discussion, initial post is my idea. I'll try to very briefly describe key features. If you want to continue discussion of that proposal, we should really do it in that thread.

Ensure no war
Leaders have engaged in war as far back as we have any history. That goes back over 15,000 years, before the end of the last ice age. We don't want to export war into space. So my proposal is very simple: no nations. There will be one Mars government, I called it a "federal government" but some have pointed out what I describe is a unitary government. So it's best described as a "national" government, not federal. This one "national" government will have jurisdiction over the entire planet Mars. All of it's surface from pole to pole, from the prime meridian around the planet back to the same prime meridian, solid matter from the surface down to the core, the atmosphere, orbital space, and even both moons. Everything. And if I didn't include anything, that's included too. There shall be just 2 levels of government: national, and municipal. That's it, nothing more. No countries, no states or provinces, no counties, shires, townships, rural municipalities, or "oblast". The last is a Russian term, used by former members of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, towns/cities will only be allowed to declare territory of a town or city, certainly not territory of a county or state or province. No backdoor method of creating a state or province. Towns will have authority of a town, nothing more. Only the national government will be allowed to have a military, and only that national military will be allowed to posses weapons of war. That means police and individuals can own a hand gun, but only the military will be allowed to own a carbine (sometimes called assault rifle) or tank or fighter jet, etc. If towns try to engage in war against each other, the national military will intervene and stop it. If a town builds a military, the national police will arrest the town mayor and councillors, arrest soldiers of that town's military and seize all weapons of war.

Minimal regulation / Libertarian
The point is maximum freedom. You can do anything you want, as long as you don't harm someone else. If you do something that harms yourself, you're on your own dude! National laws shall be very minimal, general principle is: Thou shalt not kill. That shalt not steal. Other than that, you're on your own dude! Of course there's going to be details to that: assault, battery, breaking-and-entering, theft, robbery, embezzlement, extortion, etc. Once lawyers get involved, something that was very simple becomes very complex. But if more than one person wants to marry each other, it's up to them. Age of consent will be set by municipalities, not the national government. Jewish tradition holds a "bar mitzvah" for boys or "bat mitzvah" for girls at age 13. That's passage from childhood to adulthood. You're not expected to know everything required to be an adult at that age, rather you're treated as an adult and expected to start to learn how to be an adult at that age. In Canada in the late 1800s, age of consent was 14. Young women in their late teens were expected to get married and start a family. The term "maid" meant a young woman who isn't married. The term "old maid" meant a woman over the age of 18 who still isn't married, and was considered unlikely to ever get married because she's too old. Today marriage before age 18 is considered a problem; how cultural morals have changed. My point is it isn't the job of the national government to enforce cultural morals. Furthermore, in the late 1800s men were required to wear a shirt in public. A man not wearing a shirt in public was considered indecent exposure. Polynesian culture had women walking around topless. Which is right? Why do men or women need a shirt when inside a pressurized, climate controlled environment? That's up to the town to decide, not the national government. When I was a child, my parents purchased headache pills called 222 or the stronger ones 292. These were aspirin with codeine. Why are they regulated today? If someone wants to buy prescription drugs, it's up to them.

No Tax
That means no tax. At all. Period. None. Full stop.
No income tax, no sales tax, no property tax, no import tax, no export tax, no excise tax, no luxury tax, no payroll tax, no business tax. No capital gains tax, no corporate tax, no dividend tax, no flat tax, no gift tax, no inheritance tax, no windfall profits tax, no alcohol tax, no sin tax, no carbon tax, no capital tax, no land transfer tax. No stamp duty. No medicare premium, no medicaid, no healthcare premium. No social security, no employment insurance premium, no pension plan premium. No federal/national license fees or permits. If I missed something, none of that either.

However, a pressurized habitat may charge a service fee. A town could be a pressurized dome, but more likely will be a pressurized building similar to a major shopping mall today. Rent for space in that pressurized building would pay for all the services that municipal property tax pays for today, and more: pressure, heat, oxygen recycling. But also security (police), garbage collection, public corridors (instead of streets). Utility bills would charge for water (with a surcharge for sewage based on water usage), electricity, internet.

All communication on Mars will be internet. Smartphones will be IP phones that use Wifi. No LTE cell service, no CDMA, TDSCDMA, EvDo, GSM, or WCDMA. No need because we can use Wifi. No landline telephone, just various capabilities of Wifi IP phone. No cable TV, instead streaming internet services including YouTube and the Mars equivalent of NetFlix.

How it's paid for
This leads the question: how is it paid for. I based this on what Robert Zubrin wrote in his book "The Case for Mars", but with more detail. He said the price of a ticket to Mars will be the life savings of a middle class family. Sell your house, sell your car(s), liquidate your pension and life insurance. This includes a typical modern suburban house. Sell everything, and you get a ticket for husband, wife, children, and room for some luggage. That's all. I expect a colonial transport ship would be reused, travelling from Earth orbit to Mars orbit and back. A reusable shuttle on Earth would transport settlers to the interplanetary ship, and a shuttle on Mars would transport them down. The corporation that owns the interplanetary ship would establish a city on Mars, and all settlers would arrive there. Propellant for the interplanetary ship would either be produced on Mars and transported to a fuel depot in Earth orbit, or ice on one of Mars moons (Demos ro Phobos), or a C-type near-Earth-asteroid. The same corporation would own/operate the propellant operation to supply their own ship. The city on Mars would mine resources on Mars, smelt, refine, and manufacture spare parts to maintain the ship. The city on Mars would also have greenhouses to grow food to supply the ship. So once this is set up, all costs to operate the interplanetary transport come from the Mars economy, but settlers pay in Earth currency. No need to transport any goods back to Earth, as long as settlers stream to Mars, investors who established this corporation get a massive stream of Earth money.

Secondary economy on Mars will be to supply settlers with everything you need: habitat, life support, power supply, everything required to build a homestead in the "outback". That's an Australian term. We can't use the term "wilderness" because Mars doesn't have wildlife. The corporation will strongly encourage homesteaders to establish a cottage industry to produce something. Can you build a spacesuit helmet better than the one the Corporation makes in their factory in the city? Great! You built greenhouses that grow cacoa trees, and you process the seed pods to produce cocoa, and then further process that to make chocolate? Wonderful! The Corporation will simply reconfigure it's factory or greenhouse to grow something else. Mars will need so much stuff that it'll be a long time before it's able to produce everything it needs. Besides, the Corporation will use your success as marketing to encourage more people on Earth to buy a ticket to Mars. Oh, you didn't notice that your ticket to Mars includes a clause that grants the corporation the right to use your story and your image for their sales marketing? Without paying you a thing. smile So out-compete the Corporation, the Corporation really wants you to, they'll make more money from settler tickets than they lose from manufacturing crap on Mars. big_smile

And the Corporation will establish an employee recruitment centre, right where new settlers arrive. Just came to Mars, spent everything you have on the ticket? No money to buy a homestead? No problem! We're hiring. We offer free accommodation in employee housing, with free utilities. The Corporation has a company cafeteria with free meals (for employees only). Free transport to work, but that's probably just a corridor you walk down from company housing to the factory. Mars rover bus for miners to the mine site. And free medical insurance for company employees, their spouse and children. Oh, did we mention? After all that free stuff, your pay is peanuts. But you can save up for a homestead! Groceries for your apartment you pay for yourself. Restaurant meals anywhere other than the company cafeteria are not free. Etc. Watch how much you spend. But you too can eventually be the proud owner of a homestead, where nothing is free!

Towns can establish their own system of government. Will town councillors/aldermen/mayor be elected? Or a religious colony? It's all up to the town. But town bylaws only apply within the town. The town could have their own police, but only municipal police. Initially, city police for the Corporate city will double as national police, but city bylaws only apply within the city, not the "outback" or other towns/cities. Outside boundaries of any city or town, the only laws that apply are national laws, and they're minimal. For example, a town may choose to be "dry", meaning no alcohol allowed, but if they do that only applies to that one town. No restriction in the "outback". A town may choose to outlaw marijuana, but no restriction outside that one town. A sealed pressurized habitat may ban smoking anything, after all it'll clog CO2 removal equipment of the life support system. And whatever you smoke, others in the same sealed habitat will have to breathe too. But outside in your pressurized rover, do whatever you want. In fact, driving high or drinking while driving won't be regulated. Inside a pressurized settlement it sure will! You don't want someone crashing a vehicle into people or a shop; it could do a lot of damage. But outside in the "outback", do whatever you want. If you crash your Mars rover into a crater, just remember there's no vehicle insurance and no AAA on Mars. I expect the city will require a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle inside the pressurized habitat, but outside in the "outback" no license required.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2018-11-11 02:35:52)

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#7 2018-11-10 14:16:13

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Martian government and importance of communication

Hey RobertDyck,

I think your post started out in a good place but went rapidly downhill once you started to get into the specifics of how the system you set out might actually work.

I have quoted your post in the corporate government thread and I will be writing a reply.


-Josh

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#8 2018-11-13 07:21:02

Big_Al
Member
Registered: 2018-10-23
Posts: 10

Re: Martian government and importance of communication

I have a new question, have you done anything on currency?

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#9 2018-11-13 12:24:35

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,854

Re: Martian government and importance of communication

There have been a number of discussions of currency  which boil down to:

1. Does Mars need its own currency? Probably, but not necessarily from the get go. It could operate with the US Dollar or a cryptocurrency.

2. Could Mars have an entirely digital currency? Yes. So no need for expensive minting or handling of cash and coins.




Big_Al wrote:

I have a new question, have you done anything on currency?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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