If I were Grand High Emperor for life, there’d be some changes on this big blue-green sphere we call home.
(This is long, and mostly for me to mess about with. So, as you have already skipped it, don't feel bad).
Legislative: I am dictator and supreme ruler and get to trump any decision. However, I only raise my voice on two, maybe three issues a year.
All major decisions are made by panels incorporating five top professors and experts in the given field, one logician, one philosopher, one theologian (spokesperson for all major religions, majority rule), one blue-collar type from the field who can tell them if it will actually work and one child who will make sure it is understandable and not entirely insane. Service by the later five “laymen” on a panel will be similar to jury duty, but with better pay and lunches.
The main ruling body will thus be intellectuals and experts with voices given to those who live closer to reality, but the population in general will not be allowed to vote on the representative diplomats from their areas until five generations have gone through my educational program and at that point voting will be mandatory.
Their will be no unnecessary bureaucracy.
Any form or license a citizen has to submit that requires more than five pages of paperwork and one week’s wait will be reworked until it fits this maximum size.
Judicial: Laws will need to be rewritten from scratch. There will be no such thing as technicalities or mistrials. If everyone knows someone is guilty, they will not be acquitted because they pretend a glove doesn’t fit.
Each municipality will have a prosecuting and defending attorney elected (after the 5 years, before which appointed). Both will have exactly the same pay, resources, benefits and number and quality of support staff.
It will not be “innocent until proven guilty” or “guilty until proven innocent”. That is what the trial is to determine.
Those awaiting trial will be given separate housing from general jail population. Each trial for major crimes must last no longer than three weeks, or shorter than one. Trials will be juried, but juries will not be so random a lottery, but only amongst those of higher intelligence.
Crimes which hurt no one but the perpetrator (any consensual activity, drug use in privacy of home, or drinking in bar with other drinkers) will no longer be crimes. As soon as that person puts others at risk, either by entering general public or by indulging around their children, the crime becomes major.
There will be no death penalty, but there would be punishments such as chemical castration for sex offenders and a lifetime spent in a humane work camp for murders. All convicts must work for room and board.
Healthcare: Everyone gets an equal opportunity for equal medical care. any who raise personal risk for self-inflicted injuries or diseases (cancer for smokers, STDs for the promiscuous, various injuries for those who indulge in dangerous hobbies) will pay higher taxes.
Doctor’s pay will be based on efficacy. A good doctor will get better pay. Good doctors will also have great mobility to serve the areas that need it most, and they and their families will be compensated.
People infected with incurable infectious diseases will receive a simple color coded tattoo (red square for AIDS, blue circle for herpes) near primary risk of disease spread (on lower stomach over genitalia), but always in an area easily covered. It will become a major crime to spread the disease, but otherwise the person’s rights will be protected emphatically. The tattooing has bad connotations, but it will warn others of risks, be private unless risk becomes high, and will eventually help eradicate the disease.
There will be no cost for required prescription drugs, but taxes overall will be raised to help support government funding for pharmaceutical companies.
Family matters: The government will have no hand in marriages whatsoever, and will not recognize couples as married or not. That is for the individuals involved and their religions. However, contraceptives will be present in the general water and food supplies.
If one wishes to become a parent, they will have to pass very rigorous testing to make sure they will make a fit parent, whether single or in a hetero/homosexual relationship. After they pass they will receive shots to counter-effect the contraceptive and can conceive/adopt as they see fit.
All parents will receive two years off work, paid, for the first years of their child’s life. There will be no limit on number of children or anything else except that the parents be able to provide adequate care and love.
Religion: Religion will be separate entirelyfrom government. No God or gods will be endorsed. In public and government activities, the events will be started with a few minutes of silence for prayer or reflection as participants see fit. Only rare circumstances where a religious leader is a guest speaker will prayer be part of official ceremony, and that will be in addition to the few minutes of private meditation. At age 16 all children will start a class which gives a brief overview of all the major religions (including humanism and atheism) as well as independent study for minor religions, concentrating on the differences for each. Each child can then study, for spiritual reasons or curiosity, their chosen religion for two years and either pursue it as a course of faith or stay religion they were raised. Cults will be explained and described, but not forbidden.
Churches will have to turn over any profits significantly over operating costs back into their congregation with increased services or goods.
Education: Mandatory full-timeeducation from 2 until age 18, mandatory half-time education until 24, mandatory part-time education throughout life. All students must learn three languages total and at least one instrument or artistic form (theater, sculpture, poetry), though they have until 10 to decide one permanent course of artistic endeavor and can always add another later. Their will not be grade levels; classes will be organized by skill level (a 77-year-old who takes up banjo will have class with 5-year-olds). Once a student progresses significantly beyond the rest of the class they move forward. Class sizes will be as small as staffing allows.
Colleges and museums will be free, save for seminary schools, which are separate from state.
Treasury and Commerce: Everyone must work, as everyone has a skill, no matter how small, that can be utilized.
All basic needs will be provided, any unnecessary materials and activities will be taxed based on opulence and drain on society (platinum caps for teeth, cigarettes and drugs). For example, clean water nutritious but tasteless food, and a dry bed will be available to all. Current middle class living will require slightly more work, increasing as standard of living increases, with a cut-off point where taxes and impossibly high profits cancel out for individuals. Businesses are allowed to profit as much as they please, but since individual salaries would reach an upper limit, they would be encouraged to fold that money back into product development and offer successful employees shorter work weeks.
Advertising would be strictly regulated.
Rights: You are given as many rights as you have responsibilities. Children, who until they are older, cannot choose their diet, religion or bedtime will have almost no legal responsibilities outside of attending school. Everyone has the basic rights and basic responsibilities, namely they have the right to do as they wish and be free from harm as long as they do not threaten this right in others. Personal responsibility will be much higher—no more idiotic lawsuits.
Transportation: A reliable, far-reaching and free public transit system infrastructure would be built and maintained. Personal transport would be unnecessary, but private transport could be rented (weddings, trip to exotic locale).
Energy: Only the safest, cleanest, and renewable energy would be used. My personal favorite is nuclear power. All energy would have built in redundancy and safeguards to prevent rolling blackouts and massive outages. Everyone would receive a certain amount of free power, after which charges would incur and steadily increase.
Defense: Similar to Israel and part of educational process. Mandatory two years of service, with option to stay on as full-time job. Guns must be kept at hunting lodges or gun ranges.
Media: Freedom of speech and press, barring libel and hate speech. Swearing not incur fines, but a false report will. All recorded information is free after five years (movies, music, books etc.) Live performances are allowed to charge admission.
Taxes: Citzens can decide whether to pay for government services through annual taxes (cheaper for most) or on an as needed basis. The decision is made for five year periods, to discourage people from jumping back and forth.
The ruler: Me and whoever follows, will only have the pay, rights and property as the poorest citizen. No one who wants to lead will be allowed to do so. At my death the panels will elect the most qualified and reluctant to the task.