Colonies were a constant power struggle between Colonial Regulation (ColReg) and the Bureaucratic Corps (BuCorps). In the long run, BuCorps won nearly every time.
ColReg was responsible, from the very first Imperial colony, for planetary government as well as interplanetary regulation. A Colonial Administrator was appointed by ColReg, with due allowance for the wishes of the colonists. Administrator was a management position, and he/she set up what sub-levels of government were needed.
Colonists trained in bureaucracy usually managed to get positions in the Colonial Administration -- and thus the groundwork was was laid for BuCorps' eventual victory.
When the Colony paid off its original debt -- which could be as quickly as five or ten years -- it lost Colonial status and became officially an Imperial world in good standing. At that point, ColReg's involvement was over, and the Colonial Administration passed under the control of BuCorps.
And then, quickly or slowly, Planetary Administration came to resemble all other Planetary Administrations . . . for Administration was what BuCorps did best. There was an Administrator (or Governor, Supervisor, President, or any of a number of other titles), whose responsibility was to see that all ran smoothly within the context of the Imperial Galaxy. There was an entire hierarchy of Directors, Sub-Directors, Chiefs, Managers, Officers, Associates, Deputy Associates, Assistant Deputy Associates, and all the other trappings of BuCorps.
The truth is, only BuCorps itself knew how individual planets were run. BuCorps administration, Galactic or planetary, was an intricate web that could be strong as steel, choking as quicksand, or tenuous as air -- all at the same time.
One thing was always true, however -- essential services always functioned. Comm systems worked, food was supplied, and the trains always ran on time.
copyright (c) 2009, Don Sakers
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