13 Plans for the Administration of Erlitz
Along with reforming the military which included technological development. Frederick also needed to reorganise the administrative structure of Erlitz. It was currently split into four large and arbitrarily designated domains, with Franz's territory to the east, Albert's in the north, Sophia's to the west and Frederick's in the centre and the south.
This was incredibly inefficient as each territory had their own administrative systems all dependent upon the whims of the Count of the time. As a result, it was even worse off than the military of Erlitz.
Despite the grand sounding name of Prime Minister, the occupier had no real power outside of the directly controlled areas of the Crown, which was the central and southern regions. Of course, he could represent the nation on the world stage but that was more of the prerogative of the Grand Prince of Erlitz. After all, the Prime Minister served at the discretion of the Prince and the powers were assigned depending on the current ruler of the time.
Frederick's plan was the creation of a standard three tier administrative system many modern countries were familiar with. The lowest would be on the local level, in the form of a council, which would cover a city or town and its surroundings headed by a mayor. Above them would be a state which would be headed by a governor that would encompass multiple councils and finally above them would be the national government.
The national government would be a familiar sight to any modern person, with the creation of various departments and ministers assigned to take care of a portfolio of issues right across the country. This he hoped, would ensure there would be cooperation, innovation and competition across the different levels.
Frederick had eventual plans to open up the local council positions to be filled via elections. After all, he needed to lay the ground work for the emancipation of his citizens. Although he had denied the people of Erlitz the right to vote not that long ago and claimed he could not keep the promises of his father. That was only in that moment, eventually he would try to bring greater freedom to his people.
After all, only by making them invested and aware of the issues the nation faces could the people truly come to support him and his policies. However, state or national elections would probably never happen during his lifetime, after all, he could not allow government by the ignorant. It would be many years after he managed to roll out public education and instil in the people the traps and pitfalls of false promises and misinformation and only then would he consider allowing this to happen.
Frederick believed the greatest flaw of modern democracies was the lack of engagement. Most if not all countries in the modern world had voluntary voting, however, Frederick born and raised in Australia where it had compulsory voting made sure people took some effort to engage with the process. After all, if someone had the ability to vote but never chose to exercise it, then they would shirk all responsibilities and duties that as a citizen they should be aware of.
At the end of the day, in voluntary voting nations, a citizen could merely shrug and say, 'well I did not vote for this guy' because they never voted in the first place. Therefore, they could absolve themselves of all blame, should shit hit the metaphorical fan and place themselves on some sort of moral high ground upon which they could lecture the others that merely tried to fulfil their civic duties.
Of course, compulsory voting had its disadvantages too, after all it meant even the uneducated and ignorant needed to vote but they as a minority should be drowned out by the educated majority. Essentially it ends up weighing out, of course some extreme or radicals may slip in here or there, but in the long scheme of things their impact should be localised to one or two election cycles.
This was why Frederick could not accede to the wishes of the dissidents and implement the right to vote. The people were not ready, they were not educated and not in the right mindset. Plus, democracy never really worked in tense and dark periods in history.
Erlitz was currently facing great pressure from Pruse and Weser. Its position as an independent nation was very much at threat. However, there were far more important things he needed to do before something as fantastical as democracy could be implemented.
His priorities now were, military, economic and administrative reform. He would need to create new institutions to take the place of the aristocracy, however, he knew that many of these positions would be headed by aristocrats. After all, they made up the majority of the educated people in the entire country.
Frederick finished his meal and was getting ready to sleep, when he heard a knock on the door. He gave them permission to enter and he was surprised to see Phillip, Bertrand and another man that looked like a younger Bertrand, who he assumed was Leopold, all enter. The three of them bowed and apologised for the late visit. Frederick guided them over to some seats and invited them to take a seat.
"So, what brings you here at such an hour?"
"Your Highness, I felt it best to come and see you tonight. It was a selfish request, Brother Bertrand and Sir Phillip thought it best to come back tomorrow. However, there are a few things I need to get off my chest. Are you willing to hear me out, Your Highness?"
Leopold's bold behaviour in front of Frederick caused Phillip to frown whereas Bertrand merely sighed. Frederick watched the actions of the two men before he looked at the earnest face of Leopold. Frederick had thought Bertrand was fairly handsome, however, Leopold was even more so. It was no wonder he was popular with the ladies and had decided to go out for some relief. But Frederick put that to one side, he needed to know more about this man he had high hopes for.
"Oh, do go on. You're here after all, I might as well hear what you have to say." Frederick responded in a dull tone.
Leopold reacted as if he did not detect the tone and continued.
"Your Highness, I think abolishing landed titles should be only a means to an end and not an end in itself. We should reorganise the administration of the nation. The current system is too complicated and there are many overlapping authorities with no clear lines to delineate what powers each person has. Take the Prime Minister position in Erlangen, it sounds good on paper, but I must say it is very much a toothless tiger at the moment. Outside of the areas under your direct control, well the Prime Minister can suggest but not order for things to be done. His responsibilities are taken up by the various Chamberlain's, Chancellors or whatever the Count of the day wishes to call them in their respective territories." Leopold raced to get his words out and finally noticed the silence in the room. He looked around and saw Bertrand with a blank look, Phillip with a thoughtful expression while Frederick merely nodded his head urging him to continue.
"Your Highness, I believe we need to reconfirm or redraw the lines and boundaries that make up
Erlitz. It is currently too arbitrary, we need order, symmetry and I believe I have a plan that you will like." Leopold finished and looked back at Frederick with a feverish gaze.
Frederick was glad he came to Stolitz. It was a great surprise that these two brothers were children of Albert and were actually intellectuals that had great vision and plans for the future. He was sure that trusting these two would be the boost he needed to kick start his plans for Erlitz.
Frederick decided to continue asking Leopold about his ideas. They talked for hours at length and by the time they reached a consensus they realised the sun light began to infiltrate the room. Their eyes widened in shock at that realisation and they looked around only to notice that at some point in the night both Phillip and Bertrand had left the room.
Frederick and Leopold laughed at each others antics as Leopold decided to go back to his room to catch up on his sleep. Frederick watched him leave the room and was suddenly reminded of a close friend he had back in his old world. They too would stay up late all night debating various subjects, ranging from politics, latest technology, history, games and even their favourite foods, every day it could be the same topic or something completely new.
Frederick wondered what she was up to and whether she had mourned his passing. He shook his head at his melancholic thoughts and sighed aloud once again before he walked over to his bed and slept for the night.