13 minutes, 48 seconds. That’s how long it took the Curiosity rover’s signal to reach Earth from Mars - and Mars is in our own solar system.
Intrigue is the name of the upcoming expansion pack to our best-selling space strategy game, Galactic Civilizations III. It’s not called “Government” or “Politics”. It’s Intrigue. 13 minutes, 48 seconds between responses for radio signals in our own solar system leaves a lot of time for uncertainty, for doubt, for fear…for intrigue.
Let’s walk through how colonization might actually work. Let’s presume humans get to Mars in the 2030s. Let’s also presume that at some point in the not so distant future, we actually plant a colony on Mars. Are those colonists citizens of Mars? Or are they citizens of their respective, Earthbound, nation states? How long would that work? How many generations would that work for? Would it survive the first crisis? Would humans, born and raised on Mars, care about the political maneuverings in Washington DC? Berlin? Beijing? London? I suspect that there would be point where the government would need to change in order to deal with large populations of people living off world.