The establishment of a Representation system, such as a Parliament or a Senate institution whose members are directly elected by the people, is a necessary step for preparing your empire for enlargement. It greatly increases the efficacy of newly-established local governments, which facilitates acquiring new Social Policies. The effect is such that your empire immediately enters a Golden Age.
- Each city you found will increase the Culture cost of policies by 33% less than normal.
- Starts a Golden Age.
Without Representation, each city in the civilization (except for the Capital, puppet cities and cities being razed) increases the cost of social policies by 5-10% (additively), depending on map size. With Representation, this becomes 3.35-6.7% per city.
For example, with six cities (including the Capital) on a Large map, social policies cost an additional without Representation. With representation, this decreases to an additional , which is a decrease in overall policy cost.
The benefit of this policy may be obscured by the increase in policy costs which occurs when a non-free policy is adopted.
N.B. Adopting Representation does not refund Culture already spent on policies. However, the reduced Culture cost of policies does apply to cities which have already been founded, and to annexed cities not owned by their founder, as well as to cities founded following the policy's adoption.
The best time to adopt Representation depends on your reason for adopting the policy. For instance, if you plan to adopt Representation in order to maximize the Culture saved throughout the game through reduced policy cost, it is best adopted early (or sometimes not at all); however, if expecting a quick return on investment, and if your Culture output rises in line with the increasing cost of policies, it can be worth delaying this policy's adoption.
Reduced policy cost
Purely in terms of the reduced policy cost, the best time to adopt Representation is a compromise between two competing effects. Adopt too late, and you will not adopt enough policies afterwards to benefit much from their reduced cost; adopt too early, however, and you will have to adopt more policies after Representation before you see a return on investment.
The more cities you have, the sooner you should adopt Representation. On its own, the reduced cost of social policies may not be enough to justify adopting Representation if you expect to have fewer than about 6 cities (so about 9 on a Large map, or 12 on a Huge map). For more detail regarding the return on investment of Culture due to reduced policy cost, consult the tables provided.
The second benefit of Representation is the resulting Golden Age. The timing of this is, again, a compromise - specifically, between delaying till Gold, Production and Culture yields are high, and taking the benefit early to avoid opportunity cost. Though the same amount of Gold, Production or Culture is worth more earlier in the game, you may wish to wait, for instance till you have Gold-yielding luxury resources, preferably with the respective tile improvements.
Representation is a policy where the citizens of a nation appoint "representatives" to run the government. This might be considered a step up from collective rule, once the population becomes too large to support that government type. In a representative form of government, the country is divided into smaller, more manageable districts (or parishes, or states, or whatever), and each chooses one or more local citizens to represent their interests in the government for a set period of time. The representatives form a parliament or some other kind of deliberative body, and they rule the country. While most representative forms of governments are republics, it is not strictly necessary. Some representative governments elect temporary or permanent kings and other nobility to rule over them.