First off I'm glad this sounded as good on paper as it did in my head. If any race would be 'mad' enough to do a government radically different from what the tall folk (dwarf or higher) would do i.e. absolutionist governments. It'd probably be gnomes. To expand on certain ideas-A gnomish democracy! Excellent! I like it a lot. It will differentiate more than everything else this area with respect to the neighbouting aristocratic-absolutistic countries.
The political parties you envisioned are really good, I also liked a lot your reference to the lizardmen and the cryptic elves. Thanks!
I would add just a few issues that could be included in any agenda of the political parties you listed (or to the agenda of other gnomish parties not represented in the Fiory hills communities):
- Relationships with Refuge Point and other communities across the sea: maybe mantaining a fleet to trade with them diverts resources that could be used to gain advantages against the lizardfolks. Moreover, cultural contamination from Refuge Point could raise concerns among the most conservative gnomes.
- Universal suffrage: are all Fiori's gnomes equal with respect to civil and political rights?
- Non-democratic nearby gnomish communities: maybe gnomish settlements in the Fiori's neighbourhood are not so much enlightened, and they are ruled by the average noblemen/kings/oligarchy/council of the elders. The most progressist gnomomes among the Fioris could flame the debate on whether it is a good policy to let their cousin live in such political darkness.
Just some suggestion throwed in, hope they helps. -LoZompatore
-To keep city states a little more loosely aligned what we have here is a number of large city states and a number of small villages which are loosely allied. The political parties being the off spring of different houses each exist in different cities with different local leaders (They just answer to the named 'Bosses' of the political machine.) So in one city the Weasel Party might maintain the majority votes, thus the members of that party select their representatives on each city states respective council of government and they may or may not maintain a Chancellor and these councils/political machines tend to run that city state.
Right now I have main city states; Port Kyna (the closest in the water if you look at the 16 entry. It looks like its a little bit submerged or has a harbor/cove.)
New Gronzi: Reflects the original city of Gronzi from their old world. This one is quite landlocked and is the main wheat basket.
Now the other villages I don't believe have born nobility. Technically these villages fall under the protection and the control of the three city states. So rather then kings or nobles we'd see self-made land barons who form council of elders who run the day-to-day operations of these villages and occasionally have their men go into the cities to cast votes and support which ever Political party is going to give them the best deal. Hopefully this clears any confusion or germinates new ideas.
Now Universal Suffrage? It goes one step further and grants voting rights, civil liberties to anyone who is a citizen of any of these city states. Gnomes are granted the rights by birth while non-gnomes would probably have to apply for citizenship. This doesn't mean the law doesn't have slight bent to the gnomes but there is nothing officially barring humans, dwarves etc. who are citizens to vote. They just can't join the party of those gnomes and in some towns parties can be selective about their members or conservative gnomes might rail against influxes of non-gnomes and non-earth gnomes.
Finally I like your idea about the gnomes maintaining their own ships and perhaps sapping off their ability to not be too advantageous against the lizardfolk. In fact the sort of political chaos we see in these cities would keep the city states from uniting to invade and destroy the lizardfolk, but they would unite and defend if an entire horde was streaming in to conquer the area.
Sorry for the block of text but I was bored at work and had a lot of ideas hit me.
And Kamos Landing a city built on the higher hill elevation and makes a good site for their own air tower, also overlooks the caravan roads that lead north.