The more I think about it, the more it bugs me. The current government selection mechanic doesn't feel right.
As many have pointed out, it feels as though there are few repurcussions to changing governments. I am now fully on that bandwagon. Case in point: I was playing a Military Dictatorship with the Wekkarus and getting impatient to meet the 85% victory criteria. So I went from Military Dictatorship to Democracy. My economy score instantly jumps up and I win. That was it. Protests in the street? No. Military leaders rebelling and taking ships with them? No. Colonies breaking away? No. New el Presidente at least? No. Just not really satisifying.
Now I don't exactly want to advocate for arbitrary obnoxious things to happen when you change government types. Colonies breaking away is seriously a pain. I actually homogenize my population either through resettlement or extermination so that it doesn't happen. Also, I just like the "challenge" (read "chore") of getting rid of other races from my empire. BUT non-arbitrary obnoxious things happening when you change governments without taking appropriate measures seems desirable for gameplay. I don't want anything new added, I just want the bad things that happen with Military Dictatorship and Despotism (try changing between those two and you will wish you hadn't) to be applied LOGICALLY to the overpowered "good" governments.
This leads me to my next gripe: the good governments are TOO OVERPOWERED. Seriously, why is Democracy so awesome? No one would ever NOT play Democracy (unless they had an even more OP special government). Oh gee, so I lose a leader every once in a while. I lose leaders with Military Dictatorship via coups just as often it seems. The only reason I don't play Democracy 100% of the time is to be masochist. Remember in Civ 2 when you were a Democracy sometimes the senate would just veto your attempt to go to war and you'd just not be able to do it? That was actually a good thing. I mean why would you be able to go to war with an empire with whom you have good diplomatic relations under a Democracy? Yeah yeah, as a player I want to take that juicy 100% quality planet and add its revenue to my own, but that is why I play a Military Dictatorship, so that I can satiate my greed with impunity. But a Democratic government shouldn't be able to do that. The private sector that benefits from peaceful relations with the target empire would not tolerate it. At the very least, nerf some of the OUTRAGEOUS bonuses the "good" governments get. PLUS TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT RESEARCH? SERIOUSLY?
On the other end of the spectrum is Corporate Nationalism. The government type that has absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. It doesn't even work as advertised (for those who don't know, read here). Its existence is utterly meaningless. And yet there are times a quick injection of cash directly from the coffers of the private sector WOULD be useful. Alas, Corporate Nationalism can't even do that. Sigh. Playtesting fail? What gives? FIX IT.
I'm going to go play a different game for a while now.